The County of Balcarce
El Puerto was created by National Decree of the August 31st of 1865
and included the present counties of Balcarce, General Pueyrredón
and General Alvarado, with 6,839 km² and 4,198 inhabitants
according to the Census made in 1869.
After long transactions, the National Executive Power solved
in 1874 to approve the plan of a new town in the land property
of Patricio Peralta Ramos -Mar del Plata-. At the same time, a
group of neighbours formalizes the demand for the creation of
a town in the middle of the county, this request was authorized
June 22nd of 1876 by the Provincial Executive Power and the new
town would be called San José de Balcarce.
From then, and because to the geographic extension of the county,
some neighbours of the population by the coast asked for the transfer
of the head city of the county or, that otherwise, was come to
the division of it. The Judge of Peace of Balcarce, Don Jose Andrés
Chávez, solved to grant his support to the town of San
José and moved there his Court, arguing that being in the
centre of the county favoured its administration. This conflict
would finalize October 15th of 1879, when the Division of the
County Law was sanctioned, by which San José de Balcarce
becomes the main city of the county of Balcarce and Mar del Plata
as the main city of the new County of General Pueyrredón.
Don Antonio González Balcarce was born in
Buenos Aires Ciy on June 24th of 1774 from the marriage between
Don Francisco Balcarce -been born in Barcelona, Spain -, and Doña
Maria Victory Martinez Fontes -born in Buenos Aires-.
He began his military carrier in the “blandengues”,
cavalry group that guarded the border from the Indians. Defending
Montevideo against the British Army (1806-1807) he was captured
and taken prisoner to Great Britain. Later released, he fought against
the Napoleon forces in Spain, next to San Martín.
Back to Buenos Aires, he took part in the revolutionary
movement of May 25th 1810. Later he was put in charge of the Revolutionary
Army sent to Cordoba and the Peru. In November 7th of 1810 gained
the first victory of the Argentine Army on the realistic troops
in the fields of Suipacha. He served as a second commander to the
orders of San Martín, having several confrontations on Chilean
ground, including Cancha Rayada and Maipú.
He was Governor of Buenos Aires in 1813 and temporary
Supreme Director in 1815. In absence of General San Martín,
he was the head of the Liberation Army prevailing in Bío-Bío
in 1819. Shortly after been designated head of the General Staff
again, passes away in its native city in August 5th, 1819.
San José de Balcarce`s founders:
José de la Cuadra: he was
born in Sopuesta -Bilbao, Spain- December 3rd, 1832. Brought to
Argentina by a relative, he began as a worker in commerce in Samborombón
region that soon inherited. Knowing of the population’s necessities,
he started selling warehouse and dresses, becoming well known to
the place and its settlers, which induced him to establish in the
He was married with Micaela Urrutia soon after
1865. After being a widow in 1872, he married Hilaria Nicalay in
second nuptials. After that they took a trip towards Balcarce, arriving
seven days later on a honey moon journey by cart. He completely
occurred to this zone and for reasons of his own activity made a
permanent relation with all the settlers of different positions
and ages. In 1875, it dissolves the society with his brothers and
continues with the agricultural production and his own commerce.
This tells to the legend that when crossing on
horse the land that would occupy soon the Liberty Square, underwent
a rolled and when rising it exclaimed: "here, on this place,
the town will be based".
He was the head of the protests for the foundation
of the town that would be to be called San José de Balcarce.
Tenacious and great worker, he was active propellant of its creation
until obtaining his assignment. He was contributor of many initiatives
of public benefits, with preference in which they tended to create
schools. An establishment model for children was the Rural School
San José, product of a donation of his family, accepting
to be member of the Board of Education of San José de Balcarce,
during two years.
He died in his business house in 1882 leaving his
wife and three daughters. Their rest lie in the Rural School San
José, where there is a chapel since long ago.
José Andrés Chaves:
He was born in Buenos Aires City in 1841. At the age of twenty years
he lent services like Second Lieutenant Second of the National Guards
Regiment, denominated "Los Negros de Alsina". Once he
had finished the war campaigns, he started as an employee in a commerce
located in the Balcarce El Puerto. After ten years of commercial
activity in the place, and having reunited his own capital, he acquired
a business in the field "La Peregrina” that denominated
He was a congress man in the Buenos Aires Province
Legislature during several periods. In the county of Balcarce El
Puerto and later in the county of Balcarce, carried out the positions
of Military Commandant, Judge of Peace and President of the Municipality.
Developed that activity between 1875 and 1877 and a second period
between 1881 and 1882. Being in Buenos Aires, he exerted the position
of Municipal Proxy in representation of the Municipality of Balcarce.
He loved his policy and its turbulences. He followed
different politicians like Mitre, Alsina and Alem. He was in the
battles of Cepeda and Pavón. Also was an active element of
the Union Civica Radical political party and supported Hipólito
Irigoyen-Pelagio Luna for the National Government in accordance
with other people from Balcarce like Agustín Sosa and Luis
Errecaborde. There are many evidences in the municipal files about
Mr. Chaves public administration initiatives.
St. Joseph, patron saint of Balcarce:
In March of 1877 the first celebration of "San
José" was celebrated in the field of Don José
de la Cuadra, patron saint of the town. This celebration counted
on the presence of all the people that lived in the zone and played
fireworks brought from India.
In September of the same year, Mrs. Manuela Acosta
donated to the town an image of San José that years later,
constructed the temple, settled in the greater altar.
In San José’s day used to take place
the “flowers parade” throughout the main avenues and
around the Liberty Square where the neighbours interchanged flowers.