Understand the Background of Victoria, TX
Founding of Victoria, TX
Victoria, Texas, located on the Guadeloupe River, was originally known as Guadeloupe Victoria. It was founded by Martin De Leon in 1824. The original name was established in honor of Guadeloupe Victoria who was the first president of the Republic of Mexico. It was part of De Leon’s county which was the only settlement in present-day Texas that was initially settled primarily by Mexicans as opposed to white settlers. It proved to be an important trading location on the La Bahia Road. By 1834 its population had risen to around 300.
As the Texas Revolution began, this Mexican settlement actually contributed to the pro-revolutionary side. During the Revolution Sam Houston entreated James Fannin to retreat to this area from Goliad because of its defensive advantage. However, after Fannin was defeated the area became occupied by Mexican forces. Then, after the Texas victory at San Jacinto, unfortunately, the Mexican residents of Guadeloupe Victoria were driven out and the town was renamed Victoria even though the area had supported Texas’ initiative.
Victoria’s first mayor, John J. Linn, worked to make the Guadeloupe River usable for trade by setting up a Ferry system which proved quite successful. In its early years it suffered two major issues one being a raid by the Comanche and the other being a substantial outbreak of cholera. Despite these setbacks, the town continued to grow and prosper. The people utilized large amounts of slave labor to achieve success. In the mid to late 1800’s, the town saw an influx of European immigrants especially Germans who shaped the culture of the town dramatically. The area continued to grow more and more because of its strategic advantage as a trading port. Ranching became a leading occupation of the town.
Rapid Growth Post World-War II
After the war, Victoria, TX become one of the fastest growing cities in the state. The population doubled from the year 1950 to the year 1960. As the population grew the culture and amenities grew as well to now include a symphony orchestra, a zoo, several theatres, and many museums and libraries. In 1981 this Texas town became a standard metropolitan statistical area.
Today the city boasts a booming economy that is supported mainly by tourism, oil, manufacturing, and agriculture. It is a highly connected city that can be accessed by three highways, an airport, and a train station. The city has even been nicknamed “The Crossroads” because of its close proximity to Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Houston, and Austin. The population has now grown to over 62,000 as dictated by the 2010 census. Victoria serves as the county seat of its county. Additionally, it is the largest city in the county. The city is currently served by a council of six council members and an elected mayor. The city is also the Cathedral city for the Roman Catholic Diocese of the area. Victoria is a place with a rich and vibrant background that has greatly shaped the city it has become today.
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