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Bethel, formerly known as Velma and Lone Hand, is beside the Cottonbelt Road five miles northeast of the community of Richland Springs in central San Saba County. W. C. Locker and his family settled in this cotton-producing area in the early 1890s and constructed a cotton gin. Lone Hand School, built in 1894, gave the community its first name. Baptist services were held either in the school building or under a brush arbor until a separate structure was built for the church. W. J. Crouch opened his general store in 1897, and on July 5, 1899, he opened the post office under the name of Velma, in honor of Miss Velma Whitehead. After the post office closed in 1906, the community was called Bethel. The school building had been replaced by a new one named Bethel School. After the boll weevil devastated the cotton industry, farmers in the community turned to melon and berry production and pecan and fruit orchards. The farmers continued to diversify by producing peanuts, cattle, and swine. A church and cemetery were located at the townsite in 1984.

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Karen Yancy | © TSHA

Handbook of Texas Logo

Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Bethel is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Bethel is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Lone Hand)
  • (Velma)


Latitude: 31.30896300
Longitude: -98.88038800

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated