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Live OakCounty TX
Live Oak County

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Live Oak County first county seat

Live Oak County, South Texas

28 26' 57" N, 98 6' 7" W (28.449167, -98.101944)
I-37 and FM 1358
18 miles N of George West, present county seat
6 miles E of Three Rivers
28 miles W of Beeville
83 miles S of San Antonio on I-37
Population: 260 est.(2000, 1990)

Book Hotel Here
> George West Hotels
Oakville Tx
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011
See Live Oak County Jail Building in Oakville

History in a Pecan Shell

Oakville 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 in 1857.

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.
Oakville Texas marker, cactus and jail
"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 West". - Julia Dunks' Master's thesis. TE photo, 2002
Oakville Tx Former Post Office
Former Oakville Post Office, TX 78060
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011
Historical Marker:

Oakville Post Office

Irish immigrants 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 Oak County 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.
Oakville Tx Markers
Oakville Markers
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011
Oakville Tx Hinton Homestead
Hinton Homestead
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011
Oakville Tx Outhouse
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011
Oakville Tx Parking Meter
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011
Oakville Tx Police Car
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011
Oakville Tx Sign
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011
Oakville Tx Windmill
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011
See Windmills
Oakville Texas closed Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006
More Texas Churches
Oakville Tx - Van's BBQ
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, August 2011

E & L.P. Lawley General Merchandise (in Oakville?)
Click on photo for large image
1887 or 1888 photo courtesy The Malcolm Jacob Collection

"Above 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

Oakville (?) in 1887/1888
Click on photo for large image
Photo courtesy The Malcolm Jacob Collection

"Above 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, Texas Forum

  • Subject: 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 tree.

    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

  • Subject: Oakville jail building

    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 West.

    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

  • The photo 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
  • Live Oak County TX 1907 Postal Map
    Live Oak County 1907 Postal Map showing Oakville
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Take a road trip

    Oakville, Texas Nearby Towns:
    George West the county seat
    San Antonio | Corpus Christi | Beeville | Alice
    See Live Oak County | South Texas

    Book Hotel Here:
    George West Hotels | San Antonio Hotels | More Hotels
    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.







































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