are several localities in south Texas with evidence of habitation attributed to
a time prior to 11,000 years ago…there were claims some decades ago for the
association of artifacts and mid-Ice Age fossils in the so-called ‘equus beds’
of Duval County…”
history of Duval County should logically start with its creation. If that were
so then the history of Duval County would start in 1858 when the Texas
Legislature carved it out of Nueces, Live Oak, and Starr counties. However,
history is not always orderly, nor does it lend itself to dreary logic. History
by its very definition is the story of people and one cannot dryly tell the
history of a great people; it begs for life and demands a colorful showing of
all its ramifications.
there were a people, however, there was a place and a time. The time of this
place called Duval County goes back 24 to 34 million years to the Oligocene period
when the Earth was still undergoing major geologic change. The Earth’s tectonic
plates were still shifting and magma and other hot matter was rising from the center
of the Earth to form volcanoes. In fact, one or more volcanoes existed in what
is now western Duval County adjacent to McMullen County. In a 1937 study on the
ground water resources in Duval County, Albert Nelson Sayre found evidence of
volcanic ash, boulders, and pebbles. It is this volcanic ash, many believe,
which is the source of uranium in Duval County.
western part of Duval County also has a number of small hills. Some of the more
notable hills are the Atravesada and Las Parilla hills. Most of these hills,
including Los Picachos north of
Freer, are no more than 60 feet high. South of Freer are the Sarnosa Chiquita and Sarnosa Grande hills. A little further southwest is the Cedro hill. Because of their linear
arrangement, some geologists believe that these hills are evidence of a
geologic fault line, which could indicate a crack in the earth’s crust.
Another interesting geologic feature of Duval County is the
possibility that the Nueces River once bisected the county. Some geologists
believe that the basin of the Parrilla
Creek is actually the original
channel of the Nueces River while others argue that the Nueces actually
occupied the valley of Las Animas Creek.
The Nueces was diverted north by impediments caused by the Torrecillas uplift, the Bordas
and Oakville escarpments, and the Reynosa Plateau which made it hard for water
to flow easterly. The Bordas escarpment
bisects Duval County along a line from the middle of its boundary with McMullen
County to the middle of its western boundary with Webb County. To the west of the escarpment in the northwest corner of the county, soil is clayey and covered by thick of chaparral, cactus, and mesquite.
|Nueces River once bisected Duval County.|
During the Oligocene age, the climate was temperate but glaciers began forming in Antarctica. Early primates, as well as, animals such as horses, pigs, carnivores, rhinoceroses, elephants, and camels began to appear in North America.