In 1824, Martin De Leon was awarded a contract to settle 41 families on the lower Guadalupe River. Victoria evolved from De Leon's Villa de Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe de Jesus Victoria, referred to at that time as Guadalupe Victoria. It was one of only two successful empresario colonies in Texas. The other colony belonged to Stephen F. Austin. Historical markers and graves in Evergreen Cemetery (Red River and Vine streets) cite the De Leon family. Incorporated on May 24, 1838, Victoria grew to become a major industrial and agricultural crossroads of South Texas. It also is the home of Victoria College and the University of Houston at Victoria. Riverside Park is a 565-acre woodland bordered by the Guadalupe River and is home to the 27-hole Riverside Golf Course. 476 McCright Drive. For information, call 361/485-3200 or visit www.victoriatx.org.