|Replica of the
1872 San Patricio County Courthouse in San Patricio. The original
courthouse burned in 1889. This replica was constructed in 1985 by
the San Patricio Restoration Society.
Patricio County Courthouses
Photo and research by Terry
Jeanson, December 2006
a Pecan Shell
San Patricio was
an Irish settlement founded by empresarios James McGloin and John
McMullen in 1829. They had been granted permission to settle 200 Catholic
families which were mainly recruited from New York. First residents
were lodged at the old mission at Refugio
in the fall of 1829 before choosing a site on the Goliad to Laredo
Road where the Atascosito Road forded the Nueces River.
The move was completed by 1830 but conditions at the settlement were
extremely primitive. An official townsite four leagues square was
granted by Mexican Land commissioner José Antonio Saucedo in late
1831 and was declared Villa de San Patricio de Hibernia to
honor St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland. In 1834 the town dropped
the extra Spanish baggage and the town took on the simplified name
of San Patricio.
In 1836 the Matamoros Expedition led by Col. Francis W. Johnson began
to march on Mexico, but were met by Gen. José Urrea's troops and defeated
before they could get started. The dead from the battle of San Patricio
were interred in what is now known as "the Old Cemetery on the Hill."
Families fled the threat of future attack and retreated to Victoria,
leaving behind their livestock and property. The town became a ghost
town for the first time and remained as such until the arrival of
Gen. Zachary Taylor in 1845. Troops were stationed in San Patricio
and it slowly returned to normal.
San Patricio was designated the county seat by the Texas Legislature
on March 17, 1836. A post office was granted in 1848. The town was
on the Cotton Road and the valuable cotton trade and the open country
attracted bandits who gave the area an unsavory reputation. In the
1880s the town had a population of 200 which had doubled by 1890.
In 1876 two schools were established: St. Paul's Academy for boys
and St. Joseph's Convent for girls.
In 1894 Sinton was declared to be the
new county seat and San Patricio declined accordingly. The town was
disincorporated in 1901 and the town was virtually abandoned - becoming
a ghost for the second time.
In 1872 the City of Corpus
Christi was seeking to annex land on the Nueces River which included
the former town. This land-grab rallied area residents and they reincorporated
San Patricio in August of 1972. The fight rekindled interest in the
town's history and the San Patricio Restoration Society has since
built replicas of the towns early buildings - including the 1872 courthouse.
The population has declined in recent years from 369 in 1990 to 318
for the 2000 census.
San Patricio Area Hotels:
Old Courthouse site; FM 666, San Patricio
Founded in 1830
by John McMullen and James McGloin as the seat of their Irish colony
under an empressario contract dated August 17, 1828 which was fulfilled
by the empresarios 1830-1835. Named in honor of Saint Patrick the
Patron Saint of Ireland. As the frontier outpost of Texas when the
revolution began San Patricio 1835-1845 suffered all the miseries
of that conflict with no compensating returns. At and near San Patricio,
on February 27, 1836 general Jose Urrea's division of Santa Anna's
Army surprised and overwhelmed Johnson's Texan party of 35 men, 9
or 10 Texans were killed, 6 or 7 escaped and 20 were sent to Matamoros
as prisoners. After San Jacinto the town was destroyed and its inhabitants
In Memory of Rev. Henry Doyle, Rev. T.J. Molloy, Wm.
O'Docharty, Geo. O'Docharty, Walter Henry, Patrick Henry, John Hart,
Michael Haley, Mark Killalea, Wm. Hefferman, Oceola Archer, Lewis
Ayers, Catherine Hoye, Owen Gaffney, John Ross, Wm. Pugh early settlers
of San Patricio. John McMullen delegate to the consultation, 1835.
John Turner, John White Bower, signers of the Texas Declaration of
Independence. John McGloin, John Fadden, Dennis McGowan, Andrew M.
O'Boyle, Geo. Pettuck, Matthew Byrne, Patrick Nevin, Edward Garner,
Edward Ryan, Dennis Mahoney, Miles Andross, W.M. Quinn Soldiers in
Texas Revolution. San Patricio has contributed the following distinguished
citizens. Patrick O'Docharty, Susanna O'Docharty, Thomas O'Callaghan,
Patrick McGloin, Chris Sullivan, Rose K. Mahoney, John Ryan, Geo.
McCowan, Catherine Ryan, James McKeown, Patrick McMurray, Thomas Magowan,
Wm. P. Allen, Mary Ann Collins, Hubert Timon, David Odem, John Timon,
Andrew Jackson Brown, John Donahue, Mary E. McCloin, Margaret Hart
McFall, Patrick Brennan, Margaret Baldeschwiler, John Corrigan, Margaret
Q. James, Andrew Gerhardt, Matthew Kivlin, James Grover, Robert Weir,
Eliza A. Sullivan, J. Chrys Dougherty, Steve J. Lewis, Joe E. Sullivan,
Hugh Touhy, John Dee.
preceded death of a town by Delbert Trew
Chipita Rodriquez died on Friday, Nov. 13th, 1863. She is believed
to be the only woman ever legally hanged by the state of Texas. Though
guilty by circumstantial evidence only, her death seemed to place
a curse on the town of San Patricio, Texas, as it signaled the beginning
of the end of the small settlement...more
Ghost by Murray Montgomery
Cummings Master of the Long Loop by Linda-Kirkpatrick
Robert H. “Sarge” Cummings was known as a master of the long loop,
a cowboy term for rustler. This old coot was loved by all, except
for maybe the Texas Rangers. Children were ecstatic whenever he came
to visit a spell. Some would crawl under his chair just to spin the
rowels on his spurs as he spun tales of the wild west.
Sarge was born in Texas around 1852. His parents, Mary Elizabeth Torrence
and Lawrence Cummings, struggled to keep the family going in the small
Irish community of San Patricio, Texas... more
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