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Goliad, Texas
—  City  —
Historic district of downtown Goliad, Texas; the Von Dohlen Building is named for an ancestor of former member of the Texas House of Representatives, Tim Von Dohlen.
Location of Goliad, Texas
Coordinates: 28°40′8″N 97°23′31″W / 28.66889°N 97.39194°W / 28.66889; -97.39194
Country United States
State Texas
County Goliad
 - Total 1.5 sq mi (4.0 km2)
 - Land 1.5 sq mi (4.0 km2)
 - Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 164 ft (50 m)
Population (2000)
 - Total 1,975
 - Density 1,294.3/sq mi (499.7/km2)
Time zone Central (CST) (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
ZIP code 77963
Area code(s) 361
FIPS code 48-30080[1]
GNIS feature ID 1358133[2]
Entrance sign to Goliad, Texas
The San Antonio River passes through Goliad en route to the Gulf of Mexico.
Obelisk in historic district of Goliad commemorates Texan independence from Mexico
A close-up of downtown Goliad after 6 p.m.

Goliad is a city in Goliad County, Texas, United States. It had a population of 1,975 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Goliad County.[3] It is part of the Victoria, Texas Metropolitan Statistical Area. The San Antonio River, best known for the River Walk in San Antonio, passes through Goliad en route to the Gulf of Mexico. Goliad is located on U.S. Highway 59, named also for the late U.S. Senator Lloyd M. Bentsen.




In 1747, the Spanish government sent José de Escandón to inspect the northern frontier of its North American colonies, including Spanish Texas. In his final report, Escandónt recommended that Presidio La Bahia be moved from its Guadalupe River location to the banks of the San Antonio River, so that it would be more capable of assisting settlements along the Rio Grande.[4] Both the presidio and the mission it protected, Mission of Nuestra Señora del Espíritu Santo de Zúñiga, likely moved to their new location in October 1749. Escandón proposed that 25 Mexican families be relocated near the presidio to form a civilian settlement but was unable to find enough willing settlers.[5]

With the conclusion of the Seven Years War in 1763, France ceded Louisiana, and French claims to Texas, to Spain.[6] With France no longer a threat to Spain's North American interests, the Spanish monarchy commissioned the Marquis de Rubi to inspect all of the presidios on the northern frontier of New Spain and make recommendations for the future.[7] Rubi recommended that several presidios be closed, but that La Bahia be kept and rebuilt in stone. La Bahia was soon "the only Spanish fortress for the entire Gulf Coast from the mouth of the Rio Grande to the Mississippi River".[8] The presidio now sat at the heart of several major trade and military routes. It quickly became one of the three most important areas in Texas, alongside Béxar and Nacogdoches.[8] A civil settlement, then known as La Bahia, soon developed near the presidio. By 1804 the settlement had one of only two schools in Texas.[9]

Presidio La Bahía in Goliad, Texas
Roman Catholic Church inside Presidio La Bahía in Goliad
Another view of Presidio La Bahia in Goliad

In early August 1812, during the Mexican War of Independence, Mexican revolutionary Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara and his recruits, calling themselves the Republican Army of the North, invaded Texas.[10] In November, the invaders captured Presidio La Bahia.[11] For the next four months, Texas governor Manuel María de Salcedo laid siege to the fort.[12] Unable to win a decisive victory, Salcedo lifted the siege on February 19, 1813 and turned towards San Antonio de Bexar.[13] The rebels remained in control of the presidio until July or August 1813, when José Joaquín de Arredondo led royalist troops in retaking all of Texas.[14] A member of the Republican Army of the North, Henry Perry, led forces back to Texas in 1817 and attempted to recapture La Bahia. The presidio was reinforced by soldiers from San Antonio, and Perry and his men were defeated on June 18 near Coleto Creek. [14]

The area was again the target of invaders in 1821. After the United States and Spain signed the Adams-Onís Treaty, giving all rights to Texas to Spain, many Americans were angry. On October 4, the 52 members of the Long Expedition captured La Bahia. Four days later, Colonel Ignacio Pérez arrived with troops from Bexar; Long surrendered.[15] By the end of 1821, Mexico had achieved its independence from Spain, and Texas became part of the newly created country.[16]


The Fannin Monument commemorates the masacre by Mexico of 342 Texans promised safe passage upon surrendering.
The General Ignacio Zaragoza Monument in Goliad
House where General Zaragoza was born inside Presidio La Bahia

In 1829, the name of the village of La Bahía was changed to Goliad, believed to be an anagram of Hidalgo (omitting the silent initial "H"), in honor of the patriot priest Miguel Hidalgo, the father of Mexico's independencia.

On October 9, 1835, in the early days of the Texas Revolution, a group of Texians attacked the presidio in the Battle of Goliad. After a thirty-minute skirmish, the Mexican garrison surrendered, leaving the Texians in control of the fort. The first declaration of independence of the Republic of Texas was signed here on December 20, 1835. Texians held the area until March 1836, when the Texian garrison under Colonel James Fannin was defeated at the nearby Battle of Coleto. The Texian survivors were imprisoned at the presidio until Palm Sunday, March 27, 1836, when they were executed in the Goliad Massacre.

Goliad was the birthplace of the famous Mexican General Ignacio Zaragoza, commander against the French Army in the battle of Cinco de mayo on May 5, 1862.

United States

On May 18, 1902, a devastating tornado struck Goliad, killing 114 persons. It is tied for the deadliest tornado in Texas history and the 10th deadliest in the United States.[17]


Goliad is located at 28°40′8″N 97°23′31″W / 28.66889°N 97.39194°W / 28.66889; -97.39194 (28.668865, -97.391850).[18]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.5 square miles (4.0 km²), all of it land.

The First United Methodist Church in Goliad off U.S. Highway 59


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,975 people, 749 households, and 518 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,294.3 people per square mile (498.4/km²). There were 877 housing units at an average density of 574.7/sq mi (221.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.44% White, 6.08% African American, 0.35% Native American, 0.61% Asian, 14.99% from other races, and 2.53% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 49.72% of the population.

There were 749 households out of which 33.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.7% were married couples living together, 12.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.8% were non-families. 28.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the city, the population was spread out with 26.3% under the age of 18, 7.2% from 18 to 24, 24.4% from 25 to 44, 21.3% from 45 to 64, and 20.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 91.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,200, and the median income for a family was $33,438. Males had a median income of $28,889 versus $20,167 for females. The per capita income for the city was $13,997. About 19.7% of families and 23.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.5% of those under age 18 and 17.6% of those age 65 or over.


Goliad Independent School District [1]serves Goliad.


  • Texas Mile - a weekend Motorsports racing festival held twice a year (March and October) at the Goliad Airport near Berclair, Texas.
  • Goliad also has market days. Where the people of the town go to sell.


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  
  4. ^ Roell (1994), p. 13.
  5. ^ Roell (1994), p. 14.
  6. ^ Weber (1992), p. 198.
  7. ^ Chipman (1992), p. 173.
  8. ^ a b Roell (1994), p. 15.
  9. ^ Roell (1994), p. 19.
  10. ^ Almaráz (1971), p. 159.
  11. ^ Almaráz (1971), p. 164.
  12. ^ Roell (1994), p. 20.
  13. ^ Almaráz (1971), p. 168.
  14. ^ a b Roell (1994), p. 21.
  15. ^ Roell (1994), p. 23.
  16. ^ Weber (1992), p. 300.
  17. ^ Texas State Historical Commission, Goliad Tornado of 1902 Historical Marker,  
  18. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. Retrieved 2008-01-31.  

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