The first mission along the San Antonio River was constructed by a Franciscan missionary and began in 1690. This was the first of 5 missions along the river. The purpose was to convert the savage barbarians to the Catholic Faith and make them good Spanish Citizens to pay taxes. They built churches, grist mills, raised crops, and changed the way of life of the people who lived there. There was no separation of church and state and being a Spanish citizen and being Catholic were one and the same.
Wheat and corn flourished in the valley and Pioneer Flower Mills started and still are in operation. Breweries thrived with the abundance of grain. The grasslands were rich for large hearts of sheep, goats, and cattle until over grazing turned the land to desert.