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 Texas : Towns A-Z / Hill Country :

NATALIA, TEXAS

Medina County, Texas Hill Country
Interstate 35
26 Miles SW of San Antonio
27 Miles SE of Hondo
17 Miles S of Castroville
Population 1,663 (2000)

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Natalia Tx Alamo
Photo courtesy Sarah Reveley, January 2010

History in a Pecan Shell

Natalia was named after Natalie Pearson, daughter of Fred Pearson, who was the man who began and championed irrigation in the area and was responsible for the building of the Medina Dam.

The town itself came into being in 1912 and was granted a post office the following year. Poor Natalie had her name misspelled on the application or her name was misspelled by postal authorities but it has remained Natalia over the years.

Tred Pearson and wife had the misfortune of being on the Lusitania when it was torpedoed in 1915. Without Pearson’s guiding hand, the Medina Irrigation Company was bankrupt and later reorganized as Medina Irrigated Farms in the early 1930s.

It was a bad time for investments of any type, but a bond issuance included a loan fund for buyers. Charles F. C. Ladd was the sales agent for the developers and it is his successful campaign that should be given credit for Natalia not becoming a ghost town.

As the Great Deprtession was winding down, Natalia ended up with a population of 400 – 250 more than “she” had in 1933. To utilize the irrigation, a canning plant was opened to can the produce. In full operation, the cannery employed a labor force of 500.

In 1950 Medina Irrigated Farms became a public utility under the cumbersome name of “Bexar-Medina-Atascosa Counties Water Control and Improvement District No. 1.” As for the cannery, it was sold in the mid 1970s and morfed into a carpet padding business. Growth over the years has been slow but steady and in the late 1980s Natalia had just over 1,500 residents. From the 1990 census count of 1,545, it has increased to 1,663 for the 2000 count.
Natalia Tx - Pinata and Alamo
“Remember the Alamo in Natalia and buy a Dallas Cowboys football pinata.” - Sarah Reveley, January 2010 photo
Natalia, Texas
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This page last modified: January 12, 2010