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RACHAL, DARIUS CYRIAQUE

RACHAL, DARIUS CYRIAQUE (1839–1918). Darius Cyriaque Rachal, rancher, businessman, and community leader in San Patricio County, was born in 1839 in Natchitoches, Louisiana, of French ancestry and moved to Liberty, Texas, in the early 1850s. In 1857 Rachal, then eighteen, took a job helping Edward and Frank White drive stock from East Texas to San Patricio County. After serving with Hood's Texas Brigade in the Civil War, he married Julia Bryan of Liberty, and in 1866 he bought a tract of land at White Point on Nueces Bay. Shortly after they established their home a yellow fever epidemic hit the area, killing fourteen, including four from the White Point families, who were buried in a cemetery on the bay that still exists on Rachal land. Rachal prospered and expanded his cattle operation, building a ranch home that became the social center of the surrounding area. Some time dances there lasted two to three days and nights. The drought of the late 1870s dealt a blow to his cattle business, but he survived with his land still intact. Prosperity returned, and Rachal and Henry Scott of Refugio bought the 31,000-acre Rabb Ranch in Nueces County. Another drought in 1885 forced the sale of the Rabb Ranch to Robert Driscoll for $93,000. This land later became the property of Clara Driscoll.

In 1871 Rachal took a herd of 1,200 Coleman Ranch cattle up the trail with two brothers, E. R. "Nute" and Albert Rachal, as his bosses. The Rachals took a number of herds up the trail. Rachal was elected county commissioner in 1880, a position that he held through 1896, exerting an influence on the growth of the county. He turned to business endeavors and with Sidney G. Borden opened a store in Sharpsburg. They purchased the Nueces Valley, a flat-bottomed copper schooner, that called regularly at Sharpsburg near the mouth of the Nueces River. In the early 1880s they built the first cotton gin in the area near Hart's Lake. Rachal also was involved in real estate developments in the area. In 1914 natural gas was discovered in the White Point area; one well ran wild for several weeks before it choked itself. The White Point area is still a big producer of gas and oil. Rachal established the community of Rosita on his ranch and when a post office was granted in 1892 served as postmaster until it was discontinued in 1914. Part of the old Rachal ranch is still owned and operated by his grandchildren and great grandchildren. He died on August 27, 1918, and is buried in the Rachal ranch cemetery beside his wife, who died on April 7, 1911.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Keith Guthrie, History of San Patricio County (Austin: Nortex, 1986). Coleman McCampbell, Texas Seaport: The Story of the Growth of Corpus Christi and the Coastal Bend Area (New York: Exposition, 1952).

Keith Guthrie

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Keith Guthrie, "RACHAL, DARIUS CYRIAQUE," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fra76), accessed July 30, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.