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Uvalde  County TX
Uvalde County

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Uvalde County, Texas Hill Country

29°19'14"N 99°28'8"W (29.320678, -99.468887)

US Hwy 90 and FM 187
22 miles E of Uvalde the county seat
21 miles S of Utopia
30 miles S of Vanderpool on scenic FM 337
11 miles E of Knippa
11 miles W of D'Hanis
20 miles W of Hondo
60 miles W of San Antonio
ZIP code 78881
Area code 830
Population: 1,673 Est. (2019)
1,695 (2010) 1,586 (2000) 1,584 (1990)

Book Hotel Here › Uvalde Hotels

Sabinal, Texas - Arrival of Mohair, 1909

Arrival of Mohair in Sabinal, showing Center Street with bank building and Johnston & Reily General Merchandise, Postmarked 1909
Click on image to enlarge

Postcard courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

History in a Pecan Shell

Thomas B. Hammer is credited as being the first settler in the area. Hammer opened a stage stop on the eastside of the Sabinal River around 1854 and when a post office was granted the same year the town was designated Hammer’s Station. A Cavalry outpost was established in 1856 on the west bank of the river for the settlers protection. The camp’s presence, however, didn’t intimidate the bandits that killed Hammer in 1857.

Sabinal got a railroad (Southern Pacific) connection in 1881– the same year that Turkish Angora goats were introduced. In 1893 the town had two hotels and the population was reported as 150 for 1884 – not bad for the era.

By 1906, the year the town incorporated, 500 Sabinalistas called the place home. Irrigation for cotton crops was provided by the lumberyard’s windmill and enough cotton was produced to keep six gins in operation. Wool and mohair production were important economic mainstays.

Water and fire departments were established and telephone service began – all in the magic year of 1906. By 1911, the population had swelled to an estimated 1,500 – and those who could read, read The Sentinel - the town’s own weekly newspaper.

A school specifically for Hispanics was opened in the mid 1930s. With schools consolidations, a new elementary and high school were built in town. Five school buses fanned out daily to gather students over the district’s 356 mile territory.

The population reached its zenith in the mid-1950s, with about 2,300 people, but it had declined to 1,570 by 1974 By 1990 the estimated population was about the same.

Sabinal, Texas - Center Street showing bank building

Center Street, Looking North, showing bank building
ostmarked 1912
Click on image to enlarge

Postcard courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

Sabinal, Texas - Red brick bank building Downtown
Bank Building in Sabinal today
TE photo 4-04

Historical Marker: (On US 90, 0.5 mile E of Hwy 127/FM 187


Named by Spanish for Rio Sabina and Cypress trees along river. Town founded in 1854 by Thomas B. Hammer who operated a stage shop and was first postmaster. Despite Indian depredations, town thrived as settlers built homes, and a railroad reached here in 1881. In 1906, town was incorporated. Telephone service started. City water works and volunteer fire department organized. In 1907, Sabinal Christian College was founded. Closed in 1917. Cotton industry was foremost in early 1900's. Today, farming and ranching flourishing in community.

Sabinal, Texas Landmarks

Photo Gallery

Sabinal Texas - Sabinal Methodist Church
Sabinal Methodist Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2004
More Texas Churches

Historical Marker: US 90, east city limits
Sabinal Methodist Church
This church began in 1876 as part of the Sabinal circuit assigned to the Rev. Henry T. Hill. Circuit ministers served the fellowship until 1900, when it became an organized congregation. Services were held in the Christian and Baptist church buildings until the present structure was completed in 1907. For a time pastors at Sabinal Methodist Church also served new rural congregations in Trio and Knippa. As the membership grew and church programs expanded to meet the needs of the community, additions were made to the church facility.

1904 building in Sabinal, Texas
A ghost sign from a 100 years ago
TE photo 4-04
More Texas Ghost Signs | Pitted Dates

Sabinal, Texas old gas station
The old Gas Station/Café/ Dance Hall
TE photo 4-04
More Texas Gas Stations

Water tower in Sabinal, Texas
Sabinal Water Tower
TE photo 4-04
More Texas Water Towers

Blanco River Railroad Bridge West of Sabinal Texas
Railroad Bridge West of Sabinal Texas
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, March 2008

Blanco River Railroad Bridge West of Sabinal Texas
Railroad Bridge West of Sabinal
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, March 2008
More Texas Bridges

Sabinal, Texas - Railraod Bridge crossing Sabinal  River

Railroad bridge crossing Sabinal River
ostmarked 190?
Postcard courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

Sabinal River
The Sabinal River which flows from springs north of Vanderpool (Bandera County) continues past Sabinal to the west of town and eventually joins the Frio River.

The Sabinal River is only 60 miles long, and for some of its length it flows underground. The Spanish had originally named the river Arroyo de la Soledad, or "Stream of Solitude"

Sabinal River
"Arroyo de la Soledad” - AKA Sabinal River
TE photo 4-04
More Texas Rivers

Sabinal, Texas  Center Street 1914 postcard

Center Street, Sabinal
ostmarked 1914
Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/

Sabinal, Texas - Center Street

Center Street, Sabinal, Texas
Click on image to enlarge
Postcard courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

Sabinal, Texas -Residence with lake and windmill

A residence with lake and windmill in Sabinal
ostmarked 1914
Postcard courtesy Dan Whatley Collection

Sabinal Chronicles

Hog Drives

Hog Drives of Frio Canyon: Late 1890’s - Early 1900’s
by Linda-Kirkpatrick

The drive to Sabinal... Like the cattle drives of old but just not as classy or as romantic or as written about were the hog drives of the Frio Canyon...

Sabinal, Texas Forum

  • "I just love to read Texas Escapes and think about vanished Texas of my childhood. Today I read about Papalote in Bee County. My Bonham grandparents had a farm there. Wolves would get the livestock. My grandfather said Papalote meant windmill.

    My grandfather had several farms. The nicest was Sabinal, the beautiful stone house where VP John Nance Garner's wife, Ettie grew up. I lived there too when I was early teenage and the house is magic. Has an historical marker now. We would go to Garner State Park and I still remember how sweet and pure was the air. How fresh and crisp. I could smell the trees." - Barbara Duvall Wesolek, July 30, 2020

  • TX Uvalde County 1920s Map
    Uvalde County 1920s map showing Sabinal, Sabinal Creek, Frio Rio
    East of Uvalde the county seat
    From Texas state map #10749
    Courtesy Texas General Land Office

    Take a road trip

    Texas Hill Country

    Sabinal, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Uvalde the county seat
    Vanderpool on scenic FM 337
    San Antonio

    See Uvalde County

    Book Hotel Here:
    Uvalde Hotels | More Hotels
    Texas 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 us.
























































































































































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