City and Government

The Heart of South Texas Hunting The home of the world's largest Trophy Whitetail Deer and major flyway for the United State's largest dove population. Frio county has long been known as a “Hunter's Paradise”. Deer, dove, turkey, quail, wild hogs, javelina, and other game attract sportsmen and outdoor lovers from all over the world.

A city rich with its frontier town history, today it offers the comfort of modern accommodations fine restaurants and fascinating shops.

Pearsall is the largest city between Laredo and San Antonio. The San Antonio International Airport is only an hour away making Pearsall your gateway to South Texas.

Pearsall City Hall

215 S Ash St, Pearsall, TX 78061 Phone: (830) 334-3676

History of Pearsall

PEARSALL, TEXAS , the county seat of Frio County, is located along Interstate Highway 35 and the Missouri Pacific Railroad fifty-four miles south of San Antonio in the central part of the county.

Nestled in the rolling plains south of San Antonio, Pearsall was the prehistoric home of a band of Coahuitecans known as the Pachal. These hunter-gatherers left us few archeological remains of their harsh subsistence lifestyle. There were several artesian wells in the area, one of which was located at the present day Moreno Park and later became the first permanent habitation. Meanwhile, at crossing on the Frio River later to become Frio Town gave access to this area. It brought the French explorer La Salle in 1685, the Camino Real (The King's Highway) of Spanish Texas in 1691, and in 1731 the Canary Islanders on their way to San Antonio.

Frio Town, fifteen miles west of Pearsall on the banks of the Frio River was the original county seat. Although there is no recorded deed, the first settler was probably William Eastwood, who bought 500 acres on the west side of the river at the upper Presidio Crossing. One of the earliest settlements in the county, Frio Town and its inhabitants established a court house together with a jail, where many a desperado was imprisoned, including, according to legend, Jesse and Frank James. Frio Town was also the home of the famous “Texas John Slaughter” a Texas Ranger. Another interesting historical fact: Mexican General Santa Anna and his army camped near here on the way to the Alamo.

The modern history of Pearsall began with the railroad. In the 1870s wagon trains stopped at a well on a large sheep ranch when traveling the road from Frio Town to Pleasanton; this well was known as Waggoner's (Wagner's) Well. By early 1881, the railroad had been completed west of the Waggoner's Well. On July 4, 1881, the first passenger train pulled into town for the sale of lots by the International Great Northern Railroad. A general exodus of people and businesses from the now bustling Frio Town ensued, and a tent community grew up around the railroad depot. On February 6, 1882, the International-Great Northern Railroad gained control of 2,000 acres of land around the well. An affiliate, the New York and Texas Land Company, allowed them to circumvent Texas laws limiting railroad ownership of land, and, on February 15, 1882, they platted the town site of Pearsall east of the newly laid railroad tracks opposite Waggoner's Well and named after the vice president of the railroad, Thomas W. Pearsall.

By 1884, Pearsall was the new county seat of Frio County and had 700 residents, twenty businesses, three hotels, three churches, a district school, and a weekly newspaper known as the Pearsall News . Located at the beginning of the Chisolm Trail, Pearsall saw numerous cattle drives down its main street on their way to Kansas and other famous cattle stops further north. It also experienced the usual cattle trail public hangings and bar brawl until the unfenced open range came to an end in 1887.

By 1890, despite a fire that devastated most of its downtown district, Pearsall had an estimated population of 1,000, Methodist, Baptist, and Christian churches, a college called Frio College headed by B. C. Hendricks, two newspapers (the Sun and the News ), a corn mill, and a cotton gin. In the early 1890s the mercantile block in downtown Pearsall, established by the partnership of C. H. Beever and George Hindes, became one of the largest general merchandise operations between San Antonio and Laredo. The center of their operations is now the Brush Country Restaurant.

In 1907 Hindes helped organize the Frio Cotton Oil Company of Pearsall, and Beever helped organize the Pearsall Artesian Well Company, which provided the community with its first electric service. The Pearsall People's State Bank was organized in 1908. The city incorporated under a mayor-council form of government in 1909, and the Pearsall Water, Ice, and Electric Company was organized in 1910.

By 1914 Pearsall had an estimated population of 2,000, a variety of churches, telephone connections, ten large mercantile establishments, the Pearsall National Bank, two drugstores, four confectioneries, two barbershops, an automobile garage, a photographer, two newspapers, two millinery stores, three hotels, three cotton gins, a cottonseed oil mill, a wholesale grain store, an electric plant, the Laurel Opera House (with a seating capacity of 500 and more than seventy-five electric lights), a bakery and restaurant, two livery barns, a twenty-seven-piece concert band, and several social clubs.

In 1936 Pearsall had an estimated population of 2,536 and forty-one businesses. Oil was discovered in the 1930s, natural gas was introduced in 1945, and many of Pearsall's avenues were paved in 1947. The town had an estimated population of 4,500 and eighty businesses by 1949; in 1970 it had an estimated population of 5,109 and 128 businesses.

The Frio Pioneer Jail Museum, housed in the original county jail built in 1884, was formally dedicated in ceremonies addressed by United States Representative Henry B. Gonzalez and Ollie Taylor, woman sheriff of Frio County, on July 3, 1976. In 1980 Pearsall had an estimated population of 6,453 and 192 business operations.

During the early 1990s the town experienced another oil boom. Led by Oryx Energy explorations in the Pearsall Field and the use of new horizontal drilling technologies in the Austin Chalk formation, Pearsall saw a significant increase in exploration that contributed to the revitalization of its economy. In 1990 the estimated population was 9,355, and Pearsall had six public schools, a student enrollment of 2,400, thirteen churches representing ten denominations, and a public library housing over 23,000 volumes.

By 2000, the census indicated a total population of 7,157, 2,201 households, and 1,688 families residing in the city. The population density was 654.8/km² (1,694.7/mi²). There were 2,470 housing units at an average density of 226.0/km² (584.9/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 73.80% White, 0.39% African American, 0.71% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 22.01% from other races, and 2.79% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latinos make up 84.24% of the population.

The high percentage of the Hispanic population indicates that they have also played a significant role in the development of the community. Prior to the full assimilation that exists today, the Hispanic community was concentrated on the west side of town. Between 1918 and 1960, the center of Hispanic economic activity was located on what is now Peach Street between Comal and Trinity. Numerous thriving businesses such as Frank Trevino's Teatro Ideal and Black Cat Bar; Simon Perez's Blue Bird Café; Hijinio Silva's Grocery & Meat Market; Rafael Trevino's Meat Market; Simon Gonzales's Grocery Store; Manuel Morales's Grocery; Blas Trevino's Grocery and Meat Market Store; Chon Leal's Barber Shop; Frank Rodriguez's Shoe Shop; the Squeeze Inn and Chat and Chew Cafés; existed on the west side of town. Until the Brown v. Topeka Supreme Court case, Hispanics and Blacks attended segregated elementary schools located on the west side. Significant changes in the social, economic, educational, and political arenas have since taken place and helped propelled Pearsall to what it is today: a vibrant, diverse, friendly and progressive community.


Human Resources


The mission of the Human Resources Department is to maintain the City's human resource systems in a manner that provides stakeholders with timely and accurate information pertaining to employment polices and guidelines.


The department is managed by the Human Resources Director. The director is responsible for providing timely and accurate information to all stakeholders regarding employment policies and guidelines.



Pearsall Police Department Application



The mission of the Finance Department is to maintain the City's financial information systems in a manner that provides stakeholders with timely and accurate information.


The Finance Departments primary responsibility is to ascertain that the City's financing and accounting operations are properly and adequately maintained in order to provide the City Manager and ultimately, the City Council with accurate and timely financial information to make prudent and intelligent financial decisions. The department is responsible for the financial reporting system. This includes: utility billing and collection operations; accounts payable operations; payroll operations; maintenance of the general ledger system; and the financial reporting system. The department also assists the City Manager in developing the Annual City Budget and is responsible for maintaining and accounting for changes in the approved budget. The department ascertains that all state and federal reporting requirements are met. In addition, the department has the responsibility for City Hall office management of assigned department employees and building operations. The Finance Director reports directly to the City Manager.



The Pearsall Police Department strives to provide “Quality Service” by providing professional service with honor, integrity and a commitment to excellence to the community. We perform our mission through diligent crime prevention, victim assistance, disaster preparedness and problem-oriented policing. We stride daily to live by our department motto, “Community Safety through Service.”

Parks & Recreation


The mission of the Parks and Recreation Department is to create and provide recreation, leisure, and community activities in order to promote public well being and a quality of life for our youths, our adults, and our senior citizens.


The Parks and Recreation Department improves the quality of life for Pearsall citizens by maintaining four City Parks on approximately 32 acres, 3/4 miles of a jogging trail, a sports athletic complex, our Neighborhood Center, and our Public Library. The Department maintains and schedules the use of the Sports Athletic Complex as well as the use of the parks for special community activities. The Parks and Recreation Department also develops and manages various sports tournaments and special events during the year.

Pearsall City Parks and Locations

Pearsall manages and operates four (4) city parks. Click on the links below for more details:

Summer Recreation Program

Information for Summer 2015 Now Available!

The City of Pearsall sponsors a summer recreation program for all children between the ages of 6 – 13. The program is loaded with fun and friendly activities which include swimming, arts & crafts, outdoor activities, a reading program and field trips. Lunch and snacks are provided for all registered participants.

Look for announcements on the web site as the summer approaches each year.

Office Hours

8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday

Phone & Fax

Office: 830.334.2781
Fax: 830.334.4750
For after hours, please call: 830.334.1307

Parks & Recreation Director

Ramiro Otero

Planning & Community Development


Dedicated to serving it citizens and improving the quality of life in our community by equitably and fairly administering its duties in the application of city ordinances related to the platting, zoning, annexation, land use, transportation, annexation, and public improvements.


The Community Development Department contributes to the quality of life for Pearsall citizens by ascertaining that citizen and community development efforts are in compliance with development and zoning ordinances promulgated by the City Council. These ordinances are designed, implemented, and enforced for the purpose of creating a community where residential and commercial development occurs in an organized, consistent, and reasonable method for the benefit of the all citizens in our community. The Department responds to residential and commercial development requests for building permits, planning, and other zoning matters. It coordinates, assists, and reviews building and improvement plans. It also coordinates with contracted City Engineers to obtain any applicable engineering approvals of submitted residential and commercial developments. It frequently meets with the appointed Planning and Zoning Commission to present and obtain recommendations on planning, building, and zoning matters.

The Department office is located at

City Hall
215 S. Ash Street
Pearsall, TX 78061

Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Phone: 830.334.5753
Fax: 830.334.5759


Building Permit Application
Application for Certificate of Occupancy (Commercial)
Application for Certificate of Occupancy (Residential)
Conditional Use Permit Application
Land Use Variance Application
Application For Change of Zoning


Rebecca P. Maldonado, Zoning Administrator

Xavier Antu, Code Compliance Officer

Pearsall Public Library


The mission of the Pearsall Public Library is to link resources and customers to enhance lives. The Library is committed to inform, entertain, enrich, and foster the self-learning process by facilitating access to its collections, services, and facilities to all members of our community. Our service efforts will focus on customer expectations and needs.

Municipal Court


The Municipal Court administers Judicial matters for the local municipality. As such, it is responsible for administering, implementing, and applying the letter of the law to violations of City ordinances. Accordingly, the Pearsall Municipal Court issues judgments, collects fines, sends notices, and maintains records of past due fines.

Municipal Court Location

City of Pearsall
205 E. Rio Grande Street
Pearsall, Texas 78061


The Municipal Court is located at:

205 E. Rio Grande Street
Pearsall, TX 78061

Phone & Fax

The Office can be contacted:

Office: 830.334.4160
Fax: 830.334.2526

Office Hours

The Municipal Court Office hours of operation are:
8:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Monday – Friday

Judge Office Hours

Judge Luna is in the office Tuesdays and Thursdays ONLY and during the following hours:
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Municipal Judge
Arnulfo Luna

Municipal Clerk
Erinda Trevino

Deputy Clerk
Alicia Elizondo










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