Site of First Zavala County Courthouse. Zavala County was created in 1858 from Maverick and Uvalde counties. Named for Lorenzo de Zavala, a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto, the county was not organized for judicial purposes until 1884. In that year citizens elected county officials and selected Batesville as the county seat. Batesville originally was known as the Bates Ditch community or Bates City. Elijah A. and Ellen J. Bates are credited with its founding. They came to the area in the late 1860s and became a prominent ranching family. Bates, who is credited with the first irrigation project in the area, began selling two-acre plots of the irrigated farmland, and a settlement grew up near his home. After the selection of Batesville as the Zavala County Seat, Bates conveyed a portion of his land for use as a courthouse square. The first county courthouse and jail were constructed at this site in 1885. Built of burnt bricks made from Leona River soil, the two story courthouse featured offices downstairs and a courtroom upstairs. The structure was used as the county courthouse until 1928, when the seat of government was moved to Crystal City. The old courthouse then was used for a variety of purposes until it was torn down in 1947. - Historical Marker Text. Marker erected 1984. Marker located one block south of Highway 57 on Main Street Batesville Plaza.