City Profile

History of Uvalde

The City of Uvalde had its beginning in the town of Encina, laid out in 1855 for Reading W. Black by Wm. C.A. Thielepape. It was the foresight of these two men that make the present city’s characteristics unique. The original town site consisted of 24 city blocks and extended from Wood Street to Park Street between Calera and Leona Streets. Wide 60’ streets and spacious 60’ X 240’ lots established the city’s open uncrowded character. The generous width of the principal traffic arteries, Main and Getty streets, remain adequate for increases in the daily commuting flow.

Black centered the town around four squares, designated as the Courthouse Plaza, Town Hall Plaza, Market Plaza, and Fountain Plaza. Nearby properties were dedicated for the construction of schools, churches, parks, and other public facilities. By 1888, Mr. Black’s town had attracted a population of 1,200 people, and the public areas were employed as originally planned with the exception of the Town Plaza. In that same year, 50 citizens petitioned for its incorporation. The area proposed for incorporation was 36 miles, six miles to a side, with the cross lines at Main and Getty Streets. An election was held and on July 16, 1856 County Judge Patterson declared the City of Uvalde duly incorporated. Infrastructure projects were implemented and by 1915, the City of Uvalde had sufficient operations such as water, sewer, streets, and telephone services.

The City of Uvalde has grown in population and size to provide even more services to its local citizens. The present population is between 15, 000 to 16,500 and Uvalde is still a “city on the go.” A history of the City of Uvalde is a history of people-citizens who thought enough of their community to become involved-those citizens, who without pay, have been willing to give of their time and assume the responsibility of helping plan and direct the growth of our little city.

*Source-A History of Uvalde County, Texas by the people of Uvalde County.

Economic Condition and Outlook

Uvalde is the county seat and principal commercial center. It is located approximately 82 miles west of San Antonio at the intersection of U.S. Highways 83 and 90, two of the longest highways in the United States, giving Uvalde the nickname of “Crossroads of America”. The most current estimated population figure is 15,430 from 2022. Southwest Texas Junior College had a combined 2022 fall enrollment of 6,238. Principal industries within the county include agriculture (livestock and crop production), tourism, manufacturing of asphaltic limestone paving materials, food processing, aviation services and hunting. Garner State Park, 30 miles north of U.S. 83, has attracted 4,494,665 visitors over the last ten years, which makes it the most popular state park.

The community’s economic development and revitalization efforts are strong and continue to pay dividends in the form of expansion of existing businesses, increased tourism and population growth. Inquiries from people and businesses wishing to relocate to the city have increased. As the majority of the population ages, Uvalde will increasingly become an area for retirees. Uvalde is also a popular destination for Winter Texans, with many businesses financially benefiting from this group. Winter Texans are retired, short-term residents from colder parts of the country who choose to temporarily live in the warmer Texas climate over the winter months. Uvalde’s good health care facilities, climate, abundance of recreational activities and low cost of living makes this city an ideal place for citizens of all ages and incomes.


United States Census Bureau

Southwest Texas Junior College-Strategic Innovation & Research Office