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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Cotulla in La Salle County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Polish Immigrant Joseph Cotulla

1844-1923

 
 
Joseph Cotulla Marker image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 20, 2018
1. Joseph Cotulla Marker
Inscription.
In 1881, when the International & Great Northern Railroads pushed through South Texas, rancher Joseph Cotulla offered part of his homestead in exchange for running the track through his property. He platted a town site with a central plaza and a row of storefront businesses that drew cowboys and homesteaders for miles around. Though Cotulla’s “wild west” reputation was well earned, those rough and ready days are largely a thing of the past. What remains are Cotulla’s historic storefront businesses, town plaza and civic buildings which together convey a strong sense of the frontier towns that helped tame the wilderness, a sense that most only see in the movies.
 
Location. 28° 26.162′ N, 99° 14.12′ W. Marker is in Cotulla, Texas, in La Salle County. Marker is at the intersection of North Main Street (Business Interstate 35) and Center Street, on the right when traveling south on North Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is located in near the northeast corner of Cotulla City Park. Marker is at or near this postal address: 100 North Main Street, Cotulla TX 78014, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 7 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. La Salle County's First Artesian Well (here, next to this marker); Cotulla City Park
Joseph Cotulla Marker (<i>tall view; showing sculpture, fountain & garden</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 20, 2018
2. Joseph Cotulla Marker (tall view; showing sculpture, fountain & garden)
(within shouting distance of this marker); La Salle County (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); First Presbyterian Church of Cotulla (about 400 feet away); The First United Methodist Church of Cotulla (about 400 feet away); The Old San Antonio Road (about 600 feet away); Kings Highway (about 600 feet away).
 
More about this marker. Marker consists of a life-sided sculpture of Joseph Cotulla poised standing on a waist-high rock pedestal that includes a fountain, as well as this marker and a different Cotulla City marker.
 
Also see . . .
1. Cotulla, Texas.
In the early 1880s, Joseph Cotulla worked to build a town on the present site of Cotulla. In 1881 he provided 120 acres of land to induce the railroad to build, and by 1882 a railroad depot had been built and lots in the new town had begun to sell. By 1883 the town had been granted a post office, and several buildings had been constructed, including a general store, a hotel, and a jail. Cotulla developed a reputation as a rough place during its early years. According to one story, railroad conductors announced the town by calling out, "Cotulla! Everybody get your guns ready." Three sheriffs and nineteen
Joseph Cotulla Marker (<i>left marker; Cotulla City Park, La Salle County Courthouse background</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 20, 2018
3. Joseph Cotulla Marker (left marker; Cotulla City Park, La Salle County Courthouse background)
residents are said to have lost their lives in gunfights in the town. (Submitted on June 13, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. Cotulla, Texas.
Polish immigrant Joseph Cotulla, who was reared in Silesia, then a part of Prussia, migrated to the United States in the 1850s. He joined the Union Army in Brownsville, Texas. He arrived in La Salle County in 1868 to establish what became a large ranching operation. After learning that the International-Great Northern Railroad intended to lay tracks in La Salle County, he worked to establish the town which bears his name. (Submitted on June 13, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

3. Descendants recall how this Brush Country town was tamed. What three men — all with a connection to the town of Cotulla, Texas — have been on the cover of Time magazine? (As told by Joseph Cotulla's great-grandson Bill.) President Lyndon B. Johnson taught in Cotulla in 1928, when schools were still segregated. In fact, when Johnson signed the Higher Education Act of 1965, he cited his experience teaching Mexican-American children at Cotulla’s Welhausen School in his speech. The second man who was on the cover of Time magazine and had strong ties to Cotulla was Edward M. House, whose family owned 97 sections in LaSalle County. House served as “a kind of Karl Rove for President Wilson”
Joseph Cotulla Mural (<i>covers entire west wall of building across Main Street from marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
By Cosmos Mariner, May 20, 2018
4. Joseph Cotulla Mural (covers entire west wall of building across Main Street from marker)
and not only advised the 28th president on foreign policy issues, but also helped him write the Fourteen Points at the end of World War I. The third was Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com. He spent most of his summers on his maternal grandfather’s 24,000-acre Cotulla ranch. Bezos was featured on the cover in 1999 as the magazine’s Person of the Year because, like so much else with a Cotulla connection, he made history. (Submitted on July 3, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Categories. Settlements & Settlers
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on July 4, 2018. This page originally submitted on June 13, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 48 times since then. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on June 13, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.
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