Gardendale, on Interstate Highway 35 five miles north of Cotulla in northwestern La Salle County, was one of several new settlements in the Winter Garden region when irrigation opened new land to farming in the early 1900s. The community was established about 1908 by the Hurst and Brundage Company, a San Antonio land-development firm. Because its 16,000-acre site was at the intersection of the International-Great Northern and the San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf railroads it had an advantage over other developments. Most of the new settlers, who bought land at twenty-five to thirty dollars an acre, were from Missouri and Arkansas. Gardendale had a post office in 1909 and in 1914 had a population of twenty-five, a general store, and a gasoline station or auto-parts store. In 1925 the population was seventy-five. In 1931 the local school enrolled fifty students. But many of the early settlers were unable to support themselves on the small plots they had bought, and by the mid-1930s Gardendale had declined. In 1941 it had only one business, although its population supposedly remained at seventy-five. The town had lost its school by the mid-1940s. By 1965 no businesses were reported. In 1975 a historian of the county labeled Gardendale a "ghost town," although fifty-nine people reportedly still lived there. The population was still fifty-nine in 1990.
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Gardendale by the Numbers
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