ROCKPORT, TEXAS. Rockport, the county seat of Aransas County, is on State
Highway 35 on Live Oak Peninsula between Copano and Aransas bays, thirty
miles northeast of Corpus Christi in the southern part of the county. It was
named for the rock ledge underlying its shore and was founded just after the
Civil War as a cattle slaughtering, packing, and shipping port. William S.
Hall built the first packeries in 1865, and in 1866 James M. Doughty and
Richard Wood built cattle pens to keep the stock until slaughtering. In 1867
John M. and Thomas H. Mathis joined Doughty, and the partners platted the
southern half of town. In 1868 Joseph F. Smith and John H. Wood built a
shipping wharf and platted the north half of town. John Mathis was the first
mayor of Rockport; he was appointed by the governor.