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Cottage Hill came into existence and disappeared in the blink of an eye. Scattered stones from the hearths and foundations of homes, artifacts plowed into the sands, are all that remain of a place hidden by time. Only a few newspaper accounts and government records attest to its existence.
Map of Cottage Hill, Texas
Click to enlarge.
Immigrants from the old and new world in the 1840s, bet their futures on Texas. Villages coalesced in its watersheds and surveys, first laid out and named by Spanish and Mexican governments. In the Cibolo watershed, at the 18-mile marker, on the San Antonio Road to Gonzales
, the Irvin family placed its bet. The area was briefly known as the Irvin settlement.
Speculators saw Cottage Hill’s high ground and location as the perfect place for a stage stop and livery. D. A. Saltmarsh
purchased land in the Cottage Hill settlement and created a stage stop for his Saltmarsh Stage Line. Gideon Lee Jr., a wealthy speculator, partnered with Joseph Beck to purchase the hill top site that would become the center of Cottage Hill. By 1855, the village had regular stagecoach service to San Antonio to the west and the port of Indianola to the southeast. Henry Bower opened Bower’s Twenty-Mile House with a livery just two miles east of Cottage Hill.
San Antonio Ledger, 8 September 1855
At Cottage Hill, a store and post office were established on a tract of land owned by Daniel Ross Coodey
, a Cherokee, who purchased the site from Beck and Lee. Daniel's brother, William Shorey Coodey, created the constitution for the Cherokee Nation. William A. Jackson
was its first postmaster; he named the place Cottage Hill.