With each passing day, we get closer to the 175th anniversary of the inaugural May 8, 1846, edition of the Victoria Texan Advocate.
Since February, we've been spending time digging into our archives and reading about Victoria's history to create a monthly series that gives a decade-by-decade look at events, people and photographs from the decades leading up to that monumental milestone.
As you can see, there was no shortage of news back in the early 1900s. The same is true today – as is the Advocate's goal to provide Crossroads residents with honest, accurate information that serves our community.
This month, we hope you enjoy learning about life in the Crossroads during 1911-1920.
BIG NEWS THEN
- The decade of 1910 to 1920 is often recalled as one of the most critical times in Victoria's development. During those years, the county's population increased 21.9% to 18,271. Though the county shift in population from rural to urban was not recorded until the census of 1950, the momentum of this decade was a culmination of progress regarding immigration, improved transportation facilities, social amenities and more.
- In 1918, a strain of influenza known as Spanish flu caused a pandemic, spreading rapidly and killing indiscriminately. Estimates vary on the exact number of deaths caused by the disease, but it is thought to have infected a third of the world's population and killed at least 50 million people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Records indicate that the toll among residents of Victoria was considerable, and has been estimated at about 175 deaths, but an exact number is not known.
- In November 1912, Cuero hosted its first ever Turkey Trot. Now a beloved community event, the inaugural trot saw an estimated 30,000 people who came to see more than 18,000 turkeys head down Main Street. Visitors were met with agriculture shows, a carnival, big band dances, a visit from then Texas Gov. Oscar Colquitt and more.
NOTABLE PEOPLE THEN
- Dr. Joseph V. Hopkins: Hopkins was a well-respected local physician who served as the city health officer for 50 years. Hopkins Elementary School is named after him. The home he purchased in the early 1920s originally built for banker Frank Lander is an example of Neoclassical Revival architecture and is recognized by Texas Historical Commission.
- Florence Shelley Chilton Jordan: Jordan taught Latin at Mitchell School in Victoria. She was very active in the civic, cultural and historical development of Victoria. In 1912, she married Ben Jordan, who served as a mayor of Victoria. She is buried in Evergreen Cemetery.
- Joseph Daniel Mitchell: A rancher, cattleman, naturalist and conchologist, Mitchell served on the first Board of Trustees of Victoria Independent School District and for many years thereafter. He and his wife, Agnes, were two of Victoria's most beloved residents.
- Ernest Weaver: A U.S. Army officer who served in World War I, Weaver taught school and later entered law enforcement after returning to Victoria from the war. He later served as identification officer and bookkeeper during the administrations of sheriffs Richard Rogan, Bill Crawford, M.W. Marshall and the interim administration of J.C. Durrant.
COUNTY POPULATION THEN (1920)
- Victoria: 18,271
- Calhoun: 4,700
- DeWitt: 27,971
- Goliad: 9,348
- Jackson: 11,244
- Lavaca: 28,964
- Refugio: 4,050
VICTORIA ADVOCATE NEWS
- 1902-1942: George French, publisher
- 1907-1914: Leopold Morris, editor
- 1914-1917: R.N. Stephens, editor; J.M. Stokes, associate editor
- 1917-1919: Leopold Morris, editor
- 1919-1922: Sam Lucchese, editor
- Print: Both the daily and weekly editions of the Advocate were published during this decade.
- Location: The Advocate was located at 110 S. Main St. before it moved to 110 S. Liberty St. when George H. French acquired the paper in the early 1900s. The Advocate returned to the building on Main Street where it remained until 1926.
COST OF GOODS IN 1920 IN TEXAS
- Milk: 33 cents per half gallon
- Oranges: 63 cents per dozen
- Flour: 40 cents per 5 pounds
- Butter: 70 cents per pound