Three Rivers is at the intersection of State Highway 72 and U.S. Highway 281, just south of the junction of the Atascosa and Frio rivers and just north of the junction of the Frio and Nueces rivers, halfway between San Antonio and Corpus Christi in north central Live Oak County. The community was first named Hamiltonburg when Annie T. Hamilton paid the San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad to build a depot on her land in 1913. Charles R. Tips organized a townsite company and sold land for the town. Since mail for Hamiltonburg was often mistakenly sent to the Texas community of Hamilton, local residents asked for a name change. Tips suggested the town be named for its location near the rivers, and Three Rivers was approved as the new name by the post office department on May 1, 1914. In 1920 natural gas was discovered near Three Rivers and was piped into town. A small refinery was built, and in 1990 it was a major Diamond Shamrock refinery, where many local residents were employed. The first glass factory in Texas was built at Three Rivers in 1922 as the gas fuel and local sand was plentiful. The Great Depression forced the sale of the factory to the Ball Glass Company in 1937, and the factory was permanently closed in 1938. Three Rivers was incorporated in 1926 and operates under the general-law aldermanic form of government. In 1925 its population was estimated at 1,000, in 1931 at 1,275, and in 1965 at 1,932, with seventy businesses. By 1988 Three Rivers reported 2,177 residents. The Choke Canyon Dam produced a local lake with good fishing, and two nearby state parks provide abundant campgrounds. Hunters can find deer, quail, dove, and javelina. In 1990 an estimated 1,889 residents lived in Three Rivers. The population was 1,878 in 2000.
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