Eighty percent of all Atascosa County residents own their own homes. Non-farming employment is generally provided by the metropolitan areas of Corpus Christie and San Antonio, with an average commute time of 33 minutes.
Indians of the Coahuiltecan language group occupied this area, hunting and gathering, for several thousand years prior to the influx of Spanish explorers who taught them agriculture, pottery, and masonry. Epidemics of European disease decimation this native population, along with the nearby Comanches and Apaches. Total disappearance of these Coahuiltecan Indians, however appears to be due to assimilation and intermarriage.
The isolation of Atascosa County, which kept its population low, also preserved it from the ravages of war, once the Indian Peace was attained. The reprisals, destruction, and their affect on the economy of the many wars waged in its neighboring counties, left Atascosa fairly unharmed. After the Civil war, the Great Northern Railway was built (1881) through the northern corner of Atascosa County, at Lytle. This brought the great cattle drives of Texas and a surge in population and prosperity. The 1870's brought the introduction of cotton, which soon replaced corn as the major crop in this area. For a brief period, cotton ruled due to the astounding quality of fiber produced by the soil. Yields and profits dropped in the 1930's as farmers began to realize the tremendous drain this crop has on the water table. The discovery of oil in 1917, helped failing farms and ranches to hold on through the depression. In 1990, 1,236,387 barrels of oil were produced in Atascosa County.
Atascosa County (Pop. est in 2002: 40,948) was established in 1856. Navatasco was the first County Seat, then, in 1858, Pleasanton was chosen. Jourdanton, the county seat since its founding in 1909, is centrally located in Atascosa County, approximately 33 miles south of San Antonio and 100 miles northwest of Corpus Christi.
Atascosa County is noted for its hunting, particularly during the fall and winter deer seasons.
The Poteet Strawberry Festival is the largest agricultural festival in Texas. It features contests, rodeo performances, concerts by nationally known Country / Western and Tejano stars, gunslingers, clowns, and many surprises along with regional food and - Strawberries!
Jourdanton Days Celebration, and the Cowboy Homecoming and Rodeo in Pleasanton features breakfast, chili cook-off, cowboy poetry, parade, dances, and a rodeo.
The Pleasanton Country Club is noted for its Golf course.
A mesquite Trail (1� mile) starts at the Visitor Center parking lot of Laguna Atascosa NWR, the largest protected area of natural habitat left in the Lower Rio Grande Valley.