A tradition of pioneers in South America



The "Ramos Mejia" family in Argentina

On 1749 Don Gregorio Ramos Mejia arrived at Buenos Aires from Spain at age 26, before the creation of Vierreinato del Río de la Plata. He was mayor of the city of Buenos Aires in different periods (Regidor Perpetuo, Fiel Ejecutor, Decano Mayor). Married to Maria Cristina Ros Pozo Silva y Toledo, two of his sons were prominent patriots in Buenos Aires at the time of independence.

Ildefonso Ramos Mejía (1769 - 1854) was General Captain of Buenos Aires, President of the Chamber of Representatives, later on Governor of the Province of Buenos Aires in 1820, the day of the three governors, and Delegate to the Congress that enacted the Constitution of 1826. He owned land and was a rancher.

Francisco Hermogenes Ramos Mejia (1773 - 1828) studied at the traditional city of Charcas (La Paz) in Bolivia and in 1804 married Maria Anonia Segurola, daughter of the Governor and Mayor of La Paz. Upon his return to Buenos Aires he acquired a 6,000 hectare property called "Los Tapiales" in the current city of Ramos Mejia and neighborhood of Tapiales in the district of La Matanza. He was mayor (Regidor) of the First Legislature of Buenos Aires in 1810, member of the Committee of Freedom of Speech and Elector of Delegates to the Congress of Tucuman which declared the independence. Subsequently, Francisco Ramos Mejia acquired from the government a large piece of farmland which he named "Miraflores" in the southern border of Buenos Aires, which was at that time Indian territory. He is recognized as the only Argentine rancher who peacefully acquired the land also from the Indians, whom he considered the original owners, as a result of which he acuired 160,000 hectares, in one block, in the current department of Maipú (center of Buenos Aires). He settled down with his family in Indian territory at his ranch “Miraflores”. He carried out an intense Christian preaching activity among the Indians and promoted the integration of the natives with the Spanish civilization, teaching the Indians to grow crops and to practice Christian virtues. He was accused of heresy and is considered one of the pioneers of the Adventist Church in Argentina for his teachings and writings. In 1820 he represented the chiefs of 16 Indian tribes in a peace treaty that was signed with the government of Buenos Aires, called the "Peace Treaty of Miraflores" which he personally guaranteed. Later on, Governor Rodriguez broke the treaty, attacked the Indians and held Ramos Mejia prisoner in his estate of "Los Tapiales" where he remained until his death in 1828 at age 54. His remains were buried in Indian territory by his native followers . Many schools are named after Francisco Ramos Mejia in his honor.

The children of Francisco Ramos Mejia defended life, private property and freedom during the 20 years of tyranny suffered by the country under Juan Manuel de Rosas (1832-1852). His three sons, Francisco Matias and Exequiel, led the Revolution of the “Libres del Sur” (1838), accompanied the retreat of General Lavalle and contributed with material resources to the military campaigns, including the cavalry formed with the horses of their ranches which were the main weapon of the time. Francisco was executed after being taken prisoner at the battle of Quebracho Herrado in Cordoba (1840) and his head was exposed in the public square as a warning for the rebels. Accompanying the remains of Lavalle, Exequiel and Matias Ramos Mejia were exiled in Bolivia where President Jose Ballivian and Segurola, appointed Matias as Deputy Commander of Grenadier Military, which was his personal escort. The properties and estates of the dissidents were disposed of by the tyranny, which seized and confiscated estates, livestock and belongings.

After the defeat of Rosas at the Battle of Caseros (1852), the economic position of the family was reestablished. With the death of the mother, Maria Antonia Segurola, the descendents inherited the estancias of "Miraflores", "Los Tapiales" and another ranch at Arrecifes called "Rincon del Tala". Exequiel held "Miraflores" (which would then go to the Elia - Ramos Mejía branch) and Matias kept a division of the farm named "Mari-Huincul". Exequiel Ramos Mejia was one of the founders in Argentina of the Society of St. Vincent of Paul (1859), which is dedicated to the social and Christian apostolate. Matias Ramos Mejia (1810 - 1885) was a founder of the Sociedad Rural Argentina and was widely recognized for his herd of horses which genetics he improved through selection.

Among the children of both, three of them have been prominent: Francisco Ramos Mejia (grandson), Jose Maria Ramos Mejia and Exequiel Ramos Mejía (junior).

Exequiel Ramos Mejía (jr.) (1852-1935) was Minister of Agriculture and Public Works of four different Argentine presidents (Julio A. Roca, Manuel Quintana, José Figueroa Alcorta Roque Sáenz Peña) between 1898 and 1913, when Argentina was positioned among the wealthiest economies in the world. As Minister of Agriculture and Public Works he carried out numerous projects including the water canalization system of the province of Buenos Aires, the navigation way of the Parana River (the Mississippi of Argentina), the studies for the navigation way of the Bermejo River in the north of the country as well as other hydrographic projects in the Patagonia. It was precisely while drilling to find water for irrigation in Patagonia during his office, that in 1907 the major oil discovery of Argentina occurred. The lake of the dam of the largest hydroelectric power facility of the Patagonia (Chocon) is named Exequiel Ramos Mejia in his honor. He was a founding member of the Jockey Club of Buenos Aires and of the Circulo de Armas of Buenos Aires, where he became the first President (1880).

Jose Maria Ramos Mejia (1849 - 1914) was a prominent physician, historian and sociologist, that is widely recognized for his work in public health and public education in Buenos Aires. He is considered one of the fathers of Argentine psychiatry and sociology. He founded in 1887, in Buenos Aires, the second chair of Mental Diseases of the world. He was founder and first director of the Public Health Assistance of Buenos Aires and creator of the School of Nurses, the Hospital for Chronic Diseases, the System of Medical Domicile Attention, the Public Laboratory of Bacteriological Studies and the Anti-rabies Institute. As President of the National Department of Health he was responsible for combating an epidemic of cholera and yellow fever in Buenos Aires. He was elected Congressman of Argentina and Chairman of the National Education Board, being considered one of the fathers of the Argentine public educational system. He is the author of numerous books of sociology such as "The Argentine crowds", "Rosas and his time", "Neurosis in famous men", "Madness in history", "The simulators of talent" and other books and essays. The Ramos Mejia Hospital in Buenos Aires is named in his honor, as well as different schools.

Francisco Ramos Mejia (1847 - 1893), grandson of Francisco Hermogenes, was a lawyer, jurisprudence doctor and historian. He served as a criminal judge in Buenos Aires, founder and first president of the Society of Legal Anthropology. He played an important role in the formation of the Union CIvica political party, on which behalf he was appointed senator for Buenos Aires. He authored the book "The Argentine federalism" and other essays like "Genesis and development of democracy in Argentina", "Fundamental Principles of the Positive School of Criminal Law."

The next generation was also important for the country.

Francisco Ramos Mejia (1877 - 1968), great-grandson of Francisco Hermogenes, was a member of the Argentina Society of Criminology and the National Academy of Law and Social Sciences. He served as a judge of inferior court, then member of the Chamber of Criminal Appeals and, finally, judge of the Supreme Court of Justice. His sons, Francisco, Enrique and Matias were leading figures in the field of politics, law and medicine during the last part of the 20th century.

Isaias Ramos Mejía was a prominent Argentine businessman. He was an architect and a rancher. His grandfather, Francisco de las Carreras, was the first President of the Supreme Court of Argentina. He managed the farms of the family and was member of the board of the Sociedad Rural Argentina. In 1933 he founded Mar de Ajo, the second summer resort of the Atlantic Coast of Argentina after Mar del Plata, in the Province of Buenos Aires. He was Minister of Finance of the Province of Tucuman. His son, Juan Francisco Ramos Mejia Cobo (1923 - 1981), father of Juan Francisco Ramos Mejia Gutierrez (partner at MonteClaro), was manager of agriculture and agro-industrial firms. He was vice-President and President of the National Meat Board of Argentina (1966-1967, 1971). Minister of Economy of the Province of Jujuy (1976), Vice President of the Beef Producers Corporation of Argentina (CAP), holder of national slaughterhouses (1955-1958), and Treasurer of the Confederation of Rural Associations of Buenos Aires and La Pampa (CARBAP) (1951-1955).

The "Gutiérrez" and "Herrera" families in Uruguay

Mr. Juan Francisco Ramos Mejia is a Uruguayan citizen by his mother, Sara Gutierrez Herrera, a family with an old tradition in Uruguay.

Cristobal Cayetano Herrera is the fifth grandfather Juan F. Ramos Mejia Gutierrez and Nicolas Bocking. He belonged to the fifty (50) founding families of the city of Montevideo and was the administration officer of the first city council held in the early eighteenth century. His son, Nicolas Herrera Ximenez (1774 - 1833), was Minister of the Government of Uruguay (Rivera), Argentina (Rondeau, Alvear and Posadas) and Brazil (Lecor) in the Rio de la Plata.

The son of Nicolas Herrera, Manuel Herrera y Obes (1806 - 1890), was Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uruguay of four different Presidents (Suarez, Santos, Lamas and Lorenzo Batlle). He was Minister of Finance twice, member of the Asamblea de Notables and of the Council of State. He was the first president of the Colorado Party of Uruguay (1887). Read more.

His nephew, Julio Herrera y Obes (1845 - 1912), was the 16th President of Uruguay (1890-1894).

The Gutierrez family is an old family of the city of Salto, in northwestern Uruguay. Juan Gutiérrez Bueno was an important Uruguayan landowner, cattle trader in Brazil and Uruguay, with more than 100,000 hectares in northern Uruguay. He was President of the Agriculture Association of Salto, Uruguay (1919-1923). His son, Juan Gutiérrez, married Adela Herrera. Uruguayan lawyer and landowner, he was President of the National Abattoir and also became President of the Agriculture Association of Salto, Uruguay (1949-1950). He is the grandfather of Mr. Juan Francisco Ramos Mejia and Mr. Bocking Nicolas Gutierrez.

Galery of family porrtaits
Francisco Ramos Mejía (1773 - 1828): Chief Administrator of the 1st Independent Assembly of Buenos Aires (1810). Only rancher to purchase the land to the natives as well as the government. He represented 16 tribes of natives before the government in the Peace Treaty of Miraflores sealed at his ranch (1820). Another ranch called "Los Tapiales" located in the suburbs (La Matanza) is a National Historic Monument. Read more.

Ildefonso Ramos Mejía (1769 - 1854): Rancher. President of the Representatives Assembly, General Captain and Governor of Buenos Aires. He was delegate to the Congress that established the Constitution of 1826. Read more. Matías Ramos Mejía (1810 - 1885): Rancher. Founder member of the Sociedad Rural Argentina. Leader and commander of the revolution "Revolución de los Libres del Sur" (1838) and lieutenant of Gral. Lavalle during the civil war perdiod against (1838 - 1852). His horses were used by the cavalry. The city of Ramos Mejía was named in his honor. Read more.
Francisco de las Carreras (1809 - 1870): First President of the Supreme Court of Argentina (1863-1870). Minister of Finance of Buenos Aires. Read more. Exequiel Ramos Mexía (1852 - 1935): Minister of Agriculture and Public Works of four Argentine Presidents between 1898 and 1913: Julio A. Roca, Manuel Quintana, José Figueroa Alcorta y Roque Sáenz Peña. He was responsible for carrying out drainage infrastructure for the pampas in Buenos Aires, and canalization for the navigation of the Paraná river and the Bermejo river. He was responsible for the discovery of oil in the Patagonia, which was found while drilling for water to irrigate under his office. The lake of the largest hidrolectric facility in Argentina (El Chocón) is named after him. Read more. José María Ramos Mejía (1849 - 1914): Doctor, historian, sociologist and education specialist. He is considered one of the fathers of psichiatry, sociology and public education in Argentina. Founder of the Psichiatry university chair (1887), founder of the Public Health Assistance of Buenos Aires, Director of the National Health Institute and President of the National Education Council. He was also representative at the Congress and author of mant books and essays. Read more.
Isaías Ramos Mejía: Architecht, entrepreneur and rancher. Minister of Finance of Tucumán Province (Argentina). Director of the Sociedad Rural Argentina. Founder of Mar de Ajó (1933), the second summer resort established in the Atlantic coast of Argentina. Read more. Juan Francisco Ramos Mejía y Cobo (1923 - 1981): Founder and officer of agribusiness, industrial and banking companies in Argentina. Vice-president and President of the Argentine Meat Regulation Board (1966-67, 1971). Minister of Finance of Jujuy Province (1976). Vicepresident of the Corporación Argentina de Productores de Carne, owner of slaughterhouses (1955-1958). Treasurer of the Buenos Aires Rural Association CARBAP (1951-1955).   Francisco Ramos Mejia (1877 - 1968): Minister of the Supreme Court of Justice of Argentina. Member of the Academy of Law and Social Sciences.
Manuel Herrera y Obes (1806 - 1890): Minister of Foreign Affairs of Uruguay of four different presidents (Suárez, Santos, Lamas y Lorenzo Batlle), Minister of Finance during two different periods, member of the State Council. First President of the Partido Colorado of Uruguay (1887). Read more. Julio Herrera y Obes (1845 - 1912): 16º President of Uruguay (1890-1894).   Nicolás Herrera y Ximenez (1774 - 1833): Minister of Uruguay (Rivera), Argentina (Rondeau, Posadas y Alvear) and Brazil (Lecor).
Juan Gutiérrez Bueno: Rancher and cattle trader in Brazil and Uruguay. He owned 100,000 ha. in northern Uruguay. President of the Rural Association of Salto, Uruguay (1919 - 1923). Juan M. Gutiérrez: Uruguayan Rancher. He graduated from law school at the University of Buenos Aires. President of the National Slaughtehouse of Uruguay and of the Rural Association of Salto (Uruguay) (1949 - 1950).    



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