Nursery, on U.S. Highway 87 ten miles northwest of Victoria in Victoria County, is named for the fact that horticulturist Gilbert Onderdonk in 1883 established a branch of his nursery there on the San Antonio and Mexican Gulf Railway. The local sandy loam soil with clay subsoil provided an excellent laboratory and the railroad a convenient shipping point. The site was originally part of a 4,428-acre tract belonging to Silvestre De León, a son of empresario Martín De León. A post office was established at the site in 1884 with Onderdonk as postmaster. During peak shipping and processing times the population of Nursery reached perhaps a few hundred. In 1900 the community had, in addition to the train station, a doctor, a hotel, a gristmill, two gins, and a number of stores and restaurants. From 1974 to 1990 its population was estimated at 106. In 1985 the post office, a few businesses, and a seven-grade school remained at the site. By 2000 the population grew to 260.
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Nursery by the Numbers
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