Live Oak County, Texas
Live Oak County, located in South Texas, is surrounded by McMullen County to the west, Atascosa County to the northwest, Karnes County to the northeast, Bee County to the east, San Patricio County to the southeast, Jim Wells County to the south, and Duval County to the southewest. George West, the county's largest town and seat of government, is located in south central Live Oak County.
Cities, Towns & Communities
Argenta | Choke Canyon Reservoir | Echo | Fant City | George West - county seat | Gussettville | Lagarto | Lebanon | Lyne | Mapes | Mountain View | Nell | Oakville | Pernitas Point | Ray Point | Simmons | Spring Creek | Three Rivers | Toms | Votaw
The state legislature formed Live Oak County from San Patricio and Nueces counties on February 2, 1856. Later that year county officials accepted a donation of 640 acres for the townsite of Oakville, near the old settlement on Sulfur Creek, and designated it the county seat. By 1858, three settlements in the county—Oakville, Gussettville, and Echo—were considered large enough to be granted post offices by the federal government; in 1860 the census counted 593 people in Live Oak County, most of them in the eastern part. In the early years of settlement, residents usually lived on a subsistence level, raising only small patches of crops, if any, and killing wild game for meat. For money to buy necessary supplies, they relied on the large herds of wild cattle, hogs, and mustangs that grazed in the area. The market for cattle and mustangs was limited in the early years of the county, but some cattle were driven to coastal towns, and mustangs, once broken, could be sold in San Antonio and East Texas. There was greater demand for the meat, hides, and tallow taken from the many wild hogs in the area. A single family could capture and slaughter as many as a hundred hogs in a year and sell the products in San Antonio, Tilden, or Oakville. Eighty-five slaves were counted in Live Oak County in 1860, but since there was virtually no commercial agriculture in the area at the time, it is not clear how they were employed. Read Live Oak County History from the Handbook of Texas Online >>
The History of the People of Live Oak County, 1982, by the Live Oak County Historical Commission.