During the reconstruction era in Texas, tensions mounted between Anglo settlers and Mexicans in the Nueces River area. On March 26, 1875, a band of raiders attacked a farm near Nuecestown, stealing livestock and taking some of the settlers prisoner. Forcing their captives to March on foot, they proceeded to Nuecestown. Thomas and Mary Noakes, owners of a general store near this site, were conducting business when the party of raiders arrived.
During an attack on the store a customer, John Smith, was shot and seriously wounded. Noakes, who had built trenches under his building for defense purposes, took refuge there after shooting one of the raiders. Mary Noakes, attempting to defend her children and home, was confronted by armed intruders in the store, but was able to help her children escape to the nearby river. Although the family escaped unhurt, the Noakes store was burned.
The Nuecestown raid resulted in increased hostilities between Mexican and Anglo settlers of the area. In the following months many innocent Mexicans were slain in retaliatory actions by angry Anglos. It took a special contingent of Texas rangers to finally restore peace and order to the Nueces strip.