Seat, Texas Gulf
28° 49' 1" N, 96° 59' 36" W (28.816944, -96.993333)
Highways 59, 77
28 miles SW of Cuero
80 miles SW of Houston
116 miles SE of San
25 miles NE of Port Lavaca
83 miles N of Corpus
ZIP codes: 77901, 77902, 77903, 77904, 77905
Area code: 361
Population: 65,534 (2020)
62,592 (2010) 60,603 (2000) 55,076 (1990)
Book Hotel Here Victoria
|The 1849 Victoria
Photo courtesy Victoria County Archives
in a Pecan Shell
Salle built his Fort
St. Louis at the southern tip of present day Victoria
County in 1685. Victoria
County is the only county in Texas where all six flags flew. The
Spanish burned the fort in 1690 and thirty years later built the Presidio
La Bahia atop the site. The presidio and its accompanying Mission
Espiritu Santo de Zuniga were moved northwest on the banks of the
River in 1723. In 1726 the Mission and Presidio moved 8 miles
further up the river where they remained until moving to La Bahia
Victoria was founded in 1824 on a ford of the Guadalupe River. A historic
marker on Hwy 59 at the river marks the probable location.
Martin de Leon received a Mexican land grant in 1824 to bring 41 families
to a place on the Guadalupe
River known as Cypress Grove and started the town. His son-in-law
Placido Benavides led the Victoria Militia during the Texas Revolution.
Victoria was on one branch of the "Cotton Road" which went from Alleyton
The road was a major lifeline for the South - trading cotton
for arms and medicine through neutral Mexico.
The town was threatened with a Union invasion in 1863 and so the railroad
from Port Lavaca was destroyed.
Camp Henry E. McCulloch trained Infantry and Cavalry companies for
Landmarks / Attractions
restored 1892 Victoria County Courthouse.
TE Photo, 2001
|The 1895 O'Connor-Proctor
Victoria lends itself to exploration on weekends since traffic is
drawn off by a commercial strip of businesses on highway 77 North.
Highways 87, 59, and 77 cross in Victoria.
The O'Connor-Proctor Building sits on the corner NE of DeLeon Plaza.
The bandstand (circa 1875 rebuilt 1895) in the plaza was placed atop
the old standpipe's foundation
in 1922. The foundation is from the city's old standpipe water reservoir.
Just East of Victoria's downtown is Memorial Square, Victoria's
first public burial ground. A commemorative inscribed stone and and
original gatepost from the Welder Mansion were placed here years ago.
The John J. Welder Mansion (1895-1897) was located in the 700 Block
of North Main.
|J. F. Welder
TE Photo, 2001
|A downtown building
"1910" date plate
More Pitted Dates
|St. Mary's Catholic
100 W. Church St., Victoria
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1964.
Gibson, Ausust 2003
More Texas Churches
|The Old Federal
Building - 1912
TE Photo, 2001
100 N. Main St., Victoria
De Leon Plaza
"Plaza De la Constitucion" by Martin De Leon, the founder of
Victoria, this square was included as part of an early 1830s survey
of Victoria by Jose M. Carbajal, son-in-law of De Leon. Carbajal's
survey expanded on the founder's basic design for the city, which
followed the style of traditional Spanish municipalities. A water
well lined with brick was placed in the center of the square in 1850.
By 1872 a windmill stood over the well; twelve years later it was
replaced by a standpipe. Other improvements included a bandstand in
the 1870s, hitching racks in 1897; a Confederate memorial status,
"Last Stand" by Pompeo
Coppini, dedicated in 1912; and lamp standards in 1923. In that
year the standpipe was removed and the bandstand was relocated to
the center of the plaza. Sidewalks were added by the Public Works
Administration in the 1930s. Through the efforts of the United Daughters
of the Confederacy, the site was renamed De Leon Plaza as part
of a plaza beautification project in 1941. As a gathering place, summer
concert arena, exposition site, and town center, De Leon Plaza continues
to serve the people of Victoria as it has for generations. The plaza
stands as a reminder of the rich heritage of the city and its founder.
|1936 Texas Centennial
Marker: S. US 59 at Guadalupe River, Victoria
this vicinity on April 14, 1689 by Alonso de Leon. Named in honor
of "Our Lady of Guadalupe" patron saint of Mexico. Here at a ford,
used since Indian days, empresario Martin de Leon founded the town
of Victoria in 1824.
| Steamboat. "Moonlight
scene on the Guadalupe. A home run for Victoria, Head of Navigation."
Click on image to enlarge
of Historical Interest
1800 North Vine Street
Established in the 1850s - some of the graves were moved here after
being exhumed from Memorial Square in downtown. Martin de Leon died
in 1833 of Cholera and his gravesite is not known. Other de Leon
family members are interred here.
Museum: 502 N. Liberty Street
Library: 302 N. Main Street
Evergreen Cemetery, Victoria
TE Photo, May 2002
N. Vine St., Victoria
Cemetery of Victoria
The first community
cemetery in Victoria, located at present day Memorial Square, was
unpopular with local citizens. They preferred home burial despite
an 1846 city ordinance prohobiting the practice. In 1849 John McCrabb
bought 27 acres of a tract granted to the city by the Republic
of Texas. The property already contained the gravesite of Dr.
Walter Fosgate, who died in 1848. During the 1850s, part of McCrabb's
land became the new public cemetery. Following the Civil War (1861-65),
many graves were moved here from the original city cemetery. Other
reinterments occurred when old St. Mary's Catholic Church was razed
Because of city neglect, local women organized the Victoria Ladies'
Cemetery Association in 1876 and took over care of the plot. The name
"Evergreen Cemetery" was chosen in 1883 because of abundant trees
in the area. The Evergreen Cemetery Endowment Association was established
in 1912 to manage investment of maintenance funds. Over the years,
further land acquistion has enlarged the site to 30 acres. Among the
9,000 graves here are those of Martin de Leon (1765-1833), early empresario
and founder of Victoria; and veterans of the Texas Revolution, Mexican
War, and Civil War.
H. Regan house, 507 S. De Leon, Victoria
Photo courtesy Gary Dunnam, Victoria Preservation, Inc.
Remnants by Mike Cox
once the “Queen City of the West,” recovered from a killer hurricane
in 1875 but it did not survive a second devastating storm in 1886.
Modern day visitors find few remnants of the once prosperous Calhoun
County seaport, but they’re looking in the wrong place. If you want
to see some of Indianola’s stately Victorian houses, just go to Victoria
According to Dunnam [Gary Dunnam, director of Victoria Preservation,
Inc.], the Indianola remnants in Victoria include:
house at 501 N. De Leon
house, a two-story white frame house with red and blue trim at 1601
N. Bridge St.
house at 404 E. Goodwin was formerly owned by the A.M. McFaddin
H. Regan house, a detailed Italianate structure at 507 S. De Leon
house at 307 E. Convent
900 E. Santa Rosa, Victoria
Railroad Depot, Site of
The coming of
the railroad to Victoria was an important part of the town's economic
and social history. Although the first line reached Victoria by 1860,
the railroad's major impact came after the end of the Civil War. In
1882, the proposed New York, Texas & Mexican Railroad completed a
stretch of track from Rosenberg
to Victoria and established its line headquarters here. Three years
later it was sold to the Southern Pacific Railroad Company. Southern
Pacific built a depot at this site in 1888-89 to serve arriving and
departing passengers and to house its headquarters. Later, Victoria
served as division headquarters for the Galveston, Harrisburg & San
The two-story depot had a baggage room, waiting rooms, and ticket
offices on its first floor, with the divisions' general offices and
the dispatcher housed on the second floor. It often served as a gathering
place for community social functions.
The last passenger train left Victoria in 1953, but the depot remained
in use for various purposes until 1979. Although the depot burned
in 1984, its history is a reminder of the railroad's importance as
a vital part of the economic and physical growth of Victoria.
(1986) Texas Sesquisentennial 1836-1986
Drives and Nearby Destinations
77, The Padre Road
Hwy 59 South
Hwy 87 South
to the coastal towns of Port
Comfort, Port Alto,
Also of interest
in the vicinity is the small town of McFaddin
- off of Hwy 59.
Victoria Tourist Information is provided by
the Victoria Visitor Center Mailing Address: P. O. Box 2488, Victoria,
Texas 77902 Location: 700 Main Center, Suite 102, Victoria, Texas
77901 Phone: 361-582-4285 1-800-926-5774 Website: www.victoriatexasinfo.com
Victoria Chamber of Commerce
Mailing Address: PO Box 2465, Victoria TX 77902
Location: 700 S. Main Suite 101,Victoria TX 77902
Hotels Book Here
Victoria, Texas, sounds like a nice place to live
I recently received a letter from a woman who lives in Victoria,
Texas. She wanted to buy some geology and earth science supplies
to donate to students and teachers at Vickers Elementary School
science lab. And she referred to herself as an "old granny rockhound."
Now this is not the first time we have had someone buy earth science
supplies to donate to a school. And I am not even going to suggest
the expected, such as, "isn't it a sad day in America when schools
don't have the supplies they need to teach?" Indeed, sometimes maybe
it is a good thing that we don't always have everything we need.
Because we have to stop and think a little about what is important
and then we have to figure out how to get it. Or it allows us to
run into nice people like Evelyn Willmon who will dig deep not so
much into their own pockets (although that is a part of it, too),
as they will dig into their hearts and give a piece of themselves
to their community.
I cannot share Evelyn's correspondence here. But her few words touched
me enough to look up Victoria, Texas, on the internet and see if
it was anywhere near Austin where I graduated from the the great
University of Texas and even worked for the great State of Texas
for awhile. Not too near. But it looks like a beautiful city. A
city with history.
It truly is the many, many individuals like Evelyn who give of themselves
in this way, without fanfare, and without benefit of an organized
charity or volunteer group, that make the difference in not just
our country, but in our world. (That is not meant as a slight on
organized philanthropic organizations who indeed also help to contribute
to the civil and public spheres.) But the generosity of heart that
Evelyn represents is the reason I was inspired to write.
I hope you read this, Evelyn. And hello to all the students at Vickers
Elementary. We are sending some extra crystallized specimens from
a gold mine in Nevada, courtesy of Barrick Gold Corporation who
allows us to recover them for teachers and students like you. Have
fun with your rocks! Best regards - Jane Jones, Geoprime Minerals,
www.geoprime.com Hesperia, California, August 19, 2004
and Victoria, Texas
While surfing the net gathering info for a newspaper article I'm
writing, I happened upon your website. Though I located one of the
cities my chamber represents, Richmond,
on your site, I noticed that Rosenberg
is not described. Can you let me know what do you need in order
to incorporate an additional community? What sort of photos are
you interested in?
I also enjoyed the photos of Victoria -- My children (now grown)
are 6th generation Victorians, and we have only lived in the Houston
area/Fort Bend County for 3 years, so I'll always think of Victoria
as "home". My near-80 year old mother still lives there, so thankfully
it's a quick drive! - Gail Parker, President/CEO Rosenberg-Richmond
Area Chamber of Commerce, June 14 2004
We thank Mr.
Gary Dunnam, Executive Director Victoria Preservation Inc. for corrections
and additional information which have been included into the Victoria
We are so happy to be included in Texas Escapes. Victoria is a great
old town with many beautiful homes and buildings. There is a self
guided driving tour of the historic district which begins at De
Leon Plaza. Driving Tour booklets are available at the chamber of
commerce. Group tours are available through Victoria Preservation
Inc., a local non-profit organization. Thanks!" - Gary Dunnam,
Executive Director Victoria Preservation Inc., October 17, 2003
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact