Talk of Wilson County TX Historic Towns

by Barbara J. Wood
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Albuquerque (Swayback)
The Albuquerque settlement was situated along the creek of the Clear Fork of Sandies Creek in the northeastern part of Wilson County. One had to travel to Sequin for the nearest rail connection which was over seventeen miles away. Albuquerque was once believed to have been in Wilson County. The discrepancy was cleared by a survey in 1914 and showed it in Gonzales County. The town was only two miles south of where Gonzales, Wilson, and Guadalupe counties joined. 
The first settler to live near or on the town site was Henry S. Hastings, but before 1860 sold his land to Samuel McCracken who was his brother-in-law. Hastings moved about four miles away and built a saw mill establishing another community called Nockenut. 
By the late 1870's, Albuquerque had a school, cotton gin, saloon, blacksmith shop, mercantile store and post office. Speculation on the naming of the settlement was perhaps drawn from South Texans' Civil War experiences in Albuquerque, New Mexico. On May 17, 1873, John Wesley Hardin killed Jack Helm in Albuquerque, one of a series of violent acts of the Sutton-Taylor feud.
The school was a one-room building made of rough lumber from the Nockenut sawmill and was built on a red rock hill by McCracken. The building developed a sway in the middle of the roof and became known as the "sway-back school". Albuquerque is a ghost town now and only lived from 1870 to 1883. The fledgling town had the basic businesses to survive including a cotton gin, blacksmith, store, saloon and school, but with no railroad on the horizon, the odds were stacked against Albuquerque's survival. Albuquerque quickly declined after business activities shifted to a new village, Union (sometimes referred to as Union Valley), two miles south of the Albuquerque site.  There is a historical marker at Albuquerque but no photos or map references remain. 
COURTESY/ Mark Cameron   Community Schools of Wilson County Texas