Praries & Lakes
2010 Census - 3,655
2000 Census - 3,916
Columbus, Texas
Columbus Texas History:
Columbus, the oldest Anglo settlement in Texas, is located on the site of a Montezuma Indian Village. In 1821, members of Stephen F. Austin’s Old 300 settlers began moving into the area. By 1822, the community had developed. It was named Beeson’s Ferry (or Beeson's Ford) after Benjamin Beeson (an Old 300 Member) who operated a ferry across the Colorado River. In 1822, Austin's colony was divided into two autonomous districts by Mexican Governor Jose F. Trespalacios. Beason’s Crossing became the seat of government of one of the districts. Trespalacios had the Baron De Bastrop travel to the Colorado River District to supervise local elections. The town was renamed Columbus in 1835. Stage lines ran between Columbus and San Antonio. Steamship transportation began in early 1838. Just prior to the Civil War, the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railroad built a line through Alleyton, bypassing Columbus. By the time of the Texas Revolution Columbus had twenty five families, a ferry, a cotton gin, agristmill, a sawmill, and a small inn. In March, 1836, after Sam Houston and his men retreated from Gonzales in the Runaway Escape, they camped on the east bank of the Colorado River at Columbus. He had the town burned when he left. By 1837, the town was partially rebuilt. Dr. Robert H. Harrison established a race track on his Beacon Hill Blood Stock Farm; it was reputedly the best race track in the state. Later the Columbus Quarter Horse Race Track was established a few miles east of town. In 1836, Columbus was designated the county seat of the newly established Colorado County. In April, 1837, Judge Robert McAlpin (Three Legged Willie) Williamson convened the first district court in Colorado County under the shade of a large oak tree. Columbus incorporated in 1866. It was disincorporated in 1903, and reincorporated in 1927. Tobacco was an important industry in the 1940s. It gave way to cotton in the 1870s. Today the city bills itself as the City of Live Oaks; a downtown oak tree trunk features a Texas Historical Landmark marker commemorating it as the tree as the site where the Third Judicial District of the Republic of Texas convened in 1837. For a wonderful wildflower trail, drive FM 109. This road runs north from Columbus to the Frelsburg. At Frelsburg a right turn will take you to New Ulm while a left turn will take you to Fayetteville. There are several bridge crossings providing access to Columbus. Columbus is located on the Colorado River at the intersections of SH 71 (Fannin Street), U.S. 90 (Walnut Street) and IH-10, 39 miles southwest of Brenham, 38 miles southwest of Bellville, 25 miles slightly southwest of Sealy, 28 miles slightly southwest of San Felipe, 58 miles northwest of Wharton, 36 miles northwest of East Bernard, 19 miles northwest of Eagle Lake, 39.5 miles northeast of Hallettsville, 35 miles east of Flatonia, 22 miles east of Schulenburg, 15 miles east of Weimar, 13 miles south of Frelsburg, 28 miles southeast of Swiss Alp, 27.7 miles southeast of La Grange, and 38 miles southeast of Round Top, Texas.
Historic City of Columbus, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“(Columbus is the) oldest surveyed and platted Anglo-American town in Texas. About Christmas, 1821, Robert and Joseph Kuykendall and Daniel Gilleland settled at this place-in vicinity of old Indian campgrounds on Mexico-to Sabine River trail. Stephen F. Austin had noted advantages of this spot earlier. In 1823 he and the Baron De Bastrop surveyed land here. Although they relocated the capital, this site remained a hamlet with a grist mill, ferry, and other improvements. Soon known as Beason's, community had as settlers, along with the first three men, many others of the "Old 300"; Abram, John, Rawson, Thomas V., and William Alley; Benjamin Beason, Caleb R. Bostick, David Bright, Robert Brotherton, James Cummins, W.B. DeWees, Thomas Kuykendall, James McNair, James Nelson, Gabriel Straw Snyder; Elizabeth, James and John Tumlinson, Nathaniel Whiting, and possibly others. In 1824, Milton Cook opened a tavern where many Texans stopped over the years. By 1835, village had been named. In Texas War for Independence, buildings here were burned by the Texas Army, to keep them out of the hands of Santa Anna, but later the victory at San Jacinto on April 21, 1836. Columbus rose again. W.B. DeWees and J.W.E. Wallace platted the new townsite in 1837.”
U.S. 90 Colorado River Bridge, 1923:
This multi-span Parker through Truss Bridge opened in 1932 near Beason’s Park on the east side of Columbus. A railroad bridge is located nearby. (979) 732-8385.
Colorado County IH-10 Rest Stops:
The Colorado County east bound and west bound Safety Rest Areas have received state-wide recognition for its cleanliness and safety.  More than a rest-stop, these facilities provide information about area history and culture through two videos and provide travelers with information about area businesses via a computer kiosk located at each site. These rest stops are located on IH-10, approximately 3 miles west of Columbus near Glidden (On U.S. 90 off IH-10).
Colorado County Courthouse, 1891:
This beautiful courthouse was designed by Eugene Heiner in Renaissance Revival style. The groundbreaking ceremony included a public celebration on July 7, 1890. Approximately 3,000 people attended a BBQ in a grove located north of town. They later marched to the courthouse square in a procession led by a local marching band. Members of Caledonia Lodge No. 68 A.F. & A.M. laid the cornerstone with Masonic ceremonies. Following the ceremony the crowd gathered together for a return procession to the grove. Later in the evening a Grand Ball was held at the Stafford Opera House. The courthouse was completed in February, 1891. Two outstanding features of the courthouse are the Tiffany style stained glass dome in the second floor courtroom, and a Seth Thomas clock located on the first floor. This was the third courthouse in Columbus; the first was built in 1836. Individual or group tours are available Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm; closed on holidays and while court is in session. No fees apply. The courthouse may also be toured during the Frontier Heritage Tour. A Texas Historical Marker is located on courthouse lawn. The 2010 Colorado County Census was 20,874. The courthouse is located downtown on the Courthouse Square at 400 Spring Street. (979) 732-2604.