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Victoria County is located in
southeastern Texas on the Coastal Plain
about midway between the southern and eastern extremities of
the Texas Gulf Coast. Victoria, the county's largest town, is the county
seat. There roads converge 120 miles from Houston, 102 miles from San
Antonio, 110 miles from Austin, and 75 miles from Corpus Christi; hence
the town's nickname, the "crossroads of South Texas." Victoria was
among the original twenty-three counties established by the First Congress
of the Republic of Texas on March 17, 1836. Its modern boundaries were
defined by the Texas legislature on March 31, 1846. Conflicting claims
between Victoria County and Lavaca, Jackson, and Calhoun counties were
settled in Victoria's favor on April 23, 1846, nineteen days after Calhoun
County was demarked primarily from the Victoria County coastal area.
Because Victoria lay on the important cart road from the port of Indianola
to San Antonio and New Braunfels, as well as on the old Goliad road from
east to west, the county was heavily traveled by traders and immigrants
and populated by many who found the area satisfactory. The German element
was particularly large and influential at Coletoville, Mission Valley, and
Victoria. Though there were several points at which travelers and traders
could cross the Guadalupe River, White's Ferry and Kemper's Bluff were the
most serious competition to Victoria as trade centers and embarkation
point. In 1840 the county commissioners approved rates "payable in good
money" for a municipal ferry across the river at Victoria to handle the
traffic. The first toll bridge erected across the river was also built at
Victoria by Richard Owens and Sylvester Sutton in February 1851. The move
for a free bridge began about 1885, and the river was spanned in February
1886 by King Iron and Bridge Company of Cleveland, Ohio. Also in 1886 a
ferry known as Bray's Ferry was established at the San Antonio River by G.
B. Amery and John Bray.
The Guadalupe River itself assumed economic
importance because of its navigability to Kemper's Bluff and Victoria, a
distance of about seventy-eight miles from its mouth. The legislature of
Coahuila and Texas approved a government-sponsored attempt at making the
river navigable in 1828 and again in 1833 and 1835, but the Texas
Revolution ended this effort. The Republic of Texas, however, passed
similar legislation, authorizing river improvements in 1840, as did the
Texas state legislature in 1853. By then several boats, such as the
William Penn, owned by
Jesse O. Wheeler, were making regular trips from Victoria to Saluria, a
port formerly on Matagorda Island about three miles across Matagorda Bay
from the site of present Port O'Connor. Although a committee chaired by
John J. Linn worked with the state legislature to clear the river in 1857,
river transportation waned with the completion of the San Antonio and
Mexican Gulf Railroad from Victoria to Port Lavaca in 1861 and was
interrupted from the Civil War to the 1880s.
The county seat is Victoria
Bloomington * Inez * McFaddin * Mission
Nurser * Placedo * Telferner
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Church Histories /
Bibles and Records
Website Updates:Jan 2014
J. Terry, P.
H. Terry, W.
Thomson, Thurmond, Tippett, Trahern,
Norman, Varnell, M.
Von Roeder, O.
Von Roeder, Wagner
Weisiger Jr, Dr.
J. Weisiger, R.
P. Weisiger, Weller, West,Wheeler,
States Soldiers interred in the Central District of Texas
during the Rebellion
History, Bios: De
Leon Family, A.
B. Leavitt, St.
George Lee, Louis
P. Leibold, Charles Agustus Leuschner, Abraham
Le Sage, August
Bernardo Lopez, Luder Family, C.
H. Maris, Esq., F.
R. McConnell, Captain
Mertz, Ragland Family, Phelps Family, John
W. Stayton, Whitehead -
H. Clark, Patrick
P. Jordan, William
Henry Kyle, Preston
R. Rose, William
B. Traylor, Winn
Traylor, David F. Williams, John Howland Wood, Tobe D. Wood,
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