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Bee County, South Texas

2834'22"N 9747'48"W (28.572742, -97.796551)
Highway 181
12 miles N of Beeville, the county seat
16 miles S of Kenedy
75 miles S of San Antonio
Population: 288 (2010) 292 (2000) 98 (1990)

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Tuleta Texas post office
Tuleta post office, TX 78162
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Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006
History in a Pecan Shell

Founded in 1906 by a German Mennonite minister named Peter Unzicker, the town was named for the daughter of J. M. Chittum of the Chittum-Miller ranch, original landowners. Unzicker headed up a colony of Mennonites who were transmigrating from Cullom, Illinois.

A brief timeline of significant incidents in Tuleta's history:
1881: The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway built across the Chittum-Miller ranch ranch.
1906: depot opens
1907: post office opens and the Mennonite church is built.
1910: Amanda Stoltzfus organized the Tuleta Agriculture High School, the first of its kind in Texas.
1929: Oil and gas are discovered nearby

Tuleta once had three churches - Mennonite, Presbyterian, and Baptist - of which only the Baptist remained in 1990.

The town celebrates Tuleta Day on the second Saturday in August

See Tuleta Historical Marker
Tuleta Landmarks - Photo Gallery
Tuleta Old Photos
Tuleta Texas historical marker
Tuleta historical marker
on US 181

Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, August 2007


The Rev. Peter Unzicker led a group of Illinois settlers here in 1906. Buying 53.4 acres of land of the original Uranga Grant and later Chittim-Miller Ranch, he founded Tuleta, named for the daughter of J. M. Chittim. A rail depot and post office were opened. In 1909 Pastor Unzicker organized one of Texas' first Mennonite churches. Townspeople established the innovative Tuleta Agricultural High School in 1910, with Miss Amanda Stoltzfus as principal. Once marketing center for this fertile farming area, Tuleta also had a union church and several business houses.

Tuleta Texas Landmarks

Doorway of the burned Tuleta Grade School
Grade School in Tuleta, Texas
The brick grade school was burned beyond repair in 2002.
TE Photos June 2002
Note: Schoolhouse is private property today, and being restored. No tresspassing. - March 2017
More Texas Schoolhouses
Closed church in Tuleta Texas
A closed church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006
Closed church in Tuleta Texas
A closed church
More Texas Churches

Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, December 2006
Tuleta Texas closed gas station
A closed gas station
More Texas Gas Stations

Photo courtesy Ken Rudine, August 2007

Tuleta, Texas Vintage Photos

Agriculture High School Tuleta Texas 1911
Agriculture High School - postmarked on back Jan 12, 1911
More Texas Schoolhouses

Photo courtesy Will Beauchamp
Tuleta Texas 1910 new home
One of the new homes of Tuleta, about 1910
Photo courtesy Will Beauchamp
Tuleta Texas founder Perer Unzicker 's residence, 1910 Tuleta Texas
Peter Unzicker residence (founder of Tuleta) - about 1910
Photo courtesy Will Beauchamp
See Texas Historic Homes
 Medio Creek Bridge, Tuleta Texas
Newly constructed Medio Creek Bridge near Tuleta Texas.
"Writing on the back of the postcard is a message from one of the men pictured on the bridge to his sister. He states this is the new bridge they just built. Postcard dated May 1909."
- Will Beauchamp, Taft, Texas (formerly of Tuleta)
More Texas Bridges
More Texas Vintage Photos
Medio Creek Bridge, Normanna,  Bee County Tx
The Medio Creek Bridge in a foggy morning
"Mother nature has pretty much taken it over."

- Will Beauchamp, November 12, 2007 photo

Tuleta, Texas Forum

Subject: The Namesake of Tuleta

The town Tuleta was named for a cousin of mine. My great-grandmother, Arminta Chittim Grace was a sister of J.M. Chittim. The town was named after his daughter Tuleta. In approximately, 1888 or 1889, my great grand parents went to Texas to visit her brother James Madison Chittim. On that visit they met their niece, Tuleta Chittim and liked the name so well that when they returned to Missouri and my grandmother became more than a twinkle in his eye, they named her Tuleta and I in turn was named for her.

I have always wondered and can find no trace of where the name came from or how it came to be in that part of Texas. I keeps popping up in the most unexpected places. A street in Honolulu, a full-blooded Cherokee laborer named William Tuleta Claw, and so on. Can you give me any answers? I am very honored to have a town with the same name and a zip code. - Tuleta Owens Gilchrist, January 28, 2005

Young Family Photo Postcards and Letters

"Here are some of the postcards dated 1909-1915 from the Young Family. I would like to find any decendents of the family and send them to them. I have over 25 photo postcards and a few letters. The names on them are Earle and Loretta, Cy, Frank, Rose Elizabeth. I believe they all lived in the Normanna area." -
April 21, 2004
Normanna area scenes, Texas postcards
TX Bee County 1920s Map
1920s Bee County map showing Medio Creek and Tuleta nearby towns:
Beeville, Normanna & Pettus

Courtesy Texas General Land Office

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Tuleta, Texas Nearby Towns:
Beeville the county seat
San Antonio
See Bee County | South Texas

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