After a convention of Republic of Texas citizens accepted terms on July 4, 1845, for annexation to the United States, General Zachary Taylor brought 4,000 men of the U. S. 3rd infantry to Corpus Christi to defend the embryonic state from indians or foreign powers. He remained eight months; more than two months after Texas became a state he marched to the Rio Grande. Among his troops in Corpus Christi were three future United States presidents (Taylor, Pierce, and Grant), and many other future celebrities. A landmark of Taylor's sojourn was a sulphur-rich artesian well he had drilled adjacent to the camp.
In 1854, out of regard for the significant well and campsite, and to give the city he had founded (1839) a public park, H. L. Kinney deeded and dedicated the well site and an acre of surrounding land to the municipality. This park is one of the earliest in Texas to have been given by an individual to the public. By 1900--when a bandstand, drinking fountain and walks had been installed by civic or private means--the park was regarded as an historic, greatly cherished city facility. More land was added in 1907--08 through efforts of the Woman's Monday Club. Use and improvements have continued over 120 years.