Premont, Texas

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Premont is a city in Jim Wells County, Texas, United States. The population was 2,772 at the 2000 census. A July 1, 2008 U.S. Census Bureau estimate placed the population at 2,789.[3]

Contents

Geography

Premont is located at 27°21′29″N 98°7′33″W / 27.35806°N 98.12583°W / 27.35806; -98.12583 (27.358064, -98.125766)[4]. It is situated at along U.S. Highway 281 in south central Jim Wells County, approximately 26 miles (42 km) south of Alice.[5]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 km²), all of it land.

History

The site was part of the Los Olmos y Loma Blanca land grant issues to Ignacio de la Peña on December 9, 1831.[6] Peña and his heirs occupied the land for the next thirty years. On November 1, 1907, banker and real estate developer R.P. Halderman purchased a 43,275-acre (175.13 km2) plot of land from the heirs of Henry Seeligson for $540,939.50.[7] He then subdivided the land into five and 10-acre (40,000 m2) tracts to entice residents from the northern U.S to invest in South Texas, citing the region's warm climate and ideal planting conditions.

In 1908 or 1909, a town site was surveyed by C.F.H. Von Bulcher. Halderman named the new community Premont, after Seeligson Ranch foreman Charles Premont. A section of the community, located east of the railroad, was set aside for Mexican and Mexican-American families.[8] A plaza called Hidalgo Park was designed and built to serve those families. R.P. Halderman sold hundreds of lots to Charles Premont, who in turn, served as the real estate agent for the Mexican families as he was fluent in Spanish. He also donated the funds to build Santa Theresa Catholic Church, a Roman Catholic institution that now minsters to three missions. Several businesses, including a post office and a general store owned by Andrés Canales, opened in the community during its early years. Premont became part of the newly-organized county of Jim Wells on March 11, 1911.[7] In an election held on May 6, 1911, Charles Premont was elected as the county's first commissioner. By 1912, Premont had ten businesses and an estimated population of 800. That figure had risen to approximately 1,000 by 1914, the same year that the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway built a stop at Premont.[5] The Premont Independent School District was created in 1921.[8] At the time of its creation, Premont ISD was the largest school district in Jim Wells County. Premont's population had declined to roughly 600 by 1925.

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