Jerry Alfaro Amanda Rivas Fall, 2005
U.S. History 1302 R. Hines, Instructor



The city of Floresville, Texas was established in the mid-1800's, by Canary Island immigrant Don Francisco Flores de Abrego. The county seat and largest city in Wilson County is Floresville, which is 30 miles southeast of San Antonio. Flores de Abrego established a ranch headquarters six miles northwest of the site of present day Floresville. In 1833 the nucleus of the town included the Flores home, a chapel, and a graveyard. The community was first called Lodi and served as the Wilson county seat from 1867 to March 1871, and again from July 1871 to 1873. According to the Handbook of Texas Online, a Floresville post office was established in 1872. By 1855 Floresville had two hotels, a weekly newspaper named the Chronicle, two steam cotton gins, and a population of 400. The town was incoporated in 1890, when the reported population was 1,500.


A well known story of Floresville is the Maximo Martinez story. Martinez lived on a farm and worked for Jim McDonald as a wood cutter. His wife's name was Trinadad and they had two lovely children. Martinez disliked his job and his wife and wanted something new in his life. Several miles away there lived a black-haired beauty described as the "Mexican Venus". He would pay her court and meet her after dark. He pled with her to elope with him for many months. She thought of him as just a friend but he wanted more. On June 5, 1897 he waited for her patiently but she never followed through with her promise of meeting him. He became extremely upset and went to her house with a vengeance. He took his faithful ax and went into every room, first horribly killing her grandparents. Then went to Acosta's room and slashed her throat, split her stomach down the middle and laid her open. He then tried to escape to Mexico, but was stopped by an angry mob of 400 men. He was then brutally brought back to Floresville for a trial, but it never quite got that far. He was lynched outside the court house and was viewed by hundreds of people coming from surrounding towns on July 30, 1897.


The building was built in 1887 to serve as a jail and the residence of the sheriff and his family. It was used as such until 1974 when a new Criminal Justice Facility was built. The jail house was a two story building which could accommodate 32 prisoners. The ground floor and the front portion of the second floor served as the sheriff's living quarters. This consisted of two rooms upstairs and four rooms on the first floor. Food for the prisoners was prepared in the kitchen by the sheriff's wife or other helpers. Dice would be left on the counter to show how many prisoners there were to be fed. The jail itself consists of two levels of cells located on the second floor. So there are actually two stories in the front and three in the back. There are two entrances leading to the prison area. One is from inside the residence area thorugh a steel door in the dinning room and the other is a steel door located on the back of the building. Both doors open into a hallway that contains metal stairs leading up to the cells. This hallway served as an area where families could visit with prisoners. There was also a trap door for hanging but it did not function properly and was only used once. Afterwards scaffolds were built outside for hangings.

Wilson County Courthouse

The courthouse at Floresville was destroyed by fire in 1883, but the records were saved. The same year officials appointed noted San Antonio architect Alfred Giles to design a new courthouse in Floresville. Quincy Y. says "In 1883, the original wood frame Courthouse building was destroyed by fire. Installed in the old courthouse was a fireproof safe that cost $750.00. When the old courthouse took fire, practically all the documents were saved. When fire took the courthouse in 1883 they decided to build a new one that is the present courthouse that you see today. The present courthouse was built in 1884. The first change to the Courthouse building was a concrete vault which was built on the southeast side of the courthouse. This addition was the start of many additions and modifications to the original building. During the 1920s the county attorney's office was added to the courthouse. In 1923 the County Clerk's records vault including a small basement area was added to the southeast corner. From 1860 to 1991, at least 30 changes took place."

old school.bmp

According to local historical records, in 1900, Wilson County had 63 public schools. One of these was Floresville Public School, which was begun as Floresville Academy in 1880. The first recorded graduates were in 1898 when three individuals received diplomas. No more graduates were recorded again until 1902, when six students graduated. Tuition was charged in each department, with the high school department charging $2.50 per month. School rules included: (1) Students were not allowed to attend any socials from Monday morning until Friday evening; (2) Students were not allowed to loiter on the streets either in coming or returning from school; (3) Students had to devote a portion of each day to homework; (4) Profane or obscene language was not allowed on school grounds or on roads to or from school. The school was located on the Corpus Christi-San Antonio Highway (now known as Fourth Street or 181 Business Loop). It consisted of a two-story, six room wooden building and several out buildings. Most students walked to school, rode their horses, or came in buggies. Sometime near the turn of the century, a second wood-frame building was constructed and used until 1912. All grades met in the same building. Students "marched" into class and outside to recess each day to piano music. Graduation was held in the Opera House (located on "B" Street) during those years. The PTA was organized in 1908. The PTA, The Mothers Club, and Floresville High School Alumni Association were active organizations, which sponsored various events for the students for many decades. A new library was constructed in 1983. This was the first air-conditioned facility on campus. It had two special education classrooms within the building. In 1989, a building with six new air-conditioned classrooms was added next to the tennis courts. The city changed the name of Trail Street to Tiger Lane, and a school flag was designed." (Debbie Carter, the Wilson County Historical Society and Connie Turner, 1990)


A supermarket once named Baumans and Super S Store were recently closed due to the opening of H-E-B supermarket. Also a pizza place once know as the Pizza Garden was closed due to the opening of Pizza Hut.


1.Floresville, Texas- written by Claudia Hazlewood This paragragh gave us great facts and greatly acknowledged us about the history of Floresville. We used this paragragh for correct dates and times of events that took place long ago in Floresville.

2.Melda Dunn Melda was incredibly useful and told us many stories of the past. She gave us a great deal of information and told us about some great hot spots to visit for other information. She was very coroprotive with us and a great help.

3.Chamber of Commerce This gave us alot of information of a variety of things. They showed us a map of Floresville and exactly where it was at in Texas. They also showed us fun things to do and where places are located in Floresville, and also all of the members of Floresville.

4. Peanut Festival This gave us a great insight of the peanut festival history. They talked about the past Peanut Festival Kings and Queens and how the came up with the name. They also have great pictures of past and recent festivals.

5.Floresville Cemeteries This paragraph gave us a great deal of information of the cemeteries in Floresville and were they are located. It also provides information dealing with the STARS (Students in the Floresville Independent School District) and how the are beautifying the cemeteries.

6. Floresville Texas This book gave interesting facts and pictures and past and present floresville. It was extremly useful and read it alot for back ground information. It also had a few astonishing facts and we never knew about.

Floresville High School

Floresville, Tx

Canary Island

Flores de Abrego

Lodie ,TX

Alfred Giles

Wilson County


Melba Dunn, who is 70 years old, once lived in Deweez. Then She moved to Floresville in 1953. Melba has four children and 22 grandchildren. She was a housewife untill 1977. Then her husband John Dunn, who has been married to Melba for 21 years, opend a resturant called the Pizza Garden. She said it was a good business. They had a lot of customers from the surrounding towns. Melba and her husband did everything themseleves, they had no workers. Their business was solid for 20 years until they retired, due to the opening of Sonic.

When she was younger, she lived on a ranch with her sibilings and parents. Melba had to pick cotton, chop peanuts and learned how to cook on a wood stove. Being the second youngest, her mom would let her stay home and take care of her little sister while everyone else would go to work.

Every Sunday they would go to their grandma's house to have fun. One of the unusual events that they had in Floresville was a big celebration, in which they would dress up in old fashioned clothes.

Growing up, race was never a big factor to her. She says that the whites would have gun fights with each other due to changes with the law.

Melba Dunn enjoys living in Floresville and would not change it for anything.

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