a Pecan Shell
was the first post office in Live
Oak County. The year was 1857. The town had been a stage stop
on the San Antonio - Corpus Christi stage line. It was also the first
county seat, and the first bank in Live
Oak County was opened there.
The town was a notorious and dangerous place during the Civil War.
It took Texas Ranger Captain McNelley to clean up the lawless element
in the 1870s.
The town throve until it was bypassed by the railroad.
George West (the man George
West) built a new courthouse
to replace the existing (1880) structure in the town that he modestly
named after himself. The Oakville courthouse had been constructed
Today, a post office (a rural branch of the Three
Rivers Post Office) and a couple of gas
stations provide about the only businesses in Oakville. It does, however,
have a marked exit from Interstate 37.
Post Office, TX 78060
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, August 2011
settled this area as part of the John McMullen and James McGloin Mexican
land grant. Located on the sulphur tributary of the Nueces River,
this site was known as "on the sulphur". Live
was organized in 1856 and "Oakville" was named county seat.
Thomas Wilson gave 640 acres for the townsite stipulating that separate
square be marked as public, graveyard, church, and school squares.
Oakville grew as stores, two hotels, a livery stable, a school, and
two churches were established.
The Oakville post office was established May 11, 1857, with Joshua
Hinton as the first postmaster. The mail came four times a week on
stagecoaches traveling from San
Antonio to Corpus
Christi and on to Brownsville.
By 1879 the San Antonio-Corpus Christi stage left both ends of the
line six days a week. Stage travel became less popular with the arrival
of the railroad. When the San Antonio, Uvalde & Gulf railroad bypassed
Oakville in 1913, the town began to decline.
The county seat was relocated in 1919 at George
West. In 1966 the Oakville Post Office was designated as a rural
branch of the Three Rivers
Post Office and continues to serve the community.
photo shows several buildings along a dirt road. The name of the
first store is E & L.P. Lawley General Merchandise, and the word
"fudge" is written on the side next to a faded finger... I found
the name "Lawley" several times in the records of Oakville in Live
Oak County. The two brothers held several positions over the years,
including editors of the Oakville Tribune. L.P. might have graduated
from Texas A&M and also served as postmaster for a time. E. fought
in the Civil War. The family came from Alabama. (I'm assuming this
is Elisha F Lawley and Leonard Peter Lawley.)" - Malcolm
Jacob, February 09, 2019
photo shows a two-storied building with six pairs of pillars, next
to an old windmill. I think it might be the old Oakville courthouse,
but am not 100% sure. In my photo album it comes immediately after
the general merchandise store, which is why I believe the two were
taken in Oakville. You will have
to confirm this. Apparently this was a rough town for a time, and
the nearby jail is famous even to
this day." - Malcolm
Jacob, February 09, 2019
Oakville Courthouse (and hanging tree?)
Regarding the old courthouse in Oakwood, I grew up with the Hinton
boys and they told me about their grandfather being the judge and
hanging criminals from the big oak tree. I remember seeing the tree
when I was young. I think there is more to this story. - Stephen
Allen, Round Rock, Texas, October 30, 2006
My dad was
born and raised in Oakville (born in 1935). As a child living there
I remember the Rosebrock's that lived in the jailhouse. It is also
rumoured that the big oak tree on the lot is the old hanging
I really wish the state could restore the place for future Texans.
It deserves a place in our history. Thanks for the Site - Kim Harrod
Ratliff, October 16, 2004
Julia Dunks recently did a Master's thesis on this jail building
in Oakville. She is an architectural graduate student at UT-San
Antonio. (It is not the courthouse, which was torn down about 1941.)
She said: The Oakville jail was built in 1887 of native sandstone,
building served as the Live Oak County jail until 1919 when the
county seat was moved to George
In 1937 the late Slim Rosebrock paid the county $1000 for the courthouse
and jail. Because of the poor condition of the courthouse, it was
demolished. - Mary R. Johnson, Museum Director of Live Oak County,
September 11, 2003
My father knows
this building. It's the old jail house. Then it was a home to a
family once the jail was closed. - Penny Kerr, January 11, 2002
you have ... is the old courthouse. In the old days it had a wooden
gallery across one side which was later torn or rotted away. There
is a photo of it from the late l800's with this gallery in place
in THE PEOPLE'S HISTORY OF LIVEOAK COUNTY and probably other books
as well. My great grandfather signed up for the Confederate Cavalry
at this courthouse in 1861. - Jim Richards, December 30, 2001
Oak County 1907 Postal Map showing Oakville
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
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