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County
Gonzales
Region
Praries & Lakes
Population
2010 Census - 1,065
2000 Census - 947
Nearby
Towns
Waelder, Texas
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Waelder Texas History:
In 1874, the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway built a line through the area and established a train depot. Railroad agents platted the town around the depot, and named it Waelder after prominent San Antonio attorney Jacob Waelder. Many of the first residents were transplants from Hopkinsville and other area communities bypassed by the railroad. The cattle industry was important to the town’s early growth. Later, corn, cotton, and the poultry industry played important roles in the town’s growth. The closing of the train depot in the 1950s, and the construction of IH-10 two miles south of town, caused the population to dwindle. R. L. Miller’s General Store, which opened in Hopkinsville in 1866 and moved to Waelder when the railroad arrived, operated from 1866 through 1979; it was sold to J-Bar-B Food Company in 1980. This sausage making company is Waelder’s sole industry today. Waelder is located at the intersections of U.S. 90 and SH 97, FM 1115, FM 1296 and FM 1680, two miles north of IH-10, 22.5 miles east of Luling, 13 miles east of Harwood, 43 miles south of Bastrop, 26 miles southwest of Smithville, 25 miles west of Schulenburg, 12 miles west of Flatonia, 30 miles northwest of Shiner, 36 miles north of Hochheim, 23.4 miles northeast of Ottine, and 18 miles northeast of Gonzales, Texas.
 
Historic Waelder, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“In 1875 and 1876, when the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio railroad built through Gonzales County, this town was laid out to serve as a shipping point for the surrounding agricultural and ranching area. Hopkinsville, a thriving community five miles north, moved here to become the nucleus of Waelder. Because of valuable services rendered to railroad interests in the early days. The G.H. & S.A. named the new town for the company attorney, Frederick Jacob Waelder (1820-1887). Born in Germany, Waelder spent most of his life in Texas, where he was a lawyer representative in the state legislature (1855-1859) and briefly an officer in the Confederate Army. He was also a leader of the German-Texas colonists in numerous undertakings. The town of Waelder, which grew to be the second largest in the country by 1900, can trace the history of its populace back to the three waves of German immigrants who settled in Texas from 1831 to 1900. Highly regarded by their neighbors German citizens were considered frugal and industrious. Joining with Latin-Americans and old south Anglo-Americans, the two other largest ethnic groups in Texas they have left a distinctive mark on the culture of the state.” 
 
Historic Site of Hopkinsville, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“(Hopkinsville was) once a thriving pioneer community. (It was) founded by D. S. Hopkins (1819-1917), farmer who settled here in 1852. Located in farm-ranch area. Herds started here, bound for Chisholm trail. Abandoned 1873 when the citizens moved south and founded town of Waelder on newly built railroad.”
 
Historic Hopkinsville Lodge No. 183, A.F. & A.M, 1882, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“After migrating from his native Georgia, Dennis Sheffield Hopkins (1819-1917) founded the community of Hopkinsville (5Mi. NW) in 1852. He helped organize this Masonic lodge there in 1855. The thriving village also had a grist mill, gin, several businesses, churches, and a school. When the Galveston, Harrisburg & San Antonio railroad bypassed Hopkinsville during the 1870s, most residents moved to Waelder. The lodge relocated and built this meeting hall in 1882. Churches, schools, and civic groups have shared use of the structure.”   
 
Historic Miller’s Store, 1900-1901, Texas Historic Marker Text:
“Erected 1900-1901 by R.L. Miller and sons. Now owned by 4th generation of family. first store established 1866.Unique bannister features wooden balls carved by the contractor "Cap" Smith.
Bullet holes in awning testify to rowdy early era.”  
 
Waelder Public Library:
The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. (830) 788-7167. 310 North Avenue E
 
Waelder Community Center:
The center is available for private and public events. (830) 788-7135. 311 SH 90 West.
 
4-D Guest Ranch Live Music Concerts:
The ranch hosts live music concerts. (830) 540-4447. 4168 CR 444 Waelder, Texas 78959. Email
 
Annual Veterans Day Celebration, Feb:
Activities include a 5:30pm barbecue dinner, a raffle benefiting the community center, and a 6pm veteran’s recognition program. This event is held at the Waelder Community Center at 311 SH 90 West.
 
Annual Waelder Livestock Show, February:
Activities include the livestock show, children’s activities, and entertainment. This event is held at the L.W. Fryer Show Barn at 12395 East SH 97.
 
Annual Lions Club 4th of July Big Bang, July:
Activities include fireworks, a raffle and entertainment. Bring lawn chairs. This event is held at the Waelder Lion’s Park soccer field.
 
Annual Fiesta Guacamole, Sat-Sun, Labor Day Weekend in Sept:
Activities include a volleyball tournament, a BBQ cook-off, an auction, bingo, a raffle, a parade, a pageant, food, a beer garden, a Sunday mass, and live music and a dance. A small admission fee applies. This event is hosted by the St. Patrick’s Catholic Church. It is held at Waelder City Park. (830) 672-2945.  
 
J Bar B Food Company, 1959:
The company produces link sausage, smoked meats, and barbeque products under the brand names “Texas Smokehouse,” “Singletree Farms,” “Cajun Hollar,” and “Chefs-In-A-Bag. Product endorsers include boxing champion Jesse James Leija, NASCAR legend Richard Childress, and Earl Campbell. They also own a new sausage making facility in Weimar, Texas. Open Mon-Fri, 7:30am-5:30pm. (830) 788-7511. 100 Main Street, Waelder, Texas 78959. Email