Talk of Wilson County TX Historic Towns

by Barbara J. Wood
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Where in Wilson County was the United Daughters of the Confederacy Driveway Park?
Paula Wake answered "IT'S A FACT" correctly, "Downtown Floresville" & Connie Schraub Terry added, "I think I've read that it was on the C Street side of courthouse and that area was later made into the wide parking area on C Street."
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Which teacherage was moved to a dairy in Western Wilson County in the mid 1950's?
It's a fact ... Steven Raabe guessed, Three Oaks, correctly. The Three Oaks teacherage was moved to the Harris (Haese) dairy on FM 541 in western Wilson County in the mid 1950's. It was used as a private residence for many years. It is still standing.
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What ranch in Wilson County...?
ITS A FACT ... Brandon Darr  answered correctly ... Rancho de las Cabras was the land where live stock was raised to feed the inhabitants of Mission San Francisco de la Espada; this rancho is now part of the National Parks System and a World Heritage Site.
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The first high water bridge was in Sutherland Springs...

answered correctly by reader Wade Jarutowicz .
The wooden bridge was built in 1892....  it was rebuilt in 1913 after the flood and was built of iron and wood.... 1958 it was torn down and the low water bridge was built.....  1995 the new high water bridge was built.....
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Power plant in Floresville

*ITS A FACT: June 19, 1915 at 7:30 p.m. was the date then Mayor S.V. Houston consented to press the button turning the lights on in the City of Floresville. The "Floresville Light and Power Company" would be the name of the new concern. The plant's proposed size would take care of a town twice the size of Floresville at that time. It was the intention of the promoters to supply the surrounding towns and rural communities power if this endeavor proved to be a success.
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First Peanut Thresher Wilson County  Was Operated By H. E. Conn In what year?

IT'S a FACT : ANSWER: First Peanut Thresher Wilson County  Was Operated By H. E. Conn In 1908  ..... E. C. Conn has favored the Centennial Edition with an old time picture showing the first peanuts threshed in Wilson county by a machine. It was owned by his father, H. E. Conn, and was bought in 1908. It shows H. E. Conn threshing peanuts on the Old Chappell place between Floresville and Stockdale. There were 9 large stacks of the peanuts and Mrs. H. E. Conn made sheets to cover them. Shown in the picture are, left to right: Webb Sample, Oscar Holcombe, Hugh Conn and John Bell on top of the stack.
.....taken from Wilson County Centennial Book.
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What year was Floresville, Wilson County, Texas designated "Peanut Capital of Texas"?

IT'S A FACT: ANSWER: More than a century of "Peanut Farming" makes Floresville the "Peanut Capital of Texas". The new designation comes as Floresville celebrates our 79th annual Peanut Festival..... the year 2023!!
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First commercial production of peanuts in Wilson County...

Nancy Davis correctly guessed, "A peanut oil factory in the early 1900s.  I think 1909, but I could be wrong." As
the first commercial production of peanuts began according to written records in Wilson County in 1909. At that time, only one peanut-oil mill existed in the county, the Floresville Oil and Manufacturing Co.
It was Sutherland Springsite, Joe T. Sheehy who in 1916 experimented with peanut farming and introduced it as a viable crop to the farmers of Wilson County.
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Paleo-Indians Hunter-Gatherers

The 7 other hunter-gatherers were the Tonkawa, Aranamas, Tamiques, Karankawa. Tawakoni 7, Lipan Apache and Comanche who lived and hunted in Wilson County.
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What Wilson County Community celebrated an annual "Autumn Fair?"

Faith Lynn Avalos guessed correctly with the answer " Stockdale"!  "Around 1915, watermelons became a cash crop in the area and peanuts followed in the 1930's. Watermelons were such an important crop that in 1937 the community's annual celebration was changed from the Autumn Fair to the (Stockdale)Watermelon Jubilee. The annual Watermelon Jubilee remains today one of oldest watermelon celebrations.   ...taken from
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What Texas Ranger...

Nancy Davis was correct in naming John King. John Rhodes King (1816-1898) arrived in Texas in 1837 from Tennesse, eventually helping to found Seguin, where he would later serve as the first mayor. King served in the Texas Rangers, being wounded by Indians in 1850, and in both the Mexican and Civil Wars. He served in the Texas Legislature for three terms - one terms representing Guadalupe County and later two terms representing Wilson, Karnes, and Atascosa Counties. King and his family moved to Wilson County in the late 1850's. He helped with the creation of Wilson County, later serving on the commissioner's court.
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First high-water bridge over Cibolo

ANSWER:  Brandon Darr guessed Sutherland Springs correctly! It was built in 1892.
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'The Third Bridge'

Linda Byrd named it fast & correctly! County Rd 401 Cibolo Creek ( Abandonded bridge over Cibolo Creek on CR 401 Wilson County Texas near Jackson Nature Park. Reader Richard Jankovsky III adds, "The Third Bridge is a common name for it. When going from Stockdale toward Floresville that was the 3rd bridge. And the name stuck... ")
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What is the name of this person?

Izzy Moy knew Manuel Jesus Ximenez was the person's name.
Manuel Jesus Ximenez, Wilson County sheriff, son of Esteban Ximenez and Theresa Haby G'sell de la Garza, was born in Graytown, Texas, on December 25, 1857. At an early age he moved to Lodi, one of the oldest settlements in Wilson County. His early formal education was limited, and he was mostly self-educated. His public career began around 1880. Ximenez served as tax assessor and collector, county clerk, deputy sheriff, and United States marshal in Wilson County. In 1890, 1892, and 1898 he was elected sheriff of Wilson County. Ximenez was a sheriff cut in the traditional pattern of most country lawmen, but he was ahead of his time when it came to moral and social issues. Before being elected sheriff he had labored for a more humane jail for the prisoners, and by the end of 1887 the new jail was completed. He brought reform to the area when he abolished the practice of lynching in Wilson County, and he ensured continuity of his philosophy in the department by surrounding himself with competent people whom he trained and advised. At the turn of the century Ximenez joined in the capture of Gregorio Cortez Lira for the murder of sheriffs from Karnes and Gonzales counties. In 1898 he assisted Theodore Roosevelt in recruiting and training the First United States Volunteer Cavalry (the Rough Riders) in the San Antonio area prior to Roosevelt's departure to Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Years later Ximenez was a guest of President Roosevelt at the White House. As a civic leader, Ximenez contributed to the Floresville Academy and also succeeded in having the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway pass through Floresville. Ximenez's first marriage was to Serafina Jacoba Olivares; they had six children. After Serafina's death, he married Josefina O. Lopez on November 3, 1893; they had two sons and four daughters. Ximenez died on January 11, 1911, and was buried at the Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery in Floresville.
COURTESY/ Texas State Historical Association written by Gloria X. Gregory.
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Fact about Sutherland Springs

Sheila Cantrell named Sutherland Springs correctly as the town. "The disruption of cotton production by pests and later war forced farmers to diversify, adding peanuts, watermelons, hay, and many other crops to their repertoire. Speer developed a model farm in his efforts to promote Sutherland Springs, and he raised 1,500 bushels of corn on his property there in 1910. Baptist minister William A. Clark took a break from being a pastor and managed the Experimental Fruit Farm at Sutherland Springs from 1909 to 1912. During the same period, J. D. Cameron, acting as an agent for some unnamed New York investors, bought 445 acres for $25,000 adjacent to the town. The land was to be developed as five- and ten-acre mini-farms, and it was advertised as being great for growing figs and grapes. " COURTESY/ Richard McCaslin  Author Sutherland Springs Texas, Saratoga on the Cibolo
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Tributaries that feed the San Antonio River

The names of the tributaries that feed the San Antonio River east of San Antonio echo the Spanish origin of those that first mapped the area: the Salado, Roscillo, Calaveras, Chupaderas, Martinez, Salatrillo, Caicasta (now Kicaster), Aguila, and the Cibolo. The Calaveras (Spanish for skulls) meanders from it origin in east Bexar County to its junction with the San Antonio River 20 miles southeast of downtown San Antonio. Alan Peschke , David Regan , & James D. Pavliska  managed to name 5 out of the 9.
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Rancho de las Cabras

Alan Peschke named Rancho de las Cabras correctly!  
In C.L. Patterson's article from 1939, he mentions "Sisto Martines, was an old timer there; a Confederate veteran. He said that on one occasion many years before the War Between the States (Civil War 1861-1865) about 1,000 Indians raided that settlement and the people took refuge in the Mission, where they remained several days, surrounded by the Indians, before help arrived and the Indians retreated; that while thus besieged, the defenders of the fort obtained water by going to the River though the tunnel connecting the Mission with the River".
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Cistern at Polley Mansion

Ronnie L Russell  correctly guessed location of the cistern to be at the Polley Mansion.   Robin Broughton Muschalek , owner of Miss Polley, adds, " We know the Polleys had the cistern since 1855 as one can see in the  1855 painting by Sarah Anne Hardinge . The water is collected from the roof and rain water so I think Mary Polley only used the water for drinking. The cistern is lined with concrete now so it is filled with fresh water (we have a crack in the concrete so it doesn't hold water). They had a hand dug well 500 feet behind the mansion. It's still there but it's filled with dirt."  [Thank you Robin]
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Primitive Baptist Church in La Vernia

Connie Schraub Terry  was correct in naming the Primitive Baptist Church in La Vernia.  "Nancy Pavlich wrote in the Wilson County News :  As Wilson County closes its sesquicentennial year, celebrating its rich history, area residents have been devastated by the loss Oct. 13, 2011 of the historic Primitive Baptist Church in La Vernia. The building, more than 100 years old, was destroyed by fire in the early morning hours that day."
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Dr. Ella Ware

FROM: ADMINISTRATOR   Sheila Cantrell  answered correctly!
Dr. Ella Ware was born May, 13, 1870, in Wilson County, Texas, near Stockdale. She was the eldest of sixteen children.  She knew what she wanted and medicine was her interest in life.  She was thirty years old when she began her journey toward graduation from medical school. Upon graduation, she was offered a full professorship at the University Of Texas Medical School in Galveston.  She was grateful for the offer, but Dr. Ware elected to return to her home in Wilson County.  This is where she was born and these were the people she loved. A woman doctor was rare in those days and life may have been easier for her in a large hospital in the city.  But Dr. Ella Ware wanted to be a country doctor, and that is what she became. She returned to Wilson County to practice medicine. Her profession as a medical doctor seemed to fulfill her life, for she never married. ( Wilson County Historical Society   )
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Community of Nockenut

James Davenport  is correct!!   The community of Nockenut grew up around the Ecleto Creek, which was a spring-fed creek that ran year-round. A sawmill, gin and grist mill were built by Henry Solomon Hastings after he and his father, Green Hastings, purchased 1,280 acres from the heirs of M. C. Wing, one of the drawers of a black bean in Mexico as part of the Meir expedition. The community was named Nockenut by H. S. Hastings combining the names of two trees, the Hickory (hickernut) and Anaqua (nockoway), which abounded in the area. H. S. with his Mississippian and added Texas slang, called the community Nockernut, later Nockenut.
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The Pandora Quail Management Project

FROM ADMINISTRATOR: Thomas Garza was correct!  An unique project, formally known as The Pandora Quail Management Project began in 1946 in Wilson County in the Pandora and Union Valley Area. Its intent was to repopulate the native quail in this area and secondly to provide a cash producing venue for the local landowners. By providing for increased quail population with adequate nesting areas and native food, the area could be leased to bird hunters for their sporting enjoyment.
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Center of Wilson County

ANSWER: The geographic center of Wilson County Texas is said to be at the intersecting of County Roads 312 & 311. The CenterPoint Church of Christ & Centerpoint School was located there.   Woodie and Mary Robinson erected a marker at that location with information about the church & school.
The Texas Legislature stated that the county seat was to be in the center of the county.  The new town  Floresville was located near the geographical center so in November 1873 an election was held and Floresville was elected as the place for Wilson County government.
CENTER POINT COMMUNITY is the answer & was guessed by Jana Wells.
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Marcelina switch location

On April 30, 1901, a request was made to the post office department in Washington, D.C., to establish a post office at Kennon City, which was the name suggested for the Marcelina Switch location. Kennon was the maiden name of Dr. Jones' wife. This request was made by R. L. Dilworth, postmaster of Gonzales, in which he also recommended that Arnold H. Poth be named postmaster. New postal regulations at that time required that short names and names of one word be accepted for new post office designations. A copy of the application clearly shows the post office name of Kennon City scratched out and the name of Poth handwritten in its place, thus establishing it as the new name for the post office with A. H. Poth the first assigned postmaster. The location of this new post office was in the front room of the A. H. Poth newly built residence. (Several named Poth but not the reason.)
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Mechaca San Francisco ranch

In 1758, Luís Antonio Menchaca and Andrés Hernández resolved a title dispute involving Menchaca's San Francisco ranch. Their compromise resulted in the oldest recorded private land grant in Texas. The grant, recorded in the General Land Office, consisted of a total of fifteen leagues and seven labores in present-day Karnes and Wilson counties, of which eleven leagues and two labores went to Menchaca and four leagues and five labores to Hernández.  (Texas State Historical Association)  (Image taken at random from the related Handbook of Texas entry, Land Grants) (Congratulations Nicholas Sifuentez  for naming Menchaca's El Rancho de San Francisco Ranch)
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Shiloh Cemetery

The Shiloh cemetery is the only remaining part of the old community of Shiloh, which had a Methodist Episcopal Church South and the Shiloh School.  Between the late 19th century and the early 20th century, a pioneer community called Shiloh existed in a beautiful pastoral setting upon a grassy hilltop fronting historic F.M. 539 in Wilson County Texas. This historic road was also known as the Sutherland Springs - Lodi  Road. In 1861, it was established to connect Sutherland Springs to the community of Lodi. Both communities were county seats at one time. Shiloh was located about midway between Floresville and Sutherland Springs. (Congratulations Linda Ogburn  for naming correct community)