Named after Richard King's youngest daughter, Alice owed its fortunes to its location at the junction of two major rail lines. During the 1870s, the epic decade of cattle drives out of South Texas, the area of the future town was a key cattle assembly point leading north on the Chisholm and Great Western trails. Established in 1883, the rail junction made Alice the cattle shipping center of South Texas, with enormous herd lots and auction houses located to its north. Its prosperity and rapid population influx led to the creation of Jim Wells County in 1911, with Alice as its seat. As with other neighboring counties, the discovery of oil in the 1920s assured continued wealth for Alice and its vicinity.
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