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Victoria County Texas
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.
Photo by Billy Hathorn - Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5
CITIES, TOWNS, AND POPULATED PLACES
The county seat is Victoria
Bloomington * Inez * McFaddin * Mission Valley
Nurser * Placedo * Telferner
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Online Data Biographies Birth Records Cemeteries Census Church Records County Records Death Records Family Bibles and Records County History Marriage Records Military Records Miscellaneous Data Newspaper Gleanings Obituaries and Death Notices School Records Wills/Probate Records
June 2017: County Records: 1900 Fugitives from Justice
May 2017: History: 1914 County History
Feb 2017: Marriage News: KENNEDY, COOKE, WILDON, ADDIE
Oct 2016: Military: Vietnam War Casualties; Obits: HALEPESKA - Submitted by Maurene Richard Miller
Jun 2016: County Records: 1916 County Officers; Website updated and now all pages are mobile friendly
Jan 2016: County Records: 1888 County Officers
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