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County
Wharton
Region
Gulf Coast
Population
2010 Census - 8,832
2000 Census - 9,237
Nearby
Towns
Wharton, Texas
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Wharton Texas History:
Wharton was settled in 1846 by some of Stephen F. Austin’s original Old Three Hundred colonists, and named after Texas Revolution veterans and brothers, John and William Wharton. The Wharton post office was established in 1847. William Kincheloe donated the county courthouse land which was surveyed by Virgil Stewart and William J. Heard. Early on the area economy was based on potatoes, corn, rice, sugarcane, cotton and cattle. The 1881 arrival of the New York, Texas and Mexican Railroad and the 1899 arrival of the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway allowed Wharton to become an area trading center. The railroads also brought an influx of new settlers; the 1900 population was 1,689. By 1920 the town had 2,346 residents. Wharton incorporated in 1902. In 1902 a major fire destroyed a large number of the town’s buildings causing the city government to decide new construction must use brick as fire walls for all buildings within the city limits. The city also built fire hydrants. Wharton is known for the unique Brahman breed of cattle, originally imported from India. You can see them northeast of Hungerford off SH 60 and FM 1161. Farming and the cattle industry are still important contributors to the Wharton area economy. Wharton is located on the east bank of the Colorado River at the intersections of U.S. 59, SH 60, FM 1301 and FM 102, 42 miles northeast of Edna, 33 miles northeast of Ganado, 13 miles northeast of El Campo, 33 miles southeast of Eagle Lake and the Attwater Prairie Chicken 13 miles southeast of Egypt, NWR, 24 miles south of Wallis, 16 miles south of East Bernard, 60 miles southwest of Houston, 27 miles southwest of Rosenberg, 26 miles southwest of Needville and the Brazos Bend State Park, 6.5 miles southwest of Hungerford, 50 miles northwest of West Columbia, 25 miles northwest of Bay City, 23.5 miles northeast of Danevang, and 6.8 miles southeast of Glen Flora, Texas.
 
Historic City of Wharton, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“The town of Wharton was founded as the seat of Wharton County in April 1846. Land for a courthouse, named Monterey Square, was given from the land grant of William Kincheloe, one of Stephen F. Austin's "Old Three Hundred" colonists who settled in this area in 1822. The townsite was surveyed by Virgil Stewart and William J. E. Heard, and the rich farmland attracted many settlers. The advent of railroads and irrigation brought increased settlement to the town, which remains a center of agricultural, educational, industrial, and medical services for a large area.”
 
Wharton Building Murals:
Wharton and nearby El Campo have a large number of building murals.
 
Wharton County Courthouse, 1888-1889:
The brick courthouse was designed in Victorian/Italianate style by famed architect Eugene Heiner. Heiner would have been a rival to famed courthouse architect J. Reily Gordon if he hadn’t died at age 42. The Wharton County courthouse has undergone drastic changes over the years; a 2005-2006 renovation restored to its original 1889 form. The original bell still exists. A gazebo featuring beautiful lamp posts is located adjacent to the courthouse. The 2010 Wharton County census was 41,280. 309 E. Milam Street.  
 
Wharton County Jail, 1888:
The Wharton County courthouse and jail were designed by Eugene Heiner, and built by Wyatt C. Hedrick and Associates. The jail is located at 231 S. Fulton Street, one block from the 1888 courthouse.
 
Southern Pacific Railroad Depot:
The restored depot is open to the public on Saturdays, 9am-1pm. Exhibits include railroad artifacts and model trains. 100 South Sunset Street. 
 
Wharton County Historical Museum:
Exhibits include archaeology artifacts dating from the prehistoric and Republic of Texas periods, an 1822 inscribed Powerhorn, exhibits on native son authors Horton Foote and Dan Rather, memorabilia from Congressional Medal of Honor recipients David Hutchins (World War II) and Roy Benavidez (Vietnam), and a trophy collection of world class wild animals. Newer exhibits feature the Texas Gulf Sulphur Company and the town of Newgulf, site of the world’s largest sulphur deposit. Open Sat-Sun, 1pm-5pm; Mon-Fri, 9:30am-4:30pm; closed 12 noon to 1pm for lunch. Guided tours are available at 11am and 2pm. (979) 532-2600. 3615 N. Richmond Road. The museum is located approximately 200 yards from the Tee Pee Motel. Email  
 
20th Century Technology Museum:
The museum exhibits highlight technological developments in the 20th Century. Areas covered include electronic media, computers, home appliances, telephones, automobiles, aircraft and spacecraft, agricultural mechanization and medical devices. Open Fri-Sat, 10am-3pm, and by special appointment. Group tours available. Admission is free; donations are appreciated. Open Mon-Fri, 10am-3pm; Sat, 1pm-4pm. (979) 282-8810. The museum is housed in the Wharton County Historical Museum at 3615 North Richmond Road. Email 
 
Plaza Theatre:
This restored theater hosts several theatrical performances each year, and offers a summer youth workshop. Seasonal and individual tickets are available. (979) 532-1040. Ticket Hotline: (800) 838-3066. The theater is located on the courthouse square at 120 Houston Street.
 
Horton Foote Theatre, Wharton County Junior College:
The theater hosts music concerts and theatrical productions throughout the year. Many events are free; some charge a small admission fee. (979) 532-6300. (979) 532-6397. (800) 561-9252. The theatre is located in the Duson-Hansen Fine Arts Building on the Wharton County Junior College main campus at 911 Boling Highway, Wharton, Texas 77488. Email  Campus Map   
 
Wharton County Junior College:
(979) 532-4560. (800) 561-9252. 911 Boling Highway, Wharton, Texas 77488. Campus Map
 
Wharton County Library Main Branch:
The library provides traditional library programs, children, youth and adult programs, summer programs, audiobooks, downloadable books, public access computers with internet connections, and free Wi-Fi. Open Mon-Tue, 9:30am-8pm; Wed-Fri, 9:30am-6pm; Sat, 9:30am-3pm; closed Sunday. (979) 532-8080. 1920 North Fulton Street. Email