Welcome To KEY TO THE CITY's Page For
Duval County, Texas
Home of the World's Largest Rattlesnake
Chamber of Commerce.
First known as Las Hermanitas, which means the Sisters, for the two hills south of town. Next, the town was known as Government Wells for a water well the US Cavalry dug in 1876 north of the present city site. Rancher, Norman G. Collins, came here and purchased thousands of acres of land for his sheep, he named his ranch, Rancho Americano. William Hubberd, from Germany, settled in Government Wells when he came to manage the sheep ranch. He also bought land here in 1876. Paul and Joe White were also among the early settlers of the area. They settled in the Rosita Creek valley near present-day Freer and made their living digging water wells. Many other early families established themselves in the area included the Hahls, Momenys, Rileys, Powers, Nortons and Daniel J. Freer. A school was built in 1917. When Daniel Freer came to visit his friends, the Rileys, he liked what he saw and purchased some land near the Rileys. J.T. Johnson and Freer petitioned for a post office in 1925. They submitted three names for the PO - Riley, Wendt and Freer. The post office chose Freer because the other two were already being used in Texas.
Life went along in Freer as in many small Texas towns, but in 1928, a momentous event took place. One of the nation's largest oil reserves was struck just outside town on the W.P. Norton property. The discovery led to huge growth for the area. Freer was called the "last of the tough frontier oil towns," by Life Magazine. The actual townsite was laid out by Charles Freer after he bought the site from A.H. Compton on 20 December 1980. The Depression of the 1930s and other discoveries of oil in eastern Texas caused the oil boom to deflate. Fortunately, in 1932, another well came in setting off an even bigger oil boom than the first one. After this second discovery, phenomenal growth took place in Freer. In 1933, a disastrous fire burned most of the town, but the citizens only displayed their resilience by rebuilding. Huge growth also brought with it some problems with the rougher side of life. At one time, there was no jail available so the local constable would chain drunks to the nearest telephone pole overnight. Streets were not paved here until 1938 and other problems existed with no sewage system, bank or potable water. Because of the problems, many stayed clear of Freer. But the residents were determined to better their town and they did, with improvements to the parts of town that needed it and also to all other aspects of Freer. It has become a stable, good place to live. Many large petroleum companies settled in with plants here helping the economy even further.
Freer is home to the World's largest Rattlesnake. It can be found in front of the Chamber of Commerce building in Freer. The Rattlesnake Roundup is held in April each year with a Miss Freer competition, a parade and, of course, the snake hunting contest. For more information, please contact the chamber of commerce.
2000 - 30.5 years
2000 - 804.3 persons per square mile
Number of Housing Units:
1990 - 1,308
2000 - 1,334
Per capita Income:
2000 - $ 11,457
2008 - $ 14,625
Median house value:
2000 - $ 28,600
2008 - $ 46,440
Freer is located in the Central Time Zone and does participate in daylight savings time during a portion of the year.