The History Of Cuero

Explore Cuero's Rich History
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This timeline hits just a few highlights of Cuero’s great past and tells a little bit about how it got to where it is today!

1866: Chisholm Trail Began Outside Present-Day Cuero Cuero is named for “Cuero Creek”. Cuero is Spanish for “rawhide”. The Spanish called it Arroyo del Cuero or Creek of the Rawhide. This was a reference to cattle that would get stuck in the mud along the creek bank. 


1868: Taylor-Sutton Feud The Taylor-Sutton Feud was very bloody and long-lasting. It encompassed a thirty-year span and was said to have originated from bad feelings after the Civil War during Reconstruction. Although the true cause may never be determined, it is a topic of much debate! 


1875 & 1886: Hurricanes Destroyed Indianola, Texas; People Relocated to Cuero. Many Cuero citizens migrated to escape the hurricanes that had destroyed Indianola, Texas. Indianola once rivaled Galveston as a gulf port. Some families went so far as to dismantle their homes in Indianola and rebuilt them in Cuero. The first hurricane hit on September 15, 1875. The town was full because of visitors attending a trial that was a result of the Taylor-Sutton Feud. Fatalities were estimated at 150 to 300. Only eight buildings were left undamaged by the storm. On August 19, 1886, a second hurricane hit and was accompanied by fire.

1912: First Turkey Trot Parade
The Turkey Trot, which has evolved into present-day Turkeyfest, began in 1912. Traveling salesmen from the north began watching with great interest the large flocks of turkeys that were driven on foot to the Cuero market. Today there is an annual race between turkeys from Worthington, Minnesota, and Cuero, Texas. Also, there is a carnival, live entertainment, arts and crafts, and much more during the three-day event. 


1941: Fighter Pilot School. During World War II Cuero Field was established at the Cuero Municipal Airport, two miles west of Cuero. It was a US Army Air Force training field. All instructors and mechanics were civilian, though the Army supervised training. Thousands of pilots who graduated from Cuero Field went on to serve in World War II. 


1942: Cuero Recorded as Largest Cattle Shipper in Texas
The Cuero Livestock Commission records show Cuero as the largest shipper of cattle in the state in 1942 and 1943, with more than 800 train carloads exported per year. The commission, established in 1940, sold $251,750 worth of stock that same year; sales jumped to $1.3 million in 1941, $3.5 million in 1942, and $4.7 million in 1943. 


1973, 1974, 1987 & 2018: State Champs, Gobbler Football. The Cuero Gobblers led the way to the state championship in 3A football. This was in 1973 with a 21-7 victory over Mount Pleasant. They would go on to win state another three years in 1974 and 1987 and Class 4A, Division II state final in 2018. 


1998: Flood of ’98: The damage in Cuero from the flood was extensive. According to Advocate archives, about 679 homes were destroyed, or more than 25 percent of the city’s residences. The residential cost alone was estimated at $32 million in 1998, which would equal $46.7 million today. The total cost was estimated at $82 million. 


1999: DeWitt County Named Wildflower Capital of Texas. The Texas Legislature passed HR 769 on May 4, 1999, designating DeWitt County as the Wildflower Capital of Texas. They also designated April as Wildflower Month in Texas. The Wildflower Association hosted a variety of events in April; including a bike race, walk/run, tours, and more!

2000: The First Business Relocated to our 150-acre Industrial Park. Tod Slone Saddles offers quality custom hand tooled western saddles. Since that time the park has grown to include: Texas Department of Transportation, Frito-Lay Distribution, Weaver & Jacobs Construction, C&K Oil Field Supply, and R. Katz Tools. 


2000: Christmas in the Park Established
Christmas in the Park was established by an ad hoc committee of the Cuero Development Corporation. This six-week driving tour of 275 lighted scenes attracts 100,000 visitors to the town. 


2004: Cuero Became a Preserve America Community. Preserve America is a White House initiative that encourages and supports community efforts to preserve and enjoy our priceless cultural and natural heritage. Cuero became a Preserve America Community for its tireless efforts to maintain our history and heritage. 


2007: Cuero Became a Certified Retirement Community. Cuero was recognized by the Texas Department of Agriculture for the great living and amenities offered to residents. The CDC developed a dedicated website, and brochure, “Welcome to Cuero – Southern Living at its Best”, and marketed the program on the website. 


2009: Cuero Became a Film-Friendly Community. Cuero became one of the first Film-Friendly Communities certified by the Texas Film Commission. The recommended film policy by the State was adopted to make the process easier for anyone interested in Cuero as a potential film location. 


2013: Main Street Program. The Cuero Main Street Program was re-certified, having previously being certified from 1985-1990, and boasts a growing Farmer’s Market, 2-day Christmas in Downtown event, and Vacant Building Registry Ordinance to encourage reinvestment, restoration 


2013: Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum Opens
After being renovated to its original structure, the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum opened its doors in November 2013. 


2014: The Pharmacy and Medical Museum of Texas opened its doors.


2015: Cuero Designated as a GO TEXAN Certified Retirement Community
Cuero received Retirement Community re-certification. 


2015: Cuero Designated a Playful City USA Community
Cuero was named a 2015 Playful City USA Community in July


2015: Cuero Certified as a Scenic City
Cuero received a Silver-level Scenic City upgraded to Gold level Certification in 2017 by Scenic Texas for 2015-2020 and then from 2020-2025.


2017: Hurricane Harvey strikes


2020: COVID affects all cities

To Date: Cuero continues to grow and thrive with new businesses coming to town, such as the Brookshire Brothers, which opened their 40,000 sq. ft. grocery store in March of 2022. Amherst Manufacturing opened later the same year. It should be noted, too, that Nest Fresh Eggs anticipates final construction and opening in 2023. 


Throughout the Pandemic, Cuero held fast to promote the continued stability of Downtown businesses with new advertising opportunities on social media: Cuero Retail Options, Cuero Food Options, and Cuero Downtown Farmers’ Market Vendors pages. Join us for Turkeyfest, the 2nd weekend in October, drive through our award-winning Christmas in the Park from Nov-Jan., create family memories at Christmas in Downtown, the 2nd weekend in December and enjoy our monthly Downtown Farmer’s Market on Main, 4th Saturdays, March-Oct. under our outstanding Market Pavilion. Our Downtown boutiques, restaurants & museums are a great experience and will show you why Cuero is the place for setting roots and reaching for the stars!