The Mission San Francisco Xavier de Najera Centennial Marker is located along Mission Road, adjacent to the Riverside Golf Course. The Texas Centennial was a year-long, state-wide celebration of Texas’ one hundred years of independence from Mexico. As part of the celebration, the Texas Centennial Commission appropriated funds to place markers, memorials, or buildings where important events in Texas history occurred. This centennial marker was placed at the approximate location of Mission San Francisco Xavier de Najera. Little information is known about the mission because its infrastructure was temporary and the mission was short-lived.
The mission was formally established in 1722 and situated between the missions of San Antonio de Valero and San José. This location was situated near the Rancheria Grande (a large camp of several different groups of Native Americans who were living together). Native peoples living in the Rancheria Grande have been collectively referred to as
Ervipiame Indians, but probably included many different groups of people who belonged to different bands and who identified themselves as different groups (Center for Archaeological Research 2013; Hodge 1912).
One of the Ervipiame leaders, Juan Rodriguez, supported the establishment of Mission San Francisco Xavier de Najera, although only 50 to 60 families chose to follow him to the mission site. Permanent buildings were never established, and many of the Native people became affiliated with Mission San Antonio de Valero (the Alamo) (Habig 2013). In addition, the people living at the Rancheria Grande moved further east, and by the time the missionary for Mission San Francisco Xavier de Najera arrived, very few Indians were found at the site. While other Native groups were asked to join the new mission, these attempts were unsuccessful. By 1726, Mission San Francisco Xavier de Najera was abandoned and the remaining inhabitants were absorbed into Mission San Antonio de Valero (Take in Texas 2011).