Water, shade, and wildlife around the Medina River ford supported American Indians, Tejanos, and immigrants from Alsace, Europe, Mexico, and the United States. Empresario Henri Castro chose this site because it was one-day's wagon journey from San Antonio (25 miles) on the freight road to Chihuahua and El Paso. On this site, 27 people established a European-style village named Castroville on September 3, 1844.