in a Pecan Shell|
Prior to the Civil War, the town had be named
Dry Medio after the creek of the same name. After the war the town was renamed
to honor local citizen John F. Pettus. The town became a stop on the San Antonio
and Aransas Pass Railway in 1866 after J. S. Hodges donated land for platting
the town. The first reported population was a respectable 250 residents which
were served by no fewer than five stores and most essential businesses. After
oil was discovered in 1929 the population grew to 300 and has slowly grown to
400 by 1990. In 2000 it had reached 608.
Note: Here are some photos of my old school town of Pettus, Texas. Once an
oilfield hub for the area, both sides of the road had many oilfield service companies
and you could smell the odor of oil as you pulled into town. There were numerous
Oilfield plants & oilfield camps in the Pettus area as well. Most of what was
left went away in the 1970's to early 80's and as of today there are only 3 businesses
left on the main drag through town. A convenience store, a Dairy Queen, and a
Oilfield Supply Store.
There are a couple of pic's of the High School
which is set in among many beautiful oak trees which only a few you can see in
the pic's. Several of the buildings were built of "Tuleta Rock". A local hard
caliche rock which was know to have many holes throughout giving it character.
Most of the rocks came from pits in the Tuleta
& Pettus area with a few buildings built with them being the Tuleta Grade School
& Mennonite Church in Tuleta, the Boy Scout Hut
in Sinton, TX., and a couple
of Pettus & Tuleta Homes. - William
Beauchamp, October, 2008
of Pettus" Historical Marker TextOil
capital of Bee County, Pettus was settled in the 1850's when John Freeman Pettus
set up his sprawling ranch about 4 miles south of here.
The son of one
of Stephen F. Austin's first 300 colonists, Pettus was an extensive cattle and
horse breeder. The town, previously called "Dry Medio" for a nearby creek, was
named for him during the Civil War.
The community was in the vicinity
of two important Indian skirmishes in Bee County in 1859 and the 1870's; but the
town slept until 1886, when the tracks of the San Antionio & Aransas Pass railroad
reached this site. It then awoke to become the cattle shipping center for the
area. In the same year, John S. Hodges, a pioneer citizen, laid out the townsite
and donated land to be used for streets and S.A. & A.P. right-of-way.
years the railroad stockyards and depot were places of bustling activity as freight
trains came for loading and wood-burning steam engines took on water. In 1909
the presidential train of Wm. H. Taft stopped at the Pettus water tank. The tank--a
final monument to steam railroading here--was razed, 1965.
In 1929 the
Houston Oil Co. brought in its well "No. 1-Maggie Ray McKinney" and from that
time Pettus has played a continuing useful role in Texas economy.