BENAVIDES - On Saturday, the Texas Historical Commission (THC) placed a historical marker on La Mota de Olmos Ranch Family Cemetery as a reminder of its significant part of Texas history.

To celebrate the historic family cemetery's important and educational part of local history it was award an Official Texas Historical Marker.

The marker location is at 1631 East Farm Road 2295, about two miles east of Benavides.

The marker inscription said

"Begun in 1894, The La Mota de Olmos Cemetery sits on land originally part of the Rancho La Mota de Olmos (The Cluster of Elms). The ranch, settled by the Bazan family, was founded by Francisco Bazan Villarreal, a native of Nuevo Leon, Mexico, on land granted to him in the 1870s. Several of those buried here were also born on the ranch with one of the earliest burials being the oldest child of Juan Bazan, son of Francisco Bazan. The first person to be buried, however, was a ranch hand. Other burials include Francisco Bazan (d. 1909) and Don Pedro Bazan (d. 1934), a well known curandero, or healer. The cemetery, approximately 250 feet by 250 feet, contains more than 100 graces and remains active."

A subject qualifies for a marker if two basic criteria are met: historical significance and age. Historical significance is established by reviewing its role and importance in local history, and the age requirement depends on the topic. The THC’s Official Texas Marker Policies are outlined in the Official Texas Historical Marker Procedures, which may be obtained by contacting the History Programs Division, Texas Historical Commission, at 512-463-5853 or visit the web site at www.thc.texas.gov.

In addition, designated Historic Texas Cemeteries can reveal information about historic events, religion, lifestyles, and genealogy.

The HTC designation was developed in 1998 to help protect historic cemeteries by recording cemetery boundaries in county deed records to alert present and future owners of land adjacent to the cemetery of its existence. La Mota de Olmos Cemetery received the HTC designation in 2009, and the Historical Marker Designation in 2010.

Texas has the largest marker program in the United States with approximately 15,000 markers. Seventeen states have used the Texas program as a model; the THC reviews more than 300 marker applications each year.

The Texas Historical Commission is the state agency for historic preservation. The agency administers a variety of programs to preserve the archeological, historical and cultural resources of Texas. www.thc.texas.gov