Just the Bexar Facts...
An expedition led by Martin de Alarcon on May 5, 1718 founded the San Antonio de Bejar presidio, a Spanish army garrison and at the same time, named the civilian settlement that was already here, Villa de Bejar.
The name honored Viceroy Balthasar Manuel de Zuniga y Guzman Sotomayor y Sarmiento, second son of the Duke of Bejar. The viceroy governed from Mexico City and had been instrumental in funding expeditions into Texas. As Marques de Valero, he received a second alcolade when the mission San Francisco de Solano was relocated here and renamed : Mission San Antonio de Valero (later, the Alamo).
Bejar is the name of the town in the Spanish province of Salamanca. Founded in pre-Roman times, Bejar was turned into a Moorish fort during the 11th century; remnants of the walls remain.
In Spanish, Bejar (or Bexar) is pronounced as a two-syllable word, accented on the first syllable. The J or X is pronounced as an aspirated H: Be-har.
The name was town was changed to the Villa of San Fernando de Bexar when 55 Canary Islanders settled here on March 9, 1731 and established the first municipal government in the Spanish province of Texas. The town's name was shortened to "Bexar," the name it was known by through the Texas Revolution. The Battle (or Seige) of Bexar was waged here in December 1835, and not until Texas won its independence would the town share a name with the San Antonio river. A charter incorporating the City of San Antonio was approved December 14, 1837 by the Congress of the Republic of Texas.
During Mexican rule, Texas had been divided into four large "departments"; the Department of Bejar stretched from the Rio Grande to the Panhandle. As of December 20, 1836, the new Republic of Texas established Bexar County to cover this vast territory. From 1860 on, big Bexar was gradually parceled off into smaller counties. Eventually, 128 counties would be created from the original Spanish administrative district, leaving present-day Bexar County with a more manageable 1,248 square miles.