Texas was once a part of Mexico but gained independence in 1836 after a famous battle at the Alamo.
Zavala County, located in the southern part of Texas, has a rich history dating back thousands of years. The area was first inhabited by various Native American tribes, including the Coahuiltecan and Lipan Apache, who thrived on the abundant wildlife and fertile land. Spanish explorers arrived in the 16th century and claimed the territory as part of New Spain.

In the early 19th century, Spanish ranchers settled in the region, establishing large cattle ranches. With the signing of the Adams-Onis Treaty in 1821, Zavala County became part of the newly independent country of Mexico. The establishment of the Republic of Texas in 1836 brought an influx of American settlers to the area, seeking opportunities for farming and ranching.

The county was formally established in 1858 and named after Lorenzo de Zavala, an influential Mexican politician who had supported the Texas Revolution. However, it wasn't until the 1870s that the county experienced significant growth with the arrival of the railroad. The railroad brought increased commerce and connected the county to larger cities in the state.

With the discovery of oil and gas in the early 20th century, Zavala County experienced an economic boom. The oil industry brought jobs and prosperity to the region, attracting workers from across the country. Today, Zavala County remains an important hub for agriculture, oil, and gas production, preserving its rich history while continuing to evolve and adapt to the changing times.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Zavala County, Texas.

  • 1847 - Zavala County is officially established by the Texas legislature.
  • 1853 - The county seat is designated as Batesville.
  • 1858 - Batesville is abandoned as the county seat and moved to a new location called Uvalde.
  • 1870 - Crystal City becomes the new county seat.
  • 1944 - The town of La Pryor is established.
  • 1952 - The railroad is extended to Crystal City, boosting the local economy.
  • 1985 - The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund sues the county over voting rights, leading to the implementation of single-member districts.
  • 2004 - The Zavala County Jail is closed due to inadequate conditions.
  • 2017 - Hurricane Harvey causes significant damage to the county, leading to evacuations and recovery efforts.