Uvalde County, Texas

Uvalde County (/juːˈvældi/ yoo-VAL-dee) is a county located in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2010 census, its population was 26,405.[1] Its county seat is Uvalde.[2] The county was created in 1850 and organized in 1856.[3] 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.

Uvalde County comprises the Uvalde, TX Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Uvalde County, Texas
Uvalde courthouse
The Uvalde County Courthouse was built in 1928 in neoclassical design. It is the fifth structure used as the county courthouse, having replaced the previous building constructed in 1890.
Map of Texas highlighting Uvalde County

Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas

Texas's location within the U.S.
Named forJuan de Ugalde
Largest cityUvalde
 • Total1,559 sq mi (4,038 km2)
 • Land1,552 sq mi (4,020 km2)
 • Water6.7 sq mi (17 km2), 0.4%
 • (2010)26,405
 • Density17/sq mi (7/km2)
Congressional district23rd
Time zoneCentral: UTC−6/−5
Uvalde County marker IMG 1878
Uvalde County marker
Hill Country scene in Uvalde County, TX IMG 1875
A scene of the Texas Hill Country in northern Uvalde County
TX Hwy 55 in Uvalde County IMG 1319
Texas State Highway 55 as it meanders through scenic northwestern Uvalde County near the Nueces River


Native Americans

Artifacts establish human habitation dating back to 7000 B.C. Evidence of a permanent Indian village on the Leona River at a place south of the Fort Inge site is indicated in the written accounts of Fernando del Bosque's exploration in 1675. Comanche, Tonkawa, Seminole and Lipan Apache continued hunting and raiding settlers into the 19th Century.[4]

Early explorations

On January 9, 1790, Juan de Ugalde, governor of Coahuila and commandant of the Provincias Internas, led 600 men to a decisive victory over the Apaches near the site of modern Utopia[5] at a place known then as Arroyo de la Soledad. In honor of his victory, the canyon area was thereafter called Cañon de Ugalde. French botanist Jean-Louis Berlandier visited the area in the late 1820s. James Bowie guided a group of silver prospectors into the area of north central Uvalde County in the 1830s. A trail used by General Adrián Woll's Mexican Army on its way to attack San Antonio in 1842 crossed the territory of Uvalde County and became the main highway to San Antonio.

Early settlements

Fort Inge was established in 1849 to repress Indian depredations on the international border with Mexico, and was served by the Overland Southern Mail.

One of the first settlers to the environs was William Washington Arnett, who arrived in the winter of 1852. The Canyon de Ugalde Land Company, formed by land speculators in San Antonio in 1837, began purchasing headright grants in Uvalde County in the late 1830s. Reading Wood Black,[6] who with a partner, Nathan L. Stratton, purchased an undivided league and labor on the Leona River in 1853 at the future site of Uvalde. May 2, 1855, Black hired San Antonio lithographer Wilhelm Carl August Thielepape,[7] and laid out Encina, the town later known as Uvalde.[8] [9] Waresville settlement by Capt. William Ware in the upper Sabinal Canyon and Patterson Settlement by George W. Patterson, John Leakey, and A. B. Dillard on the Sabinal River coincided with Reading Black's development of the Leona River at Encina.

County established and growth

In November 1855, Reading Wood Black successfully lobbied the Texas legislature to organize Uvalde County. On May 12, the county was formally organized. On June 14, Encina was named county seat. The second floor of the courthouse was made into a school, and six school districts were organized for the county in 1858. The San Antonio-El Paso Mail route was extended along the county's main road with a stop at Fort Inge in 1857.

Conflict between Mexicans and Anglos during and after the Mexican War continued in Uvalde County, with the reported lynching of eleven Mexicans near the Nueces River in 1855. Laws passed in 1857 prohibited Mexicans from traveling through the county.

Residents of Uvalde County voted 76–16 against secession from the Union. The abandonment of Fort Inge immediately after secession was followed by renewed Indian attacks. Many men in Uvalde County fought for the Confederacy, while some Unionists fled to Mexico to avoid persecution.[10]

Uvalde County endured three decades of unrelenting lawlessness after the Civil War. Violence, lawlessness and Confederate-Union conflicts among citizens were so pervasive that armed guards were employed to assist the county tax assessor and collector, and the county had no sheriff for nearly two years. The years immediately following the Civil War were marked by conflicts between Confederates and Unionists returning to live in Uvalde County. Smugglers, cattle and horse rustlers, and numerous other desperadoes saturated the area, including notorious cattle rustler, J. King Fisher who was appointed Uvalde sheriff in 1881.[11] Willis Newton of The Newton Gang robbed his first train near Uvalde. Jess and Joe Newton retired to Uvalde.[12]

The Uvalde Umpire began publication in 1878 and the Hesparian in 1879.

The Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway was built through the county, passing through Sabinal and Uvalde City, in 1881.

William M. Landrum introduced Angora goats to the area in the 1880s. By the turn of the century goats outnumbered cattle.

Pat Garrett lived in the county 1891–1900[13]

By 1905 the Southern Pacific had established railheads in Uvalde, Knippa, and Sabinal.

The local bee industry developed a product that received first place in the 1900 Paris World's Fair.

Garner State Park built by the Civilian Conservation Corps and opened in 1941. Garner Army Air Field the same year.

The National Fish Hatchery, completed in 1937, produced a million catfish, largemouth bass and sunfish in the 1970s.

Approximately $45 million was generated by farming in Uvalde County in 1974.

In January 1989 Uvalde County withdrew from the Edwards Underground Water District.

In 1990 Uvalde County had a population of 23,340, with 60 percent identified as Hispanic.


From the Mexican Revolution in 1910, immigrant labor force cleared large tracts of land and digging ditches, as irrigation spread throughout the county. The Uvalde and Northern Railway to Camp Wood, the Asphalt Beltway Railway in 1921, and the expansion of the asphalt mines in far southwestern Uvalde County at Blewett and Dabney were completed with the help of Mexican labor. By 1960 Mexican Americans made up one half of Uvalde County's 16,015 population. Seasonal migrant workers continued to move to Uvalde and Sabinal during the 1960s..

The Alien Land Laws of 1891, 1892 and 1921 prohibited ownership of Texas land by non-citizen residents.[14] The laws were repealed in 1965 by the Fifty-ninth Texas Legislature. These and other discriminatory deed restrictions had limited Tejanos in the purchase of town lots in the county.

Efforts to gain civil rights for Hispanics in Uvalde County began with the establishment of the Tomas Valle Post of the American Legion. County churches maintained segregated places of worship until an integrated Catholic church emerged in Uvalde in 1965.

The Mexican American Youth Organization formed in Uvalde City in 1968 and eventually led to a 6-week walkout by more than 600 Mexican-American students an on April 14, 1970.[15][16] The Texas Rangers and the Texas Department of Public Safety responded to requests by the school board to help control the volatile situation. Senator Walter F. Mondale, chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Equal Educational Opportunity, went to Uvalde on July 30, 1970, and criticized city officials in an interview published in the Uvalde Leader News. [17]

A 1970 class action lawsuit was filed by Ms. Genoveva Morales on behalf of her children against the Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District.[18]

In 1975, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit found that Uvalde C.I.S.D. in Texas had failed to desegregate its school system in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 1976, the Court ordered Uvalde C.I.S.D. to comply. In 2007, Uvalde C.I.S.D. sought to dismiss the desegregation order. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) opposed. On September 15, 2008, a settlement was reached.[19][20][21]

By 1975, only six Mexican Americans had served in public office in the county and none in leading roles. Since then several Mexican Americans[22] have served as county commissioners and in other county and local positions.

2017 church bus crash

On March 29, 2017, thirteen senior citizens from the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels in Comal County who had completed a retreat at Alto Frio Baptist Encampment near Leakey in Real County were killed when Jack D. Young, the 20-year-old driver of a pickup, crashed into the church minivan on U.S. Highway 83 inside Uvalde County near Garner State Park. One person survived the crash in critical condition. The collision was one of the deadliest in memory in Uvalde County.[23]

Young, who worked on his father's ranch and at a golf course and had no criminal record, told a witness, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry" and said that he had been on his cell phone at the time of the crash. Jody Kuchler, a welder from Leakey who saw the accident, said that the driver of the church vehicle moved over to try to avoid Young's incoming pickup but was blocked by the presence of a guard rail.[24]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,559 square miles (4,040 km2), of which 1,552 square miles (4,020 km2) is land and 6.7 square miles (17 km2) (0.4%) is water.[25]

Major highways

Adjacent counties


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201627,285[26]3.3%
U.S. Decennial Census[27]
1850–2010[28] 2010–2014[1]

As of the census[29] of 2000, there were 25,926 people, 8,559 households, and 6,641 families residing in the county. The population density was 17 people per square mile (6/km²). There were 10,166 housing units at an average density of 6 per square mile (3/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 75.68% White, 0.36% Black or African American, 0.68% Native American, 0.39% Asian, 0.08% Pacific Islander, 19.65% from other races, and 3.16% from two or more races. 65.91% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 8,559 households out of which 40.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.4% were married couples living together, 13.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.4% were non-families. 19.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.96 and the average family size is 3.42.

In the county, the population was spread out with 31.4% under the age of 18, 9.80% from 18 to 24, 25.3% from 25 to 44, 20% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females there were 95.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.70 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $27,164, and the median income for a family was $30,671. Males had a median income of $25,135 versus $16,486 for females. The per capita income for the county was $12,557. About 19.90% of families and 24.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.9% of those under age 18 and 18.6% of those age 65 or over.



Census-designated places

Other unincorporated community

See also


  1. ^ a b "State & County QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 29, 2013.
  2. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  3. ^ "Texas: Individual County Chronologies". Texas Atlas of Historical County Boundaries. The Newberry Library. 2008. Retrieved May 27, 2015.
  4. ^ Ochoa, Ruben E: Uvalde County from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 4 June 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  5. ^ "Utopia, Texas". Texas Escapes – Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 30 April 2010. Texas Escapes – Blueprints For Travel, LLC.
  6. ^ "A Guide to Reading Wood Black Papers". Texas Archival Resources Online. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  7. ^ Albrecht, Theodore: Wilhelm Carl August Thielepape from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 4 June 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  8. ^ "Uvalde, Texas". Texas Escapes – Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved 30 April 2010. Texas Escapes – Blueprints For Travel, LLC.
  9. ^ "History of Uvalde, Texas". City of Uvalde, Tx. Retrieved 30 April 2010. City of Uvalde
  10. ^ "Uvalde Co Military". Uvalde Co TxGenWeb Project. Archived from the original on 23 November 2008. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  11. ^ Adams, Paul: J King Fisher from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 4 June 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  12. ^ Holm, Patricia: The Newton Boys from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 4 June 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  13. ^ "Pat Garrett Historical Marker". Texas Historical Markers. Archived from the original on 14 March 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2010.
  14. ^ Alien Land Law from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 4 June 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  15. ^ Santos, Alfredo Rodriguez (July–August 2009). "No Apologies, No Regrets" (PDF). La Voz de Austin: 10.
  16. ^ Acosta, Teresa Palomo: "Mexican American Youth Organization from the Handbook of Texas Online. Retrieved 4 June 2010. Texas State Historical Association
  17. ^ "About Us". Uvalde Co, Tx. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  18. ^ "Morales v Shannon". MALDEF. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  19. ^ "Plaintiffs' Response in Opposition to Defendants' Motion to Dismiss: Morales v Shannon" (PDF). MALDEF. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 November 2010. Retrieved 4 June 2010.
  20. ^ Rodriguez, Laura (16 September 2008). "MALDEF Settles Historic School Desegregation Case". MALDEF.
  21. ^ Torres, Gilberto. "Tejano Voices". UT-Arlington. Retrieved 27 January 2012.
  22. ^ "Speed a factor in deaths: It's not known if people on bus were using seat belts", San Antonio Express-News, March 31, 2017, pp. 1, A10.
  23. ^ Zeke McCormack, "Death Truck: Witness: Pickup driver said he was on phone", San Antonio Express-News, April 1, 2017, pp. 1, A8.
  24. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  25. ^ "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". Retrieved June 9, 2017.
  26. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  27. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Retrieved May 11, 2015.
  28. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
  29. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved 9 April 2018.

Further reading

  • Welder, F.A. and R.D. Reeves. (1964). Geology and ground-water resources of Uvalde County, Texas [U.S. Geological Survey Water-Supply Paper 1584]. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Government Printing Office.

External links

Coordinates: 29°21′N 99°46′W / 29.35°N 99.76°W

Concan, Texas

Concan is a small unincorporated community in Uvalde County in the southwestern portion of the Hill Country of Texas. It sits along the Frio River close to Garner State Park and is a popular destination for summer vacationers. It is also well known for the excellent birdwatching in the spring. There is also a Roy Bechtol designed 18-hole golf course open to the public called Concan Country Club or the Golf Club at Concan.

Several outfitters in the area haul swimmers and tubers up the Frio River to designated drop off points and then pick them up later downstream.Neal's Dining Hall in Concan is featured in a 2012 episode of the syndicated television series Texas Country Reporter hosted by Bob Phillips.

The name "Concan" may have originated from the card game Conquian. Or named for a local cattleman, Isaac Conrad 'Con' Gibson as this community was once known as Conn, Texas.

Dabney, Texas

Dabney (also known as Whitesmine) is a former mining community in Uvalde County, Texas, United States. Dabney was located at the end of Ranch to Market Road 1022 in southwest Uvalde County, 19 miles (31 km) west-southwest of Uvalde.

Fort Inge

Fort Inge was a frontier fort in Uvalde County, Texas, United States.

Frio River

The Frio River is a river in the U.S. state of Texas. The word frío is Spanish for cold, a clear reference to the spring-fed coolness of the river.

Garner Field

Garner Field (IATA: UVA, ICAO: KUVA, FAA LID: UVA) is an airport in Uvalde County, Texas, three miles east of the city of Uvalde, which owns it. It is named for John Nance Garner, 32nd Vice President of the United States.

Opened in October 1941 with three 6,000 hard surfaced runways, (00/18; 04/27; 15/33). Began training United States Army Air Corps flying cadets under contract to Hangar Six Corp with 305th Fling Training Detachment (Contract Pilot School). Assigned to Gulf Coast Training Center (later Central Flying Training Command) as a primary (level 1) pilot training airfield. Hangar Six, Inc. conducted pilot training. Airfield had four local auxiliary airfields for emergency and overflow landings. Flying training used Fairchild PT-19s as the primary trainer. Also had several PT-17 Stearmans and a few P-40 Warhawks.

Inactivated on 30 June 1945 with the drawdown of AAFTC's pilot training program. Declared surplus and turned over to the Army Corps of Engineers on 30 September 1945. Eventually discharged to the War Assets Administration (WAA) and became a civil airport. Very little of the wartime airfield still exists, as most of the airfield has been rebuilt as Southwest Texas Junior College.

Trans-Texas DC-3s landed at Uvalde from 1948 to 1954.

Garner State Park

Garner State Park is a state park in the community of Concan, Texas located in Uvalde County, Texas in the United States. Garner State Park, in the Texas Hill Country, is the most popular state park in Texas for overnight camping. It often fills by noon in peak parts of the season. The park is popular with campers and local residents for its activities on the Frio River and the dances held nightly during the spring and summer.


KPXL-TV, virtual and UHF digital channel 26, is an Ion Television owned-and-operated television station serving San Antonio, Texas, United States that is licensed to Uvalde. The station is owned by Ion Media Networks. KPXL-TV's transmitter is located off Highway 173/RM Road 689 on the Medina–Bandera county line (west-northwest of Lakehills). On cable, the station is available on Charter Spectrum channel 2, Grande Communications channel 3, and AT&T U-verse channel 26.


KUVA (102.3 FM, "U102.3") is a radio station licensed to serve Uvalde, Texas, United States. The station is owned by Moises Abraham Gonzalez, through licensee Roca Radio, LLC.

KUVA broadcasts a Tejano music format.The station was assigned the call sign KUVA by the Federal Communications Commission on November 2, 1992.

Knippa, Texas

Knippa ( kə-NIP-ə) is a census-designated place (CDP) in Uvalde County, Texas, United States. The population was 689 at the 2010 census.

National Register of Historic Places listings in Uvalde County, Texas

This is a list of the National Register of Historic Places listings in Uvalde County, Texas.

This is intended to be a complete list of properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places in Uvalde County, Texas. There are ten properties listed on the National Register in the county including one National Historic Landmark (NHL). The NHL site is also a State Antiquities Landmark and a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark (RTHL) while two additional properties are also RTHLs.

This National Park Service list is complete through NPS recent listings posted May 17, 2019.

Nueces River

The Nueces River ( new-AY-sis; Spanish: Río Nueces, IPA: [ˈri.o ˈnwe.ses]) is a river in the U.S. state of Texas, about 315 miles (507 km) long. It drains a region in central and southern Texas southeastward into the Gulf of Mexico. It is the southernmost major river in Texas other than the boundary-setting Rio Grande. Nueces is Spanish for nuts; early settlers named the river after the numerous pecan trees along its banks.

Sabinal, Texas

Sabinal is a city in Uvalde County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,695 at the 2010 census.

San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad

The San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad was a South Texas railroad company in the first half of the 20th century that linked San Antonio with Corpus Christi, Texas. Chartered in 1909 as the Crystal City and Uvalde Railroad, it was renamed in 1912. Because of its unusual abbreviation, the SAU&G, the railroad was for years thereafter popularly called "The Sausage".

Southwest Texas Junior College

Southwest Texas Junior College is a comprehensive, public, two-year college with four campuses serving eleven counties in southwest Texas.

The campuses are located in unincorporated Uvalde County (next to Uvalde and on the site of Garner Field), Del Rio (northwest portion), next to Del Rio International Airport, unincorporated Maverick County (near Eagle Pass), and Crystal City, the seat of Zavala County.

Texas State Highway 127

State Highway 127 (SH 127) is a state highway in Uvalde County in the U.S. state of Texas that connects Sabinal and Concan in south Texas.

Utopia, Texas

Utopia is a census-designated place (CDP) in Uvalde County, Texas, United States. The population was 227 at the 2010 census.


Uvalde may refer to:

Uvalde County, Texas

Uvalde, Texas, a city in and the seat of Uvalde County, Texas

Uvalde Estates, Texas, a census-designated place in Uvalde County, Texas

Uvalde Consolidated Independent School District, a school district based in Uvalde, Texas

USS Uvalde (AKA-88), an Andromeda class attack cargo ship

Uvalde, Texas

Uvalde ( yoo-VAL-dee) is a city in and the county seat of Uvalde County, Texas, United States. The population was 15,751 at the 2010 census.Uvalde was founded by Reading Wood Black in 1853 as the town of Encina. In 1856, when the county was organized, the town was renamed Uvalde after Spanish governor Juan de Ugalde (Cádiz, Andalucía, 1729-1816) and was chosen as county seat. It is usually considered the southern limit of the Texas Hill Country or the most northerly part of South Texas. Historically, Uvalde is known as the Honey Capital of the World for production of huajillo (also spelled guajillo) honey, a mild, light-colored honey, dating back to the 1870s.

Uvalde was the home of John Nance "Cactus Jack" Garner, former Speaker of the House and Vice President of the United States. Oscar-winning actor Matthew McConaughey, actress Dale Evans, and former Governor of Texas Dolph Briscoe (after whom the post office is named), were born in Uvalde. The city is also home to the Grammy Award-winning Tejano/Norteño group Los Palominos.

Uvalde Estates, Texas

Uvalde Estates is a census-designated place (CDP) in Uvalde County, Texas, United States. The population was 2,171 at the 2010 census.

Places adjacent to Uvalde County, Texas
Municipalities and communities of Uvalde County, Texas, United States
Ghost town

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