Espey is a small rural community located on U.S. Highway 281 about ten miles north of Pleasanton in northern Atascosa County. The settlement received its name from the Espey family who came to the area in the early twentieth century. In 1912 Julius E. and Adeline Skwortz Espey moved to Atascosa County from San Antonio and resided near the site of the now defunct town of Las Gallinas, a hamlet founded by pioneers including the Skwortz family in the 1850s. The land was used for farming and ranching, and in 1926 an orchard was planted. The Espeys established a family business, the Espey Silica Sand Company, in 1918, and made use of Atascosa County's abundant supply of silica sand that businesses utilized for industrial purposes, including glass making. Loads shipped by rail on the San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad (later the Missouri Pacific line). Atascosa County highway maps in 1936 showed a cemetery, dwellings, and factory in the area, though Espey was not listed by name. The nearby parish of St. Joseph's Catholic Church served families for decades until it closed in 1981.
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.
Laurie E. Jasinski | © Texas State Historical Association
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