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County
Duval
Region
South Texas Plains
Population
2010 Census - 4,488
2000 Census - 4,753
Nearby
Towns
San Diego, Texas
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San Diego Texas History:
In 1812, Julian and Ventura Flores (father and son) received the deeds to two land grants known as San Diego de Arriba and San Diego de Abajo. San Diego Creek flowed on the land; early travelers between Goliad and Mier stopped to use the springs that fed San Diego Creek. In 1846 during the Mexican War, General Zachary Taylor and his trips briefly occupied the town. In 1948 Ventura Flores sold some land to Pablo Perez; Perez built and sold some houses and called his village Perezville. In 1852 the post office opened in a small white building known as the Casa Blanca; it is believed Perezville was renamed San Diego at this time. The Casa Blanca was occupied by Confederate forces during the Civil War, and later houses a store, a speakeasy, a residence, and a bar. The Corpus Christi, San Diego and Rio Grande Railroad established a stop in 1879. In 1881 the Texas-Mexican Railway took over that railway and extended the line to Laredo. In 1907, the county tax assessor was assassinated and Archer “Archie” Parr came to power establishing the illegal “Patron” system of government; the corruption was continued through his son, Democratic political machine boss, George Parr who later known as “The Duke of Duval.” In 1915 Basilio Ramos, Jr. was arrested in McAllen. Ramos was carrying a copy of what became known as the Plan of San Diego, a scheme that was to link Mexico to Germany in WWI, and after the defeat of the U.S., it would give all former Mexican lands to Mexico. Today, major industries include oil, gas, and ranching and farming. The town is known as the “Pan De Campo Capital of Texas.” San Diego is located on SH 359, SH 44, and FM 1329, 37.7 miles northwest of Kingsville, 43.9 miles north of Falfurrias, 43 miles northeast of Hebbronville, 25 miles southeast of Freer, 66 miles southeast of Tilden, 41 miles southwest of Mathis, 63 miles west of Corpus Christi, 37 miles west of Robstown, and 10.7 miles west of Alice, Texas
 
San Diego Old Town Plaza de Alcala, 1876:
This large plaza, one of two plazas in town, is located near San Diego Creek, and is surrounded by 70 foot wide streets. Many old buildings surround it. It is located across from the Saint Francis de Paula Catholic Church (401 S. Victoria Street). The San Diego City Hall is located on the west side of the plaza.
 
Historic Duval County, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“Created by the Texas Legislature in 1858 and organized in 1879, Duval County played an important role in the economic and political development of South Texas. Early settlers came to this area in the Mid-19th century from Mexico and Anglo pioneers began arriving in the 1860s. The early economy was based on ranching and agriculture. In the Late 1870s the railroad brought increased employment and population to the county. The discovery of oil, gas, and uranium in the early 1900s boosted the economy and caused increased settlement in the region.”  Marker located in front of the Duval County Courthouse.
 
Duval County Courthouse, 1916:
The courthouse was designed in classical revival style by the architectural firm of Sanguinet, Staats & Gottlieb. The courthouse is located approximately a block from the Jim Webb County line. The first Duval County Courthouse burned in the 1910s; see photos in the above title link. The 1916 courthouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The 2010 Duval County census was 11,782. (361) 279-6272. 400 E. Gravis Avenue, 78384. 
 
Duval County Historical Museum:
The museum displays exhibits and artifacts depicting the history of Duval County and the San Diego area, including religious artifacts, Duval County sheriffs’ memorabilia, a vintage medical office, veterans of foreign wars articles, a collection of Mier Church records, and farming, ranching and pioneer items. (361) 279-2597. The museum is located in a two story white house at 208 E. Saint Joseph Streete, San Diego. Email  
 
Duval County Library, 1909:
The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. This beautiful library is located in the beautiful 1909 Hoffman-Block Building at the intersection of SH 359 and East St. Peters Avenue. (361) 279-8201.
 
Santa's Texas Workshop & Christmas House:
For over 30 years the Minton sisters have been offering tours of the Santa’s Texas Workshop beginning in the fall and lasting through March. The store is open the remainder of the year by appointment only. Call if you want to shop for Christmas items. (361) 325-2068. (800) 276-4339. 1188 East Jim Wells County Road 401. CR 401 is located midway between Falfurrias and Premont on U.S. 281. When driving north out of Falfurrias watch for the U.S. flag painted barn and the Blue and gold La Gloria I.S.D. Home of the Eagles sign on the right side of the highway; CR 401 will be the next right turn. After turning onto CR 401, drive 2.5 miles to Santa’s Texas Workshop.
 
Annual Fiesta del Rancho, 3 Days in Early October, Concepcion, TX:
This three day celebration features top Tejano music artists, a carnival, a parade, concessions, outdoor dancing, bingo, a trail ride from Realitos to Concepcion, a Cabrito Guisado (kid stew) Cook-off, a singing contest, and other activities. A small admission fee applies. Ranch: (361) 816-5983. (361) 539-4231. (361) 474-0637. Check the above link for annual changes in contact numbers. P.O. Box 54, Concepcion, Texas 78349. This event is held at the Civic Center Fair Grounds in Concepcion. The Trail Ride begins in Realitos and ends in Concepcion; proof of a negative coggins test required. The $15 trail ride fee includes lunch. Concepcion is located on FM 716, southwest of Alice, northwest of Falfurrias, northeast of Hebbronville, a few miles southeast of Ramirez, and midway between Premont and Realitos, Texas. Concepcion Map; Click to Enlarge  Realitos Area Map
 
Duval County Livestock Show & Fair, Last Friday-Saturday in Feb:
This event is held in Benavides Texas. (361) 256-4591. The Duval County Agri-Life office is located at 131 West Main Street, Benavides, Texas 78341.
 
Annual La Carretera 44 Festival & Cook-Off, April:
This festival features Tejano and Texas country music, flag football, horseshow and kickball tournaments, salsa, Margaritas and shrimp cocktail cook-offs, a carne Guisado cook-off, a talent show, kids activities, and beer and food. An admission fee applies. Proceeds benefit Relay for Life. (361) 701-2788. 300 Gravis Street.  
 
Annual Pan De Campo Festival, June:
In 2014, the San Diego City Council refused to grant permission for the festival to be held. Activities include a pan de campo cooking contest, trail ride, carnival, beauty pageant, a photo pageant, a parade, dancing, food booths, arts & crafts booths, and live Tejano music. Pan de Campo (flat bread cooked in a Dutch oven or over a campfire) is the state bread of Texas. This event is held at the Plaza de Alcala across from the Saint Francis de Paula Catholic Church (401 S. Victoria Street). This event is sponsored by the San Diego Rotary. (361) 279-3316. Call about location as the festival is growing each year.
 
Pan de Campo Recipe:
1.25 pounds of flour, 0.25 pounds of butter, ½ teaspoon of salt, 1 tablespoon of baking powder, and enough water to form into a ball. Preheat Dutch over coals. Mix all ingredients; add just enough water to allow the dough to form a ball. Knead as for tortillas. Pat dough into flat cakes about ½ to ¾ inches thick and large enough to cover the bottom of the Dutch oven. Grease or oil the inside bottom of the Dutch oven with oil, lard or shortening. Place the bread in the pan and put a lid on the pan; cover the top of the pan with coals. Cook until done, usually 15 to 30 minutes depending on the oven temperature.