LaReforma Ranch Cemetery

Hidalgo Co. Cemeteries of Tx

Submitted by Frances Isbell

With Permission  of Hidalgo Co. Historical Commission (2006)

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LOCATION: From State Highway 281, 18 miles north of Edinburg, proceed west on FM 1017 for approximately 20 miles to La Reforma Ranch. Cemetery is 1/4 mile east of the main ranch entrance and 1/8 mile east of the shared well.

SURVEYED: Pending.

HISTORY: La Reforma Ranch is located in northwestern Hidalgo County, in the San Jose Land Grant awarded to Jose Alejandro Farias by Mexico in 1829. In 1898, Arcadio Guerra (1864- ) and his brother-in-law Jose Cayetano Barrera (1846-1930) bought adjacent land there.

Cayetano Barrera was 28 years old when he married 17-year-old Crisanta Guerra (1857-1944), daughter of Manuel and Antonia Guerra. His parents were Juan Manuel and Maria Teresa Barrera de Barrera. In 1883, Cayetano, a carpenter by trade, had moved his family from Mier to Los Braziles in Brooks County, where he built a home across the creek from his mother-in-law. By 1895, when he took title to 430 acres, the couple had 12 children; two more were born at La Reforma.

After 15 years, the Barrera and Guerra families sold their land to Ed C. Lasater, founder of modern Falfurrias, and moved back to the Rio Grande Valley. Cayetano bought 3,089 acres in northwest Hidalgo County, and his brother-in-law Arcadio Guerra bought adjacent land.

The two men left their familes as Los Braziles, near present-day Premont, where Arcadio’s mother, Dona Antonia Guerra, had purchased ranchland in 1875. The two men cleared land, dug a well, constructed a large stone water tank shared by both properties, and each erected a frame house with wrap-around galleries upstairs and downstairs.

They named their ranch La Reforma (Reformation), and raised cattle. They established a ranch school for their children. Arcadio Guerra, already owner of a general merchandise store near Falfurrias, started a new mercantile business at La Reforma. He accepted livestock and other ranch products in trade.

Arcadio Guerra married Leonor Vela in 1911. One of their three sons died in infancy. Rafael married Carmen Chapa in 1946; their six children operate Guerra Brothers ranches and store, located south of Linn, in a close-knit family enterprise. Arcadio Jr., who did not marry, willed his share to his nephews and nieces when he died in 1963. Guerra Brothers raises commercial and registered cattle, and are among the leading cattle breeders in south Texas.

The Barreras had fourteen children, eleven of whom reached maturity. Cayetano studied medicine and Pedro studied pharmacy. Cayetano Sr. and Crisanta Barrera moved in to Mission in 1920. As the children married, they moved in to Mission, where they founded businesses or went into medical practice. Exiquio established a store and Jose a garage, which developed into the Barrera Supply Company. Dr. Cayetano E. Barrera. opened the first medical clinic in Mission and the Barrera Drug Store. Jose founded Barrera Nurseries in McAllen and three of his sister Crisanta’s children also owned wholesale nurseries. Most of the land Cayetano Sr. bought at La Reforma is still owned by the Barrera family,where many of the grandchildren raise cattle and grow feed. Oil and gas have been found on some of the land.

La Reforma Cemetery is about ¼ mile east of the main ranch. Two or three of Cayetano Barrera’s uncles who died as children are buried there. Other family members are buried in the San Jose Cemetery in Mission, ½ mile east of (and with no relation to) another former Barrera property, San Jose Ranch (40 acres bought about 1920 ( half given to first wife, other half sold to Cimarron Country Club).


A01 ARCADIA M. ARCE  +12 Jan 1892  *12 Dec 1972  Recuerdo de sus hijos.         [marble headstone, flat slab, incised “I love you Mother” 5-11-81] 

C01  MARIA VASQUEZ Nacio 15 Aug 1857 Fallecio 16 Sept 1935  Un recuerdo de      sus hijos [Row B vacant] 

C02  EVA GARCIA Nacio 10 Jan 1932 Fallecio 7 Nov 1930 Recuerdo de sus padres 

C03 PASQUAL REYES Nacio 1913  Fallecio 1936 Un recuerdo de sus padres EPD 

D01 ADAN GARCIA Nacio 10 Jan 1932 Fallecio 9 Aug 1932  Un recuerdo de sus         Padres EPD [commercial headstone] 

E01 JAZINTA GAMBOA Nacio 1918 Fallecio Jan 23 1931 Un recuerdo de su hijo y  So hija EPD 

E02  Sra ANGELITA VDA de GAMBOA  Fallecio el dia 22 Junio a la edad de 20         Anos Ano 1975 

F01 FRANCISCA GARCIA  Nacio 10 Oct 1930 Fallecio 7 Nov 1934  Un recuerdo        De sus padres EPD  [Cross was turned by cattle to face down]     

G01 UNKNOWN [FHM at north end]