AGUILARES, TX

Alfredo B. Barrera III, rev. by Lilia R. Mora
Aguilares, Texas.
The Aguilares mercantile and post office, ca. 1911. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

AGUILARES, TEXAS. Aguilares is located on State Highway 359, twenty four miles east of Laredo in southeastern Webb County. The community was named for brothers José, Locario, Francisco, Próspero, and Librado Aguilar who established ranches in the area in the 1870s. The economy of the community was changed on July 10, 1881, with the arrival of the Texas Mexican Railway. Aguilares became a wood and water stop on the railroad and a shipping stockyard for the large herds of sheep that roamed the area. A post office opened in 1890. By 1907 the town boasted two schools with two teachers and eighty-nine pupils. In 1910 the population was reportedly 1,500, although that number may have been exaggerated. By 1914 the population had decreased to 300. At this time two businesses served the community, one of which was the Aguilares Mercantile Company. When oil was discovered just south of Mirando City by Oliver Killam in April 1921, people had great hopes for the future of Aguilares. During the first months after Mirando City was established six miles to the east, the new community was supplied with dry goods from nearby Aguilares. By 1930 the post office had closed its doors. Aguilares quickly lost population to the county seat of Laredo. In 1945 the population was twenty-five, and one of the two stores had closed.

In 1990 only ten people were reported, and most of the houses were in disuse. By 2000 the population grew to thirty-seven. The 2010 census reported a population of twenty-one. In the 2010s the original schoolhouse, with its original floors and ceilings, was used as the offices for the Vaquillas Cattle Company. Although hunters came to the area for whitetail deer, quail, and dove, Aguilares was largely a ghost town. What little commerce that still exists in the community is from the ranches in the area. Actor Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez was born in Aguilares.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Michael F. Black, ed., Mirando City: A New Town in a New Oil Field (Laredo: Laredo Publishing, 1972). María Eugenia Guerra, Historic Laredo: An Illustrated History of Laredo & Webb County (San Antonio: Historical Publishing Network, 2001). Diana Davids Hinton and Roger M. Olien, Oil in Texas: The Gusher Age, 1895–1945 (Austin: Univerity of Texas Press, 2002).  

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Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Alfredo B. Barrera III, rev. by Lilia R. Mora, "AGUILARES, TX," accessed September 17, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hna12.

Uploaded on June 9, 2010. Modified on May 29, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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