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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.

The name:

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 zone.

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 "La Independencia".

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.