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Our History

Kingsville, Texas, was officially established in 1904, when the railroad came through town, but the history of this region goes back long before that time. The King Ranch, still a working cattle ranch, was founded in 1853, when Captain Richard King purchased land that was once part of the Rincon de Santa Gertrudis Mexican Land Grant. The land was originally called the Wild Horse Desert by early settlers. Captain King and his family, with the help of an entire village of people from Mexico, cleared and fenced the land, fought off raiding Indians and made the area safe for settlers. These same villagers became some of Texas’s first cowboys (the Kineños) and their descendants are a vital part of the community today.

In 1913, Texas legislators created the County of Kleberg, with Kingsville as the county seat. Shortly thereafter various events provided the impetus to further spur the growth of Kingsville: the discovery of gas and oil; the establishment of South Texas State Teacher’s College (now Texas A & M University – Kingsville); and the building of NAS-Kingsville, a premier flight training facility.

Kingsville still retains much of its early charm today as evidenced in the downtown area, designated as a Texas Main Street, with the 1904 train depot, Flato Opera House, Sims and Ragland Mercantile buildings and the 1930s post office and bandstand.

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Kingsville TX | Our History - Town Square Publications
contentsKingsville TX Chamberads

Our History

Kingsville, Texas, was officially established in 1904, when the railroad came through town, but the history of this region goes back long before that time. The King Ranch, still a working cattle ranch, was founded in 1853, when Captain Richard King purchased land that was once part of the Rincon de Santa Gertrudis Mexican Land Grant. The land was originally called the Wild Horse Desert by early settlers. Captain King and his family, with the help of an entire village of people from Mexico, cleared and fenced the land, fought off raiding Indians and made the area safe for settlers. These same villagers became some of Texas’s first cowboys (the Kineños) and their descendants are a vital part of the community today.

In 1913, Texas legislators created the County of Kleberg, with Kingsville as the county seat. Shortly thereafter various events provided the impetus to further spur the growth of Kingsville: the discovery of gas and oil; the establishment of South Texas State Teacher’s College (now Texas A & M University – Kingsville); and the building of NAS-Kingsville, a premier flight training facility.

Kingsville still retains much of its early charm today as evidenced in the downtown area, designated as a Texas Main Street, with the 1904 train depot, Flato Opera House, Sims and Ragland Mercantile buildings and the 1930s post office and bandstand.

previous topic
next topic
Town Square Publications