The community of Calallen is on the Nueces River in the north central Nueces County. It is approximately 16 miles from Corpus Christi, Texas. You will not see a sign that says "Calallen" along IH37, nor will you see it on a highway map. But Calallen exists, especially in the hearts of the descendants of the original settlers. Some of the settlers were the Allens, Harneys, Bickhams, Magees, and Noakes.
Calallen was established by the Calvin Townsite Company on August 18, 1910. The president of the company was Calvin J. Allen. The land platted as the Calvin townsite was originally part of the Spanish land grant given to Gregoria Farias by the King of Spain. The land changed hands several times until 1117 acres was sold to Calvin Allen for $4,000.
The St. Louis, Brownsville, and Mexico Railroad was chartered in 1903. It was to run between Brownsville and points north. All along the proposed route, land owners donated land for the railroad. Mr. Allen also donated land up from Sharpsburg on the Nueces River to the railroad, but he specified that there had to be a depot built on his land. He did not want just a water stop. The tracks were finished to Sinton, Texas in March, 1905, and there were two stations on the line between Robstown and Sinton. The one on the north side of the river near Judge Borden's place was called Angelita and the south side was the location of Calvin. The name had to be changed, however, because there was already a town named Calvin and another named Alvin, so the name was changed to Calallen. This was a combination of Mr. Allen's nickname, Cal, and his last name.
Calallen was an ideal place for a town because of the railroad and the river, an ideal situation for a farming community. In 1908 a post office was opened in Calallen with Ira D. Magee as postmaster. The Calallen Post Office was closed in 1965 with the opening of the Stonewall office. Corpus Christi then took over mail delivery for this area.
There were many businesses in Calallen during the boom years of 1920-1940. The Corpus Christi Water Plant had been built on the river in 1896, and as Corpus Christi grew, so did the job opportunities at the plant. Other businesses were the Coleman vegetable packing sheds and the Calallen Gin. During the early 20's the Aults opened an apiary. They not only collected honey from their hives, but also made queen bees. The bee hives and the queens were shipped to the north in the summer. During the cold months, they were shipped back to Calallen by train to protect them.
Convenient transportation created Calallen and transportation of another kind caused its temporary economic demise. After better roads were built into Corpus Christi, and more automobiles Calallen residents began to shop in there instead of their own merchants. When the new highway IH37 was completed, it left Calallen with limited access from the road. Many of the service stations and cafes were forced to close their doors.
Calallen did not bother to incorporate until they were threatened by annexation by Corpus Christi. The same day that incorporation vote was taken and passed so did annexation. Annexation took precedence over incorporation, so Calallen became a part of Corpus Christi in 1970. Since then, the area has again become a thriving community. Many new businesses have opened over the last 30 years, and now there is a growing suburb, an excellent school district and an area of economic reawakening.
Thanks to Sally Robeau for the research.