Presidio is located on the Rio Grande, on the US side of the border.
In 1683 Juan Sabeata, the chief of the Jumano Indian nation, reported having seen a fiery cross on the mountain at Presidio and requested that a mission be established at La Junta. The settlement in 1684 became known as La Navidad en Las Cruces.
Around 1760 a penal colony and a small military garrison were established near Presidio. In 1830 the name of the area around Presidio was changed from La Junta de los Rios to Presidio del Norte. White American settlers came to Presidio in 1848 after the Mexican War.
In 1849 a Comanche raid almost destroyed Presidio, and in 1850 Indians drove off most of the cattle in town.