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ROSSVILLE, TX

ROSSVILLE, TEXAS. Rossville is on Farm Road 476 eight miles west of Poteet in Atascosa County. Col. José Antonio Navarro, once owner of the area, partitioned his land and bequeathed the tract on both sides of the Atascosa River that included the site of future Rossville to his son, J. A. George Navarro. In the early 1870s J. A. G. Navarro had the land surveyed and partitioned into long narrow strips so that all settlers would have access to the river. Several families bought land and built their homes here. At this time John Ross, who came from Scotland, married María Antonia Navarro, daughter of J. A. G. Navarro. Her father gave her a labor (160 acres) of land. The couple moved from San Antonio and built their home on the east bank of the river, where they lived out their lives. In 1873 John and his brother, W. F. M. Ross, founded Rossville. The first post office there was established in January 1877 with W. F. M. Ross as postmaster. Cotton and livestock were the chief commodities of the area. By the turn of the century Rossville had a one-room schoolhouse, two churches, three stores, a cotton gin, and a small bakery. The settlement supported a veterinarian, a cobbler, and a midwife. Toward the end of the 1890s the residents numbered more than 300. In the early part of the twentieth century a Catholic church and a two-room schoolhouse were built. At this time the San Antonio-to-Laredo railroad missed Rossville, and people started moving away. By 1915 the population was reduced to 150. The boll weevil infestation subsequently hit, and farmers had to stop planting cotton. Watermelons, peanuts, and vegetables became the new crops and were freighted to the market in San Antonio. During the depression years many farms were abandoned as people moved away looking for jobs. The church buildings were torn down, but two stores remained open. When the post office was closed in 1947, mail was routed through Poteet. In 1955 the school was consolidated with the Poteet district, and the building was moved away. In 1986 a community building was opened at Rossville, which was a voting precinct with 507 registered voters. Elections are held in the Rossville community building. The building is also a meeting place for the 4-H Club, a rabies clinic, and a site for commodities distribution for the indigent, family reunions, neighborhood watch, fire-department training classes, and social gatherings. In 2000 the population was 200.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Atascosa County Centennial, 1856–1956 (Jourdanton, Texas: Atascosa County Centennial Association, n.d.). Atascosa County History (Pleasanton, Texas: Atascosa History Committee, 1984).

Evelyn G. Herrera

Citation

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

Evelyn G. Herrera, "ROSSVILLE, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnr44), accessed October 23, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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