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    COTULLA, TEXAS

    La Salle County Seat, South Texas
    Highway 35
    27 miles N of Encinal
    68 miles N of Laredo
    87 miles SW of San Antonio

    Population: 3,614 (2000)

    Book Hotel Here > Cotulla Hotels

    History in a Pecan Shell

    The town was named for Joseph Cotulla, a Polish immigrant from Panna Maria who gave land to the International-Great Northern Railroad in order to induce them to stop on his land. In 1882 the depot was built and Joseph sold lots in the new town he modestly named after himself.

    Cotulla welcome sign TE photo
    Downtown Cotulla TE Photo

     
    Cotulla Texas downtown street scene
      

    By 1883 the town had a post office, jail, hotel and various stores. That year - a county election declared Cotulla to be the county seat (over the rival town of La Salle), and by 1890 their were 1,000 Cotullans that read two weekly newspapers, went to two churches, drank in one saloon, and kept their money in one bank.

    Three sheriffs are said to have been killed in gunfights, although Sheriff Joseph Tumlinson (January 1893) may have been a suicide.

    The Methodist Church as it appears in 2001 TE Photo
    An old postcard of Cotulla TE Postcard Archives

    Church in Cotulla
     
    Cotulla Texas old post card
      

    In 1914 Cotulla had 1,800 citizens and most of the towns interests were in ranching cattle and sheep.

    An early Cotulla Business Letterhead
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office Archives and Documents Dept.

    Cotulla business letterhead
      

    In the prosperous 20s - new schools were built. When the Great Depression came to town Cotulla's population stood at over 3,000 and surprisingly stayed at that level through the 30s.

    Their first library was built in 1937 and in the early 80s Ida and Ben Alexander donated the Alexander Memorial Library.

    The 1931 La Salle County Courthouse >

    Cotulla Texas  1928 High School
     The 1928 High School
    TE Photo

    In 1941 Cotulla had over 3,600 people and in the 50's the local economy got a boost with the discovery of oil.

    The Brush Country Museum
    is sponsored by the La Salle County Historical Commission.

    Cotulla watertower and Brush Country Museum
     Museum and water tower
    TE Photo

    The Cotulla Cemetery is on the North side of town and contains the family plot for town founder Joseph Cotulla.

    Other notable headstones in the cemetery are an unusual life mask of a man in the Hispanic section and a statue erected to a young girl - probably from a prominent family.

    That's why they're called headstones
    The grave of Janie McMahon TE Photos
      
    Cotulla TX - Restored La Salle County Courthouse
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, January 2013
    La Salle County Courthouse

    Cotulla Chronicles:

  • Bloody Christmas by C. F. Eckhardt
    The Murder of LaSalle County Sheriff Charles B. McKinney
  • The Texas Onion
    "It's generally accepted that sweet onion production in Texas can be traced back to a single packet of seed from Bermuda being planted near Cotulla in 1898. ..." more
  • 1935 flooding of Nueces River
    1935 Flood scene of the Nueces River, Highway No. 2 south of Cotulla
    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.

    Related Topics:
    South Texas | Texas Towns | Vintage Photos | Texas
    Cotulla, Texas
    Area Towns:

    Encinal
    Laredo
    San Antonio

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