Rafael Rivera Esbrí

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Rafael Rivera Esbrí
07-DSC00560 - Rafael Rivera Esbri (Mayor of Ponce, PR).jpg
Mayor Rafael Rivera Esbrí
113th Mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico
In office
2 January 1915 – 2 January 1917
Preceded bySimón Moret Gallart
Succeeded byLuis Yordán Dávila
Personal details
Bornca. 1870
Diedca. 1965
Ponce, Puerto Rico
NationalityPuerto Rican

Rafael Rivera Esbrí (ca. 1870–ca. 1965) was Mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico from 1915 to 1917.

El Polvorin[edit]

Rivera Esbri is best remembered for an incident that has little to do with his work as mayor. He is remembered as the only civilian who in the company of seven of Ponce's firefighters confronted and brought under control the fire of 25 January 1899 that took place at the American munitions depot in the city of Ponce, located where the Ponce High School is currently located. Rivera Esbri and the others did this in defiance of an order from the American invaders not to attempt to fight the fire.[1] Their bravery is said to have saved the city from total destruction.[2]


In 1906,[3] the Legislature of Puerto Rico issued a proclamation to officially declare Rafael Rivera Esbri and the seven firefighters heroes.[4] In time, the city of Ponce also built an obelisk to their memory which is located at Plaza Las Delicias (See Monumento a los heroes de El Polvorin), and is dedicated to Rivera Esbri and the seven firefighters who risked their lives in the 25 January 1899, fire. Rivera Esbri's name, along with those of the firefighters are engraved on the obelisk.[5]

Mayoral work[edit]

As mayor, Rivera Esbri founded, in 1916, the cemetery at Barrio Coto Laurel in Ponce.[6]

Death and burial[edit]

Upon his death, Rafael Rivera Esbri was buried at the mausoleum reserved for Ponce firefighters in the Monumento a los heroes de El Polvorín at Cementerio Civil de Ponce.[7] He is the only civilian non-firefighter in the mausoleum.


In Ponce there is a street in Urbanizacion Las Delciias of Barrio Magueyes named after him.

See also[edit]


See also[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Simón Moret Gallart
Mayor of Ponce, Puerto Rico
Succeeded by
Luis Yordán Dávila