Texas Veterans Parade

A Great Event for Navarro Descendants

And Historical Buffs

We have been invited to participate in the Texas Veterans Parade on May 18th in Corsicana, Texas.   Two Corsicana heroes are being honored: Candelario “Spider” Garcia, medal of honor recipient and José Antonio Navarro, Texas Patriot and for the city and county being named in his honor.   Parade begins at 10:00 am on Saturday, May 18th.

  • Descendants ride on a float with the DAR.
  • Arrive at 9:00 am at the Navarro County Court House to the other side from Navarro statue. 
  • A photo will be taken of descendants in front of the Navarro Bronze. The photo is planned to be taken before the parade.
  • Attire: wear white
  • There is a Medal of Honor Dinner the night before that is open to any descendants that might want to attend. The cost will be $45.00 each or less.
  • Corsicana Hotels: Hampton Inn, Holiday Inn and Best Western offer a discounted rate for veterans and Navarro descendants.
  • See details on parade at: www.texasveteransparade.com
  • Please pass information to descendants that you think will be interested. 

 It will be great fun and a special honor to participate in the Navarro County celebratory parade!  I will be attending!  Please let me know if you can participate or if you have questions! I’ll send out more details as they are available.   I hope you can participate!  See you at the parade? 😄  

Thanks, Sylvia
Phone:  Cell: (972) 841-1018
Email:  stillotsontexas@gmail.com

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2018 Annual Book Project Report

SEPTEMBER 22, 2018


I spoke to 79 Elementary school Social Studies facilitators and provided them with a small syllabus of the presentation as well as the resources available.

To date I have heard from 5 elementary schools who are interested in a book
presentation at their school.  The presentation will address an audience of fourth graders.

I am in the process of scheduling and organizing with the schools that have indicated an interest.

Schools have been in session for only one month. Ordinarily, outside speakers are not invited until the school year is well on its way.

Tess Villa        Kuentz Elementary
Regina Torres    Cable Elementary
Patty Johnston     Northwest Crossing Elementary
Crystal Torres       Cole Elementary

Connie Jones        Atonement Christian School
Ms. Romero        St Leo Catholic School

Respectfull Submitted,
Clementina Rodriguez





2018 Invitation to Annual Meeting of Friends of Casa Navarro

Friends of Casa Navarro Holds Annual 2018 Meeting

September 22, 2018:  What’s Been Happening And Where We’re Going

What?  Annual Meeting of Friends of Casa Navarro
Come to learn how the Friends of Casa Navarro and Casa Navarro have been participating in San Antonio activities including its Tricentennial and other celebrations.  You’ll be proud and excited with every report as well as what the future holds.

When:  Saturday, September 22, 2018, starting at 10:00 AM

Officer Election:  One of the functions of the annual meeting of the Friends of Casa Navarro is to elect officers for the coming two years.  The Nominating Committee, chaired by Mr. John Tillotson, will place the following slate of candidates before the meeting.

President (Co-Presidents) – Mrs. Sandy Salinas and Mrs. Belinda Gavallos
Vice President – Mr. Sandy Westbrook
Secretary – Mr. Rey Salinas
Treasurer – Mrs. Pat Johnson

Each of these has agreed to serve if the membership elects them.  However, nominations may be made from the floor at the annual meeting before the election.

Are you coming to the meeting?  Please contact the Vice President, Mr. Sandy Westbrook at (972) 679-4653, of your intentions.  I’ll Be There, or Maybe, or Sorry, but I can’t make it.
Your participation is essential to the continued preservation of Casa Navarro and to the ongoing education associated with the historic location.

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Navarro Descendants Return “Home” to Corsica

Review of Corsican Project Trip by Navarro Descendants and Texas Delegation

Here is a recap of the recent trip to Corsica by some descendants of Jose Antonio Navarro and his father, Angelu Navarro, who was a native of Corsica.


Download (PDF, 712KB)


Additionally, the Navarro Descendants were able to share information related to the San Antonio tricentennial that is being held next year (2018) as well as the 223rd Birthday anniversary of the birth of Jose Antonio Navarro on February 24, 2018.

JAN 223rd Birthday Celebration

Celebrate Three Times

José Antonio Navarro 223rd Birthday,
San Antonio Tricentennial, and
Corsica Connection

SA200, San Antonio TriCentennial, Casa Navarro, Texas Historical Site, National Historic Landmark, Scholarship Presentation Scholarship, Celebration, Open House
Announcement of Jose Antonio Navarro 223rd Birthday Celebration

The Texas Historical Commission, the Casa Navarro State Historic Site and National Historic Landmark, and the Friends of Casa Navarro are so honored to be able to celebrate the 223rd Birthday of the Tejano Patriot, José Antonio Navarro.

Additionally, the day of celebration is a premier part of the San Antonio Tricentennial.

Incorporated with these events are the participation and connection with delegates from the country of Corsica, the origin of Don Angel Navarro, the immigrant of whom José Antonio Navarro is a son.

Casa Navarro Gains National Historic Landmark Status

Camille Garcia

The Casa Navarro State Historic Site is now a National Historic Landmark.


The Casa Navarro State Historic Site is now a National Historic Landmark.

After a multi-year effort led by the Texas Historical Commission and other stakeholders, the preserved San Antonio properties of Tejano political leader, activist, and historian José Antonio Navarro (1795-1871) have finally been designated a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service.

On Jan. 11, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell declared the Casa Navarro State Historic Site in downtown San Antonio and 23 other historic sites across the nation as recipients of the special designation, bestowed upon landmarks that illustrate or interpret United States heritage in an exceptional way.

The prestigious honor, which has been given to more than 2,500 historic places in the U.S., will bring more national attention to Casa Navarro, which consists of Navarro’s home built in the 1850s, a free-standing kitchen building built in the 1830s, and a two-story mercantile and office building also built in the 1850s.

A rancher, merchant and staunch advocate of Tejano rights, Navarro is perhaps most well known as one of two native-born Texans to sign the Texas Declaration of Independence. He also was one of the founders of the Texas Republic.

“As custodians of this historic property, we are gratified for this national designation,” stated Mark Wolfe, Texas Historical Commission executive director, in a news release. “Navarro’s story of patriotism, liberty, and equality for his people is one that can inspire not only Texans, but people across the nation.”

The small cluster of buildings – now surrounded by an urban landscape – is known as one of the best-preserved historic properties in the state and still sits in its original location at 228 S. Laredo St., a rarity among historic buildings which are often relocated. Despite many structures in the area being razed in the 1960s during urban renewal, Casa Navarro remained unscathed, making it important to city and state history, said Jerry Geyer, a board member of the Friends of Casa Navarro, a group dedicated to preserving and promoting Navarro’s legacy.

Extensive preservation efforts led by the San Antonio Conservation Society also have left the site in excellent condition, Geyer said, maintaining a large amount of its authenticity. The conservation society purchased the site in 1960, restored the structures, and eventually deeded the property to the State of Texas in 1975.

The limestone, caliche-adobe structures – which have been coated in plaster and white wash to protect them from erosion – now exist as an interactive, kid-friendly museum that gives a glimpse into how Texas was during Navarro’s time and details the life of Navarro and his and other Tejanos’ roles in Texas history.

A statue of José Antonio Navarro stands across the street from Casa Navarro.


A statue of José Antonio Navarro stands across the street from Casa Navarro.

According to Sylvia Navarro Tillotson, Navarro’s great-great-great granddaughter, an important detail that many are unaware of is that Navarro helped write the Constitution of Texas.

In that endeavor, he “was instrumental in making sure that everyone had equal status and that the word ‘white’ (regarding voting rights) was struck from the record,” she told  he Rivard Report.

Tillotson, who was born and raised in San Antonio but now lives in Dallas full time, is President Emerita of the Friends of Casa Navarro and was an instrumental advocate for the site’s designation as a National Historic Landmark and for Navarro’s history. She is one of more than 500 Navarro descendants, many of which live in San Antonio.

Sylvia Navarro Tillotson stands in front of Casa Navarro for a portrait.


Sylvia Navarro Tillotson, José Antonio Navarro’s great great great granddaughter, stands in front of Casa Navarro. She has played a key role in preserving the site and her descendent’s history.

“There’s such a long list of things that he contributed to (over history),” Tillotson said, “and we’ve worked diligently on trying to promote some of the other important things that Navarro did during his time.”

Navarro was one of the most influential political figures in 19th-century Texas and a fierce proponent of Texas independence from Mexico. Later in his career, he became an outspoken advocate for other Tejanos and their culture, urging them to uphold their heritage and political influence.

He looked up to his uncle, José Francisco Ruiz, who was the other Texas-native who signed the state’s constitution with Navarro, and worked tirelessly to ensure that the contributions of Tejanos in Texas’ independence were recognized. Navarro, who lived on his ranch in South Texas for most of his life, spent his final years at Casa Navarro, said Emiliano “Nano” Calderon, a Casa Navarro site educator.

But Casa Navarro’s significance extends even beyond Navarro, Calderon said, since it is one of the only remaining original structures in the area once known as Laredito, or Little Laredo, which was San Antonio’s historically Mexican Westside.

For that reason, Calderon sees the site as a unique piece of local history that deserves more attention from both locals and visitors than it currently gets.

Emiliano "Nano" Calderon explains some of the history surrounding Casa Navarro, where is a site educator.


Emiliano “Nano” Calderon explains some of the history surrounding Casa Navarro, where he is a site educator.

“(Casa Navarro is) kind of overshadowed by the Alamo and the Missions. (It’s) also very small and on a corner of downtown that just doesn’t have the kind of foot traffic,” Calderon said, though he and his team are enhancing site programming and their own outreach efforts to bring more visitors to the unique monument.

The National Historic Landmark designation isn’t the only honor Casa Navarro has received over the years. The site was declared a Texas State Historic Landmark in 1962 and then listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.

Last year, on the anniversary of Navarro’s 220th birthday, a cenotaph was implemented in his honor in the Texas State Cemetery in Austin. Each recognition, Tillotson said, helps spread the truth about Navarro’s contributions to San Antonio, Texas, and his Latino community.

“Since working the past 11 years on all the projects related to Navarro,” she said, “it is most gratifying to realize that more knowledge, understanding, and clarity of Navarro’s historic importance in Texas has been brought to the attention of family, the public and generations to come.”

Leadership Celebracion 2017 – Honored Guest

We are pleased to bring to you as a longtime San Antonio stalwart and visionary leader, the Honorable Mr. Roy Barrera, Sr., as the keynote speaker of the 2017 Leadership Celebracion, hosted by Friends of Casa Navarro.

This event will be held on Friday, June 16, at the Old San Francisco Steakhouse.

This annual event highlights the guiding principles of Jose Antonio Navarro and inspires attendees to lift their eyes to bigger and greater endeavors.

As a special part of this celebracion, several are high school seniors will be awarded academic scholarships based on a review process that helps to pinpoint leadership potential.

Casa Events – Dia De Los Muertos on October 29, 2016

The Education Staff at Casa Navarro will be conducting their Dia De Los Muertos Altar Workshop on Saturday, October 29, 2016, during 10 AM to 2 PM.  All interested parties are invited to join in the crafting and learning workshop.  All craft supplies will be provided.  If you plan to attend, please bring a copy of a photo of a deceased loved one.  Admission is free, but donation are accepted.

The address of Casa Navarro is 228 S. Laredo Street, San Antonio, TX 78207.