San Saba

San Saba, Texas

San Saba, Texas

Image of the San Saba County Courthouse in San Saba, Texas, the county seat. Photograph by Aualliso.

San Saba, the county seat of San Saba County, is on U.S. Highway 190 eighty-seven miles northwest of Austin in eastern San Saba County. It took root on the agricultural frontier in the 1850s and developed rapidly as the political and commercial center of San Saba County. In 1855 ranchers and cotton growers first settled the banks of the San Saba River, from which the settlement took its name. When the county was organized a year later, San Saba won election as the county seat. Baptist and Methodist congregations were the first to hold services in the community. By 1857 a post office had been opened and the first county courthouse completed. The court building also served as a school and meetinghouse until it was replaced in the 1880s. Cattle drives, sheep ranching, and cotton cultivation sustained the town's steady growth after the Civil War. By the 1890s San Saba had established itself as a finance, processing, and marketing center for county farmers and ranchers. Merchants and craftsmen supplied settlers on the expanding frontier with wagons, farm implements, furniture, and clothing. The local economy also supported legal, banking, and medical services. The San Saba County News, promoted as the first newspaper in West Texas, began publication in 1873. The News, which consolidated with the San Saba Star in the 1960s, was still in publication more than a century later. Within two decades of its founding the town had a population of 1,200, two newspapers, a bank, and an active gin and mill industry that processed the cotton and grains produced in the San Saba River valley. The local economy apparently sagged by 1900, when the population dropped below 900. Completion of a branch line of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway through San Saba in 1911 revived the town, which by 1925 had 2,000 residents.

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.

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San Saba is classified as a Town


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San Saba by the Numbers

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Population Counts

San Saba
Pop. Year Source
3,317 2019 Texas Demographic Center
3,099 2010 Texas Demographic Center
2,637 2000 Texas Demographic Center
2,626 1990 Texas Demographic Center
2,336 1980 Texas Demographic Center
2,555 1970 Texas Demographic Center
2,728 1960 Texas Demographic Center
3,400 1950 Texas Demographic Center
2,927 1940 Texas Demographic Center
2,240 1930 Texas Demographic Center
2,011 1920 Texas Demographic Center