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Texas Independence Trail Region

Participant in the Texas Historical Commission's
Texas Heritage Trails Program

Karnes City


"On December 12, 1890, a group of Cuero businessmen, styled as Buchel, Wagner and Company, purchased a 1,000-acre tract from J. L. Calvert for five dollars an acre. Because the tract was near the geographic center of the county and astride the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway (built in 1886–87), the firm purchased it for plotting a townsite that could ultimately become the new county seat."


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"The town was named in honor of Texas patriot Henry Wax Karnes, but to distinguish it from Kerens in North Texas, the post office department added "City" to the name. The Karnes City post office was officially established on April 1, 1891. The first store in the new town was a small building in which R. F. Harris had groceries and the post office. Buchel, Wagner and Company soon built a general merchandise store in the community. The first hotel there was the Sullivan House; next was the Kolodziej Hotel, completed in April 1891. In May 1892, a public auction of lots was held. When it became apparent that the town would grow, the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway built a side track where lumber for new homes and businesses could be unloaded." - Karnes County Centennial (Karnes City, Texas, 1954). Robert H. Thonhoff, History of Karnes County (M.A. thesis, Southwest Texas State College, 1963). - http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hgk01