Sometime during the early 1800s, Francisco Rede (around age eight) and a five year-old playmate were taken by marauding Indians. The five year-old was killed, and Francisco was held captive for years. The precocious youngster, who never forgot his Spanish, was not taken along on raids because he could not be trusted. Indians who raided settlements each September used Spanish speakers to communicate and bargain for livestock with rancheros.
Finally, when in his early twenties, Francisco was taken along on a raid in Ojinaga. He escaped into the hands of his fellow “Mexicanos”. He quickly became the local hero.
Francisco married later Tomasa Onsures. How or when he came to live north of the Rio Grande is not known. Francisco was raising goats in the area of the future Shafter mines in Southern Texas when Cattle Baron “Milton Faver” approached him with the following deal:
Faver had exceeded the limitation of land grants given by the State of Texas. He then convinced Francisco to obtain a grant in his name and pass it on to him. In return, Faver promised to let him live there for the rest of his life. Francisco took the offer and named the designated area: “La Plazuela”. Old Timers still refer to the place as La Plazuela instead of Shafter.
The story goes that it was a goat herder who told Colonel Shafter that there was silver in La Plazuela. Could it have been Francisco?
Francisco and Tomasa’s son, “Navor”, has a son named Eusebio. Eusebio married Antonia Lujan– first cousin of my grandfather Esteban Lujan. Antonia, who goes on to be the first Bi-Lingual teacher of the area, is the mother of Lucia “Chita” Rede Madrid of Private Library fame. (see previous blog article)
All but one of the offspring of Antonia Lujan and Eusebio Rede went into the teaching profession. Well known writer Denise Chavez is the daughter of Delfina Lujan who is one of those teachers.
Interesting Tid-bit: To his dying day, Francisco climbed to the highest spot in the area, and howled at the moon and the rising sun.