Hays City, about eleven miles northwest of San Marcos on the road between Kyle and Wimberley, was perhaps the most ambitious failure in Hays County history. The community was a proposed replacement for San Marcos as the county seat and was laid out in 1908 on land owned by county-center advocate Hezekiah Williams. Within two years Hays City could boast of everything-a two-story hotel, a department store, a livery stable, a lumberyard, a church, and even a weekly newspaper (the Hays City Enterprise)-except settlers. In 1909 Williams went so far as to chart a rail route from Kyle to Hays City, but the town never attracted enough settlers to take on a life of its own, nor even to open a post office. Williams's petition for an election to make Hays City the county seat apparently failed, as did eventually all of his enterprises.
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