Karnes City

Karnes City, the county seat of Karnes County since 1894, is at the intersection of U.S. Highway 181 and State highways 80 and 123, in the central part of the county some fifty miles southeast of San Antonio. On December 12, 1890, a group of Cuero businessmen, styled as Buchel, Wagner and Company, purchased a 1,000-acre tract from J. L. Calvert for five dollars an acre. Because the tract was near the geographic center of the county and astride the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway (built in 188687), the firm purchased it for plotting a townsite that could ultimately become the new county seat. The town was named in honor of Texas patriot Henry Wax Karnes , but to distinguish it from Kerens in North Texas, the post office department added "City" to the name. The Karnes City post office was officially established on April 1, 1891. The first store in the new town was a small building in which R. F. Harris had groceries and the post office. Buchel, Wagner and Company soon built a general merchandise store in the community. The first hotel there was the Sullivan House; next was the Kolodziej Hotel, completed in April 1891. In May 1892 a public auction of lots was held. When it became apparent that the town would grow, the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway built a side track where lumber for new homes and businesses could be unloaded. Other early businesses included Doc Puckett's saloon, the A. Gehler lumberyard, Wiley Parker's livery stable, and J. B. Pollock's drugstore. Karnes City, by then a flourishing trade and cattle-shipping center, won the December 21, 1893, election to become county seat, beating out Runge, Kenedy, and Helena (the seat of government since 1854


Karnes City, Texas

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