Mountain City was twelve miles north of San Marcos in central Hays County. It developed before the Civil War as the supply center for an extensive farming and ranching community. Mountain City had one of the first post offices and stagecoach stops between Austin and San Marcos. It reportedly received its name from William Walton Haupt when he became postmaster in 1858 or 1860. Haupt, an Alabaman, moved from Bastrop to Mountain City in 1857 and introduced to Hays County Angora goats and Brahman cattle from the old South. The community was originally settled by Phillip Allen and perhaps three other families in 1846. Within a decade it had several stores, churches, a school, and a sizable slave population. Pioneer settlers included the family of a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence, Col. John W. Bunton, who arrived in 1851. Mountain City also became the home of Jesse Day, who in 1856 led one of the earliest cattle drives from Central Texas to the Midwest. The community suffered a rapid decline after 1880, when the International-Great Northern Railroad completed its route from Austin to San Marcos several miles east of the town. The Allen family, who had been among the first settlers, now led an exodus to the rail terminals that grew up at Buda and Kyle. The businesses, churches, and school followed them in succeeding years, and by 1883 the post office had closed. Almost a century later there was new activity at the old Mountain City location; in the 1970s the towns of Wimberley, Kyle, and Buda selected it as the site of a new consolidated school. In 1984 a subdivision previously known as Mountain City Oaks incorporated on the site under the name Mountain City and elected a mayor and city council. In 1988 the new community was publishing its own weekly newspaper, the Onion Creek Free Press. In 1990 the population was 377.
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Mountain City by the Numbers
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|622||2020||United States Census Bureau|
|797||2019||Texas Demographic Center|
|648||2010||United States Census Bureau|
|671||2000||United States Census Bureau|
|377||1990||United States Census Bureau|