LaCoste, originally known as Fernando, is on the Southern Pacific Railroad and Farm Road 471 five miles southeast of Castroville in eastern Medina County. A post office was established in Fernando in 1893 with Edwin Fendall Howard as postmaster. By 1896 the settlement had a population of twenty-five, two general stores, two saloons, and a daily stage to Castroville for a fare of fifty cents. On May 22, 1898, the post office changed its name to LaCoste, for Jean B. LaCoste, a prominent San Antonio businessman and a native of France. In 1912 Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church was built at the community, with Corinthian columns, Gothic arches, large stained-glass windows, and fine acoustics. By 1914 LaCoste had grown to 400 inhabitants, who supported the Catholic church and school, two cotton gins, the LaCoste National Bank, and a weekly newspaper, the Medina Valley Herald. Shipments of cotton, corn, oats, pecans, and honey left LaCoste on the main line of the Southern Pacific. As late as 1936 some German could still be heard among the community's 400 residents, 50 percent of whom claimed Alsatian ancestry; 25 percent of the population was Hispanic. There were two schools, one for Hispanic students and one for White, and a country weekly called the LaCoste Ledger. Local farms grew cotton, oats, hay, and vegetables, which were irrigated by water from the Medina Lake and ducted to the LaCoste area through an elaborate canal system. By 1969 LaCoste had incorporated and reported a population of 498 and nineteen businesses. Its population had grown to 942 by 1989, when sixteen businesses were reported there. In 2000 LaCoste had a population of 1,255.
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