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BISHOP, TEXAS. Bishop, at the junction of U.S. Highway 77, State Loop 428 and Farm Road 70 in extreme southwestern Nueces County, was originally on the Driscoll Ranch and was called Julia Siding. In 1910 F. Z. Bishop, a Corpus Christi insurance agent, bought a large parcel of land at the site and established a town. Before the first lots were put on sale on May 30, 1910, the town was laid out with a complete modern sewage system, eight miles of graded streets, and two miles of cement sidewalks. A $35,000 electric light and water plant was established, and a telephone system was installed. A hotel and several residences were erected, and a $16,000 store and office building was opened. In September 1910, when the first school opened in a three-room frame building, sixteen children were enrolled. Enrollment increased to sixty by the end of the term. Within three years the previously undeveloped expanse of brush, cactus, and mesquite was transformed into a new and prosperous agricultural section. In 1923 30,000 bales of local cotton were marketed for more than $4,000,000, and Bishop was referred to as the "Cotton Capital of the Coast." In 1941 the farmers combined 3,000 pounds of grain to the acre, and "Grain Mart of the Coastal Bend" was added to the label.
The town grew rapidly during the 1920s, reaching a high of 2,500 in 1928. With the onset of the Great Depression, however, many residents left, and by 1936 the population had fallen to 953. After World War II Bishop once again began to grow, and by the mid-1950s it had a population of 4,000 and eighty-five businesses. In 1968 the town had eight churches, a state bank, a weekly newspaper, and a reported 4,180 residents. The population subsequently declined slowly, falling to 3,305 in 2000. In the early 1990s Bishop was the site of petrochemical plants and petroleum processing. The major sources of farm income are cotton, grain sorghums, livestock, and poultry.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Nueces County Historical Society, History of Nueces County (Austin: Jenkins, 1972).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Lillion Effie Wimsatt, "Bishop, TX," accessed April 23, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hgb08.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.