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Nueces County, Texas Gulf Coast
Hwy 77,
State Loop 428 & FM 70
8 miles N of Kingsville
31 miles SW of Corpus Christi
22 miles W of Chapman Ranch
Population: 3,305(2000) 3,337(1990)

Bishop, Texas Area Hotels:
Kingsville Hotels | Corpus Christi Hotels
Steamplows, Bishop Texas old photo
Steamplow in Bishop's earliest days
Photo courtesy Betty Sue Creech-Perry

History in Pecan Shell

Bishop was originally part of the Driscoll Ranch.

F. Z. Bishop, a businessman from Corpus Christi, bought acreage in 1910 and formed a town that he modestly named after himself.

Bishop was a planner and had electrical, telephone and sewage systems, paved streets, and sidewalks in place before the first lots were sold.

A hotel and several residences were erected, and a $16,000 store and office building was opened. In September 1910, when the first school opened in a three-room frame building, sixteen children were enrolled. Enrollment increased to sixty by the end of the term.

In 1923 bishop sold 30,000 bales of cotton - which brought in over $4,000,000.

In 1941, 3,000 pounds of grain to the acre earned Bishop the title "Grain Mart of the Coastal Bend."

The town reached 2,500 people in 1928 but The Great Depression reduced the population by more than half. By the mid-50s the population had increased to 4,000.

F. Z. Bishop is buried in the town that he developed.
Bishop, Texas palm lined street
Bishop street scene
TE Photo, 2001
TX - Bishop High School
Bishop High School
Photo courtesy Jo Ann Arnold
More Texas Schoolhouse
Bishop Gin and Ice Plant, Bishop Texas
Bishop Gin & Ice House
1910 postcard courtesy William Beauchamp.
More Cotton Gins
Hotel Bishop, Bishop, Texas
Hotel Bishop
Postcard courtesy Jo Ann Arnold
Hotel Bishop, Bishop, Texas
Hotel Bishop
Photo courtesy Betty Sue Creech-Perry
More Rooms with a Past
Steamplows, Bishop Texas old photo
Steamplow close-up
Photo courtesy Betty Sue Creech-Perry
F. Z. Bishop's Tombstone
Photo courtesy Jo Ann Arnold

The Search for Mr. Bishop's Grave

n our visit to Bishop in May of 2003 we found one of the remaining downtown buildings collapsed due to aged mortar. Our purpose for visiting was to see if we could find the grave of F. Z. Bishop. We spied two policemen in their cars - obviously exchanging vital information and / or crime-fighting techniques. We asked for directions and shortly we were on our way - with a police escort. This was a first. Even without a siren and only one patrol car; it was nice treatment. We pulled up to the first cemetery where we got to speak with officer (badge number 105) who asked if this was the right one.

It wasn't, but we took advantage of the situation and asked a few questions about the town of Bishop. Our suspicions were confirmed - Bishop is a quiet and well-behaved town. "Of course there's a few bad apples, he said, but we keep an eye on them." The officer hoped that we'd write something nice about Bishop and apologized that the mayor wasn't available.

When we asked if he was a native he admitted to being from Los Angeles. California, not Texas. After being discharged from the army at Fort Hood where he had served in the First Cavalry Division (participating in Operation Desert Storm) he was too late to attend police academy - which for some reason always seems to be in the fall. He applied where there was an opening - in Bishop - and he has adjusted well to the lack of excitement of LA and the Middle East.

We received good directions to the second cemetery, but it was locked when we arrived at 5:45. That was 15 minutes before the posted closing, but we figure we can overlook that since everyone in Bishop was nice and towns shouldn't be judged by early gatekeepers.

We're sure that if we had called ahead the cemetery would've been open - and who knows? Maybe the mayor would be there.

We thank Ms Jo Ann Arnold for submitting photo of F. Z. Bishop's tombstone. - Editor

Bishop TX - Hardware Store Front Ghost Sign
An old hardware store on Main Street
Photo courtesy Gary L. Oldham, December 2010
Bishop TX - Oils And Lubricants Ghost Sign
"Oils and Lubricants" on another old building on South Birch at Main
Photo courtesy Gary L. Oldham, December 2010
More Texas Ghost Signs

Bishop, Texas Forum

  • Subject: Old photos of Bishop
    Found these pictures you might like to add to your article. - Betty Sue Creech-Perry, March 09, 2006

  • I was interested in your short story about Bishop. We moved there in 1957 from California (my Dad was in the Navy stationed in Kingsville). There I lived till 1988 raising my kids in a town where "Everyone Knows Your Name", and kept a eye on everyone else's children. There is a teacher who made the Guiness Book of World Records for never missing a day of school. She retired after what seemed to some students as 100 years only to volunteer at the school. She taught at least three generations. Bishop produced doctors, lawyers, profession football and baseball players just to name a few. A small town, with a great school system - the Proud Bishop Badgers. The High School has a pictorial of all students graduating from the high school in the lobby for all to see. If you want to know more, the next time you're in town ask to speak to Dr. Lee (the local dentist or his wife). Or to talk with some of the "Old Timers" stop by the VFW. - Betty Sue Creech-Perry, Corpus Christi, Texas, March 01, 2006

  • I am looking for some distant relatives. My great grand mother andgrandfather moved to Bishop, Texas. John Henry Fuller Jr was my great grandfather's name and he was struck and killed by lightning in Bishop in 1952. I was told that my great grandmother moved to Las Vegas after Henrys death. If anyone could let me know if there are newspapers in Bishop from 1952, I would be most grateful. Thanks for your help. - Pam Fuller, Florida, December 06, 2004

  • I graduated from Bishop High School in 1971. My husband is a native. It was a wonderful place to grow up, even though I only spent the 4 years of high school and my first year of college. I went to nearby Texas A & I in Kingsville (now Texas A & M Kingsville). People still get riled about them changing the name.

    My graduating class had it's own quirk, in that 3 of our seniors who went on the senior trip that year, were the offspring of 3 couples who went on the senior trip 18 years before. The story goes that all three couples came back pregnant from that said senior trip of 1953. Ah, the joys of small town America!!!! - Andrea Slough Kubsch, June 16, 2003

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  • Bishop, Texas
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    Chapman Ranch
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