In 1840, East Coast entrepreneur George W. Fulton married Harriet Smith, daughter of powerful Republic-era politician Henry Smith. After Harriet’s father died, Fulton turned Harriet’s land inheritance on Aransas Bay into a ranching and meatpacking empire as part of the Coleman-Fulton Pasture Company. During the 1870s, the Fultons made their fortune shipping cattle tallow and hides between Rockport and New Orleans. To symbolize their success, they built a mansion called Oakhurst. The mansion was built over a period of three years, 1874–1877, and was the showplace of the town named for them.
via Brief History : Texas Historical Commission.