Cotulla, Texas

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Cotulla, Texas
Downtown Cotulla
Downtown Cotulla
LaSalle County Cotulla.svg
Cotulla, Texas is located in Texas
Cotulla, Texas
Cotulla, Texas
Location of Cotulla, Texas
Coordinates: 28°26′3″N 99°14′11″W / 28.43417°N 99.23639°W / 28.43417; -99.23639Coordinates: 28°26′3″N 99°14′11″W / 28.43417°N 99.23639°W / 28.43417; -99.23639
CountryUnited States
CountyLa Salle
 • Total2.01 sq mi (5.21 km2)
 • Land2.01 sq mi (5.21 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.00 km2)
427 ft (130 m)
 • Total3,718
 • Density1,800/sq mi (710/km2)
Time zoneUTC-6 (Central (CST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC-5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
78001, 78014
Area code(s)830
FIPS code48-17216[2]
GNIS feature ID1333494[3]
Cotulla Historic District sign downtown (erected 2013)

Cotulla (/kəˈtjlə/ kə-TEW-lə[4]) is a city in and the county seat of La Salle County, Texas, United States.[5] Its population was 3,718 as of the 2020 census.[6]


Immigrant Joseph Cotulla, who was reared in Silesia, then a part of Prussia, migrated to the United States in the 1850s. He joined the Union Army in Brownsville, Texas. He lived in Atascosa County, but arrived in La Salle County in 1868[7] to establish what became a large ranching operation. After learning that the International-Great Northern Railroad intended to lay tracks in La Salle County, he worked to establish the town that bears his name.

In 1881, Cotulla donated 120 acres of his land to the railroad, and in 1882, a depot was constructed there. In 1883, the town was granted a post office. The same year, Cotulla became the county seat by special election.[8]

Joseph Cotulla's great-grandson, William Lawrence Cotulla (born around 1936), a former storekeeper in Cotulla, is a rancher in La Salle, Dimmit, and Webb Counties. In a 2013 interview with the Laredo Morning Times, William Cotulla noted the community of his birth has changed completely in less than 80 years, having gone through several phases, beginning with emphasis on farming, then ranching, thereafter hunting leases, and now petroleum and natural gas through the Eagle Ford Shale boom.[7] With declining gasoline prices, though, the Eagle Ford boom took a sharp downturn by the fall of 2015.[9]

On June 28, 2013, the Texas Historical Commission, the United States Department of the Interior, and the National Register of Historic Places designated downtown Cotulla as a significant part of Texas history with the unveiling of an historic marker. In 2006, Cotulla had been designated as a Texas Main Street community.[7]

City manager Lazaro "Larry" Dovalina (born 1947), who formerly held the same position in Laredo, compared the impact of the recent growth of Cotulla to the arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century. Cotulla is believed to have tripled in population since the 2010 census, with possibly 12,000 residents in 2013. With Eagle Ford Shale and many jobs in the oil and gas fields, Cotulla has seen the building of new hotels, restaurants, truck stops, and refineries. Many older buildings downtown are being updated and renovated for other uses. Dovalina reported that the ad valorem property tax base in Cotulla has increased from $52 million in 2009 to $127 million in 2013. The growth has made affordable housing a premium in the community.[10]

In 1973, two railroad locomotives collided in Cotulla, and three people were killed as a result.[11] In 2008, the area around Cotulla burned in a huge grass fire.

With continuing growth from the Eagle Ford Shale deposit, Cotulla houses the largest sand fracking facility in North America. Cotulla falls within the second-largest oil-producing region of the United States. The oil boom has increased sales tax collections in Cotulla from $445,000 in 2009 to more than $3 million in 2013. The city has 16 hotels and seven others under construction. The hotel-motel tax of 7% is less than that in larger surrounding cities. Cotulla is seeking to attract Walmart, H-E-B, and other companies once it can show that its growth is sustainable.[12]


Cotulla is located at 28°26′3″N 99°14′11″W / 28.43417°N 99.23639°W / 28.43417; -99.23639 (28.434144, –99.236343). This is 81 mi (147 km) southwest of San Antonio.[13]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.0 square miles (5.2 km2), all of it land. The Nueces River flows through southern Cotulla in a southeastward direction to the Gulf of Mexico near Corpus Christi.


Historical population
Census Pop.
U.S. Decennial Census[14]

2020 census[edit]

Cotulla racial composition[15]
(NH = Non-Hispanic)[a]
Race Number Percentage
White (NH) 424 11.4%
Black or African American (NH) 9 0.24%
Native American or Alaska Native (NH) 1 0.03%
Asian (NH) 4 0.11%
Some Other Race (NH) 5 0.13%
Mixed/Multi-Racial (NH) 31 0.83%
Hispanic or Latino 3,244 87.25%
Total 3,718

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 3,718 people, 1,485 households, and 1,110 families residing in the city.

2000 census[edit]

As of the census[2] of 2000, 3,614 people, 1,208 households, and 901 families were residing in the city. The population density was 1,831.8 people per mi2 (708.3/km2). The 1,504 housing units averaged 762.3 per mi2 (294.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 83.45% White, 0.64% African American, 0.39% Native American, 0.50% Asian, 12.67% from other races, and 2.35% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 83.56% of the population.

Of the 1,208 households, 39.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.7% were married couples living together, 17.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.4% were not families. About 22.6% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.95, and the average family size was 3.50.

In the city, the age distribution was 33.6% under 18, 8.6% from 18 to 24, 24.0% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 12.5% who were 65 or older. The median age was 32 years. For every 100 females, there were 90.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $23,250, and for a family was $25,951. Males had a median income of $21,199 versus $17,415 for females. The per capita income for the city was $10,856. About 27.9% of families and 30.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.0% of those under age 18 and 28.1% of those age 65 or over.

The Brush Country Museum in Cotulla preserves regional history.
First United Methodist Church of Cotulla
The First Baptist Church of Cotulla was established in the 1880s. The current sanctuary opened in 1948.
The Prevailing Word Church (nondenominational) in Cotulla

Law and government[edit]

The La Salle County Courthouse in downtown Cotulla has undergone extensive renovation.



Cotulla has Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist, United Methodist, Presbyterian, and nondenominational churches. The Presbyterians and Baptists originally shared the Methodist facilities, which began in 1881. New Methodist buildings were constructed in 1906 and again in 1928.[18]

In 1883–1884, Reverend W. D. Johnson organized a Baptist fellowship in Cotulla. After several years of meeting at the Methodist Church, the first Baptist building opened in 1889, with minister John Van Epps Covey (1821–1898) preaching the first sermon in the new structure. The current church sanctuary on Main Street opened in 1948 under the leadership of Reverend Jesse Cooke.[19] The new First Baptist pastor in Cotulla as of 2013 is Loren G. Fast.

Prevailing Word Church, located in a new sanctuary at 419 South Main, had co-pastors in 2009, L. Lynn Beams and Abram de la Garza. It has services at 3 pm Sundays, rather than the customary morning hours, and midweek services on Thursday evenings, instead of Wednesday.[20]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  2. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  3. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  4. ^ "How to Pronounce: C Cities". 23 September 2014.
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on 2011-05-31. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
  6. ^ "Census - Geography Profile: Cotulla city, Texas". Retrieved December 10, 2021.
  7. ^ a b c Ricardo R. Villarreal, "City experiences tremendous growth, activity due to oil and gas production", Laredo Morning Times, June 29, 2013, pp. 1, 12A
  8. ^ Leffler, John. "Cotulla, TX - Handbook of Texas Online". Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  9. ^ Jennifer Hiller, "Hard Times Hit Eagle Ford", San Antonio Express-News, January 3, 2016, pp. 1, A20
  10. ^ Ricardo R. Villarreal, "Cotulla, Texas: Phenomenal Growth", Laredo Morning Times, June 30, 2013, pp. 1, 15A
  11. ^ Glenewinkel, Jay. "Missouri Pacific Disaster in Cotulla, Texas 1973". Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  12. ^ Gabriela A. Trevino, "Economic Development: Oil field riches: Cotulla gets boost from Eagle Ford Shale money", Laredo Morning Times, June 9, 2014, pp. 1, 12A
  13. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  14. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "Explore Census Data". Retrieved 2022-05-20.
  16. ^[not specific enough to verify]
  17. ^ "About the Hispanic Population and its Origin". Retrieved 18 May 2022.
  18. ^ Texas Historical Commission, historical marker, First United Methodist Church of Cotulla
  19. ^ Texas Historical Commission, historical marker, First Baptist Church of Cotulla
  20. ^ "Prevailing Word Church". Retrieved January 3, 2009.
  21. ^ "Jeff Bezos' roots could give Texas an edge as looks for new HQ site". Puget Sound Business Journal. September 7, 2017. Retrieved January 19, 2018.
  22. ^ Caro, Robert A. (1982). The Path to Power. The Years of Lyndon Johnson. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. pp. 164, 174. ISBN 0394499735.
  23. ^ "Kinsel, Hailey". Women's Professional Rodeo Association. Retrieved January 9, 2019.
  24. ^ Mahoney, Sylvia Gann (2004). College Rodeo: From Show to Sport. Texas A&M University Press. p. 97. ISBN 978-1-58544-331-4.
  25. ^ "Cowboy Biographies". Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association. Retrieved April 25, 2019.
  26. ^ "Kevin Patrick Yeary". Project Vote Smart. Archived from the original on August 18, 2018. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  1. ^ Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos can be of any race.[16][17]

External links[edit]