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 Texas : Texas Towns / South Texas :

NELL, TEXAS

Live Oak County, South Texas
FM 882
17 Miles NE of Three Rivers
About 5 Miles NW of Pawnee
Population: 60 (estimated 2000)

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Nell TX FM 882 Highway Scene
FM 882
Photo courtesy Will Beauchamp, 2009
History in a Pecan Shell

It’s unclear exactly when Nell was established, but it’s been narrowed down to “between 1910 and 1930.” That is when the land was subdivided into lots. In the mid 1930s the town reportedly had three businesses and a school. By the mid 1960s nearly everything had shut down, including the school.

Photographer’s Notes:
If you look at a county map you will think the community of Nell insisted on being in Live Oak County as the northern boundry ells at the northern tip to keep Nell away from nearby Bee and Karnes Counties. This ranching community is a quiet place now with a handful of residences. The local tavern / pool hall was the last remaining business and now even that is silent. A local resident who works in Three Rivers told me there’s a famous cookie company in the community that ships worldwide. I wish I could have found it when I was passing through. - Will Beauchamp, May, 2009
Nell TX Blooming Cactus
Cactus blooms in Nell
Photo courtesy Will Beauchamp, 2009
Nell TX Cemetery
Nell Cemetery. Photo courtesy Will Beauchamp, 2009
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Panthers in the Moonlight

One of my favorite hunting stories I like to tell is my “Big Cat Call” which took place in Nell.  In the early 1980's a hunting friend of mine asked me to come over and pick him up to do some hunting. He lived across from the pool hall in Nell, so after a couple of games of pool we went south of town a short distance and set up in a field about 30 yards from a brushy draw or shallow creek bottom.  It was a crystal clear night and so still you could hear someone talking half-a-mile away.  I started using my rabbit-in-distress hand call and after just a minute or so we heard exactly what had been described to me by my grandmother: a lady screaming at the top of her voice!  Believe me, it will certainly make the hair stand up on the back of your neck.  The scream was so close that it echoed down the creek bottom. 

My grandmother’s description of the panther screams she heard growing up in the country – I finally heard for myself. The big cat didn’t scream again, but we could hear it walking in the leaves under the oak trees.  We spotlighted the creek with no results as the cat would never look into the red beam of the spotlight. After a couple of minutes I'm sure the big cat was too smart for us and moved on.  My friend moved away from Nell a couple years thereafter, but whenever we visit we recall the scream we will always remember. -  Will Beauchamp

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This page last modified: May 12, 2009