Location of Yorktown, Texas
|• Total||1.7 sq mi (4.5 km2)|
|• Land||1.7 sq mi (4.5 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||276 ft (84 m)|
|• Density||1,318.1/sq mi (508.9/km2)|
|Time zone||Central (CST) (UTC-6)|
|• Summer (DST)||CDT (UTC-5)|
|GNIS feature ID||1377672|
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.7 square miles (4.4 km2), all of it land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,271 people, 864 households, and 584 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,318.1 people per square mile (509.8/km²). There were 1,048 housing units at an average density of 608.3 per square mile (235.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 79.83% White, 2.99% African American, 0.40% Native American, 15.32% from other races, and 1.45% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 37.60% of the population.
There were 864 households out of which 30.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 50.7% were married couples living together, 12.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.3% were non-families. 29.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 18.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.54 and the average family size was 3.15.
In the city the population was spread out with 26.3% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 22.7% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 22.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 85.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.6 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $25,507, and the median income for a family was $28,529. Males had a median income of $25,234 versus $17,031 for females. The per capita income for the city was $12,041. About 18.4% of families and 23.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.5% of those under age 18 and 16.2% of those age 65 or over.
Founded by Captain John York and Charles Eckhardt and named in honor of Captain John York, a famous Indian fighter and was in command of a company of citizens who, under Ben Milam, defeated General Cos in 1835 at the Siege of Béxar. For his military services, York received many acres of land in the Coleto Creek area. Captain York died in October, 1848, in a battle with Indians who had raided the settlement of Yorktown. A historical marker designates York's grave seven miles from town.
Charles Eckhardt, started a mercantile business in Indianola which at that time was a major Texas seaport. Eckhardt participated in the Texas Revolution and may have met Captain York during military service. Charles Eckhardt contracted with John A. King, one of the pioneers of West Texas, to survey a road from Indianola through Yorktown to New Braunfels, later known as the Old Indianola Trail. From its inception in February, 1848, this road remained the chief thoroughfare for this part of the state to New Braunfels and San Antonio. This trail shortened the former route by twenty miles and established Yorktown as an important relay station for freighters, prairie schooners, trail drivers, and stagecoaches bringing mail and passengers. The came through upper town on North Riedel Street.
Early in 1848, after the founders had the proposed town surveyed, they offered 10 acres (40,000 m2) and the choice of a lot free to the first ten families to settle the townsite. Many German, Bohemian, and Polish families came and soon changed this wilderness into one of the most prosperous sections of the entire state.
In May, 1848, Peter Metz and John Frank built the first house in the settlement of Yorktown for Charles Eckhardt. It was built of logs, twelve by twenty feet, with a back room and chimney. This house was later occupied by a brother, Caesar Eckhardt, who was the founder of C. Eckhardt and Sons Mercantile Company, known for half a century as the leading firm of its kind in western DeWitt County.
Unfortunately, neither of the founders lived to see the town develop beyond this point. In October 1848, in a battle with Marauding Indians, Captain York and his son-in-law, James Madison Bell, were killed. They were buried in a single hand-made coffin in the Yorktown Cemetery some seven miles (11 km) east of Yorktown. In 1852, on an inspection of some of his properties in Central America, Eckhardt contracted yellow fever and died at sea on his return trip. He is buried in New Orleans. The Eckhardts did not have any children while the Yorks had ten children.
The Catholics established a church in 1867 and the Lutherans in 1872. The huge oak tree on the lawn of the latter church is one of the oldest in the state. The town was incorporated in 1871. (Data collected from www.yorktowntx.com)
Celebrated on the third weekend of October, Western Days is a three day town celebration featuring a carnival, barbecue cook-off, horseshoes and washers tournaments, quilt show, poker run, and street dancing. Western Days is held downtown at the city park. Numerous food booths and art and craft stands line the streets. Saturday morning begins with a large parade through town. Western days is one of the few festivals in the area that charges no admission to the park or dance.
- Community website
- Schools website
- "Scenes of Yorktown, TX" Footage of daily life in Yorktown in 1940. From the Ray Jelinek Collection, Texas Archive of the Moving Image.