Nueces County
Historical Markers

Map of Nueces County Historic Sites
Markers (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Agua Dulce | Battle of Agua Dulce | Aransas Pass, C.S.A | Artesian Park and Sulphur Well | Banquete Cemetery | Bluntzer, Nicholas | Cattle Drives from South Texas | Site of the Corpus Christi Lighthouse | Early History of Port of Corpus Christi | Explosion of the Steamship Dayton | Flour Bluff | Fort Lipantitlan | Hynes Bay (Karankawa Indians) | Site of Kinney's Trading Post | Kinney, Henry Lawrence | Lone Star Fair | Nueces County | Nueces County Courthouse of 1914 | Nuecestown | Nuecestown Raid | Site of Old Salt Mill | Santa Margarita Crossing | Tarpon Inn | Captain Enrique Villarreal and Rincon del Oso Land Grant
Uncommemorated Sites (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Camp Corpus Christi | Camp Marcy | Camp Nueces

 


Agua Dulce

Marker Title: Agua Dulce
Address: CR 93 off SH 44 NW of Robstown
City: Robstown
County: Nueces
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: on private property, from Robstown take SH 44 about 12 mi. W, turn N onto CR 91 (1 mi. W of Banquette); cont. on CR 91 about 1.8 mi. to CR 42A; drive 1 mi. W on CR 42A; go 0.2 mi. N on CR 93 to house on left. Marker near creek about 1 mi. W.
Marker Text: At the forks of the Agua Dulce fifteen miles southwest of San Patricio fell Dr. James Grant, Major Robert C. Morris, Captain Thomas Lewellen, Dr. Charles P. Heart Stephen Dennison, J.T. Howard, Joseph Smith Johnston, H. Obed Marshall, John C. McLanglin, J.W. Wentworth, and two or three other Texan volunteers who were killed in a running fight with General Jose Urrea's Mexican Cavalry March 2, 1836.

Battle of Agua Dulce

Marker Title: Battle of Agua Dulce
Address: SH 44, E side of Agua Dulce
City: Agua Dulce
County: Nueces
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Location: SH 44, east side of Agua Dulce
Marker Text: During the Texas Revolution, Dr. James Grant (1793-1836), a Scottish-born physician, and Francis W. Johnson (1799-1884) recruited an army of volunteers to invade Mexico and capture the town of Matamoros. After Sam Houston expressed disapproval of the poorly-organized venture, many recruits left the expedition before it reached the settlement of San Patricio along the Nueces River in January 1836. Mexican general Santa Anna, who was organizing an army to attack Texan forces at the Alamo in San Antonio, discovered the Matamoros plan and dispatched General Jose Urrea to stop the advancing expedition. Urrea's cavalry, reinforced with 300 infantrymen, crossed the Rio Grande on February 16. Meanwhile, Grant and Johnson divided their troops to hunt for horses. Johnson's men were camped at San Patricio when Urrea attacked on the morning of February 27. Johnson and 4 others escaped, while 18 texans were killed and 32 captured. On March 2, Urrea's soldiers surprised Grant's company at Agua Dulce Creek (3.25 miles northwest). Grant was among the 12 Texans killed; 6 were taken prisoner, and 6 escaped. The brief skirmish occurred on the same day the Texas Declaration of Independence was signed at Washington on the Brazos.

Aransas Pass, C.S.A

Marker Title: Aransas Pass, C.S.A.
Address: SH 361 and Ferry Landing in Roberts Point Park
City: Port Aransas
County: Nueces
Year Marker Erected: 1995
Marker Location: at Intersection of SH 361 and Ferry Landing at Far East end of Roberts Point Park, Port Aransas.
Marker Text: Aransas Pass, the natural inlet (3 miles east) to Aransas Bay, separates San Jose and Mustang Islands. These islands are part of a chain of barrier islands which extend along the entire length of Texas' Coastal Mainland. At the beginning of the civil war countless small vessels transported confederate supplies up and down the Texas and northern Mexican Coast virtually undisturbed by federal naval forces. Cotton destined for foreign markets moved freely through Aransas Pass. By early 1861 a union blockade had halted trafficking by confederate vessels beyond the barrier islands. However, confederate supplies inside the barrier chain continued and inlets such as Aransas Pass became sites of increasingly strategic military value. The Aransas Pass area came under the control of Federal Captain J.W. Kittredge's Naval Forces until his capture in September 1862. In November 1863 a massive federal force gained control of the south Texas Coast from the Rio Grande to Matagorda Bay. Eventually, Federal Forces lost control of the mainland behind Aransas Pass and in June 1864 withdrew from the area. Afterward, confederate ships successfully eluded the federal blockade and delivered vital supplies to the confederacy by way of Aransas Pass. Sesquicentennial of Texas Statehood 1845-1995.

Artesian Park and Sulphur Well

Marker Title: Artesian Park and Sulphur Well
Address: Twigg St. at Chaparral
City: Corpus Christi
County: Nueces
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Location: Artesian Park, Twigg Street at Chaparral, Corpus Christi.
Marker Text: After a convention of Republic of Texas citizens accepted terms on July 4, 1845, for annexation to the United States, General Zachary Taylor brought 4,000 men of the U.S. 3rd infantry to Corpus Christi to defend the embryonic state from Indians or foreign powers. He remained eight months; more than two months after Texas became a state he marched to the Rio Grande. Among his troops in Corpus Christi were three future United States presidents (Taylor, Pierce, and Grant), and many other future celebrities. A landmark of Taylor's sojourn was a sulphur-rich artesian well he had drilled adjacent to the camp. In 1854, out of regard for the significant well and campsite, and to give the city he had founded (1839) a public park, H.L. Kinney deeded and dedicated the well site and an acre of surrounding land to the municipality. This park is one of the earliest in Texas to have been given by an individual to the public. By 1900--when a bandstand, drinking fountain and walks had been installed by civic or private means--the park was regarded as an historic, greatly cherished city facility. More land was added in 1907--08 through efforts of the Woman's Monday Club. Use and improvements have continued over 120 years.

Banquete Cemetery

Marker Title: Banquete Cemetery
Address: SH 44 E of Banquete
City: Banquete
County: Nueces
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Location: from Banquete take SH 44 about 1 mile east, just past high school to marker on south side of highway.
Marker Text: In June 1832 the colony of Irish families settled along the Nueces River by John McMullen and James McGloin was linked to Mexico by completion of the Matamoros Road. Mexican officials sponsored a Fiesta near this site as a goodwill gesture to the colonists. The village that later grew up here was called "Banquete", the Mexican name for the 4-day celebration. Banquete was settled before the civil war (1861-65) as a stock raising and horse trading center. During the war, it was an important stop on the trade route to Mexico. Oldest marked grave in Banquete Cemetery (1 mile east) is that of Joseph P. Madray (b. 1840), a local rancher who was serving in the confederate army when he died of typhoid fever, June 2, 1863. Also buried here are other confederate soldiers and prominent Banquete residents, including members of the Bennett, Elliff, Saunders, and Wright families. By tradition, the cemetery property was once the site of stockpens belonging to Sally Scull, notorious horse trader and cotton freighter of the civil war period. Pioneer rancher B.A. Bennett (b. 1824) deeded one acre for the community burial ground in 1910. In the 1950's, another acre was added to the cemetery, which contains about 200 marked graves.

Nicholas Bluntzer

Marker Title: Nicholas Bluntzer (October 29, 1835-September 5, 1901)
Address: FM 3088, off FM 666, S of Banquete
City: Banquete
County: Nueces
Marker Location: from Banquete, take FM 666 north about 7 miles; head west on FM 3088 about 0.5 miles to marker.
Marker Text: A native of the French province of Alsace, Nicholas Bluntzer came to Texas at age nine with his parents and other Alsatian families led by colonizer Henri Castro. The Bluntzer family settled in DeWitt County, in an area along Coleto Creek which would become the town of Meyersville. In 1856-57 Bluntzer served as a scout in a punitive expedition led by Col. Robert E. Lee against Comanche Indians in West Texas. In 1858 he married Justina Peters. Later, as a member of the Confederate army, he participated in the last battle of the Civil War at Palmito Ranch in May 1865. After the war Bluntzer became an influential rancher, acquiring large tracts of land in Nueces and other counties. He also invested in Corpus Christi real estate. He established a large cotton-growing operation near this site in the 1890s. A settlement grew up in the area and was named Bluntzer. Upon his death in 1901, he was buried in a San Patricio Cemetery. The Bluntzer home not far from this site remained in the family until 1961, when it was bequeathed to the Sisters of the Incarnate Word and Blessed Sacrament. Nicholas Bluntzer was posthumously inducted into the South Texas Cowboy Hall of Fame in 1967. (1967)

Cattle Drives from South Texas

Marker Title: Cattle Drives from South Texas
Address: FM 666 and FM 665 W of Flour Bluff
City: Corpus Christi
County: Nueces
Year Marker Erected: 1973
Marker Location: from Driscoll take FM 665 about 5.4 miles west to intersection with FM 666, marker is at southwest corner of intersection.
Marker Text: By 1840 tens of thousands of wild cattle roamed this vast south Texas region between the Rio Grande and the gulf of Mexico. The longhorns were almost worthless to Texans, so in 1842 extended cattle drives began with small herds driven to New Orleans and Missouri. Edward Piper, in 1846, drove 1,000 head to Ohio; by 1850 drives began to California; and in 1856 a herd was driven to Chicago. During the same period bovines were shipped by boat to New Orleans and Havana, Cuba, but with little or no profit. The number of cattle driven out of south Texas did not diminish the growing cattle population, as over 3.5 million head were present in 1860. Several thousand cattle were delivered to the confederacy during the early years of the civil war, but not until the conflict ended did cattle drives become profitable. Industrialization and urbanization of the northern U.S. created a huge market, and the westward expansion of railroads provided the means of transportation. In this vicinity several "feeder" trails led north to connect with the Chisholm and Dodge City trails to the Kansas railheads. By 1880, 4 million head had been driven to market, and Texas cattle had spread throughout the west.

Site of the Corpus Christi Lighthouse

Marker Title: Site of the Corpus Christi Lighthouse
Address: Buffalo St. at N. Upper Broadway
City: Corpus Christi
County: Nueces
Marker Location: Buffalo Street at North Upper Broadway, Corpus Christi.
Marker Text: In the late 1850s, Col. John M. Moore began dredging operations in the bay to create a large harbor for Corpus Christi. The U.S. Lighthouse Service purchased this site from J. Burnside and Co. on March 13, 1857, and soon built a brick lighthouse to serve as a beacon for vessels approaching the new port. The outbreak of the Civil War interrupted plans for harbor construction. During the war Confederate forces used the lighthouse as a powder magazine. In 1863, a Federal invasion threatened, and a group of loyal Confederate youths decided, without authority, to destroy the lighthouse arsenal to prevent its capture. They filled a butter churn with gunpowder and placed it beside the structure. The resulting explosion and fire damaged the tower, but failed to ignite the storehouse of powder inside. The boys first hid in a nearby cemetery, then fled to a salt marsh north of the city. Their identities were, for years, a well-kept secret. After the war, repairs were made to the lighthouse and it returned to use. The old beacon was abandoned in the mid-1870s and soon fell into disrepair. About 1878, city aldermen declared it a dangerous public nuisance and it was dismantled shortly thereafter. (1973)

Early History of Port of Corpus Christi

Marker Title: Early History of Port of Corpus Christi
Address: Water St., under high bridge
City: Corpus Christi
County: Nueces
Marker Location: under High Bridge at north end of Water Street, Corpus Christi.
Marker Text: Protected by offshore islands, the shallow waters of Corpus Christi Bay were a haven for smugglers before the Texas Revolution (1836). Commercial activity began when Henry L. Kinney (1814-1860) opened a trading post here about 1838. After the Mexican War (1846-1848), Corpus Christi became a departure point for the California Gold Rush (1849) and a main stop on the route between San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley. In 1854 the city authorized dredging operations to make the harbor accessible to deep water vessels. In 1857 a circuitous 32-mile long channel was opened from Corpus Christi Bay to Aransas Pass. Blockaded by Federal ships during the Civil War (1861-1865), Corpus Christi remained a major port for Confederate trade with Mexico until the harbor was captured in 1864. The ship channel was widened and deepened in 1874. Elihu Harrison Ropes of New Jersey came to Corpus Christi in 1890 with ambitious plans for development of the city and port. Using a steam dredge, he began digging a 14-mile long, 15-foot deep pass across Mustang Island. The "Ropes Boom" collapsed in the Panic of 1893, but Ropes' efforts laid a foundation for the opening of the Port of Corpus Christi on Sept. 15, 1926, and its success as one of the nation's largest seaports. (1977)

Explosion of the Steamship Dayton

Marker Title: Explosion of the Steamship Dayton
Address: IH 37 at Ramirez St.
City: Corpus Christi
County: Nueces
Year Marker Erected: 1997
Marker Location: IH-37 access road and Ramirez Street in Old Bayview Cemetery, Corpus Christi.
Marker Text: Shortly after the people of Texas voted to approve annexation to the U.S. in June 1845, the U.S. entered a boundary dispute between Texas and Mexico. President James K. Polk ordered General Zachary Taylor to position his troops on or near the Rio Grande. Corpus Christi was chosen as headquarters for the troops. The steamer "Dayton" was carrying troops from Corpus Christi to St. Joseph's Island on September 12, 1845 when a boiler burst near McGloin's Bluff (Ingleside). A second boiler blew as the boat plunged into the water. The remains of the vessel caught on fire and soon sank. A small boat picked up the wounded in the water following the explosions. Seven soldiers were killed, and one died several days later. A burial site was chosen here by Gen. Hitchcock and a military funeral took place the same day as the accident. The "Dayton" explosion victims buried here are: Lt. Benjamin A. Berry, age 28; Lt. Thaddeus Higgins, age 28; Richard Edwards, born in New York, age 33; John Hughes, born in Chambly, Canada, age 18; Alexander Iwanowski, born in Kamienic, Poland, age 39; James Johnson, born in Nottingham, England, age 36; James Marshall, born in Newcastle, Pennsylvania, age 39; and Daniel McKerns, born in Chester, Pennsylvania, age 26. (1997)

Flour Bluff

Marker Title: Flour Bluff
Address: SH 358, near Laguna Shores Rd.
City: Corpus Christi
County: Nueces
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Location: Marker located on SH 358 eastbound, near Laguna Shores Road, just west of the JFK Memorial causeway.
Marker Text: In the spring of 1838 France blockaded the coast of Mexico during the Pastry War, so-called because of the mistreatment of French citizens, including pastry chefs, living in Mexico. The strategic location of Corpus Christi Bay led to the revival of smuggling in this area. Supplies were carried overland across the Rio Grande, and the illicit trade flourished as Mexico bought sorely needed goods in Texas. Although president Sam Houston did not wish to antagonize Mexico, Mexican patrols at Corpus Christi offended many Texans. In July, 1838, authorities at Texana heard reports of Mexican activity near the bay. A captured Mexican sea captain said that his government had declared Corpus Christi a port of entry and had dispatched about 400 men to protect it. A summons was issued, calling Texans to rally at Texana, August 7, to drive the invaders from the republic's boundaries. By the time the volunteers reached the area, some of the Mexicans had landed their supplies near the tip of Corpus Christi Bay and returned to Matamoros. The rest scattered, leaving about 100 barrels of flour and parts of a steam engine. The Texans confiscated the usable flour, and other contraband, and the site became known as Flour Bluff.

Fort Lipantitlan

Marker Title: Fort Lipantitlan
Address: FM 70, via FM 3088, off FM 666 from Banquete
City: Banquete
County: Nueces
Marker Location: From Banquete take FM 666 about 7 miles north head northwest on FM 3088 about 5.3 miles turn northeast onto FM 70 drive about 0.7 mile to markers.
Marker Text: Occupied in 1831 by soldiers of the Mexican army. Captured November 4, 1835 by volunteers under Capt. Ira Westover. Unsuccessfully attacked June 7, 1842 by an army under Gen. Antonio Canales.

Hynes Bay (Karankawa Indians)

Marker Title: Hynes Bay (Karankawa Indians)
Address: Corner of Ocean Dr. and South Alameda, shore side of road.
City: Corpus Christi
County: Nueces
Year Marker Erected: 1976
Marker Location: Intersection of Ocean Drive and south Alameda, Corpus Christi marker is located east of intersection on north side of road.
Marker Text: Among the first Indians encountered in Texas by 16th and 17th century European explorers were the nomadic Karankawas, who lived along the coast from Galveston Bay to the Corpus Christi area. A primitive tribe, the Karankawas fished and gathered roots and cactus fruit for food. The men were usually tall and wore their hair long or braided with colorful bits of flannel and rattlesnake rattles. The women were shorter and stouter. The Indians often smeared their bodies with alligator grease and dirt to repel mosquitoes. At first friendly to Europeans, they later gained a reputation for savagery. Persistent reports that the Karankawas were cannibals may be traced to occasional ritualistic practices. Attempts by Spanish Franciscans to found missions for this coastal tribe were not successful. Never large in numbers, the Karankawa population dwindled as a result of diseases contracted from Europeans. During the 19th century, many of the Indians were killed in warfare with Jean Lafitte's pirates and with Anglo-American colonists. Remaining members of the tribe fled to Mexico about 1843. Annihilation of that remnant about 1858 marked the disappearance of the Karankawa Indians.

Site of Kinney's Trading Post

Marker Title: Site of Kinney's Trading Post
Address: 401 N Broadway
City: Corpus Christi
County: Nueces
Marker Location: 401 North Broadway, at top of stairs, Corpus Christi.
Marker Text: Henry L. Kinney, born in Pennsylvania in June 1814, came to this area about 1858 and established a fort-like trading post (across Broadway). The building, enclosed by a stockade, contained his home, store, and quarters for armed men. The bulk of Kinney's trade was with Indians and smuggling for Mexican Federalists who were in constant conflict with Centralist forces. The city of Corpus Christi grew up around the post. In 1845 Kinney's business boomed as Gen. Zachary Taylor's army camped in the area until March 1846, when it moved to the Rio Grande. Kinney enlisted with Taylor as a quartermaster and served in the U.S. War with Mexico until Oct. 1846. Upon returning from Mexico, Kinney won election to the state legislature, representing this district until 1853. When business began to falter in the early 1850's, he organized the "Lone Star Fair" in an attempt to attract settlers. The venture failed and forced him into bankruptcy. Kinney then attempted, unsuccessfully, to gain control of the "Mosquito Kingdom" in Nicaragua. After returning to Corpus Christi in 1858, he again won a seat in the legislature, from which he resigned in 1861, to resume international intrigues. Kinney was killed in the early 1860s in Matamoros under unknown circumstances. (1973)

Henry Lawrence Kinney

Marker Title: Henry Lawrence Kinney
Address: Leopard and Staples St.
City: Corpus Christi
County: Nueces
Marker Location: City Hall main entrance, Leopard at Staples, Corpus Christi.
Marker Text: Known as the founder of Corpus Christi, Pennsylvania native Henry Lawrence Kinney (1814-1861) was trained to become a merchant by his father, Simon Kinney. He helped lay out the town of Peru, Illinois, and eventually made his way to this part of Texas in 1838. The trading post he established in 1839 on a bluff overlooking Corpus Christi Bay opened the way for settlement of the town of Corpus Christi. Much of Kinney's initial trade was in smuggled goods for Mexican Federalists. General Zachary Taylor's choice of Kinney's outpost as a camp site for his army helped to multiply profits rapidly. Kinney served as Quartermaster when the troops moved to the Rio Grande in 1846. A successful politician as well, Col. Kinney, as he was known, represented his district in the state legislature at various times from 1846 until 1861. He eventually came to own most of the land that now makes up Nueces County, selling town lots in Corpus Christi to many of the soldiers in Taylor's army. Not always a success, Kinney organized the "Lone Star Fair" in 1851 to attract settlers. The enterprise failed, as did later attempts to control part of Nicaragua. Henry Lawrence Kinney died in Matamoros, Mexico, and is buried there in an unmarked grave. (1986)

Lone Star Fair

Marker Title: Lone Star Fair
Address: Peoples St. at Broadway
City: Corpus Christi
County: Nueces
Year Marker Erected: 1973
Marker Location: Peoples Street and Broadway, Corpus Christi.
Marker Text: Henry L. Kinney (b. 1814), founder of Corpus Christi, began by October 1851 to organize the Lone Star Fair to boost local economy. The fair was publicized to attract new settlers to the area, but was a thinly-veiled attempt to recruit men for the army of Gen. Jose J.M. Carbajal, a Virginia-educated revolutionary who was trying to liberate northern Mexico. Kinney called on Dr. Ashbel Smith of Galveston, Governor P.H. Bell, and ex-governors J.P. Henderson and G.T. Wood to help promote the fair. Kinney advertised internationally and went deeply into debt to build the facilities. When the fair opened, May 1, 1852, main attractions included races on a new racetrack, bullfights by the noted Mexico City Matador, Don Camarena, the popular Maltby's Circus, a theatrical troupe from New Orleans, philosophical oratory, stock and agricultural shows, and exhibitions of horsemanship and wild bull riding, with prizes for all competitive events. Kinney planned for an attendance of 30,000, but only 2,000 visitors appeared. The failure of the fair was attributed to the remoteness of Corpus Christi, poor transportation, and the revolutionary activity the fair supported. The venture bankrupted Kinney and he soon departed for Nicaragua to recoup his fortunes.

Nueces County

Marker Title: Nueces County
Address: North Mesquite and IH 37
City: Corpus Christi
County: Nueces
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: Old courthouse, North Mesquite and IH 37, Corpus Christi.
Marker Text: Named for Rio Nueces (River of Nuts), its northern border. In 1519 Pineda, one of the first Spanish explorers, paused briefly in this area. Spain founded Fort Lipantitlan nearby in 1531. Post, named for an Indian village, fell into Anglo-American hands in 1835 during Texas Revolution. Strategic value of this area (with its outlet to the sea) was recognized in 1845 when U.S. Army forces camped here en route to battle fronts in Mexican War. County was created 1846 and organized in 1847 with Corpus Christi as the county seat.

Nueces County Courthouse of 1914

Marker Title: Nueces County Courthouse of 1914
Address: IH 37 and N. Mesquite
City: Corpus Christi
County: Nueces
Year Marker Erected: 1978
Marker Location: North Mesquite and IH 37, Corpus Christi.
Marker Text: In 1853 lawlessness in Nueces County, which covered most of the area from Corpus Christi to the Mexican border, prompted the construction of the first county courthouse on this block. Three lots were purchased for $300 from Corpus Christi founder, Henry Lawrence Kinney (1814-1865). A second courthouse was built in the mid-1870's beside the first. Under the administration of county Judge Walter F. Timon (1872-1952), this neo-classical structure was completed in 1914 at a cost of $250,000. The architect, Harvey L. Page (1859-1934) of Washington, D.C., designed the International and Great Northern Railroad station in San Antonio and Laguna Gloria in Austin, home of former Corpus Christi resident Clara Driscoll. Additions were made to the buildings in the 1930's and 1960's. Courtrooms and offices were on the first four floors. The top two floors, separated from the rest of the building by an air space to eliminate noise, served as the jail. In addition to government offices, apartments were provided until the 1950's for the jailer and other county officials. During storms which almost leveled the city, hundreds of refugees sought shelter here. In 1977 county offices moved to a new courthouse building.

Nuecestown

Marker Title: Nuecestown (4 Miles North)
Address: IH 37 frontage rd. at Violet Rd.
City: Corpus Christi
County: Nueces
Marker Location: I-37 Frontage Road, Westbound, at Violet Road exit, Corpus Christi.
Marker Text: Henry L. Kinney (b. 1914), who founded Corpus Christi, established Nuecestown in 1852 at the location of the first ferry crossing on the Nueces River west of Corpus Christi. He sent agents to Europe, primarily England and Germany, to promote his new settlement. Each immigrant purchased 100 acres of land, a town lot, and 10 head of cattle. Nuecestown, known locally as "The Motts" because of several clusters of trees, grew to have, in addition to the ferry, a hotel, packery, and one of the county's first cotton gins. A Post Office opened in 1859. After the Civil War it was a gathering place for cattle drovers in the area herding longhorns to be driven to northern railheads. On Good Friday, March 26, 1875, Mexican bandits entered the region on a raid, causing many Corpus Christi residents to flee. After plundering the Frank Store (3 miles east), the raiders turned on Nuecestown, looting and burning T.J. Noake's store and Post Office, killing one man, and capturing several hostages. A party of citizens pursued the attackers unsuccessfully, and another man was killed. When bypassed by the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway about 1905, Nuecestown began to decline. The post office closed in 1927. (1973)

Nuecestown Raid

Marker Title: Nuecestown Raid
Address: 11800 Upriver Road
City: Corpus Christi
County: Nueces
Year Marker Erected: 1988
Marker Location: 11800 Upriver Road, Corpus Christi.
Marker Text: During the reconstruction era in Texas, tensions mounted between Anglo settlers and Mexicans in the Nueces River area. On March 26, 1875, a band of raiders attacked a farm near Nuecestown, stealing livestock and taking some of the settlers prisoner. Forcing their captives to March on foot, they proceeded to Nuecestown. Thomas and Mary Noakes, owners of a general store near this site, were conducting business when the party of raiders arrived. During an attack on the store a customer, John Smith, was shot and seriously wounded. Noakes, who had built trenches under his building for defense purposes, took refuge there after shooting one of the raiders. Mary Noakes, attempting to defend her children and home, was confronted by armed intruders in the store, but was able to help her children escape to the nearby river. Although the family escaped unhurt, the Noakes store was burned. The Nuecestown raid resulted in increased hostilities between Mexican and Anglo settlers of the area. In the following months many innocent Mexicans were slain in retaliatory actions by angry Anglos. It took a special contingent of Texas rangers to finally restore peace and order to the Nueces strip.

Site of Old Salt Mill

Marker Title: Site of Old Salt Mill
Address: 601 N. Water Street
City: Corpus Christi
County: Nueces
Marker Location: 601 North Water Street, Corpus Christi
Marker Text: One of the earliest industries in Corpus Christi was a mill erected at this site by Captain John Anderson (1813-1898), a Swedish-born seafarer who brought his family to Texas in 1852. Anderson built a house here in the 1850s, when this property was on the waterfront. The mill may have been constructed at that time, although some sources claim that it was not in operation until the 1870s. The wind-powered mill ground salt and corn and cut wood. Chunks of salt were gathered from the shores of Laguna Madre and salt water ponds in the summer and transported here by boat. Much of it was ground fine for table salt and shipped to distant markets. The coarse-grained salt was used in preserving meat and curing hides at the many packing plants that flourished along the Texas coast after the Civil War (1861-1865). The Anderson Mill supplied needed products to Corpus Christi citizens and provided employment for mill workers and freighters. In 1900 the Anderson family demolished the windmill and built a two story residence here. The structure was sold in 1911 to become part of the Nueces Hotel, completed in 1913. The old hotel was razed after it was damaged by hurricane Celia in 1970. (1976)

Santa Margarita Crossing

Marker Title: Santa Margarita Crossing
Address: FM 666 about 9 mi. N of Banquete
City: Banquete
County: Nueces
Year Marker Erected: 1973
Marker Location: from Banquette take FM 666 about 9 miles north to Nueces River Bridge. Marker is on south side of marker.
Marker Text: Ranchers occupying the 1804 Spanish land grant of Jose Herrera established this crossing of the Nueces and named the scattered settlement Santa Margarita. In 1828, John McMullen and James McGloin received a land grant from the Mexican government for an Irish colony north of the river and founded the town of San Patricio. This site soon became a major crossing on the Matamoros Road into Texas. To protect the crossing, the Mexican army, in 1831, established nearby Fort Lipantitlan, which was captured November 4, 1835, by insurgent Texans. On Feb. 27, 1836, Gen. Jose Urrea's Army defeated the Texan forces of James Grant and F.W. Johnson here before marching to Goliad. After Texas won independence, Gen. Vicente Filisola led the defeated Mexican troops back to Mexico along this road. After crossing the river here in summer of 1845, Gen. Zachary Taylor held his army in this region until March 1846, when he moved to the Rio Grande, the action which precipitated the U.S. War with Mexico (1846-48). During the civil war the old Matamoros Road, then called the "Cotton Road", served as a trade outlet for the confederacy. Texas products were transported via the Santa Margarita crossing to Mexico, circumventing the federal blockade of confederate ports.

Tarpon Inn

Marker Title: Tarpon Inn
Address: 200 East Cotter Ave.
City: Port Aransas
County: Nueces
Year Marker Erected: 1979
Marker Location: 200 East Cotter Avenue, Port Aransas.
Marker Text: In 1886 Frank Stephenson, a boat pilot and assistant Aransas lighthouse keeper, opened an inn at this site in an old barracks. He called the facility "Tarpon Inn" for the abundant trophy fish in nearby gulf waters. The Inn served as a landmark for sailors, and Port Aransas was known for a time as "Tarpon". In 1897 Mary Cotter and her son J.E. Bought the two story inn from Stephenson. After the building burned in 1900, two new structures were built in 1904. When the 1919 hurricane destroyed the main structure, the dining facility was used until it was sold in 1923 to James M. Ellis and his wife. Ellis soon rebuilt this inn to resemble the old barracks. He placed 20-foot poles in 16 feet of concrete with pilings at the corner of each room to reinforce it against future hurricanes. For a time guests could reach the inn only by boat. It became a tradition to sign and date a Tarpon scale and place it on the wall in the front room. Among the famous patrons was president Franklin D. Roosevelt who fished here in 1937. Duncan Hines spent his honeymoon here and recommended the food for the next 25 years. The inn has housed many area residents during storms and served as headquarters for the Red Cross, Salvation Army and Military units.

Captain Enrique Villarreal and Rincon del Oso Land Grant

Marker Title: Captain Enrique Villarreal and Rincon del Oso Land Grant
Address: Leopard and Staples St., at city hall
City: Corpus Christi
County: Nueces
Year Marker Erected: 1986
Marker Location: City Hall main entrance, Leopard at Staples, Corpus Christi.
Marker Text: A soldier, colonist, Indian fighter, and explorer, Captain Enrique Villarreal at one time held title to most of the land that now constitutes Nueces County. The Rincon del Oso land grant, encompassing approximately 44,000 acres, was awarded to Villarreal by the Mexican government in 1831, although he had been using it as ranch land since 1810. Trouble with raiding Indians forced him off the land until peace was made in 1824. As an officer in the Mexican Army, Enrique Villarreal participated in the Mexican War for Independence, the Texas War for Independence, and the U.S.-Mexican War. He was made commander of the troops at Fort Lipantitlan in 1830. When Henry Lawrence Kinney established his trading post at the site of what is now the city of Corpus Christi, he did so on land that was part of Villarreal's Rincon del Oso grant. In 1841 the two men met, and Kinney purchased one "sitio" of Villarreal's land the following year. Kinney came to own all of the Rincon del Oso Grant after Villarreal's death in 1846. Captain Enrique Villarreal's significance to local history lies in his position as original title holder to most of what is now Nueces County, including the City of Corpus Christi. (1986)

Camp Corpus Christi

In November of 1850, Camp Corpus Christi was established in Corpus Christi for two companies of the Fifth Infantry. The camp was moved the following April, when Commander Major G. R. Paul moved his troops 30 miles inland to a location that was also given the name Camp Corpus Christi. Regardless of a lack of good drinking water and there not being any permanent building materials, the camp stayed at this location for four years. Two companies of the Seventh Infantry manned Camp Corpus Christi and in 1852 it became the headquarters for General Persifor F. Smith until he moved his headquarters to San Antonio in 1855. There are no remains of Camp Corpus Christi.

Camp Marcy

General Zachary Taylor and his troops landed off San Jose Island near Aransas Pass on July 25, 1845 and there planted a U. S. flag on Texas soil for the first time. While waiting for the entire company of troops to land, Taylor selected a site for an encampment on a strip of the coast north of a settlement called Kenney's Ranch. The camp was strongly fortified with a surrounding wall that had slots cut for rifle firing and two cannons mounted for defense. The camp was called Camp Marcy. Artesian Park in Corpus Christi has a monument and marker to honor Zachary Taylor, otherwise there is no way to know that 3,000 troops once camped in what is now downtown.

Camp Nueces

Camp Nueces was established in 1842 in the Corpus Christi Bay area near another camp called Kenney's Fort. The two camps as well as nearby Camps Williams and Everitt were probably built in response to a fear in the 1830-40s that Mexico might invade Texas by the sea.


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