San Diego, the county seat and most populous town, is on the Texas Mexican Railroad at the intersection of State highways 44 and 359 and Farm road 1329, about fifty-two miles west of Corpus Christi and eighty miles east of Laredo. The book is tentatively titled Soy de Duval, the Nineteenth Century History of Duval County, Texas. From this original area of 1,887 square miles the southern part was detached in 1913 to make a new county known as Dunn, with 888 square miles. A BESS, TEXAS (Duval County). In the late nineteenth century ranching was Duval County's most important industry. In 1910 there were 2,235 of Mexican birth, and upwards of 3,000 inhabitants of Mexican parentage. Where can find Duval County Birth, marriage, Divorce and Death Records? The county's $28,372,000 in cash receipts from crops and livestock ranked 135th in the state. In 1878, the Corpus Christi, San Diego & Rio Grande Railroad (now the Texas-Mexican), a narrow-gauge line, was completed from the gulf fifty-three miles to San Diego, and in 1880 extended through Duval County. The county seat is Jacksonville, with which the Duval County government has been consolidated since 1968. From its peak of 20,289,399 barrels in 1938, production dropped steadily. Duval County produced 351,999 pounds of peanuts in 1959 and 1,142,407 pounds in 1969, but by 1982 the local harvest had declined to insignificance. The famous Box 13, which gave Johnson his eighty-seven-vote victory, was actually in Jim Wells County, but the manipulation of the returns was almost certainly directed by Parr. When Duval County was created on the same day as Jackson County, it covered a massive area, from the Suwannee River on the west to a line running from Jacksonville to the mouth of the Suwannee River on the east. By 1938 Duval County ranked third among the state's 254 counties in oil production, and by 1940 the population of the county reached an all-time high of 20,565. We created this eBook for you, and it was made possible through the contributions of our members and supporters. document.write(cy); Source: A History of Texas and Texans by Frank W. Johnson, A Leader in the Texas Revolution Edited and Brought to Date by Eugene C. Barker, Ph.D. Benavides in Dunn County is also a railway point, and there are no towns of importance away from the railway, and the western and northwestern sections of the original county are still almost a desert. The Handbook of Texas is free-to-use thanks to the support of readers like you. A legend of more recent vintage holds that Francisco (Pancho) Villa may have buried two saddlebags of silver in the area. Historical Marker: Duval County Created by the Texas Legislature in 1858 and organized in 1879, Duval County played an important role in the economic and political development of South Texas.Early settlers came to this area in the mid-19th century from Mexico, and Anglo pioneers began arriving in the 1860s. These chapters deal with the county’s Prehistory, Los Indios, Los Mexicanos, Los Españoles, Medio Mexico, and Los Americanos. By Email [email protected] - Jorge Gonzalez Despite this civilizing influence, however, Duval County could still be a wild and dangerous place. State Highway 44 passes through the county from east to west, and State Highway 16 crosses from north to south. DCPS has policies and procedures in place to protect its employees, students and anyone associated with the District from discrimination, harassment, sexual harassment or retaliation. At least part of the overall decline can be attributed to the problematic nature of the local economy. In 1982, 2,519 acres, the fourth-highest total in the state, was devoted to watermelons, down from 2,778 acres in 1959. The chief crop was cotton, with an acreage in 1909 of 17,478, and the corn crop was 1,876 acres. It was named in honor of Capt. Not Now. --Editor "I was born in Brackenridge Hospital, Austin and my parents lived on a farm that was the location of the former town of Duval, Texas. There is a fee for each copy requested. The Venado Indians, a Coahuiltecan hunting and gathering group, roamed the area in the 1700s. The more personal history of Duval that follows was researched by Anna Galloway of Austin who suggested Duval be included in our town pages. Support the Handbook today. Duval was one of the counties created by the act of February 1,1858, providing for a subdivision of unorganized territory in the counties of rectangular shape. The number of human beings rose with the sheep; in 1880 there were 5,732 people in the county, more than five times as many as in 1870, and Duval County seemed well on its way to lasting prosperity. The county comprises 1,795 square miles of nearly level to undulating terrain with an elevation ranging from 250 to 800 feet above sea level. The largest communities are San Diego (population 4,417, with 3,247 inhabitants in Duval County and the rest in Jim Wells County) and Freer, with 2,791 residents. NULL Duval County is in Rio Grande Plains Texas. To the the lay reader Duval County evokes thoughts of political intrigue. Dudley Lynch, The Duke of Duval: The Life and Times of George B. Parr (Waco: Texian Press, 1976). Our Duval County native son sharing some intriguing Duval County history. By the time Parr was elected to the state Senate in 1914, his control over the affairs of the county was virtually absolute. Duval County Groundwater Conservation District P.O. Closed Now. Some mineral wealth has indeed since been discovered, in the form of petroleum, in 1903, at Piedras Pintas, and a limited production has been obtained, although the field has not been pronounced a commercial success. A John Clements, Flying the Colors: Texas, a Comprehensive Look at Texas Today, County by County (Dallas: Clements Research, 1984). By 1970 the population was 11,722, and in 1980 it had risen slightly to 12,517, 144th among Texas counties. In 1881 San Diego was the principal town, with Benavides, Concepcion and La Rosita, small villages. 941 people follow this. In the 1900 presidential election Duval County went Republican, but since that time, thanks largely to the efficiency of the Parr machine and the customary tendency of Hispanics to vote for Democrats, the county has delivered majorities to the Democratic party on the order of 94 percent in 1916, 98 percent in 1932, 95 percent in 1936, 96 percent in 1940, 95 percent in 1944, 97 percent in 1948, and 93 percent in 1964. In gratitude to Alfredo E. Cardenas for keeping our history alive!! In the early twenty-first century ranching, petroleum products and tourism were central elements of the area’s economy. In 1880 county ranchers reported 196,684 sheep, up from 34,325 ten years before; a few years later the county reportedly had more than 400,000. Arnoldo De León, A Social History of Mexican Americans in Nineteenth Century Duval County (San Diego, Texas: Duval County Commissioners Court, n.d.). See more of Duval County Texas Historical Museum on Facebook. Create New Account. In 1946 county wells produced only 14,188,268 barrels, fourteenth in the state, and in 1958 the county's 10,167,303 barrels ranked twenty-eighth in Texas. Based on the 2010 census, its population was 11,782. The oil boom in Duval County did not last. Martin Donell Kohout, County organization did not occur until eighteen years later. Even after the demise of the Parr machine in 1975 Democrats continued to dominate. The Marqués de Rubí reportedly crossed the area upon his return from the Spanish frontier in 1767. Duval County was created in 1822. A The county was founded in 1858 and later organized in 1876. Ironically, it was an Anglo, a former cowhand and schoolteacher named Archer Parr, who turned this imbalance to his advantage by soliciting the Mexican Americans, whom his fellow Anglo politicians had traditionally ignored. Duval County has always been somewhat off the beaten track of development. Twenty-three percent of the county's workers were employed in other counties, 31 percent in agriculture and mining, 21 percent in professional services, and 14 percent in wholesale or retail trade. Luby was part of an influx of Anglos that also included Walter W. Meek, Sr., who had come to Duval County after the Civil War and helped make it the sheep ranching capital of Texas. Duval County, Texas Residential Property Valuation Duval County, Texas Assessor Parcel Maps – Public Information & Property Records – Duval County Benavides School Yearbooks (Source: Explore Ancestry for free) ($) Freer School Yearbooks (Source: Explore Ancestry for free) ($) Slaves, slave owners, and slavery in general - information . In the early 1980s Duval County had 80,795 cattle and calves, including 51,365 beef cows and 1,676 milk cows. The bottom fell out of the Duval County sheep. Tuesday, November 03 … Duval County, Texas Farming and ranching in Duval County have never regained the importance they had during the late nineteenth century. Community See All. It is a story of a frontier people with an indomitable spirit. Of the total area of 1,168,000 acres, about 42,000 acres had been reclaimed so as to be regarded "improved land." The perpetrators of the so-called "Great Raid of '78" were never caught. The population of the county in 1870 was 1,083; in 1880,5,732; in 1890, 7,598; in 1900, 8,483; and in 1910, 8,964. More than 1,365,000 barrels of oil, and 72,169,865 thousand cubic feet of gas well gas, were produced in the county in 2004; by the end of that year 585,742,696 barrels of oil had been taken from county lands since 1905. Ellis carried out his experiment about a mile and a half northeast of the San Diego railroad station. Benavides became the county seat of Dunn County, while Hebbronville was accorded a similar honor for Jim Hogg County. Duval County is in south central Texas about fifty miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico and seventy-three miles north of the Rio Grande. Of those twenty-five and older, 60 percent had graduated from high school and 9 percent had college degrees. In 1940, at the height of the oil boom, the county population was 20,565. In 1920 the amount of improved farmland rose to 52,232 acres and the number of farms to 754; 324 of these were operated by tenants, but the average size had declined to 584 acres. The roads from San Diego to Mier, to Rio Grande, and to Eagle Pass, Texas … The climate is subtropical-subhumid. Dorothy Abbott McCoy, Oil, Mud, and Guts (Brownsville, Texas, 1977). These people, many of whom were desperately poor, gave up their political autonomy in exchange for county jobs and occasional cash disbursements of questionable legality from the county treasury. Duval County History . Duval County's 25.3 percent illiteracy rate in 1930 was the sixth highest in the state. After several delays because of unsettled weather, a two-day bombardment of the sky apparently paid off with a downpour. The first six chapters got me off to a fast start. Eastern Duval County is characterized by poorly drained loamy soils and well-drained dark soils with loamy surface layers and clayey subsoils. Between 1912 and 1918 Ed C. Lasater, a wealthy South Texas rancher, and C. W. Robinson, the Duval County Democratic chairman, both attempted to bring Parr down, but neither succeeded. The Texas Almanac for 1867, speaking collectively of Dimmit and Duval counties, said; "At present there are but four stock raisers in these counties, and a scant population is all they will ever probably have, unless they should be found to possess mineral wealth not now known to exist." Duval County, Florida Duval County Education, Geography, and History. This county was created from portions of Live Oak, Nueces and Starr Counties in 1858 and organized In 1876. Forgot account? For nearly twenty years the county remained unorganized, being attached to adjoining counties for judicial purposes. 23 Remarkable Conditions in Duval County: Protest By Citizens Against Proposed Division, Privately printed pamphlet can be found in the Eugene C. Barker Texas History Center, Circa 1915. pp. A post office under the name of Mindiette operated there for less than a year in 1879, with Fabian Favela as postmaster. The county's mineral resources include caliche, clay, salt domes, sandstone, uranium, oil, and gas. A county government was organized about the same time, and it was as a result of the acquisition of railway facilities that the county had its chief development. In the 1988 and 1992 presidential elections 82 percent of the county's voters cast ballots for the Democratic candidate. John Clements, Flying the Colors: Texas, a Comprehensive Look at Texas Today, County by County (Dallas: Clements Research, 1984). Northern Duval County is characterized by loamy cracking or crumbly clayey soils, deep to moderately deep, that overlie indurated caliche. The political history of Duval County is indeed a colorful one, but it is only a part of a very interesting story. Duval County at that time was described as "one extended pasture, and, from the preponderance of the sheep interest, may properly be termed a great sheep walk. 5. The courthouse was designed by Sanguinet, Staats, & Gottlieb , a successful and influential architecture firm in Texas. In 1990 the population was 12,918. They also gathered wild fruits, nuts, berries, seeds, roots, leaves, and prickly pear tunas. / The county was named for Burr H. Duval, a soldier in the Texas Revolution who died in the Goliad Massacre. Published by the Texas State Historical Association. The average price of ranches for sale in Duval County was $2 million. The rainfall averages about twenty-four inches. In 1982, 86 percent of Duval County's estimated population of 12,900 were of Hispanic origin, the eighth-highest percentage in the United States; 7 percent were of English descent, 5 percent of German descent, and 5 percent of Irish descent. Texas State Librarian, Vol. In subsequent years cotton has diminished in importance to the county economy; only 4,159 bales were ginned in 1936, 1,656 in 1945, 1,124 in 1950, and a mere 571 in 1969. David Montejano, Anglos and Mexicans in the Making of Texas, 1836–1986 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1987). The census enumerators in 1910 found 34,652 cattle; about 7,000 horses and mules; less than 2,000 sheep, and 7,297 goats, much attention having been given to the latter industry. Two highways cross the county diagonally: U.S. Highway 59 and State Highway 359. For more information go to: or. The county's center point is nine miles northwest of Benavides at 27°42' north latitude and 98°30' west longitude. Of the 254 counties in the Lone Star State, 1,795-square-mile Duval County ranks 14th by size. At the peak of manufacturing in 1900 the county had only seven manufacturing establishments that together employed only twenty-eight people, and throughout most of the twentieth century the number of such establishments has ranged between two and six. Duval County, Texas Duval County Education, Geography, and History. The county was created in 1850 and organized in 1856. Master Theses, Antioch College, Lincoln-Juarez Center, Undated. Duval County Museum and Historical Commission invite you to explore events and exhibits that will connect you to Duval County's rich heritage and history. Based on the 2010 census, the population was 864,263. qqv Duval County has always been somewhat off the beaten track of development" (Handbook of Texas Online, Duval County, Texas). "A Brief Account of the Development of Benavides, Texas." Hebbronville was chiefly noted as a cattle shipping point, and has now acquired the additional dignity of being a county seat. Western Duval County is characterized by deep soils with loamy surface layers and loamy or clayey subsoils, and loamy soils with indurated caliche at shallow to moderate depths. Duval County lost a portion of its land, including the town of Hebbronville, when Jim Hogg County was formed in 1913. Duval County lies In the southwest part of Texas; San Diego, the county seat. There were only 60,160 sheep in the county in 1890 and only 3,627 by 1900. The Portal to Texas History Duval County ; School Records and Histories . In 1858 the Texas legislature formed Duval County, which originally embraced 1,887 square miles, from parts of Nueces, Live Oak, and Starr counties. All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), From time to time I will be sharing snippets from the manuscript. Box 663 208 E St. Joseph Street History. Duval County, TX Vital Records. 905 people like this. Places in the county include San Diego (county seat), Benavides, Freer, Concepcion, San Jose, Ramirez, and Realitos. History . Duval County Texas. Your resource for all county information. Even though Duval County lies in the United States, it has long been Mexican in character. Tourists, attracted by such spectacles as Freer's annual Rattlesnake Roundup in April and Old Fiddlers Contest in July, spent $3,519,000 in Duval County in 1982. But Parr ultimately prevailed after his fellow senators decided not to examine too closely the irregularities that had characterized Parr's dubious electoral victory over Glasscock. The White influx led to the county's most enduring characteristic: a vast Mexican-American majority held in thrall by a small but wealthy and influential White minority. Bess was sixteen miles north of San Diego in northeastern Duval County. At that time, however, fewer than 7 percent of residents over the age of twenty-five had completed high school. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law. Through the establishment of Pat Dunn and Lanham counties he apparently hoped to increase the patronage jobs and tax revenue at his disposal, but he was foiled both times. They sent orders to the citizens of San Diego to bring enough money to buy the stolen hides or enough men to skin the hide-peelers. Soy de Duval, the Nineteenth Century History of Duval County, Texas. / History of Duval County. As of the 2010 census, the county population was 11,782. In 1812 Julián Flores and his son Ventura received the deeds to the San Diego de Arriba and San Diego de Abajo grants, totaling eighty leagues, from the Spanish government; herdsmen in their employ may have been the first European settlers in the county. In fact, only once between 1916 and 1972 did the Democratic candidate receive less than 74 percent of the vote in Duval County; that year, 1956, a mere 68 percent voted Democratic. Duval County Texas Historical Museum. But then I hit a brick wall with a chapter called El Terreno having to do with land titles. Duval County's reputation for political corruption peaked with Lyndon B. Johnson's election to the United States Senate in 1948. Map of the South Texas Plains region covering Duval County, Texas. The following brief survey of Duval County applies generally to the former territory, before the creation of the two recent counties. No thank you, I am not interested in joining. In 1982 Duval County ranked ninth in the state in the production of peaches, with 9,500 bushels, and third in the state in the production of dry cowpeas and dry southern peas, with 24,460 bushels. Duval County is a county located in the state of Texas. There's some spooky history here in Texas. reset. A majority of the population have always been Mexican. Also in 1848 Henry Lawrence Kinney and William Leslie Cazneau cut a road from Corpus Christi to Laredo that passed through San Diego. It was named for William Pope DuVal, Territorial Governor of Florida from 1822 to 1834. Handbook of Texas Online, Duval County, Texas: Welcome to the Duval web site. Box 506 Benavides, Texas 78341. The northern part of the county drains into the Nueces River, while the central and southern parts drain into the Laguna Madre through Baffin Bay. The trend peaked in 1930, when county farmers harvested 67,473 acres of cropland. Duval County's climate has likely remained unchanged for centuries, but beginning in the late nineteenth century cattle ranching, which was the county's main industry, and farming have had significant effects on the county's vegetation and water supply. The original Duval County had three important towns, San Diego, Benavides and Hebbronville. By 1950, however, the amount of harvested cropland and the number of farms had dropped to 50,675 acres and 711 respectively, but the average farm had grown to 1,632 acres. It is named for Juan de Ugalde, the Spanish governor of Coahuila.Uvalde County was founded by Reading Wood Black who also founded the city of Uvalde, Texas. II, The American Historical Society Chicago and New York 1916 - Transcribed by Nan Starjak. accessed December 03, 2020, In 1959, for example, there were 716 farms, averaging 1,056 acres; in 1969 there were 825 farms, averaging 1,198 acres; and in 1982 there were 1,074 farms, averaging 904 acres. Here is my first, which is a follow-up on last week’s blog; this is “the rest of the story.” Stay tuned in … While beef cattle generated most of the area’s agricultural income, dairy products and cotton, vegetable, grains, and hay were also produced in the county. Arnoldo De León, A Social History of Mexican Americans in Nineteenth Century Duval County (San Diego, Texas: Duval County Commissioners Court, n.d.). Evan Anders, Boss Rule in South Texas: The Progressive Era (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1982). This arrangement, which one Duval County official called "frankly corrupt but fully benevolent," allowed Parr, and later his son George B. Parr, a free hand in running the affairs of the county, and became a way of life there. But cynics said that Ellis had simply stalled until rain appeared inevitable, and doubts remained about the practicality of the technique. George Parr, the "Duke of Duval," and his cronies became more deeply entrenched than ever, despite his imprisonment in 1936 for tax evasion.