Fayette County was organized on December 14, 1837 by an Act of the Congress of the Republic of Texas. Fayette County was formed out of part of two adjoining counties, Bastrop and Colorado. The county actually began to function on January 18, 1838. The county was named after the American Revolution hero General LaFayette. The early settlers were Anglos, mainly form the southern states. In the 1840's and 1850's, many Germans and Czechs immigrated to Fayette County. Today the County has an estimated population of 21, 768.
Located between Holman and Swiss Alp, this community was named after A. Ammann and was settled in the early1870’s. This town was a mixture of Czech and German settlers. In 1902, the town had a Catholic Church, 2 schools, 3 stores, a few saloons, 2 blacksmith shops, 1 drugstore, 1 physician and 2 cotton gins. It was also the site of the Justice Court Precinct No. 7. Ammannsville also had a bank; today Ammannsville has a country store and a Catholic Church with painted murals.
This town was the first German settlement in Fayette County: perhaps the first in Texas. The early settlers were Joseph Biegel Christian Gotthelf Wertzner, Bernard Scherner, and the Meitzen Family. Biegel had one store and saloon in 1902. Today nothing remains of Beigel. It lies at the bottom of the Fayette Power Plant Lake.
Black Jack Springs
This community was located about 10 miles Southwest of La Grange on the Flatonia Road and was settled in the early 1850’s. The community included a post office, voting precinct, and a Lutheran Church. A prominent settler was Johannes Romberg, who wrote a volume of poetry. Some early settlers included G.W. Tuttle and the Fitzgerald Family.
The Bluff Community is across the Colorado River from La Grange, South of Buckners Creek. Bluff was settled in the 1830’s. The Bluff Community includes some of the most beautiful scenery in Fayette County. Bluff was named for the high limestone ridge overlooking the Colorado River. The Bluff includes the site of the Kreische Brewery and the Monument Hill State Park. The original town has merged with La Grange and no longer exists.
The Bridge Valley Settlement lies in a large bend of Buckners’ Creek about 3 miles west of La Grange on the Flatonia Road. At one time, the community had a store, saloon, blacksmith shop, and a school. The first settlers were Col. John Dancey and Ed Manton; along with others who settled the area in the 1840’s. Today, only a memory is left of this community.
This community which no longer exists was named for A.C. Buckner, one of the first settlers of Fayette County. It was located in the area between Cistern and West Point.
Carmine is located in the northeastern corner of Fayette County. It was organized in 1884 and went by the name of Sylvan and with the establishment of a post office the name changed to Carmean after an early settler, John Carmean. The spelling was later changed to Carmine. Carmine is on U.S. Highway 290. The first settler in Carmine was Dr. B.T. Thigpen. Others include Henry Weyand, Phil Saunders and J. Hill. Today, Carmine is a thriving community with a post office, many stores, and a church.
The Cedar Settlement is about 5 miles West of La Grange on FM 609. Only its cemetery reveals this community’s location, but at one time it was popular for being a resort for amusements. It was settled in the 1840’s by the Lewis Family, Dr. Denker, and others. It once had a store, post office, saloon, and a large dance hall.
This community is the most Westerly Community in Fayette County and is on State Highway 95. The town was settled in the 1850’s; and was called Whitside’s Prairie and Cockrill’ Hill. In 1863, the name of the town was changed to Cistern. The earliest settlers were the Cockrill’s, C.H. Wellborn, Adam Zumwalt and others. Cistern now consists of several stores, a sausage company, a cookie and fruitcake company and a Catholic Church. Cistern once had several stores, a drugstore, saloon, physician, blacksmith shop, and a cotton gin. Today, the town is primarily Czech.
This community was between Cistern and Flatonia and was settled by families from Mississippi and Georgia, in the 1880’s. In 1902 it had 3 churches, a store, and a blacksmith shop. Nothing remains of the community now except a cemetery and chapel.
This is the first Czech settlement in Texas. Dubina means "Oak Grove" in Czech. Some of the first settlers were the Peter’s and Muzny’s along with others. In the 1880’s, Dubina had a cotton gin, grits mill, post office, general store, saloon, blacksmith shop, several dance halls, a zoo, and 3 schools. The Catholic Church once had over 600 families attending mass. Dubina was a stopover for many Czechs coming to Texas. Today, Dubina has a community hall and a Catholic Church, which is on the painted church tour.
This town, which lies on State highway 71 near the Colorado County Line, was named after Joseph Ehlinger. Although quite a large town, it is not incorporated. The town was created in the 1870’s when the Southern Pacific Railroad built a spur from Glidden to La Grange. In 1883, lots were sold. Prior to this time the town was located about 2 miles East and was called Live Oak Hill. When Ellinger was organized, the entire town moved to the new location. Ellinger is a community with active business ventures, most of which are along Highway 71. Today, Ellinger has two churches and a large hall used for festivals and weddings.
Elm Grove is a small community located between Cistern and Waelder on FM Road 1115. It has a Baptist Church and was named after the elm trees that grew there in groves.
The small community of Engle is located on U.S. Highway 90 between Schulenburg and Flatonia. This community was organized in about 1890. It was named for a railroad engineer on the Southern Pacific Railroad. Old settlers and merchants include I.J. Gallia, Louis Melcher, and the Bucek Family. Today, Engle has several stores and businesses and is a voting precinct.
Fayetteville lies on Ross Prairie and is on State Highway 159 about 5 ½ miles Northeast of Highway 71. Fayetteville was organized as a stage coach station on the old San Felipe to Bastrop Road in the early 1830’s. The town had several names, including Waddis Post Office, Alexanders Voting Place, and Lickskillet. In 1847, the founder Philip J. Sahver platted the town and it was named Fayetteville, after his hometown of Fayetteville, North Carolina. The town is incorporated and the central business district is around a public square on which there is a precinct courthouse with a town clock. A number of veterans of the War of 1812 were among the first settlers. They included Umbleton Gregory, David Wade, and Dr. William P. Smith. Prior to the 1850’s, the town was Anglo and German. In the 1850’s the Czech immigration began and by the 1880’s Fayetteville had a Czech priest, Father Joseph Chromcik. The town was known to many as the center of Czech immigration to Texas. The Fayetteville Brethren Church is built near the site of the first Czech Protestant service in Texas. There also is a Lutheran Church. Fayetteville was the site for the supreme Lodge of the SPJST. Today, Fayetteville is a thriving community with many businesses and churches.
Flatonia is located on Interstate Highway 10 and State Highway 95 and is the most westerly town on Fayette County, Flatonia was laid out by the Southern Pacific Railroad in 1873. One mile Southwest is the site of old Flatonia, of which there is no remaining trace. Flatonia was named after a prominent citizen, W.A. Flato. Flatonia is located in an area of petrochemical mineral deposits and many oil and gas wells dot the area. Flatonia is a thriving town at present with an active business district and businesses along Interstate Highway 10. One of the more prominent citizens of the Flatonia area was Judge E.A. Arnim, a prominent businessman and former county judge of Fayette County. Flatonia was once known for its cattle shipping via the Southern Pacific Railroad and had a reputation for being a place where cowboys came to enjoy themselves.
Freyburg is located at the intersection on FM Roads 2238 and 956 about 6 miles North of Interstate Highway 10. Old Freyburg is located about a mile South of the present community, Freyburg was also known as Thulemeyer's Voting Place. Freyburg had several stores, a gin, a blacksmith shop and a Methodist Church, which remains an active place of worship. Mr. F. Thulemeyer established his store in 1868.
Halsted was a railroad station on the MKT Line. At one time it had a post office and a mercantile owned by J.H. Wessels. The store was opened in 1896. there also was a saloon and lumberyard. The town was named for R.E.B. Baylor, who was a judge, Baptist Minister, and a congressman.
Haw Creek is located on FM Road 389 between FM Road 954 and Shelby. All that remains of Haw Creek is a cemetery. At one time it was a voting precinct with a post office, a store, gin, and a blacksmith shop. The road to Haw Creek from Cummins Creek is still known as the Haw Creek Crossing Road with a historical iron and wood bridge. Haw Creek was named for the black and red haw trees that grew there. Otto Menking owned the store and also had a peddler’s wagon to sell to those without transportation.
High Hill is located on FM Road 2672 about 3 miles North of Interstate Highway 10. The town was named both High Hill and Oldenburg, and at one time had six stores, three blacksmiths, the first oil mill in the state, a brewery, a bowling alley, and a cotton gin. A large Catholic Church was built there in 1870 and it is one of Fayette County’s tourist attractions with it painted interior. The town had a post office and voting place. The town was named for the high hill on which it is located. Many of the pioneers were from Austria. Today, only the church, hall, and oil mill remains.
Holman is located near the intersection of FM Road 155 and FM Road 1965 between La Grange and Weimar. The town was named for the Holman Family and it lies near the Colorado River in Mullins Prairie. Holman has a Catholic Church and a restaurant. At one time it had 2 stores, a blacksmith shop, and a gin which was owned by the Kristek Brothers and ginned over 1,400 bales of cotton a year. The community was also named for a creek and native pecan trees.
Hostyn was established by a group of Czech settlers and is located between U.S. Highway 77 and FM Road 609 on FM Road 2436. This community was centered around a large Catholic Church built by the early Czechs. Hostyn was the site of the founding of the K.J.T. organization in 1889 by Father Joseph Chromcik and others. The K.J.T. is a Czech Catholic Insurance Organization with over 104 societies and over 17,000 members statewide.
This community is the former site of Ellinger and at one time had several stores, a large saloon, and a dance hall that was owned by Mr. August Girndt who was a former Sheriff of Fayette County. The oldest Catholic Church in Fayette County is located here and was once named Hostyn Hill. It is located 2 miles Northeast of Ellinger just off FM Road 2503. The first Fayette County artist A.M. Kainowkowski sketched the first Czech wedding held there.
Joiner was located on the MKT Railroad near Halsted and was a railroad community. Now there is nothing left of this community.
Kirtley is located on Highway 71 near the Bastrop County line. It was named by the railroad and was formerly known as Primm after William Primm, an early colonist.
Kocicina was located at the corner of FM Road 2503 and County Road 254. At one time it had a store owned by the Orsak Family, a dance hall, and a school.
La Grange is the county seat of Fayette County and is located on State Highway 71 and U.S. Highway 77 on an old Indian encampment. La Grange is rich in scenic beauty and lies below the Bluff on the Colorado River. La Grange lies partially in the J. Eblin League that was selected as the location for the Capitol of Texas until Sam Houston, who wanted the capitol to bear his name, vetoed it. La Grange was first settled in the 1820’s on land granted to John H. Moore. The town is named after General La Fayette’s country home in France near the Swiss border. La Grange is the largest town in Fayette County and provides the county citizens with governmental, commercial, medical, civic, and cultural facilities. The town is laid out around a public square on, which is located, the Fayette County Courthouse, which was built in 1891. La Grange was also the site of the organization of the S.P.J.S.T. society in Texas. The town has a vibrant and diversified economy. It offers an excellent school system, a public library, and a museum. The town was small in 1836 with only two stores, but it was large enough to be incorporated in 1850. La Grange is typical of small town county seats in southeastern central Texas.
Ledbetter is located at the northwestern tip of Fayette County on U.S. Highway 290 at Fm Road 1291. It was named after Hamilton Ledbetter, a pioneer who helped establish Rutersville College. At one time, the town had a school, post office, voting precinct, 4 general merchandise stores, 2 lumberyards, 2 drugstores, 2 saloons, and a blacksmith shop. Ledbetter is near of the site of an Indian massacre by early settlers near Cummins Creek. Today, Ledbetter has several stores and a bed and breakfast establishment.
Lyons was located near Highway 77, South of Schulenburg. It was named after a pioneer who was killed by Indians.
Mecklenburg was a community, which was located between Walhalla and Waldeck. Its settlers named it after a town in Germany.
Middle Creek was located between the East and West Navidad River, and once had a school. It was located in the Southern part of the county, North of Schulenburg on FM Road 615.
Millers Community was named for a Presbyterian Minister. It was located on FM Road 153 between Highway 77 and Winchester.
This community is located in Southwest Fayette County on FM Road 2237 and was named after Father Miguel Muldoon, an Irish Priest, who was granted 4 leagues by the Mexican Government. There are rock quarries near Muldoon from which the rock for the Fayette County courthouse was acquired. At one time Muldoon had a post office, voting precinct, general store, saloon, hotel, blacksmith shop, doctor, and railroad station. The rock quarried in Muldoon from the A.B. Kerr Quarry was used to build the Galveston jetties.
Nechanitz is located on FM Road 2145 between FM Road 1291 and U.S. Highway 77. Wencil Matejowsky named the town after his hometown in Moravia. Mr. Matejowsky had a store and gin here for many years. A post office was established in 1873.
Oldenburg is located on State Highway 237 about 1.5 miles West of the Fayetteville "Y" and Highway 159. Gus Steenken founded it in 1886. At one time, the town had 2 stores, saloon, doctor, blacksmith shop, tin ship, and a gin. Now the community is primarily a residential area.
O’Quinn is located on FM Road 609 about 7 miles Southwest of La Grange. It was settled mostly by Germans in the 1850’s. The community is believed to be named after an Indian Chief or for an Irishman, O’Quinn had 2 stores, a gin, and a blacksmith shop.
Oso, which means bear in Spanish, was located North of Flatonia on FM 609. Once, there were 3 stores, a mill, gin, tannery, and a blacksmith shop here. After the railroad came the town was deserted with most of its inhabitants moving to Flatonia.
Park is located on old Highway 159 right next to the Fayette County Power Plant Lake. At one time, Park had a gin, dance hall, and several stores. Today, it has a store and a silkscreen frame business.
Pine Springs was located North of Flatonia and was named for a lone pine tree that stood at this spring.
Pin Oak was located near FM Road 609, between Black jack Springs and Oso. It was named for the Pin Oak trees, which grew there.
Pisek was located near the Fayette and Colorado County lines and was located where the railroad ended and turned around. Mike Krenek had a store here, and the railroad had a hotel for its employees.
Plum is located on Highway 71 about 8 miles West of La Grange. This farming community once had 2 stores, 1 saloon, 2 gins, 2 blacksmith shops, a school, a doctor, and several churches. There is a Catholic Church here today as well as a store, post office, and some enterprises along Highway 71 toward La Grange. It is also a voting precinct. Plum was named after a wild plum tree grove that grew in the area.
Praha is located about 3 miles Southeast of Flatonia and about a mile South of U.S. Highway 90 on FM Road 1295. Prior to the establishment of Praha, the town was called Mulberry and was settled by Anglos. The first Catholic Church was built in 1868 and in 1891 the present large stone Catholic Church was built. Today, the church has painted murals and a parish hall. Praha was once built around a public square and had 2 stores, 2 saloons, one blacksmith shop, a meat market, and a doctor. Praha is named after Czechoslovakia’s capitol and it’s population is mostly Czech. The community is kn9own for its yearly Veterans Day celebration. At one time there were 2 schools and a post office called New Prague. Praha is known as "Mother Praha" to many Czechs in Texas.
Prairie Valley is located off Highway 77 North in La Grange. This small community once had a school, but now all that remains is the St. Peter Lutheran Church along with a cemetery.
This community was after William Rabb, one of the first pioneers in this area. It is located West of Highway 77 near the Colorado River. Rabb was the first pioneer in Fayette County to plant and harvest a crop, he also built the first mill.
Rek Hill is located on Highway 159 about 3 miles Northeast of Fayetteville overlooking the Cummins Creek Bottom. Located near this community were the Bordovice School and Kovar Gin. Today, Rek Hill has a store, antique shop, and a garage.
Rocky Ridge is located between Muldoon and West Point on FM Road 154. It was named for the rocky terrain of the area.
Ross Prairie is actually an area of Fayette County rather than a place. It consists of the prairie land between the Colorado River and Cummins Creek, and includes the towns of Fayetteville and Ellinger. It was organized and named by Col. James A. Ross, a veteran of the War of 1812, and an early settler. He established a stagecoach station in what is now Fayetteville. Col. Ross lived near the Burnams Ferry. The Ross Prairie area once had a Lutheran and Catholic Church, but all that remains of them today are their cemeteries. Another church, named the Ross Prairie Brethren Church still exists in Fayetteville today, but it is now called the Fayetteville Brethren Church. His fellow settlers killed Col. Ross because he was a defender of the Tonkawa Indians. His home still stands today, Southwest of Highway 71 near the Colorado River.
Round Top is located on Highway 237 at FM Road 1457 and is one of the oldest communities in Fayette County. The town was formerly called Townsends. A few miles North of Round Top is the abandoned site of the Nassau Plantation German Colony. Round Top was settled in the 1830’s by Anglos and later by Germans, it was also on the Bastrop to San Felipe stagecoach route. Round Top was a prosperous town in its early years, it even had a cigar factory that was owned by Charles Schiege. Today, Round Top has a number stores, a post office, and a bank. Round Top is famous for its 4th of July Parade; it is the oldest continuing 4th of July Parade West of the Mississippi. The Round Top Rifle Association sponsors the parade. Located near Round Top is the renowned Festival Hill Institute, which is a school of classical music. Aspiring musicians from around the world come here to develop their skills. A very beautiful German style symphony hall, where concerts are held during the summer, is located at Festival Hill along with several other old buildings. A large section of Round Top is devoted to the Henkel Square restoration of many old homes and businesses. The restoration efforts are funded by the Texas Pioneer Arts Foundation. Round Top also has several restaurants. The town also has several antique stores and is home to the Round Top Antiques Fair that takes place twice a year. The Round Top Bethlehem Lutheran Church was built in 1866. Round Top is primarily a German Community that offers a great deal of culture and history to Fayette County.
Roznov is a community located about 8 miles North of Fayetteville on FM Road 1291. This community was named by John H. Halamicek for his birthplace in Czechoslovakia. At one time several stores, a saloon, a blacksmith shop, and gin where located here. Today only a few houses make up Roznov.
Rutersville is located on State Highway 159 about 8 miles North of La Grange. This old settlement was founded in 1838 upon recommendation of Dr. Martin Ruter to build an institute of higher learning. Rutersville, founded in 1840, was the first Protestant and Methodist University in the state. This university was located Southeast of the town on a high hill. Rutersville had a store, saloon, gin, blacksmith shop, and post office. Today, the town has several business places and a church. At one time, Rutersville was considered as a possible location for the Capitol of Texas.
Schulenburg is located on Interstate Highway 10 at its intersection with U.S. Highway 77 in Southwest Fayette County. Schulenburg is second only to La Grange in size, and was named after Louis Schulenburg, a prominent businessman. It was developed in about 1873. A great many people moved from High Hill, Fayetteville, and other nearby towns to Schulenburg when it was started. Schulenburug is rich in history and has contributed much to the county and state. Schulenburg has several business places and many restaurants along or near the intersection of Interstate Highway 10 and U.S. Highway 77.The town is known for its friendly people and for its celebrations. Schulenburg has a diversified economy and an excellent school system.
Scott was located just South of Flatonia and was named after a local family who had many slaves.
Sedan was located East of Dubina and at one time had a school.
Shelby is part of both Fayette and Austin Counties, It is located near the intersection of FM Roads 1457 and 389. Shelby was once called Roeder’s Mill, but was later named after David Shelby, a settler who was part of the Old Three Hundred. Shelby is primarily a German community; it has several business places and a dance hall that has been in operation since the 1870’s.
Stella was located in the far Westerly part of Fayette County and once had a post office and store.
St. John is located South of Schulenburg in FM Road 957 and has a Catholic Church, dance hall, and a country store. St. John is noted for it’s Annual 4th of July Celebrations.
Swiss Alp is located on U.S. Highway 77 about 10 miles South of La Grange. People primarily of German descent settled this community in the 1870’s. At one time this community had a store, blacksmith shop, and a gin. This community was known for its dances, it now has a store and hall.
Toledo was located North of Black Jack Springs and once had a post office.
Waldeck is named after Count Joseph Waldeck. This community is located near the intersection of FM Road 1291 and 2145 in the Northwest part of the county. It was part of a German Immigration Colony who helped German settlers emigrate to Texas. At one time, this community had a post office and is a voting precinct. There was a store, saloon, gin, blacksmith shop, and Lutheran Church that still remains.
Walhalla is located on FM road 1291 about 2 miles North of State Highway 237. This German community was named after a German word for heaven. At one time, it had a post office and a voting precinct. There was a doctor and several businesses including a store, saloon, and blacksmith shop. Today, Walhalla is made up of a few houses.
Warda is located on Highway 77 about 12 miles North of La Grange. The Wendish settlers of the area named after a town in Eastern Germany. Warda lies in an area of pine trees and once there was a large sawmill here. The last settler, Henry Earthman, killed by Indians in Fayette County was killed near Warda in 1840. At one time, Warda had 2 large stores, a blacksmith shop, gin, doctor, a Lutheran Church, and a school. Today, Warda has a store, post office and a church.
Warrenton is located on State Highway 237 at FM Road 954. It was founded in the early 1860’s and named after Warren Ligon Warreton, a prominent settler. The town was first named Neese’s Store. Warrenton had 2 stores, 2 blacksmith shops, a gin, a saloon, a doctor, and several other businesses. Today, it has several antique shops, restaurants, a bar, and is home to Sterling McCall’s Old Car Museum. Warrenton also has a Lutheran Church. On Highway 237 Northeast of Warrenton is what is known as the smallest Catholic Church in the world. Warrenton is a popular place for antique shoppers to stop. Warrenton also has an antique fair 2 times a year.
West Point is located near the most westerly part of Fayette County on State Highway 71. It was founded and named by William Young, who was from West Point, Mississippi, in 1840. This was a fairly large town at one time; it even had a cannery. West Point lies near the Colorado River and was known for its vegetables and molasses in the old days.
Winchester is located near the intersection of FM Roads 153 and 448 in the most Northwestern part of the County. The town was founded in about 1857 by John Frame. As early as 1822, John Ingram settled here and the place was known as Ingrams Prairie for some time. Winchester was one of the largest communities in Fayette County at one time with, a hotel, butcher shop, 7 general merchandise stores, 2 drugstores, a saloon, lumberyard, blacksmith shop, barbershop, and a gin. Also, there were at least 4 churches, along with a school and post office. Winchester still has several business places, along with a post office.
Willow Springs is located about 7 miles Northeast of Fayetteville on State Highway 159. This community was first named Willow Springs but was changed to Zapp Post Office after C.T. Zapp, the postmaster in 1881. It was later changed back to Willow Springs because of the nearby springs in the area. This community was settled as early as 1839. For many years, there was school. For 63 years, E.C. Minssen had a store that is still operated by his grandson. The first sheriff of Fayette County was John Breeding who lived near here.
Windale is located on FM Road 2714 about a mile Northeast of FM Road 1457 and is between Shelby and Round Top. Winedale was first settled by Anglos and then by Germans who called the place Truesbal of Trouble. Winedale was an early stagecoach stop and had a hotel. The town was later named Winedale due to the grapes grown in the area and wine made there. The University of Texas operates the Winedale Historical Center and has restored a number of 19th century buildings on a 190-acre site. It is also site of the Annual Shakespearean Festival.
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