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Also See: Annual Choctaw-Apache Pow-Wow in Ebarb

Ebarb Owes Its Founding to Closing of Los Adaes

Ebarb, a small Spanish-Indian community located in northwest Sabine Parish, owes its founding to the closing of the Presidio Nuestra Senora del Pilar de Los Adaes over 200 years ago.

Progenitor of these Spanish-Americans of ancient lineage was Antonio Gil Y’Barbo, a Spanish pioneer from whom the village was named. Somewhere down the years the “Y” became “E”, as it is pronounced in English, and the “O” was dropped.

Gil Y’Barbo was a resident of Los Adaes on El Camino Real in 1773 when the King of Spain ordered the mission and garrison, which had been established in 1721, to be removed to Bexar. Adaes was the capital of Texas and had a stable population. Civil officials had brought their families and built homes. Upon retirement from office, the men often set up businesses in the town or opened farms and ranches nearby. The population numbered about 5,000, mostly Spanish, although there were a generous sprinkling of French and several Caddo Indians in the settlement.

The Treaty of Paris, in which France ceded Louisiana to Spain, disrupted this idyllic scene and rendered the border post obsolete. Commandant Y’Barbo was ordered by Baron de Ripperda to have everyone ready for the march to San Antonio in five days. The journey began on March 25.

Y’Barbo was 40 years old and was said to be of strong character, fine intellect, and unusual capacity for leadership. His family consisted of an aged mother and several grown children. Besides his home in Los Adaes, he owned a large ranch “already a pueblo”, at El Lobanillo near Nacogdoches, Texas.

Most of the inhabitants prepared to emigrate, but a number fled to the forest. About 34 men, who had married French girls from the nearby settlement of Natchitoches, moved their families into the French settlement.

The military commandeered many of the horses, so a host of civilians had to walk, which added greatly to their distress under the burning summer sun. When the caravan reached his ranch, 34 persons, including his mother, his sister and sister-in-law, were granted permission to remain there.

It was one of these people who established a settlement called Vallecillo, meaning “little valley” which was corrupted to Bayou Scie. It became the present day Ebarb. Emmanuel Y’Barbo, son of Gil Y’Barbo, was one of the family members remaining behind, and it is Emmanuel’s son, Alcario Y’Barbo, that is known as the first settler in Ebarb.

The people in the community are descendants of the Spanish-Indian, French, and Anglo-Saxon settlers. They intermingled with many Indian tribes in the area as the Indians were friendly due to the good relationship that existed between the local Indian tribes and Gil Y’Barbo.

Source: Sabine Parish Library; author: Sabine Index 9/6/79

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