This land had once been allocated in the 1700s as a ranch for Mission San Jose in San Antonio (20 mi. N), but in the 1820s was left unsettled. In 1828 prominent San Antonio resident Jose Antonio Navarro (1795-1871) beseeched the Governor of the Mexican state to grant him four leagues of land for pasture. Navarro officially received his grant for this land on the Atascosa River in 1831, though he might have occupied the ranch earlier.
In 1836, Navarro signed the Texas Declaration of Independence, and in the following years was occupied by business and politics elsewhere. By 1853 he had concentrated his ranching interests here and spent the summers in a log house overlooking the Atascosa River. He registered his cattle brand in Atascosa County in 1856, and donated land for a county seat in 1857, though the seat was moved to Pleasanton in 1858.
The 1860 census listed 400 cattle, 200 swine, 35 horses, and 12 oxen on the ranch of almost 18,000 acres. Oil was noted on this land as early as 1867. Navarro turned the ranch over to his sons after the Civil War, and following his death in 1871 in San Antonio, the land was divided among his five children. This acreage remained in the family until his son Sixto Eusebio Navarro (b. 1833) sold the old ranch home in 1894. (1986)