Fayette County

Fayette County, Texas

Fayette County, Texas

Fayette County Courthouse, in La Grange, Texas. Photograph by Jim Evans.
Fayette County

Fayette County, Texas

Map of Fayette County, Texas Map credit: Robert Plocheck

Fayette County is on Interstate Highway 10 sixty miles southeast of Austin in the Blackland Prairies region of south central Texas. The center of the county lies at 29°55' north latitude and 96°55' west longitude. La Grange is the county seat and largest community. In addition to Interstate 10, transportation needs are served by U.S. highways 77, 90, and 290 and State highways 71, 95, 159, and 237. The county's terrain varies from level land to steep slopes, with altitude ranging from 200 to 600 feet. The Colorado River, which bisects the county from northwest to southeast, is fed by several major creeks: Rabb's, Cedar, and Baylor on the east and Buckner's and Williams on the west. Cummins Creek flows through the eastern part of the county and the East and West Navidad rivers through the southern part. Potable groundwater is readily available from the Carrizo-Wilcox and Catahoula-Oakville aquifers at relatively shallow depths. The county covers 950 square miles and is composed of three land resource areas—Blackland Prairies (63 percent), the Post Oak Belt (30 percent), and the Colorado river bottom (7 percent). Within the Blackland Prairie on the uplands are the clayey blacklands and loamy claypen areas. The bottomlands contain dark loamy and clayey soils. The Post Oak Belt contains the Texas Claypan Area with uplands of gray, slightly acid sandy loam and sandy to clayey bottomland soils. Scattered outcrops of the Willis Formation form gravelly ridges along the Colorado River and large areas of gravelly soils in the northern half of the county. The vegetation is a mixture of the post oak savannah and Blackland Prairie region, with tall grasses, oak, and elms predominating. Also commonly found are eastern red cedars, pecans, cottonwoods, and sycamores. Some hickory, walnut, mesquite, and yaupon grow in diverse areas. The north central section is forested by loblolly pine, a continuation of the Lost Pines Forest of neighboring Bastrop County. Whitetail deer are native to the area, especially in the timbered areas, and raccoon, beaver, and possum live along the many creeks. Coyotes are so numerous that a control program has been instigated. Game species found in this district include squirrel, quail, dove, and water fowl. Southern bald eagles traverse the county, particularly along the Colorado River. Natural resources include timber, lignite, sand, gravel, bleaching clays, volcanic ash, oil, and gas. The climate is subtropical humid, with hot summers and mild winters. The average annual precipitation is thirty-six inches. Temperatures range from an average low of 41° F in January to an average high of 96° in July, and the average growing season is 277 days. Flooding is common along the Colorado River; major floods in 1869, 1870, 1900, 1938, and 1992 caused considerable damage to crops and property.

Prior to European settlement Lipan Apaches and Tonkawa Indians inhabited parts of what is now Fayette County. Many Indian artifacts have been found, especially along the Colorado River and near Round Top. A few miles north of the Colorado River, above Little Pin Oak Creek, a stratified multicomponent campsite was found, with Clovis, Plainview, and other later artifacts. In the early eighteenth century Spanish explorers passed through the area. La Bahía Road, which ran southwest to northeast and crossed the river at the site of present La Grange, was the major route for travel during the Mexican period. The area was part of Stephen F. Austin's first colony, but the earliest known White settlers, Aylett C. Buckner and Peter Powell, arrived earlier and lived on La Bahía Road west of La Grange, where they ran a trading post. Formal settlement began in 1822 with the arrival of the Austin colonists. From 1824 to 1828 ten members of the Old Three Hundred received title to their land grants in the fertile Colorado River valley; William Rabb received four leagues in order to build a mill. A total of ninety-two Mexican land grants were granted in the area that is now Fayette County. The earliest settlers gathered at Wood's Fort, Moore's Fort (La Grange), the James Ross home, and Jesse Burnam's blockhouse, twelve miles below La Grange. Burnam's Ferry on the Colorado River provided a cutoff route from La Bahía Road to San Felipe. Prior to Texas independence, the area above La Bahía Road was in the Mina Municipality and the area below in the Municipality of Colorado. Gotier's Trace, the Wilbarger Trace, and the La Grange-San Felipe road intersected La Bahía Road. Ferries were used to cross the Colorado River until the first bridge was built at La Grange by private subscription in 1883. On December 14, 1837, upon petition of the citizens, the Congress of the Republic of Texas established the county of Fayette, named in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette. La Grange, the name of the chateau to which Lafayette retired, was designated the county seat. The citizens organized the county government on January 18, 1838, and the southwestern boundary of the county was extended westward on May 3, 1838. The county lost territory in the south to Lavaca County in 1854 and in the north to Lee County in 1874.

Continue Reading

Daphne Dalton Garrett | © 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.

Adopted by: Cathy Mace Frietsch
Adoption Message: In honor of Dr Thomas M Spencer, Sr. and Rachel B Spencer
Until: August 5th, 2024

Currently Exists

Yes

Place type

Fayette County is classified as a County

Altitude Range

200 ft – 590 ft

Size

Land area does not include water surface area, whereas total area does

  • Land Area: 950.0 mi²
  • Total Area: 959.8 mi²

Temperature

January mean minimum: 39.2°F
July mean maximum: 95.5°F

Rainfall, 2019

40.5 inches

Population Count, 2019

25,346

Civilian Labor Count, 2019

11,324

Unemployment, 2019

5.2%

Property Values, 2019

$6,910,143,625 USD

Per-Capita Income, 2019

$53,564 USD

Retail Sales, 2019

$489,599,371 USD

Wages, 2019

$105,173,443 USD

Fayette County

Highlighted:
  • Fayette County
Loading...
Place Type Population (Year/Source) Currently Exists
Town
Town 137 (2009) Yes
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town 244 (2021) Yes
Town
Town 137 (2009) Yes
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town 272 (2009) Yes
Town
Town 286 (2021) Yes
Town
Town 141 (2009) Yes
Lake Yes
Town 246 (2021) Yes
Town 1,336 (2021) Yes
Town
Town
Town
Town 148 (2009) Yes
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town 176 (2009) Yes
Town 101 (2009) Yes
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town 93 (2009) Yes
Town 4,423 (2021) Yes
Town 83 (2009) Yes
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town 95 (2009) Yes
Town 107 (2009) Yes
Town
Town
Town
Town 57 (2009) Yes
Town
Town
Town
Town 191 (2009) Yes
Town
Town 92 (2009) Yes
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town 25 (2009) Yes
Town
Town
Town
Town 582 (2021) Yes
Town 90 (2009) Yes
Town
Town
Town 79 (2009) Yes
Town
Town 168 (2009) Yes
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town 93 (2021) Yes
Town
Town 137 (2009) Yes
Town 2,669 (2021) Yes
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town 17 (2009) Yes
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town 34 (2009) Yes
Town 38 (2009) Yes
Town 121 (2009) Yes
Town 186 (2009) Yes
Town
Town
Town 213 (2009) Yes
Town
Town 74 (2009) Yes
Town 232 (2009) Yes
Town 67 (2009) Yes
Town
Town
Town
Town
Town

Proud to call Texas home?

Put your name on the town, county, or lake of your choice.


Search Places »