Kyle Auction Oak

Historical Period: Frontier Texas (1865-1900)
Historical Topic: Frontier Settlements
Species: Live Oak (Quercus virginiana)
County: Hays
Public Access: Yes

Between 1870 and 1880, the international and great Northern Railroad planned to construct a line between Austin and San Antonio. However, when the planners found that no towns lay on the route between San Marcos and Austin, they decided to establish a station town at some point along their route.

Several offers of land in northern Hays County were received, but the offer by the Captain Ferguson Kyle and D. R. Moore families was accepted. All of the land, excepting a depot site and track right-of-way, was then deeded to the Texas Land Company for development as a town.

In less than a week, the town was surveyed and a plat recorded with the county clerk. Streets and alleys were deeded to the town, officially designated as Kyle, Texas, in honor of one of the men who donated the land. Captain Kyle was a native of Mississippi and had served as a captain with Terry's Rangers in the War Between the States.

In the shade of this mammoth live oak, all of the business lots and most of Kyle's residential lots were sold at auction. As an added inducement, the railroad offered free train rides to participants in the sale.

The land on which this historic tree stands was donated by the railroad in June 1881 for the construction of the town's first school, Kyle Academy.

The tree and historical marker are in front of 204 S. Sledge Street, in Kyle.