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MINERAL, TX

MINERAL, TEXAS. Mineral is at the intersection of Farm roads 623 and 673, fifteen miles northwest of Beeville in north central Bee County. The first settler in the community was Ross (or Rust) Morris, from Montgomery County, Tennessee, who moved to San Domingo Creek in 1836. Nine years later, President Anson Jones granted to Henry Coley's heirs from Tennessee 1,000 acres of land in the area. By 1874 Thomas Malone and Robert Ricks had purchased part of the tract belonging to Coley's heirs. When wells were dug by the settlers, the water was not found potable by man or sheep. Various county histories attribute the condition to an oil seep in the vicinity or to mineral deposits from bones of prehistoric creatures. A test of the water from William and Susan Sanford's well revealed sixteen minerals in the water. In 1877, with news that the water had healing powers, people moved to the settlement that became known as Mineral City. Many lived in tents. That same year the Sanford Hotel, churches, stores including a drugstore, a gristmill, and a school were in operation at Mineral City. A post office was established in 1878. Whatever the healing powers of the water, however, the excitement soon dissipated, possibly because the mineral content decreased when the well was deepened in 1889. By 1895 City was no longer used in the post office name. The hotel was not listed in the 1896 gazetteer.

Despite the declining interest, Mineral remained an agricultural community. The population was recorded as 100 in 1890. However, the settlement was almost destroyed by a fire in 1901 and by a flood in 1903. A local school built before 1882 served ninety-nine students in 1898–99 and 125 students in 1905–06. It was eventually joined with the Pawnee school system. In 1916 the population of Mineral was 200. In 1930 oil was discovered in the area. In the late 1930s the community had three churches, one business, one school, and a number of closely clustered dwellings. The population was reported to be 150 until 1949, when it dropped to fifty. In 1952 Mineral had a few businesses and two Baptist churches; that year the South Texas Children's Home was opened on Farm Road 2617 three miles away. In 1990 the community comprised two Baptist churches, a store, the nearby children's home, and a population of fifty. The population remained the same in 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Grace Bauer, Bee County Centennial, 1858–1958 (Bee County Centennial, 1958). Camp Ezell, Historical Story of Bee County, Texas (Beeville: Beeville Publishing, 1973). Mrs. I. C. Madray, A History of Bee County (Beeville, Texas: Bee-Picayune, 1939).

Adrian D. Ramirez

Citation

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

Adrian D. Ramirez, "MINERAL, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnm47), accessed August 30, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.