From San Patricio de Hibernia: The Forgotten Colony by Rachel Bluntzer Hebert (Eakin Press, 1981)
Oral tradition has it that the Old Cemetery on the Hill at San Patricio was a burial ground during the Spanish regime in Texas.
"Martin de Leon in 1800 made application to the King of Spain for two leagues on the Nueces stating that he had moved to this land in good faith with members of his family and cattle and settled on the Nueces and the ford named Santa Margarita. Martin de Leon erected his home on a lagoon near the ford of Santa Margarita and established Santa Margarita Ranch. The Census report of 1811 lists the population of this ranch as: Martin de Leon, his wife Patricia de la Garza, his children, Maria Candelaria, Jose Silvestre, Maria Guadalupe, Jose Felix, Jose Agapito, in all twenty-three persons including servants and one school teacher." [Oberste, Texas Irish Empresarios, pp. 68-69.]
The first Spanish settler, therefore, in what is known as the San Patricio area was Martin de Leon, who came from Mexico with his wife and family. He occupied two leagues of land that encompassed the Santa Margarita Crossing and present Round Lake. It is evident that he did not receive title to these leagues. Nevertheless, for a number of years it was known as de Leon's Santa Margarita Ranch. On account of the droughts and the Indians he moved his ranch to the Aransas River. Then during a drought there, he drove his cattle to the Guadalupe River Valley on April 8, 1824. He saw the lush pastures of that region. So later in 1824 he applied to the Mexican Government for a contract to colonize 42 Mexican families on the Guadalupe River. As empresario he settled the town of Victoria. During the years that Martin de Leon stayed on his ranch on the Nueces (1807-1811) together with those who came with him, it is reasonable to assume that there were some deaths (infant mortality was high) and that these were likely the first to be buried in the Old Cemetery on the Hill.
Oral tradition has it that there had been a Mexican settlement on the site of the present town of San Patricio. [Miller, Mrs. S.G., Sixty Years in the Nueces Valley; Bluntzer, Kate Dougherty, obituaries] It could have been none other than the settlement or ranch of Martin de Leon. Harbert Davenport unequivocally states that Martin de Leon's two leagues were on the Texas side of the river. This being the case, it puts them on the San Patricio side running back to Round Lake. There is a tradition that Round Lake was at one time called Santa Margarita Lake. [Interview with the late Lida Dougherty] When McMullen and McGloin came to the Nueces in 1830, the old Cemetery on the Hill already existed, else they would not have buried their dead there, but would have buried them on the block designated "cemetery" by the Mexican Government in 1831. Early graves, both Mexican and Irish, bore grave markers of wooden crosses. These could not withstand the elements, and in time deteriorated. Ernpresario James McGloin was buried there in 1856. He has no gravestone and his grave is lost. After going over the probate records of the estate of Empresarto James McGloin, one can assume that the reason for this was that his will was contested by his second wife, Mary Murphy McGloin, and was in litigation for twenty years, thus dissipating most of his land. His bachelor son, John J., died in 1857, and his married son, Gilbert, the father of two children, Mary Lizzle and James M., died in 1858. His eldest daughter, Mary Ann McGloin Grover, died in 1857. It is certain that these McGloin graves are here but are lost. If they ever had a stone, it was not one that would withstand the weather. His daughter, Elizabeth McGloin Murphy, who died in Corpus Christi in 1878, is buried there, but his youngest son, Edward, with his entire family is there and have substantial gravestones. [Book of Wills, Live Oak County Courthouse, Will of Elizabeth McGloin Murphy; obituaries, Kate D. Bluntzer]
According to Msgr. E. Bartosch, who was pastor of San Patricio from 1939-63, the Old Cemetery on the Hill is not a consecrated cemetery, but each grave is blessed as it is made; therefore, a non-Catholic, as well as a Catholic, could be buried there. After the Battle of Lipantitlan Lt. Marcelino Garcia, having been wounded in battle, died the next day and according to oral tradition was buried in the Old Cemetery on the Hill. No mention of a priest conducting the burial is made. There is a monument erected by the state during the centennial year in honor of those who were killed in San Patricio on February 27, 1836, by Gen. Jose Urrea and his men and those massacred at Goliad. Some were San Patricians and Refugians and others were members of the New Orleans Greys. Harbert Davenport has made an exhaustive study of those who were killed in San Patricio, Agua Dulce, Refugio, and Goliad in his "Men of Goliad," which was the speech he delivered at the dedication of the monument south of La Bahia placed over the spot where the bodies of those massacred at Goliad were buried by Gen. Rusk and his army after the war. He states that two Mexicans in the service of Texas, names unknown, were killed on the 27th of February in San Patricio and were buried with the rest. Their names could probably be found in the Mexican archives. Those prisoners who were sent to Matamoros were thirteen Anglo-Americans and five San Antonio Mexicans in the service of Texas, including Areola and Sambrano, members of well-known families of Bexar. There were 34 in Johnson's Company. Two other Americans, names unknown, were probably killed in San Patricio and buried with the rest. [Davenport, Harbert, "Men of Goliad," Quarterly 48, p. 28-29]
In 1872 Father Maury, pastor of San Patricio, insisted that the burials be in the churchyard in the block designated "Cemetery'' in the town plat because it had been consecrated. This is called the "New Cemetery" to differentiate it from the Old Cemetery on the Hill. Both are named for Saint Patrick. Most of those who died thereafter are buried in the "New Cemetery." But some insisted on being buried in the Old Cemetery on the Hill and even until this day persons ask to be buried there because they want to lie by their ancestors. Empresario McGloin's granddaughter, Mrs. Irma McGloin Handley, was buried there in 1978. Since the Old Cemetery on the Hill has no plat (if it did, it was burned when the first church was consumed by fire in 1858), in some cases one body was buried with the bones of another.
The Old Cemetery on the Hill is hallowed ground. Besides being the resting place of Empresario James McGloin and his sons and daughter, and of Lt. Marcelino Garcia, the three Ayers children, who died within a month of scarlet fever and were descendants of John Alden and Priscilla, are buried there. It is also the burial ground of the mother of Anne Elizabeth Odlum, who married Dick Dowling, an Irishman who directed the Battle of Sabine Pass, the most decisive Texas battle of the Civil War. Besides these there are in the Old Cemetery on the Hill other McGloins, the Mahonys, the Sullivans, the Doughertys, the O'Dochartys, the McFalls, the Harts, the Gaffneys, the Corrigans, the Grovers, and many others. This historic cemetery in the last two decades has been desecrated by vandals and has suffered neglect. Something should be done to preserve it and give it the care it deserves, otherwise in a few years it will be lost as are its innumerable graves. It needs a fence for which part of the money has been donated by the descendants of those buried there. It needs perpetual care so that the wild grass and weeds and thorny native bushes can be kept down. it should have a monument to Empresario James McGloin and his family. It is to be hoped that a monument can be erected containing a plaque on which can be inscribed the names of all those who lie there, as has been done with the old San Fernando Campo Santo in San Antonio.
2001, Ectoplasm. Patrice and Sabrina stopped in the only Bar/Store in San Patricio, Texas.
Sabrina took this photo around 3 am in the morning.
This store burnt to the ground I believe the correct year was in 2005.
07/2001 Ectoplasm. Patrice and Sabrina stopped in the only Bar/Store in San Patricio, Texas,
to see if we could get anymore info on the town itself. We had also heard this little Bar/Store
was known to have spirit activity most all the time. The night we arrived at the place, it was about
12:00 a.m. The bartender was the only one there, and getting ready to close down the place.
She told us to go ahead and pictures that she would be there for about another 20 mins or so.
Patrice, took this photo over towards the back of the bar/store area where we kept seeing dark shadow's.