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VICTORIA, TEXAS

Victoria County Seat, Texas Gulf Coast

Highways 59, 77 and 87
28 miles SW of Cuero
80 miles SW of Houston
116 miles SE of San Antonio
25 miles NE of Port Lavaca
83 miles N of Corpus Christi
Population: 63,322 (2010) 60,603 (2000) 55,076 (1990)

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Downtown street scene in Victoria Texas
Downtown Victoria
TE Photo
History in a Pecan Shell

La 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 Guadalupe River in 1723. In 1726 the Mission and Presidio moved 8 miles further up the river where they remained until moving to La Bahia (Goliad) in 1749.

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.
The Civil War: Victoria was on one branch of the "Cotton Road" which went from Alleyton (Colorado County) to Brownsville. 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 Confederate service.

Noted sculptor Pompeo Coppini made an agreement with the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. If they would let him design the statue - it would be a more fitting tribute to the men who fought than any other Confederate statue in the state. They agreed and Coppini made this piece - the only one of its kind.
Firing Line statue by Pompeo Coppini in Victoria Texas
"Firing Line" c.1912 by Pompeo Coppini
in DeLeon Plaza

TE Photo. More Texas Statues

Victoria, Texas Landmarks / Attractions

Victoria County Courthouse, Victoria Texas
The recently restored 1892 Victoria County Courthouse.
TE Photo
Victoria County Courthouse
The current modern courthouse was completed in 1967.
The O'Donnel Building in Victoria Texas
The 1895 O'Connor-Proctor Building
TE Photo
Downtown 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.
John Welder Building in Victoria Texas
J. F. Welder Building
TE Photo, 2001
Victoria Texas J.E. Ryan 1910 downtown building
A downtown building "1910" date plate
TE Photo
More Pitted Dates
Victoria Tx St. Mary's Catholic Church
St. Mary's Catholic Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, Ausust 2003
More Texas Churches
Theatre  Victoria, Texas
Theatre Victoria
TE Photo, 2001
More Texas Theatres
The Federal Building in Victoria Texas
The Old Federal Building - 1912
TE Photo, 2001
Victoria Texas Anchor Lumber Yard
TE Photo
See Texas Architecture
Indianola Remnants by Mike Cox

Indianola, 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 or Cuero...

According to Dunnam [Gary Dunnam, director of Victoria Preservation, Inc.], the Indianola remnants in Victoria include:
  • The Beaumont-Steele house at 501 N. De Leon
  • The Crain-Fox house, a two-story white frame house with red and blue trim at 1601 N. Bridge St.
  • A two-story house at 404 E. Goodwin was formerly owned by the A.M. McFaddin estate.
  • The Dominick H. Regan house, a detailed Italianate structure at 507 S. De Leon
  • The Huck-Welder house at 307 E. Convent
  • more
    Indianola house moved to Victoria Texas
    The Beaumont-Steele house at 501 N. De Leon in Victoria
    Photo courtesy Mike Cox
    Indianola Remnants
    Sites of historical interest
  • Evergreen Cemetery: 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.
  • McNamara Historical Museum: 502 N. Liberty Street
  • Victoria Public Library: 302 N. Main Street
  • Victoria Hotels > Book Hotel Now


    Drives and Nearby Destinations
  • See Victoria County
  • Route 77, The Padre Road
  • Hwy 59 South to Goliad, or
  • Hwy 87 South to the coastal towns of Port LaVaca, Indianola, Seadrift, Port O'Conner, Point Comfort, Port Alto, Olivia, Palacios and Collegeport.
  • Also of interest in the vicinity is the small town of McFaddin - off of Hwy 59.
  • Victoria Hotels > Book Hotel Now

    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
    Phone: 361-573-5277
    Website: http://www.victexchamber.org/
  • Victoria, Texas Forum

  • Subject: Victoria, Texas, sounds like a nice place to live
    Dear Editor, 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

  • Richmond-Rosenberg 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 page.
  • " .... 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

    Victoria, Texas
    Area Destinations:

    Cuero
    Houston
    Port Lavaca
    Corpus Christi
    See Victoria County
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