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The town was named for a local rancher, John Knippa. The community was founded in 1882 by the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway Company as part of its expansion into South Texas. It served as a shipping point for cattle and sheep from ranches in the area, including that of Knippa's son-in-law, Charles Schreiner (1858–1937), who later became one of Texas' most prominent businessmen. A post office opened at this location on March 1, 1883; it closed on January 31, 1910. Knippa is located at (29.7641308 -99.5392359). According to the United States Census Bureau in 2000, there were 569 people living within 2 miles (3 km) of where IH 10 crosses FM 641 near Knippa; however only 466 people lived within 2 miles (3 km) or less from where IH 10 crosses FM 641 near Knippa according to Google Maps.