Somerset, Texas

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Somerset is a city of Bexar County in the U.S. state of Texas. It is located less than 20 miles south of San Antonio and is part of the San Antonio–New Braunfels metropolitan area. The population was 1,550 at the 2000 census.

Contents

History

Somerset was named for a settlement that had been begun in 1848, in what is now Atascosa County, by a group of Baptist families from Somerset, Kentucky. The present site was named Somerset when the First Townsite Company was formed on the Artesian Belt Railroad right-of-way on May 25, 1909, by A. M. Pyron, Carl Kurz, and Jonas A. Kerr.

In 1913, while drilling for artesian water, Kurz discovered oil. A boom followed. The Somerset oilfield extended from Somerset to below Pleasanton and was the largest known shallow field in the world at that time. Two oil refineries in the field and a pipeline into San Antonio handled the high-gravity crude.

The town grew rapidly from fifty residents in 1925 to 700 in 1928; it was served by a state bank, a ten-room hotel, and several machine and blacksmith shops. A post office opened there in 1920. A nearby lignite coal mine also added to the booming economy of the area.

During the 1920s farmers turned from cotton to dryland fruit and vegetable farming. In 1931 the Somerset Fruit Growers Exchange building was dedicated, and between truck farming, oil, and coal, the town prospered until the mid-1930s, when diminishing oil returns and the Great Depression caused a decline. In 1931 the town reported twenty businesses; by 1958 there were only eight.

In 1920 the Somerset Independent School District was formed from at least five other school districts: Wildman, Senior, Bexar, Old Rock (Old Somerset area), and Oak Island. The Somerser Police Department was created in 1972 followed be its incorporated in 1973 and has a mayor-council form of city government.

Geography

Somerset is located at 29°13′37″N 98°39′27″W / 29.22694°N 98.6575°W / 29.22694; -98.6575 (29.226954, -98.657533)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km²), all of it land.

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,550 people, 513 households, and 392 families residing in the city. The population density was 773.7 people per square mile (299.2/km²). There were 547 housing units at an average density of 273.0/sq mi (105.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 77.16% White, 0.26% African American, 1.55% Native American, 0.19% Pacific Islander, 16.00% from other races, and 4.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 70.45% of the population.

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