Vallerreño Cemetery was located on lands owned by the heirs of Gregorio Villarreal, who purchased the La Encantada and Encino del Pozo land grants in 1872. The cemetery contained about 3 or 4 graves, originally marked only with wooden crosses, fenced in by barbed wire. It fell into disuse sometime in the early 1900’s, probably before 1930, and all signs of the cemetery disappeared in the late 1970’s when a new landowner cleared the cemetery site and the surrounding brush land and converted everything to pasture. Descendants of Gregorio Villarreal still own the land on which the cemetery was located.
The cemetery took its name from a “laguna”, or small lake, in the immediate vicinity. Called El Vallerreño, the laguna until recent years contained surface water year round and was a welcome site to everyone living in the area, also known as the Wild Horse Desert. Now, however, the laguna El Vallerreño has surface water only for short periods after it rains.
Records identifying persons buried at Vallerreño Cemetery have not been found to date, and may be non-existent. Interviews with persons familiar with the cemetery resulted in a consensus on the names of three persons buried there:
1. Saturnino Ruelas Fuentes (husband of Calixta Villarreal, a niece of Gregorio Villarreal)
2. Pedro Ruelas (son of Saturnino & Calixta Villarreal Ruelas)
3. _____ Gonzalez (grandson of Eleno Gonzalez, a contract laborer and farmer).
Back to Brooks County