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 TX La Salle County location
La Salle County

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La Salle County Seat, South Texas

2826'3"N 9914'11"W (28.434144, -99.236343)

U.S. Interstate Hwy 35
27 miles N of Encinal
68 miles N of Laredo
81 miles SW of San Antonio
ZIP codes 78001, 78014
Area code 830
Population: 3,718 (2020)
3,603 (2010) 3,614 (2000) 3,694 (1990)

Book Hotel Here › Cotulla Hotels

Cotulla TX downtown
Downtown Cotulla is now designated as Cotulla Historic District
TE Photo, November 2001

Cotulla, Texas Topics:

  • History
  • Cotulla Landmarks & Attractions & Photo Gallery
  • Cotulla Cemetery
  • Cotulla Chronicles
  • La Salle County - towns, ghost towns, vintage maps... next page

  • TX - Cotulla Ranch Letterhead Engraving

    Cotulla Ranch Letterhead Engraving
    Courtesy GLO

    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.

    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 there 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.

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

    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.

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

    Cotulla, TX - Nueces River Bridge
    Cotulla Nueces River Bridge
    "Leaving the best camp of the hike"
    Click on image to enlarge
    Courtesy The Will Beauchamp Collection

    Cotulla, Texas Landmarks & Attractions

    Cotulla TX - Restored La Salle County Courthouse
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, January 2013
    La Salle County Courthouse

    Cotulla Texas Old Post card
    Cotulla old post card showing churches & courthouse
    TE archive

    Cotulla TX - Methodist  Church
    The Methodist Church in Cotulla
    TE Photo, November 2001
    More Texas Churches

    Cotulla TX - The Brush Country Museum
    The Brush Country Museum
    sponsored by the La Salle County Historical Commission.
    TE Photo, November 2001
    More Texas Museums | Texas Water Towers

    TX - Cotulla School

    The 1928 Cotulla School
    TE Photo, November 2001
    More Texas Schoolhouses

    Cotulla Cemetery
    Historical Marker: N side Rt. 648, E of 1435, at cemetery gate

    Cotulla Cemetery

    Land for this cemetery was first given by Joseph Cotulla, the town's founding father. The earliest marked grave is dated 1882. Numerous graves bear the date 1886, when smallpox struck La Salle County. Many community leaders, including Joseph Cotulla, and the Rev. V. E. Covey, early Texas educator, are buried here. The cemetery was originally divided into Mexican and Anglo-American sections. In 1941 six acres of land were added to the first site. Under the care of the Cotulla Cemetery Association since 1915, this is the chief burial ground in La Salle County.

    Cotulla TX - Jessie McMahon Grave Statue
    Jessie McMahon Grave Statue
    TE Photo, November 2001

    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.

    Cotulla TX - Janie McMahon Grave

    That's why they're called headstones
    The grave of Janie McMahon
    TE Photo, November 2001

    TX - Cotulla Cemetery Shaw tombstone
    Shaw grave site
    TE Photo, November 2001

    TX - Cotulla Cemetery - William Ferdinand Evans historical marker
    William Ferdinand Evans grave & historical marker
    TE Photo, November 2001

    TX - Cotulla Cemetery Elizabeth A. Gilmer tombstone
    Elizabeth A. Gilmer tombstone
    TE Photo, November 2001

    <table width="500" border="0" cellspacing="0" cellpadding="0" height="333" bgcolor="#CCCCCC">
    Hillje tombstone with cactus
    TE Photo, November 2001

    TX - Cotulla Cemetery tombstone with U.S. flag
    TE Photo, November 2001

    More Texas Cemeteries

    Cotulla, Texas 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 Flood

  • 1935 flooding of Nueces River
    1935 Flood scene of the Nueces River, Highway No. 2 south of Cotulla

    Cotulla TX - tractor
    TE Photo, November 2001

    La Salle, TX 1883 postmark
    La Salle, TX 1883 postmark
    Cover cancelled with La Salle, TX 1883 postmark
    Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection

    "La Salle - the temporary county seat just across the tracks from Cotulla to which lost the seat election in 1883 (that's why the post office shut down then). The first postmaster switched from La Salle to become the first postmaster at Cotulla. The person who wrote the letter used his stationery and scratched out the corner card. The La Salle PO was only in existence for slightly less than two years." - John J. Germann

    "A very old Cotulla postmark - a mere one year after its founding." - John J. Germann

    Cotulla, TX 1883 postmark
    Cotulla, TX 1883 postmark
    Cover cancelled with Cotulla, TX 1884 postmark
    Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection

    TX - Cotulla Welcome Sign

    TX - La Salle  County 1920s map
    La Salle County 1920s map showing Cotulla on the Nueces River and International-Great Northern Railroad
    From Texas state map #10749
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Take a road trip

    South Texas

    Cotulla, Texas Nearby Cities & Towns:
    San Antonio
    See La Salle County

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