GONZALES, TEXAS. Gonzales, the county seat of Gonzales County, is at the confluence of the Guadalupe and San Marcos rivers, on U.S. highways 90, 97, and 183 in the north central part of the county. It was surveyed by James Kerr as the capital of DeWitt's colony in 1825 and named for Rafael Gonzales, governor of Coahuila and Texas.
The settlement was abandoned in July 1826 after two Indian attacks and was rebuilt on the Guadalupe River in 1827. Gonzales was surveyed a second time, by Byrd Lockhart in August 1832, when it was given sixteen leagues of land for town development. As the westernmost point of Anglo-American settlement and the closest town to San Antonio de Béxar, it was the center of much of the Texas revolutionary activity. On October 2, 1835, Texans led by John H. Moore resisted Mexican dragoons sent to retrieve the town cannon. Challenging the Mexicans to "come and take it," the Texans rallied around the gun and fought the battle of Gonzales, the first skirmish of the Texas Revolution.
On October 11 Stephen F. Austin took command of the volunteer army that had concentrated at Gonzales and there made preparations for the siege of Bexar.qv The following February the Gonzales Ranging Company of Mounted Volunteers rode to the aid of William Barret Travis's command during the battle of the Alamo, where the thirty-two men of the Gonzales contingent perished on March 6, 1836. On March 13 of that year Susanna W. Dickinson, widow of one of the Alamo defenders, and Joe, Travis's slave, arrived in Gonzales with news of the Alamo slaughter. Sam Houston, who was there attempting to organize the Texas army, had the town burned and ordered a retreat, thus precipitating the Runaway Scrape. After the battle of San Jacinto many citizens remained in exile.
In 1837 the Republic of Texas incorporated Gonzales and established Gonzales County, but the city council did not have its first meeting until March of 1839. A post office opened in January 1839. By the early 1840s rebuilding of the town was concentrated on the original townsite near the Guadalupe River.
Though bypassed by the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway in 1874, the community was connected by a rail spur to Harwood; on the railroad the community shipped cotton, wool, hides, cattle, horses, cottonseed, and pecans. In 1885 the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway began service to Gonzales.
Text from the Handbook of Texas Online