Three Rivers is a city in Live Oak County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,878 at the 2000 census.
Location of Three Rivers, Texas
|Coordinates: 28°28′2″N 98°10′46″W|
Mrs. Annie T. Hamilton paid the San Antonio, Uvalde and Gulf Railroad to build a depot on her land in 1913. Then Mr. Tips, at the urging of Mrs. Annie Hamilton of Cuero, came to the Brush Country. Mrs. Hamilton owned a tract of land where Three Rivers now sits. Charles R. Tips organized a townsite company and sold land for the township. On July 4, 1913 with a grand opening and first sale of land the town began. From its formation it was designed as a segregated township, with the "Mexican" section located between the river and the railroad tracks, west of the business section. This can still be seen today in the differences of street names, even though forced segregation ended many decades past.
The city is named for its proximity to three rivers, the Atascosa River, the Frio River, and theNueces River (the Atascosa joins the Frio north of the city, while the Frio joins the Nueces south of the city). Originally named Hamiltonburg, the city name was changed when mail meant for the city was accidentally delivered to Hamilton, Texas instead. Tips suggested the town be named for its location near the rivers, and Three Rivers was approved as the new name by the post office department on May 1, 1914. Three Rivers was incorporated in 1926 and operates under the general-law aldermanic form of government. In 1925 its population was estimated at 1,000, in 1931 at 1,275, and in 1965 at 1,932, with seventy businesses.
In 1920 natural gas was discovered near Three Rivers and was piped into town and a small refinery was built. The first glass factory in Texas was built at Three Rivers in 1922 as the gas fuel and local sand was plentiful. The onset of the Great Depression, forced the sale of the factory to the Ball Glass Company in 1937, and the factory was permanently closed in 1938. The small refinery, however, expanded over time to become a major Diamond Shamrock refinery by 1990 and still is a major employer in the town to this day.
In 1948-49 the city of Three Rivers gained notoriety as the location of what has become known as the "Longoria Affair" when the director of the only funeral home in town refused to allow chapel services in 1948 for the body of a "Mexican-American" Soldier killed during WWII in 1945.
Three Rivers is located at (28.467155, -98.179451).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.5 square miles (3.9 km2), all of it land.
Three Rivers is also the site of the first glass factory in the State of Texas. Although it is no longer in production and the building has been demolished, a State Historical Marker stands at its site. Some of the antique shops in town and in the neighboring town of George West may sometimes carry a few pieces the factory produced.
Many Three Rivers residents live in or near Three Rivers because of the large number of jobs needed in the nearby federal prison (located roughly 10 miles (16 km) west of town, on Hwy 72) and the Valero refinery located inside the city limits. Until recently most new residents moving permanently to Three Rivers are ones transferred to work in the prison or refinery from other jobs within those respective systems.
With the recent 'fracking' surge it in the area, Three Rivers is centrally located in the middle of a large field that extends over a three county area. The town has become a boom town, putting increased pressure on housing and other town resources.