MENCHACA, JOSÉ (1746–1820). José Menchaca was the son of Ignacia (Núñez Morillo) and Luis Antonio Menchaca. He followed in his father's military footsteps and became an alferez (ensign) in the Bexar presidio company in 1771. Upon the retirement of Cristóval de Córdova in 1775 Menchaca was named first lieutenant of cavalry. After Governor Juan María Vicencio de Ripperdáqv founded a fort on the Arroyo de Cíbolo (now Cibolo Creek), José was placed in charge of twenty men at the installation. Their job was to patrol between San Antonio and La Bahía (Goliad) and protect the ranches from Indian depredations. Menchaca was given command of the Bexar presidio during Governor Domingo Cabello y Robles's nine-month absence in 1780. Upon returning to the capital, Cabello arrested Menchaca and sent him “in disgrace” to the presidio at San Juan Bautista, an action apparently related to the governor's feud with the Menchaca family. Nonetheless, Menchaca was placed in command of Presidio Agua Verde in 1783 and saw duty in Coahuila as a captain until his retirement in 1801. According to his military record, filed July 4, 1811, Menchaca was a twenty-nine-year veteran of the Royal Service and had seen action all along the northern frontier. He married María Encarnación Rodríguez in 1800 and returned to Bexar. Four years later he sold the building that came to be known as the Spanish Governor's Palace to Ignacio Pérezqv; he disposed of his interest in his deceased father's Rancho de San Francisco to Vicente Micheli that same year.
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