Did you know the first city council in Texas was created in San Antonio?

Tejano Moments: The first civil government

SAN ANTONIO – In 1731 families from the Canary Islands began to arrive in San Antonio. After settling in the area they, along with the soldier settlers already living in the region, created the first city council in 1733.

“The Canary Islanders first take their positions as hidalgos, the first mayor of San Antonio, the first city councilmen and justices,” TexasTejano.com historian Rudi Rodriguez said.

This first city council governed San Antonio as well as the outlying ranches. The council would evolve throughout the years and establish laws, develop infrastructure, apply taxes and hire law enforcement to patrol the town.

“It gave structure, it gave law and order, it gave us social continuity, respect for government, the fundamental things that we celebrate today,” Rodriguez said.

These first Tejano city councils would continue until 1842. The last mayor would be Colonel Juan Seguin.

It wouldn’t be until 1981 that San Antonio had another Tejano mayor which was Henry Cisneros.

For more on Tejano History visit, TexasTejano.com.

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About the Author

Erica Hernandez is an Emmy award-winning journalist with 15 years of experience in the broadcast news business. Erica has covered a wide array of stories all over Central and South Texas. She's currently the court reporter and cohost of the podcast Texas Crime Stories.

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