In 1519, on the Roman Catholic Feast Day of Corpus Christi, Spanish explorer Alonzo Alvarez de Pineda discovered a lush semi-tropical bay on what is now the southern coast of Texas. The bay, and the city that later sprung up there, took the name of the feast day celebrating the “Body of Christ.”
Corpus Christi in the PastThe spot Pineda discovered is now home to the largest city on the Texas Coast and is the sixth largest port in the nation. Key industries include petrochemical, tourism, health care, retail, education, shipping, agriculture and the military. Since its incorporation in 1852, Corpus Christi has grown into a regional hub for marketing, processing, packaging and distributing agricultural commodities for a 12-county trade area.
Corpus Christi began as a frontier trading post, founded in 1838-39 by Colonel Henry Lawrence Kinney, an adventurer, impresario and colonizer. The small settlement was called Kinney’s Trading Post, or Kinney’s Ranch.
It remained an obscure settlement until July 1845, when U.S. troops under General Zachary Taylor set up camp here in preparation for war with Mexico. The Army remained until March 1846, when it marched southward to the Rio Grande to enforce it as the southern border of the United States.
Corpus Christi Sea WallAbout a year later, the city took the name Corpus Christi because a “more definite postmark for letters was needed.” It incorporated on Sept. 9, 1852. Residents elected a city council and a mayor, Benjamin F. Neal, who served from 1852 to 1855.
The city charter – a document establishing a city’s principles, functions and organization of its government – was adopted in 1876. The city’s first ordinance, adopted Jan. 15, 1879, made it against the law to let hogs and goats run loose.
Corpus Christi has a home-rule government with a mayor, eight council members and a city manager. The city manager functions as the chief executive officer, carrying out policy and handling operations as directed by the city council.
In 1983, the city adopted single-member districts, which allowed voters in a particular area to elect someone from their district to represent them on the city council. Single-member districts provide equal representation among communities or groups with different interests. Five city council members are elected through single-member districts, while three others and the mayor are elected at-large. The city also has over 40 boards and commissions providing a direct link between citizens and the city council and staff.
Corpus Christi CultureThe city of Corpus Christi provides a variety of facilities and services to the community, including police, fire and emergency medical services, health, parks and recreation, which include youth and senior programs, a natural history museum, libraries, an airport and a marina. Other services include water, wastewater, gas, garbage and brush collection, recycling, street maintenance, traffic signs and signal maintenance.
The water department alone oversees more than 1,600 miles of water transmission/distribution mains and has a combined storage capacity of more than 16 million gallons. The wastewater department operates six treatment plants with a combined treatment capacity of 42.7 million gallons per day.
Maintaining a safe community is a major priority for the city. The Police and Fire Departments have established state-of-the-art communications systems and work closely with the county, the Local Emergency Planning Committee and industries to be on top of any emergency situation. The Corpus Christi Crime Control and Prevention District, which uses sales tax revenues to fight crime, has in recent years enabled the city to increase its police force, equipment and support personnel, especially targeting youth and neighborhood initiatives. In addition, the city’s emergency medical services are ranked number one in the state, excelling in response time and patient survival rates.
The city of Corpus Christi constantly strives to continuously improve the programs and services it provides for local residents and visitors, with a special importance placed on responsive customer service. In fact, the city’s organizational goal is to be a national leader of excellence in public service.
Things To Do
A Connected Community with
free wifi-enabled airport & public facilities
wifi-efficient city operations
CCMobile smart phone citizen apps
national recognition as a digital city..
A Clean Community with
fun & active Pride Corpus Christi initiatives
clean beaches, clean air & clean water
successful single-stream recycling
community “Go Green” initiatives..
A Coastal Community with
a beautiful bayfront and first-class marina
an arts & museum district & waterfront market days
mild temperatures & lots of sunshine
the sixth largest port in the nation….