Before the first Europeans visited Calhoun County, the area was inhabited by nomadic Native Americans known as the Karankawas. In 1519, Spaniard Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda sailed the Texas coast on a mapping and reconnaissance expedition. Pineda's voyage did not produce any Spanish urgency to move into the region, which did not come until Spain perceived a threat from French incursions into the territory.
Subsequent Spanish land grants led to permanent settlement in the region, followed by the arrival of other Europeans. As more settlers arrived, displaced natives attempted to maintain control of the area. In 1840, Comanches staged their biggest attack in Texas history and burned the town of Linnville. By the Civil War, native tribes had been displaced from the region.
During the 1840s, Indianola became a major Texas seaport and point of entry for thousands of immigrants to the Lone Star State, including many Germans. As a major maritime region, Calhoun County grew quickly and soon boasted numerous prosperous and bustling communities. Several hurricanes and intense competition from other ports on the Texas coast slowed growth in the area, shifting the focus to fishing, recreation, and other industries, including chemical manufacturing. Today Calhoun County is a vibrant region with a rich history, exciting tourism opportunities, and a strong, diverse economy.
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