Ruben Jesus Salinas was born September 4, 1912 at Las Escobas Ranch in Starr County, Texas. He was the son of Francisco Salinas and Nicolasa Garcia. HIs siblings were Lauro, Lucila, Isabel and twin sisters who died as infants. Paternal grandparents were Jose Atanacio Salinas and Maria Emilia Guerra and maternal grandparents were Jose Pedro Garcia and Maria Isabel Salinas.
Margarita Gonzalez was born June 21, 1921 in Rio Grande City in Starr County, Texas. She was the daughter of Abraham Gonzalez and Gertrudis Salinas. Her siblings were Francisca and Abraham, Jr. . Paternal grandparents were Jose Atanacio Gonzalez and Francisca Gonzalez and maternal grandparents were Jose Preciliano Salinas and Maria Josefa Serna.
Ruben grew up at Las Escobas Ranch with his parents and siblings. Most of his youth was working ranch chores, attending school, interacting with cousins, going to social events and dances in nearby ranches. His sisters were learning how to be good house keepers and cooks from their mother and the boys were learning how to rope, work cattle, branding, planting crops, etc. from their father, uncles and cousins. They owned approximately 10,000 acres. Ruben ran errands for his father to Rio Grande weekly to buy supplies and materials. He frequently stopped by to visit his aunt Paulita in Rio Grande City at her home. One day while Ruben was visiting his aunt, he met Margarita. She was a seamstress sewing curtains for Paulita (Francisco Salinas' sister). Paulita's house became the place to get acquainted with casual conversations. Ruben's aunt Paulita voluntarily played cupid and promoted the relationship. Margarita's mother Gertrudis became suspicious about the the frequent visits to Paulita's house. Gertrudis questioned her daughter, "You have been working on curtains for Paulita for a few weeks now; how many windows in her house?" So, Margarita immediately disclosed her secret boyfriend to her mother. Much discussions were held since they were seven years difference in age and she was leaving the city to go reside in a ranch. It was a big step for a city girl with little experience with ranch life.
Ruben and Margarita married September 9, 1940 at Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church in Roma, Texas. After the wedding, they honeymooned in Laredo, Texas. Neither Ruben or Margarita had traveling experiences Lauro, Ruben's brother and a friend accompanied them on their honeymoon as their chauffers. After a few days in Laredo, they returned to reside at Las Escobas Ranch. They moved into Ruben's parents home with still two siblings living at home after their wedding. For about two years they would sleep on the kitchen floor. Soon after that they went to sleep at Salvador's house (Las Escobas Ranch Headquarters) for a while until they bought a home from the Sun Oil Company and moved it to Las Escobas Ranch. They had five children: Lauro Ruben, Francisco, Maria Irma, Maria Elena and Ricardo Ramiro. Ruben and Margarita bought their own home however they were still financially dependent to his father, Francisco, the family patriarch. They didn't own a car so they had to borrow the family car to go places. Ruben was dependent on his father for a few years until his family started growing and he requested to be independent from his father. He was paid a salary for his ranch work and was able to open a bank account on his own. In those days the patriarch of the family had an important valued role. It didn't matter how old you were or how many children you had, you looked up to the patriarch of the family for wisdom and great respect. Ruben was about thirty years old when he finally had his own bank account. He continued his ranch work at Las Escobas Ranch for a small salary. When World War II was declared, both Lauro and Ruben were drafted into the military. Francisco went to plead the case on letting one of his sons stay to help with the ranch and family. The government granted a waver for Ruben and Lauro, his brother was drafted into the army. Lauro served in the war for two years.
After Ruben's father died, he devoted all of his life to working on the ranch property by maintaining fences, repairing windmills, working the cattle, harvesting planted crops such as cotton, buffel grass, watermelons and corn with his brother Lauro. His brother Lauro managed the business and paper work of the ranch and Ruben managed the physical ranch operations. The two brothers owned undivided properties together. Ruben was a very gentle, quiet, calm and kind man. He never physically spanked any of his children or raised his voice in anger. He lived one day at a time with patience and little complaining. It appears that his personality and character was handed down a few generations since his grandfather Jose A. Salinas and father both were also a very patient and calm persons.
Ruben had a tragic death on September 4, 1961 at the age of 49, leaving a forty year old wife/mother/widow with five children from age five to nineteen. Immediately upon Ruben J. Salinas death, his brother Lauro started managing the Ruben J. Salinas estate. He managed the estate for about twenty years until his death 1975. Francisco, Ruben's son took over the management of his father's estate in 1978 and managed the partition of properties and assets. Francisco managed the ranch from 1978 to 1987 when he died at an early of for forty four years from cancer.