Live Oak County Historical Commission
Live Oak County Historical Commission

Live Oak County Historical Commission's Digital History Library

This chapter of our website is a digital library dedicated to the edification of our readers. Free copies of resource matter with appropriate documentation and reviews of books available on the web and in book stores are part of the content. We have just begun and expect this chapter to grow. Enjoy!

A Reading Guide for Live Oak County, Texas by Kurt House:

Download Here This may take a moment. Currently viewers can scroll down once download is complete. Researchers: Click on microscope in top tool bar and type in topic of your search. That topic is then highlighted in consecutive order in Kurt's text. You may also choose to search by category.


Kurt House began his personal list in 1977 while working on graduate studies at Southern Methodist University. After numerous updates, early in 2019, House decided to make the list available through Live Oak County Historical Commission's website.


Current list has additional 32 titles not in previous 2018 edition.


Every effort is made to keep this list as current as possible. See more in Live Oak County Events.

The People's History of Live Oak County, TexasDownload Here Total 305 pages take a few moments. When download is complete, click on Sparkman PDF; book with reasearch tools appears shortly. Researchers: Click on microscope in top tool bar - type topic of your search. Topic is highlighted in consecutive order throughout Sparkman text. Much quicker than searching from index. 


We gratefully acknowledge the generosity of the Sparkman family, Mary Sparkman Wierich-editor and current copyright holder, for collaborating with Richard Hudson, LOCHC Marker and Publicity Chair, to publish Ervin L. Sparkman’s The People’s History of Live Oak County, Texas free to our readers. 


Ervin Sparkman spent years (from 1970-1981) collecting documents, researching courthouse documents, and interviewing descendants of original county pioneers and then current residents while preparing this book.



Mary helped her grandfather in the final editing and publishing in 1981. Now out of print, The People's History of Live Oak County, Texas has become a standard Live Oak County reference. Ebooks begin numbering from the very first page of a book. Seventeen (17) pages exist in this book before the pages of narration. If you wish to print any part, add 17 to the number shown on the page.


Please document use of Sparkman's book as below when using information from it on this site:

Live Oak County Historical Commission. Sparkman, Ervin L. The People's History of Live Oak County #. Accessed: date of use, 

Few books describe the county’s earliest days. The first book known to include information about the area is Cabeza de Vaca’s Journey of Alvar Nuñez Cabeza de Vaca. His journey from 1529 – 1536 was translated into English by Fanny Bandelier for New York based A.S. Barnes & Company in 1905. This book covers De Vaca’s travels from Florida to Mexico and includes Coahuiltecan Indians then traversing though future Live Oak County area during seasonal forages.

Early settlers describe the county as lush with green vegetation and huge Live Oak and Pecan Trees lining river banks. Virtually uninhabited by landowners until 1835, all the little towns withered to small communities after the railroad bypassed them in the early 1900's. The ranch and farm population, though still sparse by today's standards, grew from 1940 through the 1980's when it again stabilized to between eleven and twelve thousand. George West and Three Rivers survived, each with a population around 2,000 in 2010.

Mrs. S.G. Miller came from Louisiana to Texas around 1870. From Sixty Years in the Nueces Valley, first edtion, we share an abbreviated adaptation from her short story, "Changing Times", page 60, published in 1930 by Naylor Printing Company, San Antonio:

  When I first came to Texas, this whole section was a vast rolling prairie, broken only here and there with mesquite trees… grass, grass, everywhere waving in the breeze like vast fields of wheat…more than knee high to wild cattle and horses roaming hills and valleys.

   Texas wildflowers dotted the Spring landscape in every direction. Bluebonnets especially made lovely [azure] expanses spread for acres and acres, just as far as the eye could reach. Or perhaps the blue of these flowers would change to brighter yellow and gold of other blossoms…lovely pink primroses fringed rich mesquite grass with delicate color…the scene would shift to fiery red Indian blankets, turning everything crimson in the sun’s glow.

Note: No link in this article is intended to be a product advertisement. Links are chosen solely on the basis of their addition to historical and informational content.


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