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Karnes  County
Karnes County

KARNES CITY, TEXAS

Karnes County Seat, South Texas

2853'N 9754'W (28.8882, -97.9013)
Highways 181, 80 and 123
4 miles N of Kenedy
38 miles NW of Goliad
93 miles N of Corpus Christi
54 miles SE of San Antonio
Population: 3070 (2010) 3457 (2010)

Karnes City Area Hotels > Kenedy Hotels
Karnes City Texas Saturday morning street scene
Saturday morning in Karnes City
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, 2009

History in a Pecan Shell

In December 1890, a group of Cuero businessmen bought 1,000 acres alongside the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad to be the next county seat. Originally named Karnes, after Texas patriot Henry Wax Karnes, "City" was added by postal authorities when the post office opened in 1891. In 1892 an auction was held and the railroad built a spur to facilitate the unloading of lumber for new homes and businesses.

An election was held in December 21, 1893 to determine whether Runge, Kenedy, Helena or Karnes City would be the seat of government. In January 1894 records were moved from Helena to Karnes City. A new courthouse and jail were built and on May 25, 1894, a prisoner was hanged on the new courthouse lawn, five months before the courthouse was dedicated.

See Karnes County Courthouse

The first newspaper began publishing in 1891 and the first school in Karnes City opened in October of that year. The building was used for classes, public dances and church services on Sunday. The Karnes City Independent School District was organized on May 24, 1894. In 1925 a new high school was built and a library was built in 1972.

Population in various years:
1900: 600
1920: 787
1940: 1,571
1960: 2,603
1980: 3,296
1990: 2,916
Karnes City Texas historical marker
Karnes City Historical Marker
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, 2009
Historical Marker:

Karnes City

Seat of Karnes County; was founded in Christmas season, 1890, when a partnership headed by Otto Buchel bought 1,000 acres of land from J. L. Calvert for $5 an acre. The tract was near the geographic center of the county and adjoined the right-of-way of the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad.

The young town was first named Karnes in honor of Henry W. Karnes (1812-1840), Texas Ranger hero. Although a small, mild-mannered man, Karnes was conspicuous for his cool courage in battle. Red-headed, he was once beseiged by a group of Comanche women who attempted to wash the "berry juice" out of his hair.

When the first Karnes post office was established April 1, 1891, "City" was added to the name. The new town grew so fast that within three years citizens petitioned for an election to remove the county seat from Helena to Karnes City. The voters favored Karnes City two-to-one and the move was made January, 1894.

Having grown steadily since 1891, Karnes City has had seven newspapers, four banks, and many businesses. During the railroad boom, when a train was the most exciting way to travel, six passenger trains per day came through town. The economy of the area has been based on ranching, farming, uranium, oil, and gas.
1967
Karnes City, Texas Landmarks / Attractions
Photo Gallery
Karnes County courthouse, Karnes City Texas
Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, August, 2007
Karnes County Courthouse
Karnes City Texas street scene
Looking East from the Courthouse
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, 2009
Karnes City Texas 1909 Karnes Mercantile Co
Karnes City 1909 business building
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, 2009
Karnes City Texas 1910 Tobin Bros
Karnes City 1910 business building
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, 2009
More Pitted Dates | Texas Towns
Karnes City Texas city limit  Population
Karnes City City Limit
Photo courtesy William Beauchamp, 2009
Karnes City, Texas water towers

The two water towers of Karnes City
TE Photo 8-03

The Karnes City City Hall
1939 photo Courtesy TXDoT
Karnes City City Hall

Subject: Karnes City Fire in 1910

"I have attached a photo that I found on a post card that says Karnes City Tex. Oct 28. 1910. I was curious what building was recorded to have burned down on that date?" - Bill Vickers, April 30, 2017
TX - Karnes City Oct 28, 1910 fire
Karnes City Oct 28, 1910 fire
Photo courtesy Bill Vickers

Karnes City, Texas Area Towns:
Kenedy | Goliad | Corpus Christi | San Antonio
See Karnes County | South Texas

Book Hotel Here:
Kenedy Hotels | San Antonio Hotels | More Hotels
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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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