Bernardo is at the intersection of Farm Road 949 and Bernardo Road, on the south bank of the San Bernard River twelve miles northeast of Columbus in Colorado County. The earliest settlers were German immigrants who came to Texas about 1845 as colonists of the Adelsverein and were followed by other Germans. They preferred to remain where a good number of Germans had established themselves and where frontier conditions were not as trying as in the Fisher-Miller land grant in west central Texas, the area designated for colonization. Bernardo was originally known as Bernardo Prairie because of the local terrain. It was also earlier called Braden; several families by that name were among the early settlers. The community was on the main road from Houston to towns and settlements inland. During the Civil War it served as a dumping station for cotton being hauled to Mexico. However, it never became a large settlement but remained a farming and ranching community with scattered homes and farms.
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