Jourdanton, the county seat of Atascosa County, is at the intersection of State highways 16, 97, and 173, five miles southwest of Pleasanton. It was designed from a blueprint as a designated stop on the Artesian Belt Railroad. Jourdan Campbell, who gave his name to the new community, and Col. T. H. Zanderson founded the town in September of 1909. Capt. C. S. Young designed the layout and cooperated with the railroad company so that livestock and cotton could be shipped by railroad to San Antonio. Peter F. Watson, of the Jourdanton Land Company, organized the first auction of town lots in 1909. The citizens of Jourdanton raised a $50,000 bonus for the Artesian Belt Railroad for bringing the line into town.
The town grew rapidly and by 1914 had telephones, electricity, a cotton gin, a gristmill, and a system of public schools. The population at this time was 1,200. Several churches had also developed, as well as two hotels and a weekly newspaper, the Atascosa Monitor. For the next ten years the population decreased, until 1925, when it began climbing again. In 1930 the town had 767 residents and thirty-six businesses. The discovery of oil in 1942 led to another period of rapid growth, and the economy of Jourdanton flourished again. By 1952 its population was 1,483, and the city built a new school, which held 700 pupils. A twenty-five-bed hospital was built in 1956, and a children's wing was added in 1960. In 1956 the courthouse, which was originally built in 1909, was remodelled to reflect the progress of the community. The State Bank of Jourdanton held $457,000 capital in 1965, and by this time the number of residents had increased to 1,990. Since the 1960s the railroad, which was responsible for the origin of Jourdanton, had stopped running, but the town continued to grow in the 1970s and 1980s. The rich resources of gas, oil, and lignite provided a strong and stable economy for the citizens of Jourdanton, and in 1990 its population was 3,220. The population grew to 3,732 in 2000.