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OAKVILLE, TEXAS

Live Oak County, South Texas
I-37 and FM 1358
6 miles E of Three Rivers
28 miles W of Beeville
18 miles N of George West
83 miles S of San Antonio on I-37

Population: 260 est.(2000)

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Oakville Texas marker, cactus and jail
"The Oakville jail was built in 1887 of native sandstone, building served as the Live Oak County jail until 1919 when the county seat was moved to George West". - Julia Dunks' Master's thesis. TE photo, 2002
History in a Pecan Shell

Oakville was the first post office in Live Oak County. The year was 1857. The town had been a stage stop on the San Antonio - Corpus Christi stage line. It was also the first county seat, and the first bank in Live Oak County was opened there.

The town was a notorious and dangerous place during the Civil War. It took Texas Ranger Captain McNelley to clean up the lawless element in the 1870s.

The town throve until it was bypassed by the railroad. George West (the man George West) built a new courthouse to replace the existing (1880) structure in the town that he modestly named after himself. The Oakville courthouse had been constructed in 1857.

Today, a post office (a rural branch of the Three Rivers Post Office) and a couple of gas stations provide about the only businesses in Oakville. It does, however, have a marked exit from Interstate 37.

See Live Oak County Jail Building in Oakville
Oakville Texas closed Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006
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Oakville Texas Forum

  • Subject: Oakville Courthouse (and hanging tree?)
    Regarding the old courthouse in Oakwood, I grew up with the Hinton boys and they told me about their grandfather being the judge and hanging criminals from the big oak tree. I remember seeing the tree when I was young. I think there is more to this story. - Stephen Allen, Round Rock, Texas, October 30, 2006


  • My dad was born and raised in Oakville (born in 1935). As a child living there I remember the Rosebrock's that lived in the jailhouse. It is also rumoured that the big oak tree on the lot is the old hanging tree.

    I really wish the state could restore the place for future Texans. It deserves a place in our history. Thanks for the Site - Kim Harrod Ratliff, October 16, 2004

  • Subject: Oakville jail building

    Julia Dunks recently did a Master's thesis on this jail building in Oakville. She is an architectural graduate student at UT-San Antonio. (It is not the courthouse, which was torn down about 1941.) She said: The Oakville jail was built in 1887 of native sandstone, building served as the Live Oak County jail until 1919 when the county seat was moved to George West.

    In 1937 the late Slim Rosebrock paid the county $1000 for the courthouse and jail. Because of the poor condition of the courthouse, it was demolished. - Mary R. Johnson, Museum Director of Live Oak County, September 11, 2003

  • My father knows this building. It's the old jail house. Then it was a home to a family once the jail was closed. - Penny Kerr, January 11, 2002

  • The photo you have ... is the old courthouse. In the old days it had a wooden gallery across one side which was later torn or rotted away. There is a photo of it from the late l800's with this gallery in place in THE PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF LIVEOAK COUNTY and probably other books as well. My great grandfather signed up for the Confederate Cavalry at this courthouse in l861. - Jim Richards, December 30, 2001


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