A Guide to the José A. Navarro III Papers, 1833-1952 and undated
An enthusiastic student of Texas history, José Antonio Navarro III worked diligently to foster an appreciation for the role of his family in the development of the state. Born in Laredo, Texas, in 1877, he was named for his grandfather, a prominent figure in San Antonio and Texas events. Though José Antonio Navarro III was born after the death of his grandfather, he became acquainted with his ancestor’s background through family stories, later supplementing them through research and contact with others interested in Texas history. Navarro also maintained an interest in the Confederate military service of his father, Sixto E. Navarro, and other family members who served Texas in the Civil War.
Navarro grew up in Atascosa County and San Antonio. He worked as a public and private school teacher, clerk, bookkeeper, and government worker, primarily in San Antonio, where he settled permanently in 1913. Most of his career was spent in financial offices for the City of San Antonio and Bexar County. He retired in 1957 after more than fifteen years as Deputy Tax Assessor for the county. Navarro was prominent in Catholic Church organizations, particularly the Knights of Columbus and the St. Vincent de Paul Society, and was honored by the Church in 1952 with the presentation of the Papal Cross.
At the time of his death in San Antonio in 1960, Navarro was the last surviving grandson of his famous forebear. Unmarried, he was survived by two sisters.
Correspondence, property records, family papers, research material, printed items and photographs are included in the Joséé Antonio Navarro III Papers, reflecting an interest in Texas history and the role of his family in the state’s past.
Most of the letters received and sent by Navarro deal with his family history, particularly the life of his grandfather, José Antonio Navarro, statesman and signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence. Also discussed is José Francisco Ruiz, another prominent Texan and likewise a signer of the Declaration. Navarro frequently received and answered requests for information and wrote to correct errors in published histories. In his family and historical research, Navarro gathered notes and sources on Ruiz and Navarro and wrote a biographical sketch of his grandfather.
Documents related to property include deeds for family land in Atascosa County and for Navarro’s home in San Antonio. An affidavit outlines the genealogy of his immediate family in connection with the inheritance of his father’s property.
Navarro’s personal papers include birth and social security documents and a small number of items related to his activities as a member of the Knights of Columbus in San Antonio. Printed material includes clippings associated with his service in the National Guard during World War I.
In the papers are several items associated with José Antonio Navarro (1795-1871), including a report on his activities as a Mexican land commissioner, a letter written upon his election to the Coahuila y Texas Congress in 1835, a proclamation drafted in connection with the Texan Santa Fe Expedition of 1842, and a copy of a letter written by Navarro’s wife, seeking his release from prison following the capture of that expedition.
A few photographs show Navarro in connection with the San Antonio Knights of Columbus and a historical ceremony and a snapshot of Navarro family property near Seguin.
No restrictions. The collection is open for research.
Please be advised that the library does not hold the copyright to most of the material in its archival collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure those rights when needed. Permission to reproduce does not constitute permission to publish. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of copyright, literary property rights, and libel.
[Identification of item], José A. Navarro III Papers, 1833-1952 and undated, Col 904, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.
Acquired from the estate of José Antonio Navarro III, circa 1960.
Gift of the San Antonio Conservation Society, 1977 September.
The papers of José Antonio Navarro III were apparently sold after his death by the attorney for his estate. A list and other descriptive information on the papers were compiled at the time, and a part of this group was acquired by the DRT Library. In 1977, several items matching descriptions in the original list were donated to the library by the San Antonio Conservation Society. It appears likely that these had been acquired at the time of the first distribution of the papers, though no information on provenance was available. These items, in folders 4, 5, 13, 14, 16 and 17, have been included with the papers acquired earlier by the DRT Library based on descriptive evidence that suggests their inclusion in the original body of papers.
Processed by Warren Stricker, 2000 September.
Finding aid edited and encoded by Caitlin Donnelly, 2010 August.
Detailed Description of the Collection