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Promotion: Nearby Map of Webb County

Darwin was on Farm Road 1472 and Santo Tomas Creek near the bank of the Rio Grande in northwestern Webb County. In the late nineteenth century the coal mining town of Darwin (originally called Cannel) was one of four such communities located about twenty-five miles upriver from Laredo, Texas. Limited mining in the area was first undertaken during the Spanish colonial era and then by the Cannel Coal Company which opened a mine in 1895. The town was named for David Darwin Davis, the superintendent of the Cannal Coal Company, and had a post office from 1896 to 1915.

By June 1900 Darwin had a population of 1,039 inhabitants, one-third of which were miners. These miners, immigrants from Mexico, were mostly young men in their twenties and thirties, yet thirteen were below the age of thirteen. The miners labored long hours for small wages and under hard and unsafe conditions. The men doing the blasting and loading the ore carts were paid by the amount of coal they could dig; some of the miners had to work from early morning until midnight to support their families. For ten hours of labor the miners were paid from fifty to eighty-five cents. From their wages, twenty cents a month was deducted for medicine and health care and $1.75 for rent. Workers lived in small, two-room, frame houses, and living conditions at Darwin were generally poor. Tuberculosis and other diseases were widespread.

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Karen Gratke, Andreas Oliver Meng Nielsen | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

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

Darwin is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Darwin is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Cannel)


Latitude: 27.71223400
Longitude: -99.74504820

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated