The City of Uvalde was founded by Reading Wood Black, a twenty-two year old from New Jersey. Black came to Texas in 1853 and purchased one league and one labor of land equaling 4,605 acres, on April 14, 1853. The land was located in Bexar County on the Leona River near Fort Inge. Black named the town Encina, which is Spanish for the live oak trees that cover the banks of the river. In 1855 he hired a surveyor from San Antonio to plat the town of 464 lots and four plazas with lots reserved for a cemetery and school. The principal streets were 90 feet wide with alleys as wide as some San Antonio streets. When Uvalde County was established in 1856, the name of the town was changed to Uvalde in honor of Spanish general Juan de Ugalde. While growth slowed during the Civil War, the coming of the railroad in 1881 brought new settlers to the area. The community has grown steadily since that time.