Matagorda County

Matagorda County is located in the Coastal Prairie region of Texas, surrounded on the north by Wharton County, /99on the east by Brazoria County and the Gulf of Mexico, on the west by Calhoun County and Jackson County, and on the south by the Gulf of Mexico and Tres Palacios, Matagorda, and East Matagorda bays. Bay City is the county seat and largest city.

Cities, Towns & Communities

Allenhurst | Austin | Bay City – county seat | Blessing | Buckeye | Caney | Cedar Lake | Cedar Lane | Chinquapin | Collegeport | Dunbar | Elliott | Elmaton | Grove Hill | Gulf | Hawkinsville | Hawley | Iowa Colony | Markham | Matagorda | Midfield | Mount Pilgrim | Palacios | Pledger | Riceville | Sargent | Simpsonville | Tintop | Van Vleck | Wadsworth


Matagorda County 1858. This county is bounded on the north by Wharton county, on the south by the Gulf of Mexico, on the east by Brazoria county and Gulf of Mexico, and on the west by Calhoun and Jackson counties. The area is 1334 square miles, about 510 of which are covered by Matagorda and Trespalacios bays. The general surface is level, and classed as bottom and prairie lands. There is much alluvial bottom-land in this county, which is nearly all well adapted to the culture of cotton, sugar-cane, rice, and Indian corn, besides many other productions of minor importance —sugar and cotton being, at present, the staples for exportation. The alluvial soils, or what is called the planting lauds, lie on the east side of the Colorado river, and are the bottom-lands, or deposits, which it has taken untold ages to accumulate on Old Caney, Peach Creek, Sinville Bayou, and Live Oak. There are several other smaller streams on the east side of the Colorado, with good bottom-lands and timber, not extensive enough for plantations, but well adapted for small farms and stock-raisers.

In 1836, Matagorda County was organized as one of the first twenty-three counties by the Republic of Texas; Matagorda was designated as the county seat. The area’s culture reflected the southern backgrounds of many of its inhabitants. Baptist education began at Matagorda around 1829, an Episcopal congregation was established in the area in 1838, and the area’s first Methodist congregation was established in 1839. The county’s first newspaper, the Tribune, appeared in 1837. A keel boat was reported on the Colorado in 1838, and a ferry known as Cayce’s (later called Elliotts) was established in 1849 west of Bay City. As Texas’s second major seaport and a port of entry for Texas immigrants from 1840 to 1865, Matagorda rapidly developed transportation and industry. The town had a gristmill in 1859, and the largest sugar mill in the state was built there sometime before 1860. By 1850 there were 2,124 people living in the county. 


Bay City, TX 28° 58′ 57.9252″ N, 95° 58′ 9.8472″ W

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