Before Y'Barbo, the land that would become Nacogdoches was abandoned by Spanish settlers that left for a mission in San Antonio. Y'Barbo petitioned for him and his settlers to return to East Texas, and in 1779 he did just that. 
In 1729 Antonio Gil Y’Barbo was born in Los Adaes, Louisiana, to Mathieu Antonio and Juana (Hernández) Ibarvo. The Spanish Government had sent his parents from Andalusia, Spain, to the then province of Texas, in 1725, where eventually the spelling of Ibarvo changed to Y’Barbo. 
Antonio Gil Y’Barbo was a Spanish lieutenant governor. In 1779 he settled at an old abandoned Spanish mission, where he built a town called Nacogdoches, which today is known as the oldest town in Texas. The new town was at the intersection of El Camino Real De Los Tejas and La Calle de Norte. When accused of smuggling in 1791, Antonio Gil Y’Barbo left Nacogdoches, forbidden to return. 
Before his exile in 1791, Antonio Gil Y’Barbo had built a stone house used as a trading post. The original stone house was demolished in 1902 and then reconstructed in 1907. In 1936, as a part of the Texas Centennial Celebration, the state built a replica of the original building on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State Teachers College. Today, the Old Stone Fort is a museum on the campus of Stephen F. Austin State University. 
Friends of Historic Nacogdoches, Inc. sponsored the bronze statue sculpted by Ernest Roberge Jr. (1936-2013), and he completed it in 2000. Visitors can view the statue in downtown Nacogdoches in front of the Charles Bright Visitor Center (Nacogdoches Convention and Visitors Bureau).