JOSE FRANCISCO RUIZ
Jose Francisco Ruiz (January 29, 1783-January 20, 1840) One of two native Texans who signed declaration of Independence and helped found Republic of Texas. Ruiz, born in San Antonio, son of a wealthy rancher, was educator in Spain. Upon returning home, he was appointed school teacher by order of the cabildo (city government). He marred Josepha Hernandez, of one of city’s founding families; had two children. Ruiz became an officer in the revolutionary Army of the Mexican people opposing Spanish rule, 1811-1815; shared in defeat; and had to flee for his life to the United States. After freedom was won, he and his family returned (1822) and he became an officer in the republican army. Assumption of dictorial powers by Santa Anna (1830s) caused Ruiz to join other Texans in opposition. He was elected delegate from Bexar to the March 1836 convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos. There he became one of the three men of Spanish blood to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence. Late in 1836 he was seated in the first Congress of the Republic of Texas as first Senator from Bexar District. In tribute to Ruiz, the state of Texas has marked his gravesite and moved his house from Dolorosa street for preservation on grounds of Witte Museum.