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ST. PAUL, TX (SAN PATRICIO COUNTY)

ST. PAUL, TEXAS (San Patricio County). St. Paul is on U.S. Highway 181 and the Southern Pacific Railroad in north central San Patricio County. It was settled in the early 1900s by immigrants from the Midwest. George H. Paul, already a successful land salesman, closed a deal in January 1910 with John J. Welder for 70,000 acres, to be paid for as the land was sold. The town of St. Paul, part of the masterplan, was laid out in March 1910. The thirty-five-room Shary Hotel was built to accommodate the land buyers who arrived in special immigrant cars on the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway. The promoters also built a grocery store, a drugstore, two livery stables, a bank, a blacksmith shop, a jewelry store, a lumberyard, a one-room school, a church, a number of houses, and a water system. Three parks were laid out. A gasoline-powered plant furnished electricity to impress new arrivals with blazing lights after their long trip. The trains were met by fleets of buggies and hacks to take the new arrivals to see land for sale. John H. Shary, an agent for Paul, became a partner and took over management of the land company. In 1911 a two-story brick building replaced the one-room school. A post office opened in 1910 with Elard R. Howard as postmaster. A Presbyterian church was built, followed by a Methodist. A cotton gin was operating by 1913. St Paul grew as a farming center as long as the land boom continued, but since it was only eight miles from Sinton, the county seat, the town gradually declined as a business center. The hotel, named after John Shary, was torn down in the mid-1930s, and the lumber was taken to the Rio Grande valley. The Sharys themselves moved to the Valley; a daughter of the family married Allan Shivers. The post office was discontinued in 1941 when mail was routed through Sinton. The school system was consolidated first with the adjoining Miculastic district and then with the Sinton school district in 1947. The population in the area reached 500 before 1920 and was estimated at 180 in 1990. In 2000 the population was 452. A fire in 1917 destroyed most of the business section, part of which was never rebuilt. A grain elevator replaced the cotton gin on the railroad.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Keith Guthrie, History of San Patricio County (Austin: Nortex, 1986).

Keith Guthrie

Citation

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

Keith Guthrie, "ST. PAUL, TX (SAN PATRICIO COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hls04), accessed August 23, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.