Willow Springs, also known as Zapp, Rock House, and German Settlement, is at the intersection of State Highway 159 and Farm Road 954, eight miles east of Warrenton in northeastern Fayette County. It was established on Willow Branch during the late 1830s by German colonists from nearby Austin County and called Willow Springs as well as German Settlement. The settlement prospered, and by 1881 C. T. Zapp had opened a post office in his store to go with the gin, blacksmith shop, and school; the school had been founded in 1871. In 1906 the post office closed, and the official community name reverted to that of the school, Willow Springs, which was closed in 1944. Fluctuating economic conditions during the first half of the twentieth century had little effect on community residents, who depended on the production of cotton and corn as cash crops but were basically self-sufficient farmers. The gin closed during the 1960s, and most area farmland reverted to pasture for cattle and horses. During the 1980s most residents shopped in nearby Brenham but relied on two remaining businesses for certain farming and ranching needs. The community was still listed in 1990.
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