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La Vernia, Texas
La vernia city hall 2013.jpg
Nickname(s): 
L V, Bear Country
Motto(s): 
This is Bear Country
Location of La Vernia, Texas
Location of La Vernia, Texas
Wilson County LaVernia.svg
Country United States
State Texas
County Wilson
Area
 • Total 2.4 sq mi (6 km2)
 • Land 2.4 sq mi (6 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0 km2)
Elevation
489 ft (149 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total 1,034
 • Density 431/sq mi (166/km2)
Time zone UTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP code
78121
Area code(s) 830
FIPS code 48-41764
GNIS feature ID 1360813
Website lavernia-tx.gov

La Vernia is a city in Wilson County, Texas, United States. It is located is on the south bank of Cibolo Creek at the junction of U.S. Highway 87 and Texas Farm to Market Road 775, fifteen miles north of Floresville in northern Wilson County. The population was 1,034 in the 2010 census. It is part of the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History

The area known as present-day La Vernia was first inhabited by indigenous Native Americans of the Coahuiltecan speaking peoples of Texas and subsequently by nomadic bands of Apache and Comanche who migrated to Texas in the 17th century. One of the earliest land grants made was to Erastus "Deaf" Smith, also known as Deaf Smith. Deaf Smith married Guadalupe Ruiz Durán, a Mexican citizen who was descended from one of the original Tejano or Spanish Texas families; and as such, received a land grant from the Mexican government on the Cibolo River, north of present-day La Vernia in 1825. This area remained primarily unsettled by Europeans until 1837, when veterans from the recent wars of Independence from Mexico began to arrive.

La Vernia was first settled in earnest around 1850. W. R. Wiseman of Mississippi, who organized a Presbyterian church at the site around 1851, is said to have named the place Live Oak Grove, for a grove of trees nearby.

In 1853 a post office was established under the name Post Oak, which was changed to La Vernia in 1859. H. Suhre, owner of the general store, was the first postmaster. The origin of the name is uncertain. Although, in 1853 William Claiborne Rector was the postmaster at the local post office and during this time the town was still called Post Oak.

The town's current name came from the local Spanish vernacular for "green oaks", or "La Vernia“. Hence, the Brahan Masonic lodge was first established at "La Vernia" in 1859. The building also served as a school and church.

German and Polish immigration brought the population to 110 by 1885. The community was now served by three churches, a steam gristmill, and a cotton gin. H. Suhre was the owner of the general store. During this time the major crop grown was corn, being it was so universally useful. Cotton also proved to be an important commodity. In present-day La Vernia, corn and cotton are still major crops.

In 1890, La Vernia had a population of 200. Construction of the San Antonio and Gulf Railroad across the area in 1893 brought the population to 343 by 1900. A two-teacher school was in operation by 1896. Classes grew to be so large, that they had to move out of the Masonic lodge. The enrollment had grown to sixty-six children.

By 1915, the town operated two gins, a bank, four churches, a pottery plant, a brick works, and supported a population of 500. In 1947, seventeen businesses would provide much attraction, to more and more people, over the coming years. In 1965, population had increased to 700 residents and twenty-five businesses.

The community incorporated around 1966, and in 1990, had a population of 639 and thirty-six businesses and a gas station called "Tommy's Exxon", owned by Bonnie and Thomas Kravitz, and assisted by their son, Samuel Kravitz. La Vernia experienced out-migration and a subsequent population drop, due to the lure of the big city atmosphere and larger job markets available in neighboring San Antonio, Floresville and Canyon Lake. Many larger towns were getting very popular about this time.

In 2000, La Vernia had 136 businesses and a population of 931. The census of 2005 La Vernia had a population of 1,087 of people. In 2010 a new shopping area was built just west of town on Hwy 87, including a new H-E-B grocery store and gas station. A longtime grocer, Baumann's Grocery store, closed at the time HEB opened.

Geography

La Vernia is located at 29°21′11″N 98°7′33″W / 29.35306°N 98.12583°W / 29.35306; -98.12583 (29.353106, -98.125777). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), all land. La Vernia is 489 feet (149 m) above sea level. It is just about 30 minutes south-east of Downtown San Antonio.

Climate

In San Antonio, July and August tend to be the warmest months with an average high of 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 °C). The highest temperature ever to be recorded was 111 °F (43.8 °C) on September 5, 2000. The average coolest month is January. The lowest recorded temperature ever was 0 °F (-17.7 °C) on January 31, 1949. May, June, and October have quite a bit of precipitation. For the last 135 years, the average annual precipitation has been 29.05 inches (73.79 cm), with a maximum of 52.28 inches (132.79 cm) and a minimum of 10.11 inches (25.68 cm) in one year.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1970 425
1980 632 48.7%
1990 639 1.1%
2000 931 45.7%
2010 1,034 11.1%
2015 (est.) 1,261 22.0%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2000, there were 931 people, 317 households, and 239 families residing in the city. The population density was 482.8 people per square mile (186.2/km²). There were 344 housing units at an average density of 178.4 per square mile (68.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 92.48% White, 0.11% African American, 0.75% Native American, 0.64% Asian, 4.19% from other races, and 1.83% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19.98% of the population.

There were 317 households out of which 40.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 57.4% were married couples living together, 15.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.6% were non-families. 21.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.08.

In the city, the population was spread out with 25.1% under the age of 18, 7.1% from 18 to 24, 27.2% from 25 to 44, 17.1% from 45 to 64, and 23.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 81.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 72.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,500, and the median income for a family was $46,912. Males had a median income of $35,625 versus $24,844 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,931. About 12.5% of families and 12.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 18.1% of those under age 18 and 12.6% of those age 65 or over.

Economy and recreation

La Vernia is a thriving rural community located on State Highway 87, 25 miles east of San Antonio, Texas. La Vernia is in the rich oil and gas play known as the Eagle Ford Shale.

National food chains include: Dairy Queen, Golden Chick, Pizza Hut, Sonic, Subway, Taco Bell, and Whataburger. Family-owned restaurants include: the Bluebonnet, Buffalo Joes, Caparelli's Italian Restaurant, La Vernia Chinese Cuisine, Mr. Tim's Country Kitchen, Taste of Chicago, Witte's Bar-B-Que, and The Den . Mexican cuisine can be found at Sammy's, Busy Bear, Big Tejas, Los Compadres, and Alondra's. Groceries are available at HEB and Dollar General. Specialty foods can be found at Simply Sweet, and Donut Palace.

Farm and ranch supplies and western wear can be purchased at the La Vernia Country Store. Hardware is available at the Big Bear Home Center and The Mill. La Vernia is home to Koepp Chevrolet, a full-service automobile dealership. Napa Auto Parts is the community's source for automobile parts. Appliances and cooking supplies can be purchased at GVEC Home Services and Smith Propane. Music supplies, band instrument rental and music lessons are available at the Music Loft. Computer and cell phone repair are available at the Computer Loft.

Manufacturers in La Vernia include: Kayco Spray Booths, Aire Plastics, Red Apple Industries, and Leather King. Oil and gas service companies serving the Eagle Ford Shale include: D&D Power Systems, Old School Services, Coastal Flow, VZ Environmental and Connect Transport.

Doctor's offices and urgent care clinics include: Connally Memorial Urgent Care & Health Center and the Urgent Care Clinic of La Vernia.

The La Vernia Heritage Museum displays artifacts and memorabilia relating to the history and development of the city.

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