General- Established on Fourth of July, 1904 with arrival of
first train over St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico railroad; land for townsite, in the
heart of the King Ranch, was donated by Mrs. Henrietta King. Mrs. King was
interested in the settlement of the region between Corpus Christi and Brownsville.
She also constructed the First Presbyterian Church building, donated land for
Baptist, Catholic, Episcopal and Methodist churches, built a high school and presented it
to the town, and provided land for South Texas State Teachers College (now Texas A&M
Univ. - Kingsville). Kingsville became Kleberg County seat in 1913.
Today the city is a center for agriculture, oil and banking.
Kingsville is also home of Naval Air Station Kingsville.
Visitors find an array of boutiques and antique shops downtown in
historical buildings featuring handmade crafts, home - baked goods, crafts, jewelry. and
Ben P. Bailey Art Building Gallery
Displays of student and faculty artwork; along with travelling
exhibits. Open long term Mon. - Fri 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.; summer (mid - May through mid -
August) Mon. - Thurs. 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. On Texas A&M University - Kingsville
Campus. (361) 595-3901.
John E. Conner Museum-
Hall of South Texas history has displays of Indian, Mexican, Spanish
and pioneer Texan cultures; ranching and agricultural equipment, railroads and land
promotion. Gallery of changing exhibits.
Kleberg Hall of Natural History features plants and animals
of South Texas in natural habitats; Discovery area has specimens for "hands on"
examination. Open Tues. - Sat. ( 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Next door is Peeler Hall
of Horns (open Mon. - Sat. 1 p.m. - 5 p.m.) featuring 264 mounts of North American
game. Open Mon. - Sat. 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Santa Gertrudis St. on campus of Texas
A&M University - Kingsville just West of Armstrong St. (361) 595-2801.
Largest ranch in continental U.S. established in 1853 when Capt.
Richard King purchased 75, 000 acres that had been a Spanish land grant called
Santa Gertrudis. Upon King's death Mrs. Henrietta King inherited the ranch along
with a $500,000 debt. Through her leadership the debt was cleared and the ranch
increased inn size. Holdings today comprise some 825,00
acres spread out over Nueces, Kenedy, Kleberg, and Willacy Counties. Robert J. Kleberg,
attorney and legal counsel for early ranch, married Capt. King's youngest daughter; King -
Kleberg descendants still control the gigantic enterprise. Famous Running W brand
known worldwide, but origin not known. Originally based on Texas Longhorns, ranch
lead in introducing purebred cattle such as Hereford, Shorthorn and Brahman. Now
famous Santa Gertrudis breed, first strain of cattle originating in Western hemisphere,
was developed here. Guided tours stop at old cow camp for pan de campo and coffee,
a walk through historic set of cattle pens, and view of ranch headquarters.
Tours usually conducted Mon. - Sat. on the hour 10 a.m. - 3 p.m., Sun. 1 - 4 p.m.
Tours may vary during the summer.) Entrance is immediately west of Kingsville
off Texas 141. Visitor Center: (361) 592-8055.
King Ranch Museum-
In restored downtown ice plant, museum features excellent ranch photos by award winning photographer, Toni Frissel. Also
collections of antique coaches, vintage cars, saddles and other historic ranch items.
open Mon. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sun. 1 - 5 p.m. 405 N. Sixth Street.
Admission. (361) 592-8055.
King Ranch Saddle Shop-
Unsuccessful in purchasing quality saddles and leather goods in the
marketplace, King began operating own saddlery shop more than 120 years age for use by his
men, the "Kinenos." Through the years the shop has outfitted governors,
presidents and foreign heads of state. Today shop offers a variety of leather goods.
Open Mon. - Sat. 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. In historic Raglands building, downtown,
201 E. Kleberg. (877) 282-5777.
City parks include swimming pools, picnic areas and playgrounds.
Dick Kleberg Park- 211 acres in grove of trees beside a
lazy creek, features picnic tables, grills, swimming pool. Loop 428 near south edge
of city. (361) 595-8591.
J.K. Northway Exposition Center/Park- has tennis courts,
ball fields and playground. Off U.S. 77 at south edge of city.
Kaufer - Hubert Memorial Park & Sea Wind RV Resort- Riviera
Beach, and Loyal Beach are saltwater recreational areas on upper reaches of Baffin Bay
southeast of Kingsville. Baffin bay opens into Laguna Madre along Gulf Coast,
renowned for saltwater trout and red drum fishing. Kaufer - Hubert Memorial park
& Sea Wind RV Resort has boat ramp, 134 unit campground, recreation room, swimming
beach, picnic shelters, tables, grills, playground, fishing pier, and other amenities
(361) 297-5738. Fishing pier and bait - tackle shop also available at Riviera Beach Park.
From U.S. 77 south, access to parks via F.M. 628 and F.M. 771.
For information on city attractions, accommodations and events visit
the Convention & Visitor's Center, 1501 Highway 77 at Corral Street, Mon. - Fri. 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m. - 1 p.m. Call 1-800-333-5032 or (361) 592-8516.