Brackettville is a city in Kinney County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,876 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Kinney County. Brackettville claims it is the drive-in movie capital of Texas.
Location of Brackettville, Texas
Founded in 1852 as Las Moras (the name of a nearby spring and the creek it feeds), the town initially was a supply stop on the old San Antonio-El Paso road and a supply depot for the U.S. Army's Fort Clark (the fort was established the same year). Later the town was named Brackett after Oscar B. Brackett, the owner of the first dry goods store in the area. In 1873 when a post office was awarded, "ville" was appended to the name to differentiate from another town.
The town grew quickly through the 19th century with the expansion of the garrison at Fort Clark for the Indian Wars. The town's fortunes were tied to the fort. For many years, it was the base of the famous Buffalo Soldiers, made up of African Americans. Demographically, Brackettville had a larger proportion of Black Seminoles (people of mixed African American andSeminole ancestry, who originated in Florida) than the rest of West Texas, as they had been recruited by the US to act as scouts for the Buffalo Soldiers and settled with their families in the town. During the slavery years, they had been living in a settlement in northern Mexico to escape US conditions. Their language developed in Florida, Afro-Seminole Creole, is still spoken by some in Brackettville.
After the Buffalo Soldiers moved out of Fort Clark with the waning of the Indian Wars, it was used as a cavalry post. The Seminole Negro Indian Scouts were finally disbanded as a unit in 1914. Virtually every cavalry unit in the U.S. Army was stationed at or trained at Fort Clark at one time or another.
In 1943 during World War II, the U.S. Army activated the Second Cavalry, which was to be the Army's last horse-mounted unit. By 1944, even the Second had been mechanized. Fort Clark, so long a center of mounted cavalry, was targeted for closure. Before its closure, the fort was used as a German prisoner-of-warcamp.
Because of the families of soldiers at the fort and African-American veterans and descendants who had settled here, during the war, the US government funded construction of a high school for black students, which opened in April 1944, so the children of veterans could be educated. The state of Texas was still racially segregated; it had essentially disfranchisedblacks since the early 20th century by its voter registration and electoral requirements, and the white legislature consistently underfunded black education and services. Officially classified as a four-year high school, it is believed to have been the only one of its kind between San Antonio and El Paso at that time.
After the fort officially closed in 1946, it had a variety of uses. In 1971 it was converted and adapted as a resort/retirement center. The historic district of the fort is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The resort is not the economic engine the fort once was, and Brackettville has shrunk from its peak population during the war years.
North of town is a tourist attraction called Alamo Village, built in the 1950s as the set of John Wayne's movie The Alamo. Scenes from the 1969 comedy Viva Max! were also shot here. As of July 2009, Alamo Village has been tentatively closed to the public. It is available for film production and special events such as weddings and receptions.
In 1958 and 1959, the syndicated western television series Mackenzie's Raiders, starring Richard Carlson as ColonelRanald Mackenzie, with Morris Ankrum, Louis Jean Heydt, and Jack Ging, was set at the former Fort Clark near Brackettville though it was filmed at the former Fort Apache at the former Corriganville Movie Ranch near Simi Valley, California. The series is based on exploits of the United States Cavalry as it protected the Rio Grande border in the period after theAmerican Civil War.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,876 people, 618 households, and 438 families residing in the city. The population density was 591.8 people per square mile (228.5/km²). There were 766 housing units at an average density of 241.6 per square mile (93.3/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 64.77% White, 2.67% African American, 0.59% Native American, 0.05% Asian, 28.09% from other races, and 3.84% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 74.36% of the population. According to Ethnologue, there are 200 Afro-Seminole Creole speakers in Brackettville, which makes the town the only one in the country where this creole is still spoken.
There were 618 households out of which 38.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 56.0% were married couples living together, 10.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.1% were non-families. 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 3.00 and the average family size was 3.72.
In the city the population was spread out with 33.5% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 24.6% from 25 to 44, 19.2% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 98.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $19,410, and the median income for a family was $24,063. Males had a median income of $21,806 versus $14,773 for females. The per capita income for the city was $9,332. About 31.2% of families and 33.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.3% of those under age 18 and 30.2% of those age 65 or over.
The City of Brackettville is served by the Brackett Independent School District.
The climate in this area is characterized by hot, humid summers and generally mild to cool winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Brackettville has a humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.