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Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Part of our in-depth series exploring the forts of Comancheria

The town of San Ygnacio was settled in 1830 - making it the oldest town in Zapata County. It was named for the patron saint of Guerrero, Saint Ignatius Loyola.

The land was originally granted by Col. José de Escandón to José Vázquez Borrego and was one of 23 settlements founded by Escandón.

Jesús Treviño, the leader of the settlers built a fortified residence at the site.

A small sundial was placed at the home in 1851 - an unusual item considering the time and place.

Confederate troops fought followers of Juan Cortina here during the Civil War.

In 1890 revolutionaries against the regime of Porfirio Díaz led raids into Mexico from San Ygnacio. In June of 1916, troops of President Carranza crossed the border and engaged a U.S. Cavalry unit stationed there.

During the early 1900s San Ygnacio had a post office, several stores, a drugstore and remained a commercial center for the region.

The population in 1908 was just under 200 persons. It doubled by 1931 but decreased back to 225 by the end of WWII.

San Ignacio was used (like Roma) for scenes in the 1951 movie Viva Zapata with Marlon Brandon in the title role.

The Trevino Fort has been National Historic Landmark since 1998. It is co-owned by the River Pierce Foundation and the heirs (Alfonso Herrera, Raquel H. Ramirez, and Abigail H. Molina) of the family who founded San Ygnacio. The River Pierce Foundation, founded in 1990 is dedicated to the cultural and historic preservation of San Ygnacio. - Christopher Rincon, Director, The River Pierce Foundation

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