Vanderpool is on State Highway 187 ten miles north of Utopia and thirty miles west of Bandera in western Bandera County. The land on which it is located was given as a headright certificate by the Republic of Texas to José Texaso and patented by John W. Smith, assignee of José Texaso, on August 18, 1849. Smith sold his patent to Victor P. Considerant, who in turn sold several tracts to Henry Taylor and Gideon Thompson. Eventually Taylor owned several thousand acres in the Vanderpool area, where he gave away and sold land for a school, churches, and a cemetery. The Sabinal valley, in which Vanderpool is located, was first settled in the 1850s but was temporarily abandoned in the late 1860s due to raids by Comanche Indians. A post office was established in 1886, closed in 1889, and then reopened in 1902. The town was named for the first postmaster, L. B. Vanderpool, but the site had previously been called Bugscuffle. A school, known as Bugscuffle School, was established and in 1887–88 had fifty-three pupils and one teacher. In 1923 it was made an elementary school and had thirty-six students. As late as 1942 the school still existed. The Upper Sabinal Missionary Baptist Church of Christ organized before 1888 and reached a maximum membership of forty before it disbanded in 1947. The Catholics of Vanderpool organized in 1975; in 1989 there were fourteen families in the parish. An Apostolic Church met in the community house in the 1980s. It had been organized in 1923. The picturesque site of Vanderpool, which is nestled in the Sabinal Canyon surrounded by hills, was used by various Indians. The presence of Comanches, Apaches, Tonkawas, and Kickapoos was recorded by settlers, and Apaches were known to have established villages in the vicinity. Bird watchers come annually from around the nation and foreign countries. Hunting has replaced cotton as the farmers' chief "money crop." The Bell Ranch, now Rancho Las Campanas, has been fenced and stocked with exotics. In 1990 Vanderpool had one business and a population of twenty-two. The population was twenty in 2000.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
Janie S. Tubbs | © Texas State Historical Association
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