Encinal is on Interstate Highway 35 twenty-seven miles south of Cotulla in southwestern La Salle County. Railroad officials reportedly named the spot the Spanish word for "oak grove." Before the International-Great Northern Railroad extended its tracks into the area, a small community called Ancaster already existed near, and possibly on, the site of present Encinal. It has been suggested that Encinal began as a settlement 1½ miles from the present site, which was moved to the railroad tracks when they were laid down in the early 1880s. An 1882 railroad map shows only a stop named Burro in the general location of present Encinal. In 1883, when a post office was granted under the name of Encinal, there were probably no more than two or three frame buildings on the site. But the town developed rather rapidly as a shipping center for sheep and cattle. In 1886 its first school was established, and by 1890 Encinal reportedly had a population of 900 and several businesses, including three general stores and a saloon. By 1896 the community had a school for sixty-one students, four general stores, the saloon, and an insurance agent.
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Encinal by the Numbers
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|607||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|559||2010||Texas Demographic Center|
|629||2000||Texas Demographic Center|
|620||1990||Texas Demographic Center|