Karnes County timeline
May 26, 2012 at 5:26 a.m.
1758 - First land grant is issued in Karnes County.
1770 - Spanish establish Fuerte de Santa Cruz del Cibolo to protect settlers from Comanche and other American Indian raids.
1780s - The fort and surrounding area is abandoned in the face of continued Indian attacks.
1852 - The town of Helena is established.
1853 - Settlers petition to establish Karnes County with Helena as the county seat.
1854 - Polish settlers establish Panna Maria, the first Polish colony in the United States.
Early 1860s - Karnes County population grows to 2,170 people.
Mid-1880s - Large-scale agriculture is introduced to the county with the arrival of the railroads. Improved access to markets and new settlers diversify farming community.
1886 - The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway fails to pass through Helena, causing the decline and death of the town.
1890 - County population reaches 3,637 residents.
1894 - Karnes City residents petition to be named the new county seat.
1900 - Population doubles to 8,681.
1910 - Population reaches 14,942.
1920 - The number of farms grows from 265 in 1900 to 2,710.
1930 - Population tops out at 23,316.
1930 - Oil is discovered in Falls City.
1930s - The Great Depression causes many of the tenant farmers working the land in Karnes County to abandon the farms.
1940 - Population shrinks to 19,248.
1950 - Population declines to 17,139.
1954 - First commercial deposits of uranium are discovered.
1960 - Chevron opens uranium mine.
1960 - U.S. Atomic Energy Commission opens a uranium-ore buying station in Karnes County.
1959-65 - The Person Field in the Edwards formation starts producing in Karnes County.
1970 - Population dips to 13,462.
1972 - Conoco opens a uranium processing mill in Falls City.
1975-81 - The Austin Chalk play booms.
1979 - Chevron opens the largest uranium mill in the state in Panna Maria.
1982 - Conoco closes Falls City uranium mill.
1980 - Population increases by 1 percent to 13,593, the first increase since 1930.
1990 - Population drops to 12,455 , an 8-percent decline.
1992 - Chevron uranium mill closes.
2000 - Population grows by 24 percent to 15,446.
2007 to present - The Eagle Ford Shale play booms.
2010 - U.S. census records a 4 percent decline in population to 14,824.
SOURCES: THE TEXAS HANDBOOK, JOHN BRAUDWAY, THE UNITED STATES CENSUS RECORDS, TEXASRADIATION.ORG