Balli, Jose Nicolas
BALLÍ, JOSÉ NICOLÁS (ca. 1770–1829). José Nicolás Ballí, a secular Catholic priest, the oldest son of José María and Rosa María Hinojosa de Ballí, was born in Reynosa, Mexico, about 1770. His parents were both Spaniards. Padre Ballí was an original grantee of the Texas coastal island later named Padre Island in his honor. He led an active civic and religious life in South Texas and the state of Tamaulipas as a missionary, a rancher, a colonist, and an explorer. His parents, prominent settlers and landowners at Reynosa, Camargo, and Matamoros and in the lower Rio Grande valley, owned over a million acres of land in South Texas. His two brothers, Juan José and José María Ballí, were officers of the Militia of Provincial and Frontier Cavalry. Nicolás spent his childhood in the company of his two younger brothers in Reynosa and received his elementary education there. His parents sent him to the Conciliar Catholic Seminary in Monterrey to complete his secondary and ecclesiastical education. He was probably ordained in 1790 or 1791.