Jose Felipe Guerra Hinojosa was one of seven children and the last child born to Jose De Los Angeles (Angel) Guerra and Maria Rosalia Timotea Hinojosa. Rosalia was the daughter of Gervacio Hinojosa and Teresa Maria Treviño. Gervacio was the original grantee of Porción 8 of the jurisdiction of Mier, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Felipe was born May 9, 1824 in Mier, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Felipe is the great grandson of Ramon Guerra Cañamar who played an important role in the surveying of early Mier land grants. Felipe was about 18 months old when his mother Rosalia died from complications of childbirth. Rosalia died November 25, 1825 at the of age 47. They lived in Rancho San Lorenzo in Mier. They had the following children at the time of Rosalia's death: Felipe (18 months), Primo Antonio Feliciano (3 yrs. old), Ma. Ramona (6 yrs. old), Ma. Antonia Leandra (8 yrs. old) Ma. Rafaela (10 yrs. old), Ma. Estefana (11 yrs. old), and Ma. Antonia de Jesus (died as an infant). After Rosalia's death Angel had to take care of seven small children.; Felipe 18 months to the oldest girl eleven years old. One can conclude that Rafaela (10 yrs. old) and Estefana (11 yrs. old) helped their father with the younger children since they were the oldest girls. Aside from the challenges of raising a family, life at that time was rough, fierce and unstable as Mexico was trying to retain its political, military and economic power. People were frustrated and disappointed and insurgent activities among the communities was common. These were turbulent and dangerous times.
Felipe's father, Angel remarried the following year to Maria Juliana Guerra June 17, 1826 in Mier. Julia had been a widow for about twelve years prior to the marriage. She had no children from her first marriage. Julia's parents were Juan Manuel Guerra and Isabel Maria Treviño. Julia became Felipe's stepmother along with his older siblings. Angel and Julia had children together who became half siblings of Felipe. They had the following children: Ma. Gregoria (1827), Juan de Dios (1829-1913), Geronimo (1830-1916), Ma. Juliana (1832), Ma. Trinidad (1824), Ma. Serapia (1836) and Ma. Petra (1824). All of Angel's children were born in Mier, Tamaulipas, Mexico. Felipe grew up with thirteen siblings. One sister (Ma. Antonia de Jesus) died as an infant and a brother (Primo Antonio Feliciano) was killed by Indians when he was sixteen years old. Felipe was able to read and write. In the 1800 census of Mier, Felipe's father Angel was sixteen years old living with his parents in Rancho San Lorenzo. Cholera was spreading all over the community. One can assume he died of cholera April 8, 1849. Felipe was 25 years and already married when his father died and already living in Roma, Texas.
Felipe married Maria Josefa Gonzalez Garcia on May 12, 1845 at Inmaculada Purisma Concepcion Catholic Church in Mier (pictured below). Josefa was born November 8, 1829 in Mier. She was the daughter of Jose Prudencio Gonzalez and Maria Antonia Juliana Garcia. Prudencio and Antonia were wealthy, affluent and highly respected citizens in the community. They owned land as far north as the Nueces River. There are legal transactions recorded in Starr County records where property, approximately 89,000 in Nueces County was sold by Prudencio and Antonia. Antonia's grandparents were heirs and descendants to Juan Angel Saens, original grantee of porción #72 and by purchase of descendants of original heirs #103, #109, #110, #111, #70, #71, #72. Josefa was the oldest of eleven of Prudencio's and Antonia's children. Josefa came into the marriage as an heir and descendant to Juan Angel Saens. Josefa inherited Antonia's property porcion 109 and porcion 110 in Las Escobas.
Felipe and Josefa moved to Roma, Texas in 1845 shortly after their marriage. They moved to property belonging to her father, Prudencio. They were among the first citizens to settle in the City of Roma. They experienced living on both sides of the border under different flags. Mexico controlled for 15 years from 1821 to 1836, the Republic of Texas from 1836 to 1845
(9 years), the United States from 1845 to 1861 (16 years), the Confederacy from 1861-1865 (4 years), and the United States from 1865 to the time of his death in 1891. They both survived all the changes that were occurring during his time with much success and adaptation.
Felipe was the first Guerra of our direct male line to cross into Texas. He became a citizen of the State of Texas and of the Conferate States of America in 1862. Felipe and Josefa purchased property in Roma, Texas with a vision of a new way of life. He owned the corner lot at Estella and Juarez in Roma, Texas, Lot 5 Block 8. The property was leased to the U. S. Federal Government as a Customs Office around 1880. and later inherited by his daughter Emeteria who sold the property after Felipe's death.
Felipe was insightful in learning new laws and the judicial system in order to conduct his business transactions in purchases, loans, the buying and selling of properties. Antonia and Prudencio passed the property at Las Escobas to Felipe and Josefa. Felipe and Josefa, wise and shrewd in their business dealings, were able double the size of their property at Las Escobas by purchasing tracts of land north towards Cuevitas and beyond. Felipe proved to be a hard working and intelligent man with great ambitions to succeed and he did. Felipe's leadership in managing a large ranch operation was evident by reviewing all census records of his property. Documents show Felipe had to show when and how he acquired the property at Las Escobas. When Texas became part of the United States new laws changed the way things were done and Felipe had to show with a witness that he had been in procession of the property since 1845.
Felipe and Josefa had five chldren: Maria Emeteria Guerra , Jose de Jesus Guerra, Jose Francisco Guerra , Diodoro Guerra and Maria Emilia Guerra . They raised their family at Las Escobas Ranch.