Unique Texas town names: How did Poteet get its name?

The ‘Strawberry Capital of Texas’ has a rich history

SAN ANTONIO – Known for its strawberry festival, Poteet has gained fame over the years. The town’s namesake is Francis Marion Poteet, who moved to the area after the Civil War.

"In 1885, he applied for a post office, and in 1886, it was approved,” explained Morris Cowley, a longtime Poteet resident and historian.

However, one could argue that the town should be called Mumme. That is because Henry Mumme, a well-known figure in the area, is credited with the formation of the community, and is responsible for much of the area’s early history.

"In 1910, Henry Mumme donated 300 acres of land, where we're standing now, to the Poteet Town Site Company,” Cowley said.

Mumme can also be credited with spurring Poteet’s strawberry legacy. After a drought in 1902, Mumme decided to drill for water.

"They drilled real deep and hit the first flowing artesian well in 1904,” Cowley said.

It turns out there was an abundance of water, plus fertile soils, which was perfect for strawberries. From there, the relationship with the strawberry grew.

"In 1948, the Rotary Club was looking for a way to entice the boys that came back from World War II to stay on the farm,” explained Cowley.

The result was the Poteet Strawberry Festival, which will be celebrating 70 years in 2018. It remains a South Texas mainstay that draws in thousands each year.

"It’s the one time of year this town comes alive again,” said Cowley of the normally sleepy town.

Poteet has other claims to fame, too. It was the birthplace of country music legend George Strait. It was also the namesake of the character "Poteet Canyon" from the award winning comic strip ‘Steve Canyon’. The comic strip, by Milton Caniff, ran from 1947 to 1988.

A mural of “Poteet Canyon” can be found in front of the city’s fire station.

About the Author:

Justin Horne is a meteorologist and reporter for KSAT 12 News. When severe weather rolls through, Justin will hop in the KSAT 12 Storm Chaser to safely bring you the latest weather conditions from across South Texas. On top of delivering an accurate forecast, Justin often reports on one of his favorite topics: Texas history.