Don José Reyes Ortíz, originally from Spain, came to Laredo via México. In 1826, he was granted the Casa Ortiz land, in recognition of his many contributions and virtue of his sterling character. He was also recipient of vast holdings such as the Joaquin Galán Grant, bestowed by the King of Spain to worthy and valiant followers. Don José Reyes Ortíz became a landowner, raising cattle and sheep, operating a general mercantile store, and interesting himself in the betterment of his people. He is also said to have acted as a mediator between Texas and México forces.