"Lodi was located right on the southwest edge of present day
Floresville on Trial Drive/CR
536. The railroad used to pass right through it. Apparently the settlement
of Lodi shared the Floresville Depot as the historical
marker is directly across the road from the depot." - Barclay
in a Pecan Shell
Lodi has the distinction
of being the first inhabited part of Wilson
County. Sometime before 1832, Don Francisco Flores de Abrego built
his expansive home here which became a full-fledged community in time.
A post office was granted in 1858. It did serve as the Wilson
County seat of government in 1867 but lost the status to Sutherland
Springs. It regained the title briefly - losing it for a second
time. This time it was to newly formed Floresville
- a stop on the SAAP (San Antonio and Aransas Pass) railroad.
The Lodi post office closed in 1872 - yielding to the larger facility
in Floresville. A school was open
and operating in the mid 1890s with a respectable enrollment of 154,
but after 1900 it entered into a fatal tailspin and only ruins were
left by the end of the Great Depression.
The town, despite its former status, was too close to Floresville
to prosper on its own. Don Francisco's hacienda was a ruin by 1940
- but his name lives on in Floresville's
name. The history is remembered by a marker erected in 1971.
FM 536 & Goliad Road
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, February 2011
of Old Town
Community in an
area known by 1720 as land of the Cayopines, a Coahuiltecan Indian
tribe. The site was important to Spanish
missions of San Antonio, since here along the river their herds
were pastured. For the herdsmen, adobe huts were built. After the
Apache Indians began to raid the area in 1731, the herdsmen took refuge
across the river within the stronger walls of the Mission Cabras.
The Pena brothers had Rancho San Eldifonzo Del Chayopin here from
1756 to 1787, and a nephew applied for title when mission lands were
secularized in 1794. However, award was made to Simon and Juan Arocha.
Their neighbors (descended from Canary Island colonists of 1731) included
Jose Maria Flores and Erasmus Seguin.
Stephen T. Cook settled here in 1858, putting in a store and securing
office of postmaster. He may have named Lodi for a town in Mississippi,
his old home state. Wilson
County was organized in an election held Feb. 13, 1860. Samuel
W. Barker (husband of local aristocrat Josefa Flores) became the first
sheriff of the new county. Improved roads were built here.
After the Civil War, Wilson
County voters on Dec. 8, 1867, designated Lodi county seat--an
honor lost to Floresville in 1872.
Area then reverted to ranching.
Ferry Historical Marker
Peach Street and Goliad Road
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, February 2011
Site of LODI FERRY
of this area dates to the early 18th century with the establishment
of missions in
San Antonio, and missions herdsmen used this area as grazing land
for livestock. Until the late 19th century, traveleres in this county
crossed the San Antonio River at natural fords, with no bridges or
other means to traverse the stream. In 1871, the Wilson County Commissioners
Court declared the need for a ferry and decided to grant any potential
ferryman a waiver of licensing fees for the first five years, as well
as the ability to charge the highest fee allowable by state law.
Nemencio de la Zerda, II owned land along the river near the mouth
of Chiver Creek. He started a ferry operation on the east bank of
the river at the community of Lodi, about one mile north of Floresville's
center. De la Zerda, a Confederate veteran and area native, was active
in his community, serving as Lodi's justice of the peace, as well
as county sheriff and tax collector. Family tradition holds that near
his boat he hung a bell that travelers would ring when they wanted
to cross. The community of Lodi developed along the Old San Antonio-La
Bahia Road, which brought a steady flow of commerce to the area, and
the ferry provided a way for traders to haul their wares across the
The de la Zerda family sold the ferry business in 1877 to W.W. Payne,
and it later passed to Vicente J. Carvajal. In 1886, the county built
a free bridge nearby across the river, and over time, travelers ceased
using the ferry that had once provided local residents and travelers
vital transportation access.
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact