Sandia is on State Highway 359 twenty-two miles northeast of Alice in northeastern Jim Wells County. The site was in the Casa Blanca land grant, issued to Juan José de la Garza Montemayor by Spain on April 2, 1807. The Montemayor family occupied the land until 1852. In 1896 John L. Wade purchased it and established the Casa Blanca Ranch (Wade Ranch). Upon his death the ranch was divided among his heirs, one of whom sold his share to Joseph B. Dibrell. Dibrell gave the task of dividing and selling the land to Fennell Dibrell and Max Starcke, who founded Sandia in 1907. At the time the streets were platted there was only one building in the community. Dibrell and Starcke chose the name Sandia, Spanish for "watermelon," because of the large number of watermelons grown in the area. The lots in Sandia were all sold within eight months, during which time a lumberyard, a hardware store, two grocery stores, a meat market, a boardinghouse, and a barbershop opened. By 1914 Sandia had 150 inhabitants, a bank, two general stores, and a cotton gin. The population steadily increased and in 1925 was estimated at 200. It had increased to 500 by 1927. In 1936 Sandia had three businesses, two churches, multiple farm units, and several dwellings and was a stop on the Texas and New Orleans Railroad. In 1940 it had a population of 300 and fifteen businesses. Sandia had a population of 310 during the 1960s and early 1970s. Residents numbered 215 in 1974 and 1990. In 2000 the population was 431.

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

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Sandia by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
339 2019 Texas Demographic Center
379 2010 Texas Demographic Center
431 2000 Texas Demographic Center