Camp Wood

Camp Wood, Texas

Camp Wood, Texas

Camp wood is a small ctiy in the Texas Hill Country within Real County, Texas. Photograph by Billy Hathorn.

Camp Wood is on the Nueces River at the intersection of Farm Road 337 and State Highway 55, just below Camp Wood Creek in far southwestern Real County. The settlement was founded in 1920 by workers of the Uvalde Cedar Company for the purpose of exploiting the abundant cedar in the area. The site of the town and the immediate vicinity have, however, been inhabited for several millenia, as revealed by archeological evidence. The town is situated in the Nueces Canyon on the Balcones Escarpment, at the southern edge of the Edwards Plateau, amid plentiful supplies of water, game, and other natural resources. The excellence of the site for habitation is attested by evidence of successive occupations since the Archaic and Neo-American periods. The modern town's water is supplied by the same spring that earlier served San Lorenzo de la Santa Cruz Mission (1762–71), established by Franciscans for the Lipan Apaches who inhabited the region during the historic period, and the United States military outpost Camp Wood (1857–61), from which the town derives its name. After the mission was abandoned, Indians continued to return to the site. White occupation did not cease with the withdrawal of federal troops at the start of the Civil War. Edward D. Westfall moved to the site at this time and remained until 1874, raising cattle and serving as a scout for Confederate troops stationed there. Jerusha Sánchez, a midwife in the Nueces Canyon, also reportedly came into the area in the early 1860s, and in 1864 the family of George Schwander was occupying the remains of the old mission when Lipans killed Mrs. Schwander and abducted their son, Albert. In 1873 the widow Elizabeth Hill moved to the canyon with her three sons, John, Ed, and Jim, the last of whom subsequently served as a scout for Gen. John Bullis and purchased a house from the Sánchez family. The United States military and the Texas Rangers also briefly reoccupied Camp Wood in the second half of the nineteenth century. In 1917–18 Joe Sweeten ran a store a mile north of the site of present Camp Wood on the Uvalde-Rocksprings road (Highway 55); the store served local ranchers and freighters hauling goods between Rocksprings and Uvalde and was referred to as Real City.

In 1920 Camp Wood became the northern terminus of the Uvalde and Northern Railroad, and the townsite was formally laid out. Cedar workers initially lived in tents, but during the 1920s the settlement rapidly developed into a prosperous community. The post office was established in November 1921, and the town was incorporated in 1936. However, the depression and the depletion of the region's cedar curtailed development. The Uvalde and Northern ceased operation in the early 1940s, and ranching, in particular the raising of Angora goats, replaced cedar as the principal industry, with tourism and hunting assuming increasing importance in the local economy.

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John Minton | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Camp Wood is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Camp Wood is classified as a Town


Latitude: 29.66904700
Longitude: -100.01086000

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Population Count, 2021 View more »