of the Potato Fest" Frio
County Seat, South
I-35 and FM 140
50 miles SE of Uvalde
54 miles SW of San Antonio
41 miles W of Pleasanton
Population: 9,355 (1990) 7,426 (2000)
Peasall History in a Pecan ShellThe
town's name was taken from the vice president of the International-Great Northern
Railroad Thomas W. Pearsall.
between Frio Town and Pleasanton
in the 1870s stopped for water at a place called Wagner's Well. The International-Great
Northern Railroad bought the land around the well and in February of 1882 the
railroad platted the town of Pearsall.
As in many other Texas towns,
one formerly prosperous town (in this case the county seat of Frio
Town) abandoned their homes (and courthouse) to move closer to the railroad
tracks and a connection with the rest of the world.
came from San Antonio
to entice people to buy lots in the new town. Two years after being platted, Pearsall
had 700 people and had been declared the new county seat.
They also had
a school, churches and weekly newspaper known as the Pearsall News.
A fire burned much of downtown, but in 1890 there were 1,000 Pearsallians.
In 1907 the Frio Cotton Oil Company was founded and also the Pearsall
Artesian Well Company, which provided the town with electricity.
bank was opened in 1908 and the city incorporated in 1909.
In 1914 Pearsall's
population had climbed to 2,000 and amenities included several newspapers, stores,
and the 500-seat Laurel Opera House.
In 1936 Pearsall's population was
Oil was discovered in the 1930s, so the town didn't fare as poorly
as other places. Most of Pearsall's roads were paved in 1947.
Pearsall had an estimated population of 6,450. In the early 1990s the town had
something of an oil boom.
County Jail Museum
- Housed in the Old Frio County Jail c. 1884, the oldest building in Pearsall.
"Birdhouse" picture in Pearsall
Hi, Sarah, Thanks for the pictures of things
in Pearsall that you submitted to TexasEscapes. However, I think I must tell you
that the "birdhouse" is not a birdhouse at all, although it seems to be very attractive
to birds. In reality, it is a siren that was formerly used to summon volunteer
firemen to the fire station. It was also used to warn residents of Pearsall about
impending severe weather events or even air-raids (during World
By the way, the People's State Bank building is now
home to Garcia's Restaurant instead of the Cactus Bowl. A bar and gaming room
is on the second floor. It seems to be very popular with the multitude of oil-field
workers and residents of the area.
I enjoyed your website. Thanks again.
- George C. Toalson, December 05, 2011
Subject: People's State
"The [top] photo shows the People's State Bank and, on the second
floor, the Laurel Opera House. Unfortunately, I have no information about the
occasion surrounding this gathering of the townsfolk, nor of its date, although
I believe it to be about 1920. In later years a third floor was added to this
building, and it eventually housed the A & C Hardware store. Today (April 2006)
it is home to the Cactus Bowl Cafe, which moved from its former location at the
corner of North Oak and Rio Grande streets in 2005." - George C. Toalson,
April 28, 2006.
Hotels > Pearsall
|"Sal And Lillie
Armstrong on Frio County Ranch near Pearsall in 1906 (year they left for Big
- Photo courtesy Bill Armstrong|
TE photo, July 2001
County TX 1907 Postal Map showing Moore|
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
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