Kingsland History From a Small River Town to a Tourist Getaway

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Though today, Kingsland is a relatively small town, catering to weekend and summer tourists, it once ranked as a large town along a major rail line, but its history has always been intrinsically tied to people flocking to this town to get away from the city. Kingsland history has seen highs and lows for the area, including a time the town was almost wiped out, but the strong Texas streak in the residents kept this little community alive.

A Second Kingsville?

For a short while, Texas had two towns called Kingsville until the second changed to Kingsland This is the original Kingsville around 1910

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Kingsland history began in 1879 when Martin King, Sr., and J.M. Trussell hoped to establish a town where the Llano and Colorado Rivers met. They purchased the land and began to work it, but their efforts were stalled by King’s death. In 1883, his widow, Nancy Jane King, completed the surveying and plotting of the town, naming it Kingsville in her late husband’s honor. This name did not stick, though. When the town sought a post office, it had to change its name. Two towns in Texas couldn’t have the same name, and Kingsville had already been established south of Corpus Christi.

The Early Years

Kingsland history started where the Llano and Colorado Rivers met

Photo: Facebook/Susie Barthule Williamson

From its founding, a cotton gin provided the main means of the economy for the town, but thanks to the nearby rivers and the picturesque rolling hills, a railroad line came to Kingsland. In 1892, the Austin and Northwestern Railroad from Austin to Llano passed through Kingsland, greatly contributing to the town’s history. And if you visit today, you’ll still see remnants of the time the railroads were king in Texas.

The Influence of the Railroad on Kingsland History

The Antlers Inn played a role in Kingsland history as a train station hotel

Photo: Facebook/Diana Faith Cadena

Kingsland really began to boom after the railroad came to town. In 1901, now known as Kingsland, the town became a popular tourist destination. The railroad constructed a hotel along the line, which still stands today as a privately-run facility called the Antlers Inn. The century-old cabins on the hotel’s property were once places for railroad employees to stay overnight.

Natural Disaster Devastates the Town

A railroad bridge near Kingsland Texas
Photo: Facebook/Jay Fleschner

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