Hondo, Texas

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Hondo is a city in and the county seat of Medina County, Texas, United States.[3] According to the 2000 Census, the population was 7,897. It is part of the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Contents

Geography

Hondo is located at 29°20′49″N 99°8′44″W / 29.34694°N 99.14556°W / 29.34694; -99.14556 (29.346838, -99.145543),[4] approximately 40 miles west of San Antonio.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 9.6 square miles (24.9 km²), of which, 9.6 square miles (24.8 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.21%) is water.

History

Original settlers in the area came from Alsace-Lorraine, Germany, Belgium and Mexico. Many family-owned businesses, farms and ranches are still owned by descendants of the original families.

The area, which is now Medina County, was first explored by Cabeza de Vaca in 1519, 27 years after Columbus arrived in the new world.

The city of Hondo was first settled in 1881 and incorporated in 1942. The U.S. Army built an air field in the town in 1942 to train new pilots; at one time the largest air navigation school in the world, Hondo Army Air Field trained over 14,000 navigators for service during World War II before closing in 1946.

Hondo was the scene of two bank robberies in the early 1920s. The crooks were the famed Newton Gang, the most successful outlaws in U.S. history. Both bank hiests occurred the same night.

In 1930, the local Hondo Lions Club erected the now somewhat famous sign reading "This is God's Country, Don't Drive Through It Like Hell," at the city limits with the intention of slowing down those speeding while traveling through town. Later, in the 1940s the sign was changed to "This is God's Country, Please Don't Drive Through It Like Hell" in order to satisfy those in the town who were displeased with the tone of the old sign. [1] The sign has been in news and print in many magazines, including on the cover of National Geographic, and in the music video of Little Texas' song "God Blessed Texas."

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