Fiesta San Antonio/Battle of Flowers May 2, 2008 21:02:55 GMT -5
Post by neferetus on May 2, 2008 21:02:55 GMT -5
According to the San Antonio Parks & Recreation Department:
In the 1840s, the area of today's Milam Park was largely undeveloped, west of the city center but easily reached on foot and by wagon. When the City Council dedicated eight acres there for burials in 1848, a public cemetery was already on the property. To the north, the old "Campo Santo" or Catholic cemetery occupied part of Santa Rosa Hospital's future site.
The remains of Ben Milam, killed while defending San Antonio against the Mexican army in 1835, were moved to the new cemetery from their first burial place. The cemetery soon became too small for the growing city, and by the early 1850s, most burials were moved to new cemeteries east and west of town. Ben Milam remained behind, and by the 1880s, citizens asked City Council to fence and improve the vacant area. When a local wagon driver offered to move Ben Milam's remains to the new cemetery without charge in 1883, the City Council declined. The members voted instead to create a park named in Milam's honor on the old site.
Another City park had already been named for Milam. Its name was changed to Maverick Park. By 1885, water pipes and sidewalks had been installed and trees planted, beginning the development of Milam Park as we know it today.
As to Esparza, due to a dearth of records, Gregorio's whereabouts are uncertain today. It is believed his remains could rest in an unmarked grave in San Fernando Cemetery Number One, or could rest under the Santa Rosa Medical Center which, with the present Milam Park, now occupies the site of the former Campo Santo.