History

5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Hondo, Texas

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Located 40 miles west of San Antonio on Highway 90, you will find Hondo, Texas. It is a relatively young city, as Texas cities go. The city was originally inhabited by the Coahuiltecan Native Americans and then later settled by the peoples of Germany, Belgium and Mexico. This little city has a powerful name.

1. Hondo  – The Name

hondo, texas, hill country, county seat

Photo: Wikimedia.org/ Bill Hathorn

Contrary to popular belief, the city of Hondo was not named after an individual. It’s name is spanish for deep. The original name was Hondo City. It is the county seat of Medina in 1892 from Castroville.

2. Those Famous Hondo Signs

hondo, county seat, texas, hill country, sign

Photo: Wikimedia.org/ Schrandtmatt

Hondo’s welcome sign has evolved over the years. The original sign was put up in the late 1930s. Later the spelling of thru was changed to through and they decided to spread a little Texas hospitality by adding the word “please”.

3. Hondo, the man, not the namesake.

John Russell "Hondo" Crouch

Photo: texashistory.unt.edu

There is a famous Hondonian. John Russell Crouch was born in 1916. Crouch was many things: writer, rancher, philosopher and all-around Texas character. Crouch took the town’s name as his nickname. Crouch is probably most famous for his connection to Luckenbach, Texas, and Willie and Waylon and the boys.

4. Aviation Training Field

Hondo AB

Photo: Wikimedia.org/ PFHLai

In 1942, during World War II, the Army established Hondo Army Air Field. The training facility was built in a short 4 months. The facility was used to train tens of thousands of new pilots. At one time, it was one of the biggest air fields in the world. It was closed in 1946.

5. The book and movie

Hondo, Louis L'Amour, Hill Country, medina county

Photo: Open Library

Rumor has it that Louis L’Amour visited Texas. He tried his hand at being a cowboy. It might have been too much for him because later he became a writer. Among the many, many books penned by L’Amour, he wrote one called “Hondo”. The story was about a scout and his trusty canine companion, Sam. The book later became a movie with John Wayne playing the lead role.

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