a Pecan Shell
Home to the first
school in Atascosa
County (1860) the community was first named Lucas after
the nearby creek – both creek and community used the surname of a
With the opening of a post office in in 1891 (and the name Lucas already
in use) a new name was required. Joseph Peynagrosse, suggested the
name after a river in his native France.
The 1914 population was given as 30 although the local school reported
many more students. The post office closed in 1914.
Verdi’s school merged with nearby Pleasanton
around 1950, which took away the community’s identity. Today the population
is composed of dispersed households with no discernable town center.
5.8 miles E of Pleasanton on SH
97, then 3 miles north on FM 1784
By 1855, settlers
primarily from Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, Missouri and
Tennessee, as well as some of Spanish origin, were making their homes
in this area and calling themselves Lucas Community because
of their proximity to Lucas Creek. In 1858 a Church of Christ was
organized, followed by a Methodist church in 1859. Lucas Schoolhouse,
located on this site, became a county polling place in 1860. A Roman
Catholic congregation established St. Augustine Church in 1870. St.
Augustine and Liberty schools were established before 1888. Friendship
Baptist Church was organized that year.
Lucas Community was home to a farming and ranching population. They
grew and raised their own produce, grains, dairy and meats. Cotton
was the chief crop. In 1890, Sydney S. Smith applied for a U. S. post
office in Lucas. The name Lucas already was in use elsewhere. According
to local legend, French settler Joseph Peynagrosse chose the name
Verdi for a river in his homeland. By the early 20th century,
Verdi boasted schools, churches, a store, a post office, a blacksmith
shop and cotton gins serving a large rural population.
The Lucas school had 101 students in 1904. In 1913 it was called the
Verdi school and had 113 students and five teachers. The Verdi post
office closed in 1916. The first high school senior class graduated
in 1933. In 1954 the school was annexed to Pleasanton
and the community declined. It was revived in 1979, when Verdi Community
Center was established and became another focal point for the community.
The story of the Verdi community is a vital part of Atascosa
County's heritage and Texas history.
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact