BEVERLY ANN CHIODO*
HE NUECES RIVER RISES IN THE EDWARDS PLATEAU, flows in a
southeastern course, and empties into the Gulf of Mexico.1
Throughout this area are located excavations of mounds
and sites which show evidence of prehistoric civilization.2 The
hill country was the home first of the Jumano Indians and later
the Lipan-Apache Indians.8
In 1629 a priest by the name of Salas and a group of soldiers
made up the first semi-permanent settlement of white men in the
general area. They failed to Christianize the Indians at that time.
When the Spaniards heard that gold and pearls were in abundance
in the area, they began to raid the Indians. Rio de las Perlas was
the old name of the river.4
Rine Robert Cavalier, Sieur de la Salle, the French explorer,
first discovered the Nueces River in 1686 when he made an expe-
dition through Texas. He named it the "River of Gold."
In 1689, Alonso De Le6n rediscovered the river and renamed
it "Nueces,"6 a Spanish word meaning nuts,e because of the
many pecan trees along the banks. "Nueces River" has remained
the name for almost two and one-half centuries. The canyon even
carries the name.?
*Each year the Junior Historian Writing Contest, sponsored by the Texas State
Historical Association, produces a first place paper and the winning author receives
a prize. It has been the custom to print the number one paper as the lead article
in the September issue of the Junior Historian. The 1961 winner, Beverly Ann
Chiodo, did such an excellent job of covering an area relatively untouched by his-
torians, however, that "Real County" is presented here for the benefit of both
senior and junior historians.
1Allan A. Stovall, Nueces Headwater Country (San Antonio, 1959), xi-xiv.
2Texas Almanac 1956-1957 (Dallas, 1955), 44-45.
5Stovall, Nueces Headwater Country, xi-xiv.
sByrde P. Hamilton, "Brief History of Real County, The Nueces Canyon and
Adjacent Country," Camp Wood Messenger, July 31, 1936.
OStovall, Nueces Headwater Country, xi-xiv.
7 Hamilton, "Brief History of Real County," Camp Wood Messenger, July 31, 1936.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 65, July 1961 - April, 1962. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101195/. Accessed December 20, 2014.