The city comprises 3.5 square miles, with an average elevation of 490 feet. The nearest major city is San Antonio, approximately 30 miles north. Jourdanton is located at the intersection of State Highways 16 and 97 and is 10 miles west of IH 37.
Jourdanton, the Atascosa County seat, was founded in 1909 by Jourdan Campbell and his business partner, Colonel T.H. Zanderson.
They jointly owned the 40,000 acre Tobey Ranch, which was divided into lots that were offered for sale at $15 per acre. The two businessmen knew that a railroad was needed in the area to attract buyers. They offered a bonus of $50,000 to Dr. Charles F. Simmons to bring his Artesian Belt Railroad through their property.
By September 4, 1909, the railroad was completed and the town seemed to flourish overnight. Within months, there were two hotels, two lumber yards, five general merchandise stores, butcher shop, school house, churches, drug store, hardware store, gin and newspaper.
Advertising in the San Antonio newspapers, Campbell and Zanderson brought folks down to a grand celebration and auction. There was a huge bar-b-cue, dances, rodeos, baseball games, old fiddler's contest and several other events that were held in a 12,000 seat pavilion built exclusively for the celebration.
By the end of the year, it was estimated that Jourdanton had 700 residents. An election was held the following year to determine if the county seat should remain in nearby Pleasanton or be moved to the new town. With a 59 vote margin, the location was changed. The new courthouse was completed in 1913, with a new jail being built in 1914.
Oil was found just south of town, bringing in even more people to the small town. By the late 1940s, there were 3,000 residents in Jourdanton. However, with the re-routing of the railroads, the growth of the town slowed considerably. Most recent census shows the town at 3,732, although it continues to be a vital area of Atascosa County, as well as the gateway to the many hunting areas and game ranches of the south Texas "Brush Country".