Outstanding early-day Southwest Texas health spa. Had 27 flavors of mineral water, from over 100 hot and cold springs. (Indians used curative waters here before white settlement.) Resort was founded in 1848 by Dr. John Sutherland (1792-1867), who had been at the Alamo when Santa Anna came on Feb. 23, 1836, but was sent out by Travis to summon aid. Sutherland built plantation home on bluff west of the Cibolo, across from wooded valley of springs. Patients boarded in his home, homes of neighbors, or rented cottages at the springs. Most common mineral waters were white sulphur, black sulphur, hume sour. Hot springs were especially popular in treating rheumatic diseases.
Sutherland Springs was stagecoach stop on Old San Antonio Road. In 1854 Dr. Sutherland had a British teacher lay off square and town as seen today. In 1860, when Wilson County was created, this was county seat. Reconstruction Judge Wm. Longsworth demanded $250 to keep county seat here, and failing to get it hauled court records to Lodi, later to Floresville.
In 1909, "New Sutherland Springs", on lowland acres formerly held by Gideon Lee, had a 52-room hotel, the largest concrete pool in south, church encampments. Floods in 1913 made that resort a ghost town.