Joaquin De Hinojosa Land Grant
JOAQUÍN DE HINOJOSA LAND GRANT. The oldest and largest land grant in Texas was made by the king of Spain to Fray Joaquín de Hinojosa in May of 1692. Hinojosa, a Franciscan friar, worked with the Tigua Indians, who lived in the El Paso area. During an inspection by Governor Diego de Vargas, Hinojosa requested autos of possession of the missions at El Paso, San Lorenzo, Senecú, Ysleta, and Socorro. The friar also requested additional land to sustain each mission. Hinojosa not only sought control of church property but also responsibility for the Indians who lived on or near each mission. Though Vargas was willing to grant civil control of church lands to Hinojosa, he was reluctant to give the missionary authority over the Indians. After inspecting each of the missions, Vargas recommended that a grant, totaling 177,136 acres, be issued to Hinojosa. The viceroy followed through with Vargas's suggestion and, in a somewhat unusual move, granted the deed to Hinojosa as both a private individual and a representative of the church. This dual ownership later led to confusion and court battles over title to a strip of land that runs along the Rio Grande in El Paso and Hudspeth counties.