For more than 90 years, the Tibaldo family has had a strong presence in West Galveston County.
“My grandparents Joseph and Anna Tibaldo came over from Torino, Italy, in the early 1920s,” Paul Tibaldo said. “They came here to start a new life.”
At that time, there were several pockets of Italian immigrants in the county.
“There was one in Santa Fe, one in League City and one in Dickinson,” Tibaldo said. “They all came and stayed close to each other.”
The decision to settle in what was then known as Alta Loma was an easy one.
“They had kinfolk here, the Ghinaudos and the Cambianos,” Tibaldo said. “They knew the people, so they came and settled here.”
Once they arrived, Joseph and Anna settled into a 30-acre farm.
“They were truck farmers and they grew lettuce, tomatoes and things like that,” Tibaldo said.
Joseph and Anna also raised three boys and two girls. One of them, Margaret Tibaldo, is now 90, and still lives in the original farmhouse.
Paul has one brother and three sisters, and they all live in Santa Fe — some very close.
“I built my house on four acres next door to (the original) property,” he said. “My brother and sister live down the street.”
In fact, most of the family stayed a stone’s throw from the old homestead.
“Family reunions aren’t a problem,” Tibaldo said. “It’s just hard to find a place to sit because there aren’t enough chairs.”
The Tibaldo name also has been a mainstay at the Galveston County Fair and Rodeo. Paul has been president of the organization for the past 13 years, but his association goes back much further.
“My dad (Dominic Tibaldo) got involved in the mid-’50s,” he said. “I’ve been involved with it for as long as I can remember, and I’m 54. I grew up showing, and after I got married, I got on the fair board in the mid-’80s.”
Dominic Tibaldo got involved with the rodeo for two reasons.
“He had cattle, and it was something he liked to do for the kids,” Paul said.