entry, p. 25) Historical Sketch
paper in the county, the Cuero Star. On the first day's subscriptions
he raised more than $1,300. Nash Institute, which later became Guadalupe
Academy, was also opened in Cuero in 1873. 59 Thus it may be seen that
the period of Reconstruction was, in De Witt County, as great a period of
progress as any she had previously known.
With its establishment as the terminus of the county's only railroad,
Cuero grew by leaps and bounds, and for a time had the reputation
of being one of Texas' wildest frontier towns. Descriptions of the little
town before "law and order" came, sound almost as if they had been borrowed
from a western story magazine. Restless cowboys drifted into saloons
and engaged in intensely played poker games, where too many acec
barely preceded the rattle of gunfire. Wagon trains and prairie schooners
drawn by Mexican mules passed through the streets and camped outside the
town, their faintly glowing campfires and the soft songs of the teamsters
providing a strange contrast to the gaudy lights and boisterous noises
of the town's saloons. Feuding parties chose the main street of the town
as a place to settle their difficulties, while the business houses closed
their doors. In 1874, however, the Home Protection Club was organized as
a local militia unit, and issued a manifesto to the effect that any fighting
to be started in the future would be started by them. Later the
Texas Rangers were called in. The undesirable element was soon weeded
out, and the growing pains were over. Cuero settled down to the peace
and quiet which it knows today.60
In 1877 the county seat was transferred from Clinton to Cuero. The
courthouse itself, fence and all, was removed from Clinton to its new
site.61 This building was burned in April 1894,62 and was replaced by
the present three-story sandstone building in 1896. 63
About 1888 the line of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad
was completed through De Witt County,64 and a few years later a branch of
the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railroad was completed between
Cuero and San Antonio.65 The coming of the railroads opened a new chapter
in the industrial history of the county. In 1866 farming and ranching
were the main industries; and cotton, corn, cattle, horses, and sheep
were the main products. At the present time, truck farming, dairying,
and poultry raising have pushed the older occupations into the background.
De Witt County is one of the most famous turkey centers in the world.
Yorktown, Westhoff, and Yoakum are all important shipping points for
poultry and dairy products. Cuero, still the county seat and largest railroad
center in the county, is a quiet, sleepy little town whose streets
are shaded by moss-hung oak trees. Its stately courthouse, its ante
bellum homes and churches--its very atmosphere--belie its rowdy past.
59 Cuero Record, Dec. 31, 1935.
61. Corn, Ct. Min., D, 189.
62. Ibid., 556.
63. Ibid., G, 94.
64, Texas Agricultural and Statistical Report 1888 (Austin, 1889), 56.
65. Johnson, History, II, 673,
ohnson, ................ .. ..
Historical Records Survey. Texas. Inventory of the county archives of Texas : De Witt County, no. 62. San Antonio, Tex.. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth25252/. Accessed March 12, 2014.