Photo courtesy of Nesbitt Memorial Library
in a Pecan Shell|
Once known as Prairie Point, Oakland
was on the stage line between Gonzales
and Columbus in the 1840s.
The town was platted in the late 1850s and an existing post office in Lavaca
County relocated here on the condition that the post office continue under its
name of Oakland – named after the estate of Texas President David G. Burnet.
In 1861 a Masonic lodge was built and a two story building was added in the
1870s – doubling as a school / lodge.
In 1882 Oakland Normal School was
organized to train Black school teachers. By 1884 Oakland had a population of
200 with most essential businesses.
At the turn of the (20th) century,
the population had risen to 264, declining back to 200 through the Great Depression.
The population declined by half through the 50s and remained at 95 for the 1970
census. From the mid 70s the population estimate of 80 has been in used on the
See Oakland Historical Marker
Past & Present
1906 Vintage Photo courtesy of Nesbitt Memorial Library
Historical Marker on FM 532|
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, December 2006
known as Prairie Point, a town was platted at this site in 1856 by A. C. Hereford.
A native of Virginia, Hereford was a veteran of the Mexican War who had arrived
in this area in the early 1850s.
Located on part of the original James
Bowie Survey, the community is the second oldest in Colorado
County. When Hereford applied for a post office for Prairie Point in 1861,
his request was denied because of the settlement's close proximity to an existing
post office on the plantation of Amasa Turner (1800-1877). Turner agreed to relocate
his post office to Prairie Point upon the condition that its name, Oakland, be
retained. The town was thereafter known as Oakland.
Oakland was a stop
on the Old Gonzales Road, an important early route from San
Felipe to Gonzales. As settlement
in the town increased, a school was established in 1859. Soon churches, stores,
business, and fraternal organizations were also in operation. The town became
a major trading and social center for the farm families of western Colorado
County. The population of Oakland began to decline in the 1870s when the railroad
bypassed the community in favor of Weimar.
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