La Vernia, Texas

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La Vernia is a city in Wilson County, Texas, United States. The population was 931 at the 2000 census. It is part of the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

History

The town was first settled by two Indian tribes, the Comanches and the Coahuiltecans. Early Anglo-American settlements in the area were raided so often that these settlers were forced to leave their houses. Erastus Smith, known as "Deaf" Smith, was married to a Mexican citizen and received a Spanish land grant on the Cibolo River, near La Vernia. The area would primarily remain unsettled until about 1837, when Republic veterans arrived. W. R. Wiseman of Mississippi, who organized a Presbyterian church at the site around 1851, is said to have named the place Live Oak Grove for a grove nearby. In 1853, William Claiborne Rector was the post master at the local post office named Post Oak, which was changed to La Vernia in 1859. The origin came from the towns people that noticed the land was full of green oaks and in Spanish “La Vernia“ means green oaks. The Brahan Masonic lodge was established at La Vernia in 1859; when it was built it was made for three different purposes: the first floor was made for a school, and the second floor was made to be used for important meetings and church services.[3] German and Polish immigration brought the population to 110 by 1885, when the community had three churches, a steam gristmill, and a cotton gin. H. Suhre, owner of the general store. Also at this time the major crop grown was corn, because it was so universal; meaning you could make it to feed your family or sell to make money or used to feed your animals. In present day La Vernia they still grow a lot of corn but cotton has become another major crop. In 1890, La Vernia had a population of 200. Construction of the San Antonio and Gulf Railroad across the area in 1893 brought the population to 343 by 1900. A two-teacher school was in operation by 1896, they had to move out of the Masonic lodge because the enrollment grew to sixty-six children. In 1915 ,the town had two gins, a bank, four churches, a pottery plant, a brick works, and a population of 500. In 1947, it had seventeen businesses and that attracted more people over the years. In 1965, it had 700 residents and twenty-five businesses. The community incorporated around 1980, and in 1990, had a population of 639 and thirty-six businesses and a gas station called "Tommy's Exxon", owned by Bonnie and Thomas Kravitz. Their son, Samuel Kravitz, helped his mom and dad out at the gas station. The reason the population dropped was due to the growth of San Antonio and its other up and coming towns like Floresville and Canyon Lake. Many towns like that were getting very popular about this time. In 2000, La Vernia had 136 businesses and a population of 931. The census[1] of 2005 La Vernia had a population of 1,087 of people. In 2010 a new shopping area was build just west of town on Hwy 87, including a new HEB grocery store and gas station. Baumann's Grocery store closed at the time HEB opened.

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