Praries & Lakes
2010 Census - 1,383
2000 Census - 1,377
Flatonia, Texas
Flatonia Texas History:
In 1873, the Galveston, Harrison and San Antonio Railroad established a line through current day Flatonia, and founded the town of Flatonia on land it purchased from William Alexander Fairies. Residents and businesses from Oso, Praha and the original Flatonia community moved to the new town to be closer to the railroad. The old Flatonia post office was reestablished in new Flatonia. Flatonia incorporated in 1875. By 1878, the town had 800 residents. The original settlers were primarily Anglo-American, but the presence of the railroad and inexpensive farmland attracted German, Bohemian, Italian and other immigrants. In the mid-1880s, the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway completed a line through Flatonia. The communities of Moulton and Muldoon were established on the railroad line south and north on Flatonia. In the 1960s, cattle replaced farming as the primary Industry. Flatonia is located at the intersections of IH-10, SH 95, U.S. 90 (Main Street) and FM 609, 33.5 miles east of Luling, 12 miles southeast of Cistern, 29 miles southwest of La Grange, 19 miles southwest of Swiss Alp, 14 miles southwest of Freyburg, 20 miles west of Weimar, 15 miles west of Schulenburg, 30 miles northwest of Hallettsville, 15.6 miles northwest of Moravia, 3.5 miles northwest of Praha, 20 miles north of Shiner, 8.4 miles northeast of Moulton, and 28 miles northeast of Gonzales, Texas.
Historic Flatonia, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“Market town for rich agricultural area, on one of this state's earliest railroads (chartered 1841 by the Republic of Texas). Situated on land granted in 1840s to rancher William A. Faires, Germans began to settle here in 1860s, and soon needed a shipping point for their products. Sailing master Friedrich Wilhelm Flato (1820-1899) and his wife Sophie, of the German colony, had a store about 2 miles south of here. In the 1870s, Czech immigrants arrived, and the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio railroad (delayed by civil war, 1861-65) was built to this point. John Cline, F. W. Flato, John Lattimore, and railroad president T.W.Peirce founded Flatonia on Oct. 16, 1873. Naming it for the Flato family. At the same time, adjacent landowners Anton Freytag and James Faires platted Freytag and Faires additions to the town. Post office opened in 1874. Town was incorporated Nov. 8, 1875. Soon it had churches, a school, cotton gins, a newspaper (the Flatonia "Argus”), a cottonseed oil mill, and other businesses. A casino was built for political gatherings, dances, dramas, and other uses. In1886, a second railroad, the San Antonio & Aransas Pass, reached here. Throughout its first century, the town has remained industrious, thrifty, and stable. 
History of the Painted Churches of Texas:
The more than 20 painted churches in Texas were established by German or Czech emigrants. The churches are so named because almost every interior surface area is painted in vivid colors. Some church interiors are painted in more detail than others. Wall inscriptions are in German or Czech. Many of the churches are small with high steeples. Many of the wooden churches are painted white. The 1886 Wesley Brethren Church in Wesley is the oldest and most primitive of the Painted Churches in Texas. It was a former school house. The 1913 Church of the Guardian Angel in Wallis, Texas was the last painted church built in Texas. In 1984, fifteen of these churches were added to the National Register of Historic Places. Five of the painted churches are located in Fayette County and five are located in Lavaca County. The most famous of the painted churches are the High Hill, Ammannsville, Dubina and Praha churches in Fayette County. All four of these churches are beautifully painted, and all are located within a short distance of each other. The Schulenburg Chamber of Commerce offers tours of these four churches. Call (866) 504-5294 for a tour. The majority of the painted churches offer regular mass or church services.

Historic St. Mary's (Painted Church), Texas Historical Marker Text: 
“Considered the oldest rural Catholic parish in Texas, St. Mary's was settled before the Texas War for Independence by such pioneers as James Brown, who was killed in the siege of the Alamo. First church edifice for St. Mary’s was built in 1840 under influence of missionary Fathers George Haydon and Edward A. Clarke, who also opened school for the settlement. This was one of ten churches comprising Texas' First Diocese (Galveston) at its formation in 1847. Many priests' and sisters' vocations have come from this historic parish.”
St. Mary’s of the Assumption Catholic Church, Fayette County:
The church was designed in gothic revival style by architect O. Kramer. Much of the interior was painted by Swiss born Gottfried Flury from Moulton, Texas. Later the interior was embellished by Father Netardus who became priest of the church in 1901. The church grounds include three small chapels, a cemetery, and a granite monument paying tribute to the town’s men killed in World War II. The church is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (361) 865-3560. The church is located at 821 FM 1295, approximately 3 miles southeast of Flatonia, Texas 78941. History & Photos
Flatonia City Jail, 1890s:
Called the Calaboose, it was originally located just east of the State Bank parking lot, but due to the high level of noise made by the prisoners, it was moved onto county property. When the town ceased using it in 1984, it was moved to its present location at the Railroad Park on South Main Street (U.S. 90).
Southern Pacific Freight Depot:
The old depot was irreparably damaged in a 2007 storm. The city dismantled the depot and saved some of the architectural elements. Future plans include rebuilding a replica using some of the saved building materials. The new depot will house a visitor’s center and the contents of the Central Texas Rail History Center. The replica depot will be located along the train tracks at the city park.
Central Texas Rail History Center at Flatonia Railroad Park & Train Viewing Platform:
The Rail Park is home to the 1890s calaboose jail, a train viewing and photography pavilion, a Southern Pacific (bay window) Caboose, and Tower No. 3, the last manually operated switch tower in Texas. The viewing pavilion is a favorite train viewing site for railroad enthusiasts. It is one of only three covered viewing platforms in the country and is open 24/7. The old San Antonio and Aransas Pass freight depot was destroyed in in a 2007 storm. Future plans include building a replica of the depot which will house a visitor’s center and a museum. In the near future, train enthusiasts will be able to link to webcams to view passing trains. Tommy Schultz offers tours of the railroad tower and the caboose. He also has built an HO scale model of the S&S Railroad in his garage, and is planning one for his backyard. He recently founded the Railroad Historical Club; call (979) 743-5366 for more information or email Tommy for appointments. (713) 524-1750. (361) 865-3003. The Railroad Park is located in downtown Flatonia at 114 East Main Street (U.S. 90).
E.A. Arnim Archives and Museum:
Museum exhibits and artifacts depict the early history of Flatonia, and include antique furniture, household items, clothing, china and glassware, mannequins in military uniforms, and historical documents and photographs. A livery stable with wagons, buggies, vintage tack, and farm implements is located out back. Open Thu-Fri, 1pm-4pm; Sat, 10am-12pm; Sun, 1pm-3pm. (361) 865-3455. The museum is housed in the former Flatonia State Bank building at 202 West North Main Street (U.S. 90). Email