Eagle Pass

Eagle Pass, Texas

Eagle Pass, Texas

A view of the Rio Grande at Eagle Pass, with Piedras Negras on the Background. Eagle Pass is the county seat of Maverick County, Texas. Photograph by Billy Hathorn.

Eagle Pass, the county seat of Maverick County, is located on the Mexican border at the intersection of U.S. highways 277 and 57, Farm Road 1021, and the Southern Pacific Railroad in the far western part of the county. During the Mexican War a company of Texas Mounted Volunteers under the command of Capt. John A. Veatch established an observation post on the Rio Grande opposite the mouth of the Mexican Río Escondido and beside an old smuggler's trail that crossed the river at this point. The crossing, known as El Paso del Águila, was so named because of frequent flights of Mexican eagles from the wooded grove along the Escondido. Though abandoned by the military at the conclusion of hostilities, the site remained a terminus and crossing point for trappers, frontiersmen, and traders. In 1849 Fort Duncan was established two miles upstream, and its proximity caused a rudimentary settlement to spring up at the crossing below the post. In 1850 San Antonio merchant James Campbell opened a trading post there, and he was soon joined by William Leslie Cazneau and his bride, Jane Cazneau. The village, named after the crossing on the Rio Grande, changed from El Paso del Águila to Eagle Pass as the Anglo presence grew. Concurrent with the growth of Eagle Pass below the fort, emigrants bound for the California gold fields (via Mazatlán) established a staging area above the post known as California Camp. The resulting trade and traffic brought a shift in the settlement of Eagle Pass from the old crossing downstream to its present location above the fort. John Twohig, owner of the land, surveyed and laid out a townsite, which he named Eagle Pass. Friedrich W. C. Groos contracted to haul supplies for the military and brought some seventy Mexican families to settle near the fort. A stage line between Eagle Pass and San Antonio was established in 1851. Our Lady of Refuge Catholic Church was constructed in 1852.

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.

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Eagle Pass is classified as a Town

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  • (Fort Duncan)


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Eagle Pass by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Eagle Pass
Pop. Year Source
28,780 2019 Texas Demographic Center
26,248 2010 Texas Demographic Center
22,413 2000 Texas Demographic Center
20,651 1990 Texas Demographic Center
21,407 1980 Texas Demographic Center
15,364 1970 Texas Demographic Center
12,094 1960 Texas Demographic Center
7,276 1950 Texas Demographic Center
6,459 1940 Texas Demographic Center
5,059 1930 Texas Demographic Center
5,765 1920 Texas Demographic Center
3,536 1910 Texas Demographic Center