|| European settlement of this area dates to the early 18th century with the establishment of missions in San Antonio, and missions herdsmen used this area as grazing land for livestock. Until the late 19th century, traveleres in this county crossed the San Antonio River at natural fords, with no bridges or other means to traverse the stream. In 1871, the Wilson County Commissioners Court declared the need for a ferry and decided to grant any potential ferryman a waiver of licensing fees for the first five years, as well as the ability to charge the highest fee allowable by state law.
Nemencio de la Zerda, II owned land along the river near the mouth of Chiver Creek. He started a ferry operation on the east bank of the river at the community of Lodi, about one mile north of Floresville's center. De la Zerda, a Confederate veteran and area native, was active in his community, serving as Lodi's justice of the peace, as well as county sheriff and tax collector. Family tradition holds that near his boat he hung a bell that travelers would ring when they wanted to cross. The community of Lodi developed along the Old San Antonio-La Bahia Road, which brought a steady flow of commerce to the area, and the ferry provided a way for traders to haul their wares across the river.
The de la Zerda family sold the ferry business in 1877 to W.W. Payne, and it later passed to Vicente J. Carvajal. In 1886, the county built a free bridge nearby across the river, and over time, travelers ceased using the ferry that had once provided local residents and travelers vital transportation access. (2006)