Historically Speaking

The county seat and old communities



Imagine if you will, the courthouse sitting near Hwy. 16 a little due west, just north of Poteet. There may be no Poteet or Jourdanton. Imagine the county jail and the county government gathering point is also in this area. This community or town was known as Mottomosa/ Agua Negra/Ditto. A petition was introduced to Commissioner’s Court on May 13, 1885, it read as follows: “In the matter of the petition of Abner Valentine Gates and others asking for an order for an election to remove the county seat to Agua Negra.”

On May 26, 1885, the petitioners received their answer: “The matter of the petition of A.V. Gates and others asking for an order for an election to remove the county seat from Pleasanton to Agua Negra. The said petition fails to show the legal number of signers required by law to authorize an order of election; it is ordered that the prayer of petitioners be not granted.” The petition contained the signatures of women, who were not considered eligible voters nationwide until 1920.

Less than 30 years later, the county seat was moved from Pleasanton to Jourdanton. It was moved by an election, not as the old myth goes. The old myth says that men from Jourdanton broke into the courthouse in Pleasanton, stole the papers, records, files, etc. and moved them to Jourdanton. This is not true, but a proper election is true, not a tale as marvelous as picturing bandits illegally relocat- ing documents.

Would the courthouse have stayed in Mottomosa/ Agua Negra/Ditto? Or would it have ultimately moved to Jourdanton as well. I guess we will never know, but it’s entertaining to imagine the “what if.”

By the 1920s, Ditto no longer had a post office and the population dwindled and migrated to the new town of Poteet with its Artesian Wells and bustling businesses. Although the Ditto area and Ditto Road exist, there is nothing that resembles a community anymore.

Atascosa County is home to a number of old communities that are just memories: Amphion, Benton City, Lagunillas, Crown, Coughran, Leal, Fashing, La Parita, Peggy, Hindes, Dobrowolski, Mc- Coy, Rossville, Iuka, Sand Branch, Tank Hollow, Las Gallinas, San Augustine, Verdi. In the future, I plan on featuring a story on each of these like I just did for Mottomosa/Ditto/ Agua Negra.

Y’all be safe and healthy, and keep our history alive!

Keep up with us on Facebook, until next time.

MARTIN GONZALES is the Atascosa County Historical Commission Chairman. If you have history to share, you may contact him at 830-480-2741.

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