This area, and most of the region, was used by cattlemen in the late 1800s as a gathering ground for cattle headed to market along the Chisholm Trail. With arrival of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad in 1887, a town was established and named after rail manager Benjamin F. Yoakum. In the early 1900s, a productive hide tanning and leathercraft industry developed. Railroad and rawhide exhibits are at the Yoakum Heritage Museum. Housed in a 1912 residence, the museum contains a large collection of memorabilia and photos about the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad. Its Leather Room covers early tanneries and exhibits fine-tooled saddles and other leather goods.