San Patricio County History

From "San Patricio County", by Keith Guthrie, 1986
with permission of the author

San Patricio CourthouseThe Constitution of the Republic of Texas was adopted on March 17, 1836, recognizing San Patricio among the precincts of the original Texas Republic. The legislation actually establishing the County of San Patricio was enacted on April 18, 1836, setting the boundaries as the territory lying between the Nueces River and the Aransas River and Bay, from the Bexar County line to Corpus Christi Bay. The town of San Patricio was declared the county seat. A log cabin courthouse existed in the 1930's, but it and a later frame structure were destroyed.

In 1838, when the Texas Republic was seeking to strengthen their claim to the land between the Nueces and Rio Grande, the legislature increased the boundaries of San Patricio County all the way to the Rio Grande. In 1846 the politicians decided to create Nueces County, greatly reducing San Patricio County and giving the tip of South Texas to the new county. The territory south of the Aransas River was put into San Patricio for the first time. In 1848 still more changes were made to the south, but San Patricio remained virtually the same. In 1856 Live Oak County was created taking a big bite out of San Patricio County. In 1858 Bee County was formed and the present boundary lines of San Patricio County were set. In the space of 10 years San Patricio County was reduced from being super big to just one of the South Texas Counties. A new courthouse was built at San Patricio in 1872, and was used until it burned on February 21, 1889, under debatable circumstances. Some say that many old records were lost in the fire, but in truth, the court had ordered a large safe in 1880 and evidently the records were all locked away. In 1894 the county seat was moved to Sinton, and the present courthouse was erected in 1927 at a cost of $100,500. The jail was on the third floor.

San Patricio County at The Online Handbook of Texas

The following are links to the SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS website by Wallace L. McKeehan who has compiled a vast amount of history on San Patricio County. Thanks Wallace!