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TURTLE BAY, TEXAS. Turtle Bay is a rural community on State Highway 35 four miles north of Turtle Bay, from which it took its name, and four miles west of Palacios in southwestern Matagorda County. The area was used primarily as rangeland until around 1907, when the Ward Cattle Company sold part of its holdings to the company of Minnesota-based land dealer Theodore F. Koch, one of a number of such promoters active in the area around 1900. Koch advertised the area as a Garden of Eden and, beginning in 1908, he drew settlers to Turtle Bay from states as far away as Minnesota, North Dakota, Illinois, and Missouri; one family even migrated from Winnipeg, Canada. Cotton was at first the dominant crop, though by the 1980s area residents were also raising sorghum, corn, and soybeans. By around 1911 Turtle Bay had a school, which also hosted church services, and by 1914 the community had built a larger school, which in 1917 served white students in eight grades. By the late 1940s the Turtle Bay school had consolidated with Palacios, and its building was made into the Palacios high school band hall. No further information was available on Turtle Bay, which was not shown on a 1952 county map.


Matagorda County Historical Commission, Historic Matagorda County (3 vols., 1986–88).

Rachel Jenkins


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

Rachel Jenkins, "TURTLE BAY, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 28, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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