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Aransas Creek Settlers

Texas Historical Marker - Aransas Creek Settlers

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Earliest known residents were Karankawa Indians who named creek. On this stream was one of the most famous ranches in early Texas, occupied in 1805 by Don Martin de Leon, who in 1824 founded Victoria.

In 1830's Irish colonists came by way of Copano Bay, settling downcreek. Anglo-Americans from older settlements, came by road and trail, stopping mainly upcreek. Stockraising, trucking and freighting provided livelihoods in the rich, new prairie land.

In 1850 Patrick Fadden sold to Ft. Merrill corn and vegetables from 1835 land grant of his uncle, Father John Thomas Malloy. Fadden and W. R. Hayes freighted supplies to settlers in 1860's. Hays had early post office in his home, 1870; was county judge 1876-92. John Wilson, an 1850's upcreek settler, brought first Durham cattle to country; built one of first wooden fences, enclosing 600 acres of homesite with rough heart pine plank. On creek's north bank stood ranch of Frank O. Skidmore, founder of Skidmore, who gained fame for building first barbed wire fence and windmill in county. He promoted breeding of registered Herefords and in 1886 gave much of right-of-way to the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad. (1967)

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