Talk of Wilson County TX Historic Towns

by Barbara J. Wood
Return to "Talk"



"The Pony Express Mail Service" ... Featuring area Riders re-enacting the Old West Mail Service along our famous U.S. Hwy 181 N & S ....... A yearly event for long as I can remember when I lived there......... The original idea involving the Postcards (Circa 2000-04 ?) locally was to persuade folks to purchase the cards and mail them by Pony to friends n family that lived in San Antonio to promote our town, the cards and the Event.......... I never learned if the idea was ever achieved ?? ......but lots of folks really liked the cards being produced !!! .....I enjoyed going out into the field to capture the scenes......and I still love Floresville !!!!

.........Hank White, former resident and WC Freelance Photog (Card Producer) .............TO ALL ....Have A Very Merry Christmas !!!! ,  Love, Hank n Joyce A Lehman White
COURTESY/ Remember Floresville When ...

The Flores de Abrego Family and Floresville ...

The Flores de Abrego family came to the New World from northern Spain before the time of the American Revolution. During the 18th century, members of this family brought their cattle northward and established ranches along the San Antonio River.
The head of this family was Francisco Antonio Flores de Abrego II (d. 1757), who married Rosa Hermenegilda Hernandez. Their son, Jose Joaquin Flores de Abrego (1742-c.1800), grew up on the San Bartolo Ranch in present Karnes County. Jose Joaquin's grandsons Manuel, Salvador, Nepomuceno, and Jose Maria later fought on the side of the Texians during the Revolution for Independence from Mexico.
In 1854 Josefa Agustina Flores de Abrego, daughter of Jose Maria Flores de Abrego, married Samuel William Barker, who became Wilson County's first sheriff in 1860. In 1867 Josefa's donation of 200 acres of land was accepted by the County Commissioners Court as the site for the new county seat. As she requested, the new town was named Floresville in honor of her ancestor, Francisco Antonio Flores de Abrego II. As prominent ranchers, with cattle brands registered in Floresville, the Flores de Abrego family played an important role in the colonization of this area.

Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986
Fb img 1699102072566


.... COURTESY/ Allen & Regina Kosub, Authors of  Lost Texas Roads  Anyone know where Murray & King's brick store was located?


Floresville's long felt desire to get electricity began to make progress in February, 1915 by B. J. Carrico, a consulting engineer and contractor of Fort Worth. He was the man of 
means and movement to put in an electric system that would be a credit to Floresville.
In April, 1915 electricity was no longer a dream. Floresville's long talked of light plant was at last to become a reality. W. T. Pitman, of Fort Worth, one of the promoters began actual operations, accompanied by John Barner, an expert electrician of Marietta, Oklahoma.
A carload of poles was soon unloaded. The front end of the Ballard building next to John W. Wood's store was rented for an office and electric supply store. Two large Muncie crude oil engines, one a 90 HP and the other a 50 HP were ordered. Work on the plant's home began. It was erected at the City Waterworks Plant and was a 30x50 structure and made of brick and hollow tile.
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.
June 19, 1915 at 7:30 p.m. was the date to remember. That was the date Mayor S.V. Houston consented to press the button turning the lights on in the City of Floresville. He 
expressed a desire to have at least three of the prettiest girls of Floresville to act as his attendants, so that he may be properly cared for, should he touch the wrong wire. So 
the citizens selected the young ladies by secret ballot votes.
Throwing the switch and turning on Floresville's first lights took place at the power house by Mayor Houston assisted by the three prettiest young ladies, Nora Houston, Robbie Smith and Clara Culpepper, who were the winners of the contest. A large crowd attended the celebration. A full explanation of the workings of the plant was given before the lights were turned on. It indeed was a memorable event for the City of Floresville. After the lights were on, the crowd of excited people marched to the Opera House for a delightful and appropriate program. This evening, June 19, 1915 went down in the history of Floresville for this date the old town took a step forward. R. L. 
Eschenburg, Sr., prominent businessman and alderman, then gave a brief talk and told of the many improvements that would be underway. It definitely had a ring of a booster 
to the community.
In July, 1915 the Floresville Light and Power Company took over the City Waterworks Plant and the city water was pumped from the power house. A new 40 HP Muncie oil 
engine was added to operate the day current and to pump most of the water.
Homes and businesses were soon wired and street lights were being installed. The promoters were very pleased with the support being accorded and the residents were equally as well pleased with the new service.
In November, 1925, Flem Spruce, Mgr. of the New Lone Star State Power Company, the new public utility plant that took over the Floresville Light and Power Company informed the public that new high power lines would be installed. These lines were the lines between Floresville & Poth and Floresville & Stockdale. In addition to these lines, Mr. Spruce stated that the company would install a new diesel engine of not less than 200 HP to take care of all the needs of Floresville, Stockdale and Poth.
In 1928, San Antonio Public Service Company purchased the assets of the power company with Flem Spruce still the manager. Then in 1942, Floresville Electric Light and 
Power System was formed by the Cities of Floresville, Stockdale and Poth by purchasing the assets of the San Antonio Public Service Company.
FELPS' 1942 audit shows
 489 customers in Floresville
 135 customers in Poth
 178 customers in Stockdale
 802 total customers. 
FELPS 1950 audit show 
 811 customers in Floresville
 237 customers in Poth, 
 347 customers in Stockdale
 1,462 customers in the rural area of the three cities, 
 2,857 total customers. 
Then in February, 2009 there were 
 13,647 FELPS customers. 
This indicates the lights are shining to a larger number of residents.
The managers of FELPS:
 1925 - Flem Spruce
 1951 - Robert F. Spruce until his sudden death
 1967 - Fred R. Wauters
 1996 - David K. McMillan to the present time.
(Courtesy if Wilson County Historical Society .... Compiled from past Floresville Chronicle Journal articles by Viola Henke, a retired employee of Floresville Electric Light and Power System)
Fb img 1696508144079

Floresville in 1907

A carnival in front of the county courthouse in Floresville, Wilson County Texas, 1907.  "Most of the buildings still stand & the yearly downtown carnival continues to entertain folks"  
Courtesy/ Traces of Texas
Fb img 1693893230706

1912 newspaper clipping

Newspaper clipping .... shared by Melinda Creech. Irvin Creech is top row, second from left. He is her husband's (Robert) grandfather. (Thank you for sharing!)

W.W. Rhoade One Price Cash Store

FLORESVILLE  TEXAS... A 1901 photograph of the W.W. Rhoade "One Price Cash Store" brick, two-story building located at 3rd and C Street in Floresville. One person is going into the store; another is standing at the corner of the building; and two men are unloading goods from a horse drawn wagon at the side of the building - one is on the wagon and the other walking toward the wagon. A fifth person can be seen leaning on a post past the wagon. Wonder if "One Price Cash Store" was an early version of the "Dollar Store"... although a dollar in 1901 was equivalent to almost $30 today. (Courtesy of "The Portal to Texas History")  Note: once was Ben Franklins

Documented journeys of the 1930s

Wilson County News, 1/4/2017

Article taken from San Antonio Express Sunday morning, Feb. 26, 1933, page 14-D.
Walter Holcombe and family of Rankin spent a few days with W.H. Holcombe and wife and attended the wedding of his sister, Miss Ruth.
Mrs. J.P. Houston and daughter are home after several days visit with Ed Grote and wife of San Antonio.
Mrs. Rosa Dewees and Mr. and Mrs. Pete Schiffers have returned from a week spent in Sanderson with Joe Kerr and family.
E.L. Powell and family of San Antonio spent Sunday with J.H. McDaniel, Jr. and other relatives.
Miss Rose Mary Carnes of San Antonio is spending a few days with her parents, Mr. and Mrs. A.B. Carnes.
Mrs. Carl Eschenburg entertained the Bridge Club on Wednesday afternoon. After the usual number of games were played Mrs. J.T. Sheehy received high and Mrs. L.F. Martin cut prizes. Those enjoying the afternoon were Mesdames John Wood, Sr., John H. Wood and Miss Bessie Bell of San Antonio, L.F. Martin, John H. McDaniel, Jr., Lee Matlock, Sr., John Reese, J.T. Sheehy, Robert Wiseman, Hugh Wiseman, Tom Howard, O.F. Burney, W.D. Hunter, H.J. Ridout, Alex Lieberman, A.B. Murray, J.T. Houston, Edwin Johnson and Lola Canfield.
Article submitted by Shirley Grammer for Historic Moments in Wilson County.
COURTESY / Wilson County News

Floresville Token

MORE FLORESVILLE TEXAS HISTORY   ... Kimberly Foerster found something she thought odd and had forgotten she had. It's the size of a penny and metal. It's a coupon of some sorts from a druggist in  Floresville. The history piece belonged to her Grandma Mary Ploch-Foerster.
 It is a token for 2.5¢ "Coupon" from the I. D. FLORES DRUGSTORE in Floresville Texas. Flores' Rexall Drug Store was in operation from at least 1906 in Floresville Texas. The town was settled by Canary Island immigrant Don Francisco Flores de Abrego, who established a ranch in the eighteenth century. In 1833 the nucleus of the town included the Flores home, a chapel, and a graveyard. In 1867 Floresville was founded and a Post Office was established in 1872. By 1885 Floresville had two hotels, several stores, a weekly newspaper named the Chronicle Journal, two steam cotton gin-gristmills, and a population of 400. The town was incorporated in 1890.

Have you heard of Commerce Street......   in Floresville, Wilson County, Texas?? 

An antique postcard from the "Dan Whatley Collection" shows a postmarked 1908 card of North Commerce St., Floresville, Texas. What building fronts do you recognize?  COURTESY/ Mike Cox of

Court adjourned after judge taken ill

October 18, 2017
Wilson County News 
Historic moments in Wilson County
Wilson County Historical Society
Floresville, Wilson County, Texas January 17, 1896 – County court was adjourned this week in something of a hurry, caused by the sudden and dangerous illness of County Judge (Alfred) Stevenson. He is a sufferer from rheumatism and has very serious attacks of it sometimes. The business, however, was about concluded for the term before he was taken sick.
The Will of Francisco Ximenes, who died a few weeks ago, was admitted to probate this week. He left about $10,000 worth of property to his two daughters and his personal property to his wife, who survives him.
Wilson County camp of United Confederate Veterans held a meeting last Saturday afternoon, which was fairly attended. Five veteran soldiers of the "Lost Cause" were admitted to membership. The old boys of this county who wore the gray during the war and attended the confederate reunion last May in Houston are determined, as far as possible, to be in Richmond this year. Further than this, some of them will not say, but it is an open secret that some of them are counting seriously on parading on Broadway, New York, on July 4th if the railroad companies will get the fare low enough.
This article was taken from the Galveston Daily News, of January 18, 1896, contributed by Shirley Grammer for Historic Moments in Wilson County, Texas.

What were cattle buyers paying in 1891.....

COURTESY/ Allen & Regina Kosub, Authors of  Lost Texas Roads
Fb img 1674104053472

Floresville, Texas – Band

The Floresville Carnival took place in 1908.  Kneeling in the photo is the Floresville Band. The following photo is a group pose of a Floresville Band in the same era. 
Front row - Heinrich "Henry" Andrew Wagenfuehr (2nd in from the right) is the middle cornet player.
Fb img 1673903338781

Floresville 1893

Life in 1893 Floresville Wilson County Texas ....... Courtesy/ Allen Kosub  of Lost Texas Roads .

Floresville Texas Trades Day 1906

A panoramic picture of downtown Floresville Wilson County Texas during the 1906 Trade Days. This photo shows the buildings, people, horses, wagon. On the back of the photograph below it is noted that Mrs. Ed Franklin was queen and Rosalie Stevenson and Maude Neal were the princesses. R.R. Smith, attorney, crowned the queen for the festivities. Courtesy/ South Texas History
Fb img 1673844999143

San Antonio - Corpus Christi Road

San Antonio - Corpus Christi Road .... in Floresville, Wilson County, Texas {undated}. A County road that connects San Antonio to Corpus Christi shown in South Texas History  photo. This portion of the road features a farmhouse with a wooden fence to one side. Floresville water tower can be seen in the distance .  Admin.

Note: Richard Luttrell  & Owen Lowak  agree that in the vintage photo that the fence is where the Floresville City Cemetery is today.

PHOTO COURTESY/ The Portal to Texas History

Floresville Carnival 1908 – Wagenfuehr family find

We have a "Finding" ... Kevin Wagenfuehr enlarged the Floresville Carnival 1908 photo. Among the kneeling band members he found his Grandpa Heinrich "Henry" Andrew Wagenfuehr (second to right) and  his Great Grandpa Heinrich "Henry" Alvin Wagenfuehr. (fourth to right). What a great find for the Wagenfuehr genealogist!
Fb img 1660111624114

1902 - J.A. Varnon & Son

1902 Photograph of blacksmith shop. Men and boys are standing under sign the left front of the shop that says "J.A. Varnon & Son". Horses drawing buggies are parked in front of the shop. The tower of the Wilson County Court House can be seen in the background. (Courtesy of Portal to Texas History)
Fb img 1655017920456

J.C. Merchant Super Market

THIS BUILDING ..... is difficult to know as the architecture is no longer recognizable.  It was the first brick building in Floresville, Wilson County, Texas,  and was completed in 1888 of bricks hand made on the San Antonio River. It is the former site of J. C. Merchant Super Market. The drug store to the right was owned by AGEE.
...taken from "Wilson County Centennial  Book".
WHAT BUILDING IS THIS?  The Belknap Rifles are standing in front of an history-filled building in Wilson County Texas ... can you give me some information about it?


Julia Castro in her "Apple and Pie Salsa Column" wrote the article about remembering the Impala Club and Tejas Ballroom.  COURTESY/ Wilson County News 
I greatly enjoyed the story by Connie Morales that was published recently in the Forever issue of the Wilson County News. Frequently I see people posting their memories of the Impala Club on Facebook, but I haven't seen anyone mentioning the Tejas Ballroom. So I thought it was time to write about it, but I had to do some research.
I knew that it was "Nacho" (Ignacio) Martinez who had it built and named it, but I didn't know when. So I met with his sisters, Aurora, my forever sister-in-law, and comadre Elvira.
They said that Nacho had it built in 1963 on the property where the Sears store now sits. But the area was very different. The building faced Highway 181, which is now 10th Street. It was farther back because I remember it having a large parking lot in front. And there was no road next to it. The whole strip was undeveloped, no businesses. It became a very successful endeavor. The dance halls that had been around for years no longer existed — el Jacalito Mexicano and the old Lodi hall. People came from the surrounding towns. Nacho brought entertainers who are now well-known, such as Ruben Ramos, Flaco Ximenez, and many others. Aurora said that her husband, Arturo, worked for Nacho on Saturday nights as a bartender after delivering beer there for Henry in the morning.
They recalled that their parents had their 50th wedding anniversary reception there (of course). Also, that the Garcia girls, their cousins, all had their wedding receptions there.
The LULACs were very active here at the time, and Nacho let them have their meetings there. One year the LULACs had a contest to elect a queen to represent the organization in the Peanut Festival Parade. Sophie Gonzales won. Another time Dora Ann Castro, Henry's cousin, was selected to represent the Impala Club in the Peanut Festival Parade.
In 1975, Nacho sold the property to a Jimmy Rodriguez from Karnes City and moved his family to San Antonio. Supposedly it didn't go as well for him. At some point the property changed owners again, bought by a Delmiro Garcia. In 1984, Joe Tejada leased it from Garcia, and according to him, the last person that had operated it before him was Emilio Flores III. By then the name had changed to Tejas Ballroom. The building was getting old, so Joe put on a new roof and new floors. And he says that he too had worked for Nacho years earlier. The sisters also remember Luis Quintanilla working there with Nacho.
The local "Good Times Band" played there frequently, but Joe brought in a lot of other artists, who he feels really got their start here. Of course, he couldn't remember all of them. These are some that he remembers: "La Sombra," "Los Chamacos," Roberto Pulido, Laura Canales, "Los Hermanos Farias," Little Joe "y La Familia," Ruben Ramos, "Los Palominos," and Agustin Ramirez.
In 1992, Joe decided not to renew his lease. Instead, he bought "El Patio" downtown, where he continued to have dances.
Of our kids, not all were into dancing, but those that were went either to the Impala Club or the Tejas Ballroom, from the oldest to the youngest.
I'm sure that they remember the good times and "The Good Times."
Joe called me later to tell me that one Saturday night when Roberto Pulido was performing, a family stopped by. They were just passing through and saw that there was a dance. The father asked Joe if his daughter could sing, that she was quite good. It was Selena, only 13 years old! You Selena fans know the rest of her story.
Fb img 1634828040274

Floresville – 2nd and C Streets

FLORESVILLE WILSON COUNTY TEXAS .... Street scene photo taken from the corners of 2nd and "C" street looking west toward the courthouse. Horse, buggies, wagons and mule - people in front of stores. Can anyone read what is written on the horse-less wagon where the ladies in white are standing?
[The Portal to Texas History]
Fb img 1625291727902

A View of the Courthouse

This amazing 1907 photograph from UTSA Library shows the photo's view looking northwest from Wilson County Courthouse in Floresville Texas. Third Street on left, B Street on right. Among the businesses are the W. W. Rhode One Price Case Store,  the John Griffith store, and the Palace.