I read your piece on the Porvenir Massacre with great interest. You see my great-grandfather was Federico Villalba (1858-1933) who, at the time of the killings, had a Warrant of Authority from the Texas Rangers. Federico's 20,000 acre Rancho Barras was located in Burro Mesa. When word got back to him about this horrific tragedy, he sent his son, Jorge to investigate. Jorge returned with an account of the atrocity los rinches committed. In protest, Federico immediately resigned his Warrant. I have written a book about my great-grandfather and his family that should be on the shelves in late July/early August. It is titled Federico Villaba's Texas, A Mexican Pioneer's Life in the Big Bend, 2008, Iron Mountain Press.

My book also contains the account of his son's, Jacobo and Jorge's involvement in the shooting deaths of Aubrey "Jack", and Winslow Coffman in Study Butte in 1923, and the murder of Jacobo by Delfi "Det" Walker in 1931. Contrary to other published accounts of my great-uncle Jacobo's death, he was not shot by Joe Graham Barnett, a former Texas Ranger. It is true that Det Walker hired Barnett to kill Jacobo, but by Jonce Walker's own admission, Jacobo was killed as a trespasser on the Talley Ranch, though the circumstances and manner of his death are highly disputed.

Also, thank you for sharing the pictorial.

Juan Manuel Casas


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