In the late 19th century, Texas became known for its cattle drives, in which cowboys would move herds of cattle from Texas to railheads in Kansas and other northern states. The cattle drives were dangerous and difficult work, but they played a key role in the development of the American cattle industry.
Gonzales County, Texas, has a rich history dating back to its settlement in the early 1820s. The area was part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Tejas until the Texas Revolution in 1836, when the Battle of Gonzales became a pivotal moment in the fight for independence. The battle, often referred to as the "Lexington of Texas," was fought due to a demand by Mexican authorities for the return of a cannon given to the settlers to protect against Native American raids. This refusal to comply with the orders of the Mexican government marked the beginning of the Texas Revolution.

Following the Texas Revolution and the establishment of the Republic of Texas, Gonzales County played a vital role in the formation of the new state. The town of Gonzales became the capital of DeWitt County and remained a prominent center for trade and agriculture. The 1850s brought an influx of German immigrants to the area, who brought with them their agricultural expertise and helped to further develop the county's economy.

During the Civil War, Gonzales County primarily sided with the Confederacy, and many residents served in the Confederate Army. After the war, the county faced a period of reconstruction and struggled with political and economic challenges. However, through the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the discovery of oil and the expansion of the cattle industry brought renewed growth and prosperity to Gonzales County.

Today, Gonzales County remains a vibrant community with a mix of agriculture, oil and gas production, and diverse industries. The county is also known for its rich cultural heritage, including historical sites and the annual reenactment of the Battle of Gonzales. The county's history is celebrated and preserved through museums, historical markers, and the pride of its residents in their shared past.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Gonzales County, Texas.

  • 1834 - Gonzales County established as a municipality of Mexico
  • 1835 - "Come and Take It" cannon skirmish occurs in Gonzales, marking the start of the Texas Revolution
  • 1836 - Texas gains independence from Mexico; Gonzales County becomes part of the Republic of Texas
  • 1846 - Texas becomes a state, and Gonzales County remains a political subdivision
  • 1861-1865 - Gonzales County residents participate in the American Civil War
  • 1878 - The Gonzales Inquirer, the oldest continuously published weekly newspaper in Texas, is established
  • 1887 - Gonzales County Courthouse is built
  • 1891 - The Harwood and Gonzales Railway connects Gonzales to the Texas railway network
  • 1905 - Oil is discovered in Gonzales County, leading to an economic boom
  • 1936 - The Gonzales Warm Springs Rehabilitation Center, now the J.B. Wells Park, opens as a medical facility for polio patients
  • 1949 - The Gonzales Memorial Museum is established to preserve local history
  • 1967 - The Gonzales State School opens to serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities
  • 1988 - The Confederate Soldiers Monument is erected in the Gonzales Memorial Museum