Hello, Atascosa County! After a decent turnout, I am happy to report that the Pleasanton Express has received their Texas Treasure Business Award! Several special speakers gave their take on the meaning of the Pleasanton Express and its value to this community. It was established in 1909, 112 years ago. Automobiles were not common, the Ford Model- T was a new novelty in America, the airplane was invented by the Wright Brothers six years prior. To say that the Pleasanton Express has witnessed the evolution of our county would be a correct statement. It was fitting for us to honor it as a Texas Treasure.
Texas Treasures exist all over the state and sometimes it is a good reminder to see the different landmarks and historical features this state has to offer. My new job requires me to travel, so I made my way over to Cuero in DeWitt County last week. I wound up near the De- Witt County Courthouse. I always find intrigue in historic architecture and courthouses always meet that criteria. Their courthouse was majestic even if it was surrounded by mounds of earth where some sort of renovation was happening. Across the street was a monument inscribed with the Ten Commandments and underneath was the text of Matthew 22:37-39. On my way to Karnes City on Hwy 72, I encountered Yorktown and the Yorktown Memorial Hospital. I couldn’t help but stop at the spectacle, encroached upon by dried vines and long ago abandoned. The front doors clearly warn visitors to “Keep Out” and above the hospital name are broken oval windows. The folklore that surrounds this building is embraced by statewide fame that has been featured by several media outlets, usually around Halloween.
The old hospital reminded me of another local (still standing) hospital in Poteet, the Shott’s Memorial Hospital. My friend Doug from Longview inquired about George Strait’s origins and knowing I’m a history buff, he asked. I educated him about the birth of the country super star in that hospital and the role Willie played at the KBOP radio station in Pleasanton. Our usual conversations consist of the cultural differences and regional references of the ‘taco’ that in east Texas is referred to as a ‘burrito.’ As much as I want to prove that he’s wrong, I’ll save that for another day and another at-length discussion.
Until next time, keep up with us on Facebook.
MARTIN GONZALES is the Atascosa County Historical Commission Chairman. If you have history to share, you may contact him at 830-480-2741.