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Gonzales County TX
Gonzales County

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Gonzales County, Central Texas South

29° 20' 54" N, 97° 50' 34" W (29.348333, -97.842778)

SW of Gonzales the county seat
2 Miles N of Union Valley

Book Hotel Here › Gonzales Hotels
Albuquerque Texas and Union Valley Texas Historical Markers
Albuquerque and Union Valley historical markers
on private property
Photo courtesy Sarah Reveley, 2007
History in Pecan Shell

Located on the Clear Fork of Sandies Creek, Albuquerque was once believed to have been in Wilson County. The discrepancy was cleared by a survey in 1914.

The town was only two miles south of where Gonzales, Wilson, and Guadalupe counties joined. The Handbook of Texas suggests that the name was "probably" suggested by "South Texans who had fought in New Mexico under Henry H. Sibley."

Brothers-in-law Henry S. Hastings and Samuel McCracken from Mississippi are regarded as the town's first settlers. The town began in the early 1870s with official recognition coming with the opening of the post office in 1870. Thirteen short years later it was already fading into ghost-town status. The post office closed its doors briefly, reopened and then closed for good in 1883.

The fledgling town had the basic businesses to survive including a cotton gin, blacksmith, store, saloon and school, but with no railroad on the horizon, the odds were stacked against Albuquerque's survival.

It did have it's fifteen minutes of fame when John Wesley Hardin was involved in not one, but two killings.

Albuquerque's decline was attributed to the growth of nearby Union, Texas, aka Union Valley which was two miles south of Albuquerque. Eventually even the die-hard residents abandoned the town and by 1912 the town was totally deserted.
Albuquerque Texas Historical Marker
Albuquerque Historical Marker
Photo courtesy Sarah Reveley, 2007
Armadillo hole, Albuquerque Texas
Markers by an armadillo hole
"I have never seen an armadillo hole that big"

- Sarah Reveley, 2007

Hardin Shootings at Albuquerque

by Charley Eckhardt
30 Minutes of Fame

Albuquerque had it's fifteen minutes of fame (x 2) when famous gunfighter John Wesley Hardin killed a man there. While one source states the shooting was the first in the famous Sutton-Taylor (that left bodies from Columbus to Victoria and Indianola) and that Jack Helms was the victim, actually there were two shootings - both attended by JWH. Western Historian Charley Eckhard tells the story:

"[The first killing] was a Black State Policeman who was under orders to arrest Hardin and "not to treat him gentle." The order had been given by State Police Captain Jack Helms, "who had already been responsible for the murders of several of Hardin's kin." Actually, he shot two [State Police] but only killed one. That shooting took place in a general store on the site of Albuquerque in 1868. By 1873 the State Police had been disbanded. By that time even [Governor] E. J. Davis realized they were nothing but a band of crooks and murderers."

"Wes was born in 1853 (which would've made him 15 at the time of the incident). He went on a cattle drive with Manny Clements (whose name was Emanuel, not Manning or Mannen) that spring to get out of Texas for awhile after that [first] shooting."

The Second Shooting

"Actually, Wes didn't shoot Helms. He took credit for it after he went to prison to keep the record of a cousin, who was the actual shooter, clear. When they finally got Helms, Hardin held the town at bay with a sixshooter in each hand while his cousin chased Helms around and around a pot-bellied stove, shooting at him as they went. Believe me, Helms was no loss to the community. Albuquerque had been there a while in '68, but it did die for sure in '83, after it became obvious that it would never get a railroad."

- Charley Eckhardt, Seguin, Texas, May 09, 2006

Charley Eckhardt
Sequin Author and Western Historian Charley Eckhardt, who suggested Albuquerque's inclusion
TE Photo April 2006
John Wesley Hardin Related Stories:

  • The Killing of John Wesley Hardin by Murray Montgomery
  • The Bullet that Killed John Wesley Hardin by Mike Cox
  • Hardin’s East Texas Roots by Bob Bowman
  • The Hardin Brothers by Bob Bowman
  • Taking John Wesley Hardin's Advice by Mike Cox
  • John Wesley Hardin Slept Here by Mike Cox
  • A Couple of Alleged Incidents by Clay Coppedge
  • Hardin Shootings at Albuquerque, Texas by Charley Eckhardt
  • A Gunfight in Hemphill by Bob Bowman

    More Texas Outlaws »

  • Albuquerque, Texas Forum

    I read your story on Union Valley where it said the population was zero. However, at the time I was there, about ten years ago, there were still people living in the town. There may still be. It was not a large population, but still had a few. Nockenut is nothing but a cemetery now as is (I think) Mound Creek where John Wesley Hardin's wife Jane is buried. There is no longer a highway sign pointing the way to Mound Creek, Sweet Home in Guadalupe County or several other places. I guess that makes them officially ghosts. - Hilda Hilpert, October 31, 2007
    Gonzales County 1940s map showing Nixon,
    and Union (aka Union Valley) in Wilson County
    Albuquerque is 2 Miles N of Union Valley
    From Texas state map #4335
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Take a road trip

    Albuquerque, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Gonzales the county seat

    See Gonzales County | Wilson County | Guadalupe County
    Central Texas South

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