• The Cross-S Ranch & Crystal City Texas

        Zavala County is a county located in the state of Texas. Its county seat is Crystal City. Zavala is named for Lorenzo de Zavala, Mexican politician, signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, and first vice president of the Republic of Texas.

        The town of Crystal City
        is located some 92 miles (148 km) southwest of San Antonio and 35 miles (56 km) from the Mexico border. The city site was platted by land developers Carl F. Groos and E.J. Buckingham on the Cross S Ranch. They named the city for the many crystal-clear springs (used for irrigation) in the area. The arrival of a railroad assured the city’s development as a processing, packing, and shipping centre for vegetables, especially spinach grown in the surrounding area. The city became known as the “Spinach Capital of the World”.

        This is their story, their dream and vision. This is their dogged determination not to fail. This is about a small piece of paper, an advertising scrip that played a huge role in realizing their dream. This is Crystal City.

        In 1884 the discovery of the first of many artesian wells in the area opened up the possibility of more intense farming in Zavala County. The number of farms jumped from twenty-one in 1880 to 145 in 1890. By the turn of the twentieth century Zavala County was gaining a reputation for fertile soil, mild climate, and an abundance of pure water. Ranchers recognizing the potential for irrigated farming on their land speculated about future farming communities.

        Development strategies were devised by the owners of the Cross S, one of the largest ranches in the United States at the time, and the Pryor ranches. The ranches were subdivided into small farm tracts surrounding the planned communities of Crystal City and La Pryor. Two land speculators, Carl Groos and E. J. Buckingham purchased all 96,101 acres of the Cross S Ranch in 1905. Two years later in 1907 the ranch had been surveyed into sections and each section divided into ten-acre farms. Purchasers of a farm gained title to a town lot in Crystal City. Buckingham and Groos instructed their engineers to place the town near the Nueces River.

        “1907 - The Birth Of Crystal City” is an excellent video on you tube that can be viewed at this

        Extensive advertising encouraged people from all over the United States and a number of foreign countries to settle in Crystal City.

        This specimen of a Cross-s –S- Ranch advertising scrip with a facsimile confederate note featuring Jefferson Davis President of the Confederate States of America on the other side is promotional advertising at it’s finest.

        Transcribed and picture of unknown signature on scrip below.