San Diego, the county seat of Duval County, is on San Diego Creek and the Texas-Mexican Railway at the intersection of State highways 44 and 359 and Farm Road 1329, sixteen miles northeast of Benavides, twenty-four miles southeast of Freer, and fifty-two miles west of Corpus Christi on the county line between eastern Duval and western Jim Wells counties. The San Diego Cemetery lies northeast of town. Long before the town itself existed, its site was known to transients. In the eighteenth century travelers between Goliad and Mier used the springs that help feed San Diego Creek and now lie within the city limits as a watering hole. Around 1800 San Diego de Arriba and San Diego de Abajo, two grants totaling eight leagues of land, were granted by the Spanish government to Julián Flores and his son Ventura. The grants were surveyed in 1806 by José Faustino Contreras, the surveyor general of San Luis Potosí. Julián and Ventura Flores arrived in 1809 and received their deed in 1812. The first settlers may have been Julián Flores's herdsmen, who had settled on his ranch there by 1815; four years later the Flores family authorized an agent to found a town "at the place called San Diego." In 1828 Luis Muñiz became the first recorded birth in Duval County; he lived until the mid-1840s. By 1844 a visiting surveyor placed "some twenty-five families" there, and in 1846 Gen. Zachary Taylor and his troops reportedly camped there on their way to occupy Port Isabel, but not until 1848, when Henry L. Kinney and William L. Cazneau cut a road from Corpus Christi to Laredo that passed through the area, was the settlement named. In that year Ventura Flores sold some land along the north bank of San Diego Creek to Pablo Pérez, who built some stone houses and brought some families to live there. The resulting community was known as Perezville.
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