Texas National Guard found Palacios the site for new training ground

Matagorda County TXGenWeb
Post card showed Camp Hulen company street.

Contributed by Mickey Crenshaw
Matagorda County TXGenWeb

 

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the first of a two-part history of Camp Hulen.
   In 1924 the 36th Division of the Texas National Guard numbered 7,205 officers and enlisted men commanded by Major General John A. Hulen (1871-1957), with 957 officers and men in the Fifty-sixth Cavalry Brigade under General Jacob F. Wolters. 
   For the past half century the Texas troops had held their annual training encampment at Camp Mabry, Austin, but the site had been outgrown for several years. 
   Because of the prohibitive cost of land near Austin it was not feasible to expand Camp Mabry. 
   The Texas National Guard was looking for a 1,200 acre camp site with an additional 15,000 acres that could be used for drill and maneuvers during encampments.
   The Palacios Chamber of Commerce appointed a Citizens Committee composed of local business men, to work on details for bringing the camp to Palacios. 
   Committee members were J. B. Barnett, Duncan Ruthven, R. J. Sisson, Carlton Crawford, W. C. Gray, C. W. Nester, J. L. Koerber, H. M. Sanders, Jas. W. Sartwelle, P. F. Campbell and H. A. Echols.
   Although several locations were available within the state, due to the climate conditions, availability of good artesian water and its proximity to water transportation, the T. N. G. and especially General Hulen favored a 1,200 acre site approximately one mile west of Palacios. 
   The site consisted of twenty tracts, most of which were occupied as farms and homesites, which were substantially improved at the time, all of which had to be cleared out. 
   The acreage had to be purchased and deeded to the state free with a good title.
   The Citizens Committee members worked almost full time soliciting funds and pledges for the purchase of the land. 
   $30,000 was the original amount to be raised but it ended up being approximately $50,000.
   In November of 1924, General Hulen and several other officers of the 36th Division inspected the camp site and passed favorable on the location. 

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