Bexar County, South
29° 33' 55" N, 98° 41' 21" W (29.565278, -98.689167)
State Highway 16
16 miles NW of Downtown San
30 miles SE of Bandera
ZIP Code 78023
Area code(s) 210, 726 (planned)
Population: 9,961 Est. (2019)
7,341 (2010) 4285 (2000) 1,535 (1990)
Book Hotel Here San
a Corn Husk
Helotes is Spanish
for a "green roasting ear of corn."
The first settlers were Mexicans who intermarried with the Apache
Indians in the mid 1850s. According to legend – the first settler
planted a cornfield here which may have resulted in the name. Another
version of the name is that San
Antonio could always rely on Helotes for corn - even during periods
A post office opened at Helotes in 1873. In 1885 the town had a population
of 50 which increased to 700 by 1914. By 1945 it had fallen to only
100. In 1982 the population was still under 500.
14464 Old Banders Rd., Helotes
According to archeologists,
human occupation of the Helotes area dates to about 7000 years before
present, when small bands of Nomadic Indians who migrated seasonally
in search of food and game camped in this vicinity.
Early Texas pioneer John M. Ross acquired title to the land here in
1836, purchasing rights to a Republic of Texas land grant from Almazon
Huston, Quartermaster General of the Republic of Texas Army. In 1852
Ross sold the property to Thomas Devine and Francis Giraud, who formed
a partnership to survey to land and sell it in smaller plots. In 1858
Dr. George Frederick Marnoch purchased the land which later became
the townsite of Helotes.
The town of Helotes developed around the home and Mercantile Store
of Arnold Gugger, who purchased property from Marnoch's heirs in 1880.
Gugger became postmaster in 1888, and in 1908 sold his land to Bert
Hielman, who opened the town's first dance hall.
Many farms and cattle and sheep ranches were established in the area.
Helotes became a popular stop for a cowboys driving cattle to auction
in San Antonio. Many
descendants of early settlers still live in the area.
14492 Old Bandera Rd, Helotes
John T. Floore
In 1945, as the
Second World War
drew to a close, John T. Floore, manager of San
Antonio's Majestic Theatre, purchased land in this vicinity. He
created the Floore Subdivision, planning it as a center for the community
of Helotes, which had developed at the site of a centuries-old stream
crossing for travelers. Floore and his wife originally operated a
Red and White Store. Following the example of Bert Hileman, who owned
an early dance hall in Helotes, Floore built a store and dance hall
at this site circa 1946, offering "bar, café, dance, meats, groceries,
real estate and every thing nearly at Floore Country Store." A noted
promoter, Floore featured country music acts big and small; notables
Williams, Kitty Wells and Elvis Presley. Residents came from nearby
communities for the regular shows.
Floore also promoted the Helotes community, helping establish the
local volunteer fire department and Lions Club. In addition, he edited
the Helotes Echo newspaper, and his articles were said to be instrumental
in the creation of the Northside Independent School District for Helotes-area
students. His business establishment served as a gathering place for
several organizations and events, including the annual Helotes Cornyval
Since Floore's death in 1975, his legacy has continued. Helotes incorporated
in 1981 in order to preserve a separate identity from the ever-growing
city of San Antonio.
With the continuation of musical acts at Floore's County Store, and
through the local organizations that grew out of Floore's ideas and
civic efforts, the community of Helotes maintains a link to its early
years as a stop for refreshment and entertainment at the edge of the
Texas Hill Country.
| John T. Floore
Country Store Historical Marker
Michaels, January 2008
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