Gonzales

City of Gonzalez, Texas

City of Gonzalez, Texas

Municipal Building and City Hall in the City of Gonzalez, seat of Gonzalez County, Texas. Photograph by ProfReader.
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Map of Gonzales County

Gonzales, the county seat of Gonzales County, is at the confluence of the Guadalupe and San Marcos rivers, on U.S. highways 90, 97, and 183 in the north central part of the county. It was surveyed by James Kerr as the capital of DeWitt's colony in 1825 and named for Rafael Gonzales, governor of Coahuila and Texas. The settlement was abandoned in July 1826 after two Indian attacks and was rebuilt on the Guadalupe River in 1827. Gonzales was surveyed a second time, by Byrd Lockhart in August 1832, when it was given sixteen leagues of land for town development. As the westernmost point of Anglo-American settlement and the closest town to San Antonio de Béxar, it was the center of much of the Texas revolutionary activity. On October 2, 1835, Texans led by John H. Moore resisted Mexican dragoons sent to retrieve the town cannon. Challenging the Mexicans to "come and take it," the Texans rallied around the gun and fought the battle of Gonzales, the first skirmish of the Texas Revolution. On October 11 Stephen F. Austin took command of the volunteer army that had concentrated at Gonzales and there made preparations for the siege of Bexar. The following February the Gonzales Ranging Company of Mounted Volunteers rode to the aid of William Barret Travis's command during the battle of the Alamo, where the thirty-two men of the Gonzales contingent perished on March 6, 1836. On March 13 of that year Susanna W. Dickinson, widow of one of the Alamo defenders, and Joe, Travis's slave, arrived in Gonzales with news of the Alamo slaughter. Sam Houston, who was there attempting to organize the Texas army, had the town burned and ordered a retreat, thus precipitating the Runaway Scrape.

After the battle of San Jacinto many citizens remained in exile. In 1837 the Republic of Texas incorporated Gonzales and established Gonzales County, but the city council did not have its first meeting until March of 1839. A post office opened in January 1839. By the early 1840s rebuilding of the town was concentrated on the original townsite near the Guadalupe River. Many Gonzales volunteers, responding to the Comanche foray known as the Linnville Raid of 1840, rushed to join the battle of Plum Creek. In 1841 a Baptist church, the first in Gonzales, was built. In 1850 Gonzales had a population of 300. In 1851 Gonzales College opened in the town's first permanent school building. This was the first college in Texas to award diplomas to women. The Gonzales Inquirer was established in 1853 and was one of the six oldest county papers still operating in Texas in 1995. In 1860 the town had a population of 1,703. Several Gonzales men were active in Confederate service during the Civil War. In 1862 the term at Gonzales College was cut short because most of the professors and many of the older students enlisted for Confederate service.

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Stephen L. Hardin | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Great Texas Land Rush logo
Adoption Status:
This place has been adopted and will not be available until September 24, 2024
Adopted by:
Jose H Cantu
Dedication Message:
In memory of My Father Placido G Cantu, My Grandfather Fortunato Cantu, and My Grandmother Virginia Garcia Cantu

Belongs to

Gonzales is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists

Yes

Place type

Gonzales is classified as a Town

Location

Latitude: 29.51273860
Longitude: -97.44724300

Has Post Office

Yes

Is Incorporated

Yes

Gonzales by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Gonzales
Pop. Year Source
7,165 2020 United States Census Bureau
7,571 2019 Texas Demographic Center
7,237 2010 United States Census Bureau
7,202 2000 United States Census Bureau
6,527 1990 United States Census Bureau
7,152 1980 United States Census Bureau
5,854 1970 United States Census Bureau
5,829 1960 United States Census Bureau
5,659 1950 United States Census Bureau
4,722 1940 United States Census Bureau
3,859 1930 United States Census Bureau
3,128 1920 United States Census Bureau
3,139 1910 United States Census Bureau
4,297 1900 United States Census Bureau
1,641 1890 United States Census Bureau
1,581 1880 United States Census Bureau
1,072 1850 United States Census Bureau