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Zamarripa's of the Hacienda San Martin
by Armando Zamarripa
A little history,
We are not sure when exactly the Zamarripa's in our family came to Texas but according to the research my brother, Walter, has done they were in the Brownsville area, and more specifically La Hacienda San Martin, around the 1840's. My father always felt that his ancestors came form Spain bringing with them their Basque skills in herding and ranching to be applied in Tejas which was then a part of Mexico, they never considered themselves to be Mexican but Tejanos. My father Baltazar was born on March 4, 1910 when this area in Texas was still part of the Wild West. When Baltazar was about 8 years old my grandfather, Felipe, made the decision to move from the hacienda to Victoria, Texas. Felipe placed his wife, Felicita, and children on a train, while he directed a cattle and horse drive, to Victoria. My dad remembered pestering his father to allow him to participate in the cattle drive to Victoria but my grandfather wouldn't allow it because he was too young. In Victoria, Felipe was known for the quarter horses he bred and raced. During grade school in Victoria an Anglo schoolteacher changed my fathers name to Walter because Baltazar was too difficult for her to pronounce. That name stuck with my father for the rest of his life.
It all started with Felipe Zamarripa and his wife Barbara Fernandez around the 1840's whose children were Agapito, Tomas, and Refugio. Again thank Walter for this research. Walter was able to get birth dates on some of the following.
Following our branch:
Following the Tomas branch:
Tomas Zamarripa married Micacla Garcia and their children were Barbara (1867), Francisca (1869), Felipa (1869), Martina (1873), Gregoria (1876), Josefa (1800), Francisca (1883) and Josephina Maria (1891)
Following the Refugio branch:
Refugio Zamarripa married Guadalupe Molina and their children were Rafaela, Thomas (1885), Severa (1887), Longinos (1892-1977), Manuel (1894-1976), Juana (1898), Eligia (1900). Manuel's children were Refugio, Santos, Manuel Jr., Rafaela, and Longinos.
Vaqueros, pistoleros y rinches
This story that has always been of great interest to me: When I was about 10 years old, 1956, my father was taking me to Voques Barber Shop in Victoria. As we were about to enter the barbershop an old very weathered man was exiting. My father quickly recognized him and treated him with great respect as they extended cordialities. After the man left my father explained to me that the man had been my grandfathers foreman on the Hacienda San Martin. More importantly my dad explained that he had been a magnificent pistolero who had killed two rinches, Texas Rangers, while on the ranch. My dad went on to explain that during those times, early 1900's, Texas had a law that made it illegal to import beef form Mexico. Some of the more dishonest Rangers would drink away their pay in the cantinas and when they were completely out of money would go on to the ranch and pick out a couple head of beef. They would then declare the beef to be imported Mexican beef, who could tell the difference, and make themselves a few dollars when they sold them. All the beef on my grandfather's ranch was branded with an ĎAg' for Agapito, my great grandfather's name. The foreman and Felipe would intercept them when they could and a gunfight would ensue and from my fathers count the foreman was ahead by two.
Martin Zamarripa, a distant relative of my dad, was celebrated in a corrido, ballad, that was made popular in the Texas valley during 1926 to 1932. I came across this corrido on an album titled Texas-Mexican Border Music Vol.9 (Una historia del la musica de la frontera) by Polklyric records, the recording is of fair quality. The corrido "Garcia Y Zamarripa" was preformed by the Chavarría brothers, Alfonse and Martin. This corrido again points to difficulties and hardships my ancestors had as a result of a language barrier and a clash of cultures. I recommend that you view the Movie "The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez" staring Edward James Olmos for a better understanding of the early 1900's in Texas.
Garcia Y Zamarripa
El 25 de mayo, fecha que no olvidaré, mataron a Andres García; Zamarripa se les fué.
Eran las seis de la tarde cuando éstos iban pasando, Los rinches bien escondidos ya los estaban espiando.
Garcia and Zamarripa
The 25th of May, a date I won't forget, Andres Garcia was killed and Zamarripa escaped.
It was six in the afternoon when the two were crossing; the rangers very well hidden were already waiting for them.
Sería su mala suerte o ya estaría de Dios, los rinches hicieron fuego hiriéndolos a los dos.
Martín sacó su pistola pero ya estaba perdido, viendo a Andres en agonia y él tambien muy mal herido.
Andrés la sangre lo ahogaba, ya no les pudo tirar, los rinches les tenian miedo y lo acabaron de matar.
Cuando Martín comprendió qe se podia levantar, se regresó para atras alcanzandose a salvar.
Su familia lo pidierón, también se les consedió, y en un panteón mexicano su cuerpo se sepultó.
Ya con ésta me despido tomandome una tequila, esta canción fue trovada en Villa Acuna, Coahuila
Maybe it was bad luck or maybe it was God's will; the rangers opened fire and wounded both of them.
Martin took out his revolver but it was in vain, seeing how Andres was agonizing and he was also badly shot.
Andres was choking in blood and couldn't shoot any more, the rangers were afraid of them and finished killing him off.
When Martin realized he could get up, he managed to go back and saved his life.
His family asked for the corpse and it was granted and in a Mexican cemetery, his body was buried.
Now I bid farewell as I drink a tequila, this song was rendered in Villa Acuna, Coahuila.