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County
Hays
Region
Hill Country
Population
2010 Census - 44,894
2000 Census - 34,733
Nearby
Towns
San Marcos, Texas
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San Marcos Texas History:
In 1755, the Spanish moved the San Xavier River (now San Gabriel) missions from present day Rockdale to present day San Marcos and established the Presidio of San Francisco Xavier. The next year the missions were relocated to Santa Cruz de San Sabá Mission near present day Menard, Texas. In 1808, the Spanish established the San Marcos de Neve settlement in the area, but the settlement was abandoned in 1812 due to floods and Indian raids. In approximately 1846, Thomas Gilmer McGehee settled on the east side of the San Marcos River, an area now known as McGehee Crossing. In 1845, William W. Moon, a former member of the John C. Hay’s Company of Texas Rangers, settled with his family at San Marcos Springs, becoming the first person to settle what is now the town of San Marcos. Other members of his Company, including General Edward Burleson, soon joined him. Caton Erhard established a store and post office in 1847. In 1849, San Marcos became the designated county seat of the newly formed Hays County. Moon’s hotel became a stage stop, and in 1850, Hays was elected Hays County Sherriff. In 1851, William Lindsey and Dr. Eli T. Merriman platted the town center. Because San Marcos was on the Tarbox and Brown stagecoaches linking San Antonio and Austin, San Marcos become the commercial center for area farmers and for the cart trade between the three cities. In 1881, the International-Great Northern Railroad established a line through the town. In 1924, this railroad became part of the Missouri Pacific Railroad. By 1891, San Marcos had 2,335 residents and a thriving economy. The Southwest Texas State Normal School opened in 1903, followed by the 1907 opening of the San Marcos Baptist Academy. Southwest Texas State Normal School later became Texas State University. In the 1960s, the Aquarena Springs amusement park on Spring Lake, and Wonder Cave turned San Marcos into a tourist attraction. The former amusement park was purchased by Texas State University in1996. It is now a protected area. The growth of Texas State University and the town’s proximity to Austin contributed greatly to San Marcos’ population growth from 12,713 in 1962 to 44,894 residents in 2010. By the mid-1980s at least 20 percent of Hays County's labor force worked in Travis County. The Hays County Veterans Memorial is located at the corner of Hopkins Street and Riverside Drive. Both country musician and Pearsall and Poteet native George Strait, and country musician and San Antonio native Terri Hendrix attended Texas State University, and both live near San Marcos. The MKT Depot (San Marcos to Lockhart, 1887) was restored and now houses a restaurant located at 400 Cheatham Street. San Marcos is located on the San Marcos River at the intersections of IH-35, SH 123, SH 80, SH 21 and RM 12, 22.3 miles northeast of Canyon Lake and Sattler, 36 miles east of Spring Branch, 49.6 miles southeast of Johnson City, 36 miles southeast of Blanco, 29 miles southeast of Dripping Springs, 24.3 miles southeast of Driftwood, 15 miles southeast of Wimberley, 33 miles southwest of Elroy, 30.7 miles southwest of Austin, 17.5 miles southwest of Buda, 9.4 miles southwest of Kyle, 43.6 miles southwest of Bastrop, 18 miles west of Bastrop, 24.4 miles northwest of Luling, 22.4 miles north of Seguin, 50 miles northeast of San Antonio, and 19 miles northeast of New Braunfels, Texas. 
 
Hays County Courthouse & Photos, 1908:
The courthouse was designed in beaux-arts style by architects Charles H. Page & Brothers. It was built out of Elgin buff and gray brick with limestone stringcourses. At the eastside entrance to the building is a beautiful 1907 fountain that includes an ankle height trough for dogs. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The courthouse is the twin of the Fort Bend County Courthouse in Richmond, Texas. Page also designed the Anderson, Bastrop, Fort Bend, Hunt, Orange and Williamson Counties’ courthouses. A statue of Jack C. Hays, whom the county is named after, is located on the courthouse lawn. The 2010 Hays County census was 157,107.The courthouse is located 150 East Hopkins Street. The square is bounded by San Antonio Street, East Hopkins Street (Old Ranch Road), North LBJ Drive, and South Guadalupe Street. 
 
Hays County Jail, 1873:
This building now houses the Calaboose Museum of African-American History. The building is located at 200 West Martin Luther King Drive.
 
Hays County Jail, 1885:
This deteriorating jail is located behind the 1873 jail. Money is being raised for its restoration. The building is located at Martin Luther King Drive and Fredericksburg Street.