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County
Jim Wells
Region
South Texas Plains
Population
2010 Census - 19,104
2000 Census - 19,010
Nearby
Towns
Alice, Texas
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Alice, Texas History:
In 1880, the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway attempted to build a line through Collins, three miles to the east of present day Alice. The residents refused to sell the railroad a right-of-way so the railroad three miles west of the town. In 1883, the Bandana Depot was established at the junction of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway and the Corpus Christi, San Diego and Rio Grande Railway. The community that developed around the depot thrived as a cattle shipping point. Many Collins residents and businesses moved to the new community to be closer to the railroad. The town applied for the Kleberg Post Office (after Robert Justus Kleberg), but the name was denied because there was already a town named Kleberg. The town then applied for a post office under the name Alice in honor of Alice Gertrudis King Kleberg and the name was accepted. The Alice post office opened in 1888, the same year the town opened its first school on the second floor of the Becham Place boardinghouse for men. By 1892 the town had two general stores, two saloons, a hotel, a public school, a cotton gin and a weekly newspaper. By 1894, Alice was the busiest shipping point in South Texas. Two years later it had had 885 residents and a telephone exchange. The first two telephones were located at Trinidad Salazar’s general store and home. After the 1898 flood, many residents were forced to move their houses to higher ground. By 1900, Alice was nicknamed the “Windmill Town” because of its many windmills. Alice was incorporated in 1904, and became the county seat of the newly formed Jim Wells County in 1911. After the introduction of irrigated farming, the town changed from being a major cattle shipping point to a major shipping point for fruits and vegetables. During the 1920s oil boom in Jim Wells County, the town became a commercial center for the oil industry in South Texas. By 1931 the town had 4,239 residents. The public library was established in 1935. Alice grew to 7,792 residents in1940, two years after the Alice Oil Field discovery. By 1970, Alice had approximately 25,100 residents and 462 businesses. The City of Alice’s 165 foot tall cement water tower is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s tallest water tower; it is located downtown near the Alice City Hall. Alice is a commercial center for the petroleum industry and agribusiness, and is considered the birthplace of Tejano Music. Alice is located at the intersection of SH 44 and U.S. 281, 29.6 miles northwest of Kingsville, 52 miles west of Corpus Christi, 26.5 miles west of Robstown, 29.6 miles southwest of Mathis, 51 miles south of Three Rivers, and 10.7 miles east of San Diego, Texas.    
 
Jim Wells County Courthouse: 1912:
The courthouse was designed in Texas Renaissance style by renowned courthouse architect Atlee B. Ayres. In 1948, wings were added to either side of the original courthouse. The Refugio, Kingsville and Brownsville, Texas courthouse were also designed by Ayres. The 2010 Jim Wells County census was 40,838. (361) 668-5706. 200 N. Almond Street, Alice, Texas 78332.
 
Escandon Don Jose dé Escandón Statue:
In 1946, Escandon Don Jose dé Escandón was chosen to explore and settle the area between Tampico, Mexico and the San Antonio River. Over a two year period he founded 23 settlements between the Panuco River in Mexico and the Guadalupe River in Texas, and was the first governor of the area which was named Nuevo Santander. Settlements included Camargo, Reynosa, Mier, and Revilla in Mexico, and Laredo and Nuestra Senora de los Dolores Hacienda north of the Rio Grande River. The statue was donated to the City of Alice in 1999 by the children of the late Thomas and Eloisa Pena Martinez.