Located off the western shores of the Texas Gulf Coast, Kingsville is deeply rooted in Texas history. Kingsville’s origins came from the need for an efficient railroad service connecting Brownsville to St. Louis. Captain Richard King’s wife, Henrietta, set aside a portion of the famed King Ranch to be available for development. Half of the designated land was opened for purchase and the other half was to be deeded for construction of the railroad. The Kleberg Town and Improvement Company, founded by Robert Justus Kleberg, hired a surveyor to develop a town three miles east of the King Ranch and the community of Kingsville was officially founded in 1904.
Named after Captain King, Kingsville’s steadily flourished in the years following the construction of the railroad thanks to the railroad company basing its headquarters within the city. As the number of railroad workers grew, so did the town’s population and by 1911, the city was officially incorporated and adopted a charter to establish the commission form of city government. With the railroad giving the economy a much-needed boost, Kingsville’s population reached 1,500 by 1931.
Kingsville quickly became the forefront of the trade and ranching industry. After oil was discovered near the city and natural gas was discovered southeast of the town in 1921, Kingsville officially became a hub in its own right.
Today, Kingsville is home to nearly 30,000 people and remains a vital part of the Texas ranching industry with more than 60,000 cattle and 300 quarter horses. Kingsville is also home to a leading public research university, Texas A&M Kingsville, a Naval Air Station and several Fortune 500 industrial companies.
From its quaint, historical buildings downtown to the longhorn and Santa Gertrudis cattle that graze in the King Ranch, Kingsville still retains much of its unique historical charm while continuing to steadily grow into its future.
Whether you’re a birding aficionado, a connoisseur of the arts, a history buff or a university student, Kingsville has something for everyone. Come and see what Kingsville has to offer