|Source: Heritage Quest online
Title of Book: The history and geography of Texas : as told in county names
[Note: only two words were capitalized in this title, The and Texas]
Author: Z. T. Fulmore
Austin: Press of E.L. Steck, 1915, 321 pgs.
This county was named for Martin de Leon, a native of Tamaulipas, Mexico, where
he was born in 1765; in 1795 he married in Sota la Marina. In early life he was
much engaged n the wars against Tamaulipas Indians. He entered Texas in 1805 and
established a ranch on the Aransas River. Not being able to get a grant of land
there, he moved to the east bank on the Nueces, but the Indians became so
troublesome, that he removed to San Antonio. He was a zealous partisan in the
revolution against Spain.
In 1816 he moved to Burgos, in Tamaulipas. In 1823, he drove mules from his
ranch to New Orleans. He then chartered and loaded the first seagoing craft to
arrive at Matamoras. In 1823, he made known his purpose to establish a colony on
the lower Guadalupe, and received authority to locate forty-one families upon
any vacant land in that vicinity. His grant was ratified Oct. 6, 1825. In 1829,
he obtained a contract to settle one hundred and fifty families within an area
of ten leagues from the coast, and complied with that contract, founding the
town of Victoria. He died of cholera in 1833. There was some friction between
the first settlers and those of DeWitt on account of boundaries.
Submitted by Modene Knight Thornton, Mar 7, 2010