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PLEASANTON, TX

PLEASANTON, TEXAS. Pleasanton is at the intersections of Farm Roads 476, 5350, 1334 and U.S. Highway 281, five miles northeast of Jourdanton in northeast Atascosa County. It was founded in 1858, when conflicts with Indians caused the settlers to move the location of the county seat from Amphion. The mouth of Bonita Creek seemed the perfect location for the new seat, so the county residents voted this area as the official townsite. John Bowen, who later named the town after early settler John Pleasant, donated five square miles of land for development. E. B. Thomas, the first settler, opened the first general store in Pleasanton. In 1860 Pleasanton became county school district number 1, with W. J. Pepham as the first teacher. By 1861 the town had a dozen families, two blacksmiths, and three lawyers. A log cabin served as the courthouse for nine years. After the new courthouse was built by William Guynes, the log cabin was rented to the school district until 1875, when a rock schoolhouse was built. The old courthouse also served as a church at one time.

By the early twentieth century Pleasanton, had two newspapers, the Pleasanton Picayune, which became the Pleasanton Express in 1909, and the Pleasanton Reporter. Although Jourdanton became the county seat in 1910, Pleasanton continued to grow. In 1912 the Missouri Pacific Railroad linked the town to San Antonio, and in 1914 Pleasanton became connected by railroad to Corpus Christi. At this time the population was 1,500. In 1917 the town was officially incorporated. Pleasanton profited from the thriving cattle industry of the area and became a gathering place for cowboys driving cattle to Kansas. The Stock Raisers Association of Western Texas often held meetings or conventions in the town. By the 1940s the population reached 2,074; it had increased by another 1,000 by the 1960s. In 1966 the "Cowboy Homecoming" was begun in Pleasanton. Since many locals claimed the town was the birthplace of the cowboy, they decided to commemorate the tradition officially. The festival, which occurs annually in August, has cook-offs, fiddler contests, and carnivals in tribute to the cattle industry. Other important industries of the area are peanuts and petroleum. The population of Pleasanton was 6,091 in 1980 and 8,042 in 1994. In 1989 the town adopted a manager-council government. Pleasanton has four state historical markers: the Cooper Chapter 101 of the Masons was recognized in 1971, the town was honored with a marker on the city hall grounds in 1973, and in 1984 the First United Methodist Church and the old site of the San Augustine Church received plaques. The population was 8,266 in 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Atascosa County Centennial, 1856–1956 (Jourdanton, Texas: Atascosa County Centennial Association, n.d.). Atascosa County History (Pleasanton, Texas: Atascosa History Committee, 1984). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Robin Dutton

Citation

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

Robin Dutton, "PLEASANTON, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hfp04), accessed August 30, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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