El Desierto Cemetery

Hidalgo Co. Cemeteries of Tx

Submitted by Frances Isbell

With Permission  of Hidalgo Co. Historical Commission (2005)

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LOCATION:  Northwest of Laguna Seca Ranch.  On US 281, drive five miles past Faysville.  Turn west on  Laguna Seca Road for 3.5 miles, then north 1.75 miles past Laguna Seca Ranch headquarters.  Cemetery is on west side of road.
Obtain permission from owner Rafael Guerra.
SURVEYED:  August 6, 1976 by Virginia G. Stinson and Deborah S. Dail for McAllen Genealogical Society.  Some graves were moved to the new Laguna Seca Cemetery which was established in 1913. Gaps in numbers are unmarked or empty graves.
HISTORY: Rafael Vela, 1842-1899, 7th child of Salvador and Leonor Zamora Vela, was born in Reynosa. In 1857, his older brother Macedonio came to Hidalgo County and founded Laguna Seca Ranch. Three more brothers, including Rafael, followed. By 1870, Rafael had established La Gacha Ranch. In October 1877, he married Guadalupe Cardenas Guerra at La Noria Cardenena Ranch. They had seven children.  In 1888, he traded La Gacha for property closer to his mother and sisters at Laguna Seca Ranch.  He named the new ranch El Desierto,  He and his widow are buried in a boveda (above-ground crypt) in El Desierto Cemetery.
01 AGAPITO GONZALEZ 26June1886-20Nov1969 de su esposa, hijos y nietos
02 [old boveda 02-03-04 with 3 inscriptions] FELICITAS VELA 16(?)Mar1895  32 yrs  [unmarried daughter of Pedro Vela in 03]
03 Don PEDRO VELA ZAMORA Murio 3Mar1889 66 yrs   Sus hijos y hijas  [boveda, center; brother of ranch founder Rafael Vela 08]
04  CAMILO VELA Murio 15Aug1896 edad 29 [right side of boveda, son of Pedro Vela 03]
05 [A very big and beautiful boveda] LEONOR    Z[AMORA] de VELA Sus hijos e hijas le dedican 1885 [born c1803, mother of ranch founder Rafael Vela 08; widow of Salvador Vela]
06 FELIPE HERNANDEZ fallecio 12Sep1913      Un recuerdo de su hija G.H. a su memoria EPD
08 RAFAEL VELA ZAMORA 11Jan1842-8May1899 [wrought iron fence surrounds 08 and 09; ranch founder]
09 GUADALUPE CARDENAS DE VELA 12Dec1849-17May1917 [wife of Rafael Vela; fenced with 08]
10-11 RAFAEL VELA 16Aug1883-21Feb1954
MARTA [HINOJOSA] VELA 25Apr1901-2Oct1965 [double; husband and wife, he son of founder]
12 AVELARDO GARZA 6Apr1914-20Mar1930    Su padre Geronimo Garza y su madre Leonarda Reyes de Garza y sus hermanos Amancio, Ernestina, Luiz y Adelina Garza
13 [Very old monument, falling apart]
14  SEVERA RAMIREZ de 30 anos 20-3-20  [there are possibly 4 or 5 graves here.  Bricks are laid flat on the ground, like a fence, around an area big enough for several graves.  There is only one marker, a very tall concrete cross.]
17 Sra ????DA OL??A  fallecio 5May1917   Recuerdo de sus hijos y fam Nicolaso Luna
18 REMIGIO CORTEZ 1866-25Jan1931 sus hijos
25 ANDRES GARZA 23Mar1885-13Mar1927 
26 PAULINO SERDA Fallecio 16Sep1915           Un recuerdo de su esposa
29 [headstone toppled, could not move]
31 NICOL... [broken monument with a nest of angry yellow jackets in the flowers.  They never did settle down, so we could not get close enough to read  the inscription] 
32-33 LUCIANA CERDA 7Jan1891  [double]         RUMALDO CERDA SR. 7Feb1889-10Feb1972
34 VICTORIA CERDA 23Mar1914-4June1972    Un recuerdo de su madre
35 GERARDA CERDA Nacio 236 Enero 1918  Fallecio 9 Abril 1942 [plainly reads "236"]
39-40 EUGENO CALVILLO dedicada su hija Hilaria C. Perez  CELESTINA G. CALVILLO 6Apr1887-21Aug1940 su esposo e hijos dedican [picture]
 [Two headstones,one in front of the other, inside a wrought iron fence]
43 JULIANA O. LONGORIA 26Apr1879-11May1966 Hijos y nietos [picture]
44 AURORA LONGORIA Died 30Aug1942         age 26 yrs 6 mos 22 days
48 RAFAEL GARZA GARCIA 1905-1975           [this information taken from a paper taped to the wooden cross that marks this grave]
50 ADAN CISNEROS 12Apr1945 14Jan1946
51 CONSUELO SALAZ 9Jan1944-30Jul1944   Recuerdo de sus padres y hermanos
 58-59 ELEUTERIO VILLARREAL 20Feb1885-13Apr1966  Recuerdo de sus hijos [double]
ANNA L. VILLARREAL 5Jan1890-31Jan1949  [at foot of the grave is an older stone]  Sra ANA L. VILLARREAL, 5Jan1891-31Jan1949                   Un recuerdo ...de su esposo Eleuterio Villarreal, hijos y hijas DEP