Cain City, four miles southeast of Fredericksburg in southern Gillespie County, was founded by J. C. Stinson, a Kansas farmer who moved to San Antonio and bought 324 acres in Gillespie County in 1913. He and a surveyor named A. J. Green laid out streets, lots, and parks in anticipation of the arrival of the Fredericksburg and Northern Railway, which was built through Gillespie County in 1913. Cain City was named after San Antonio businessman Charlie Cain, an important fund-raiser for the railroad construction. A depot was built near the railroad tracks, and the town grew into an important shipping center for agricultural products from the surrounding rural area. In 1914 Cain City got a water system, an unpaved road to nearby Luckenbach, and two early businesses, the Farmers' Produce Company warehouse, built by Tom Schmidt, and Alfred Jung's lumberyard. Also in 1914 Stinson petitioned the federal government for a post office, which opened the following year with railroad agent Hugo Pahl as postmaster. In 1915 Mrs. Fletcher Hamilton of Illinois opened the Mountain Home Hotel, which she later sold to Stinson. That year also brought Cain City a telephone exchange, two general stores, owned by Alfred Pahl and by A. M. and Marion Cox and Luther Price, and a schoolhouse, with Katie Striegler as teacher, which had a peak enrollment of thirty students. In 1917 the Cain City Bank was founded with Stinson as president, and in 1919 Gus Bausch opened a cotton gin. In the 1920s, however, Cain City's prosperity began to diminish. In 1922 Stinson sold the hotel and moved back to San Antonio, and the Cain City Bank folded shortly thereafter. Cain City's population reached an estimated high of seventy-five in 1925. In 1927 Edgar Tatsch and Theodore Keller opened a dance hall. Fifteen years later Mrs. Will Bird, who had bought the Mountain Home Hotel from Stinson, razed the hotel. The railroad ceased operation on October 1, 1944. By 1949 the estimated population had sunk to twenty-five, and by the mid-1960s the community was little more than a ghost town. The population was estimated at fifteen in 1964.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
Martin Donell Kohout | © Texas State Historical Association
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