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County
Austin
Region
Praries & Lakes
Population
2010 Census - 747
2000 Census - 868
Nearby
Towns
San Felipe, Texas
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San Felipe Texas History:
In 1821, Moses Austin, father of Stephen F. Austin, traveled to San Antonio de Bexar to meet with the Spanish government and request permission to establish a colony in Texas. Permission was ultimately granted. On his way home to Missouri he was badly beaten by robbers. Before he died of his injuries he asked Stephen to take over the grant. In 1823, Mexico won independence from Spain and the newly founded Mexican government granted Stephen F. Austin the land grant originally intended for his father, and granted him to bring the first Anglo-American colonists into Texas. Austin carefully chose 277 settlers   whom he thought would be appropriately industrious. Most of the settlers were of higher economic status, most brought property with them (1/4 brought slaves), and all but four could read and write. Though Austin’s contract with Mexico stipulated the men be Catholic and become Mexican citizens, most were Protestants who were unenthused about being ruled by Catholics, and who had strong beliefs about independence and property rights. These settlers became known as the Old Three Hundred. Many of these men were instrumental in establishing the Republic of Texas and its government. Those colonists wishing to be farmers were granted 4,428 acres; the rest were granted 177 acres; all paid $0.12 an acre. Married men were granted sole title to their land; larger families were sold more land. Single men were granted title in groups of two or three. In 1923, John McFarland was operating a ferry at a small settlement located on the west bank of the Brazos River at the site of the Old San Antonio Road (Camino Real or King’s Highway) crossing. Austin’s land commissioner, Baron de Bastrop, assisted Austin in the selection of this site as the capitol of the new colony. The name San Felipe was proposed by the Felipe de la Garza, the governor of the Eastern Interior Provinces. San Felipe was platted using the Mexican town model of a grid of streets and avenues and four large plazas. Austin built his home on Bullinger’s Creek a half mile west of the Brazos. From here he ran the colony for four years before turning over most of the management responsibilities to San Felipe’s Spanish governing council. Regular mail service was established in the colony in 1826. Until the Texas Revolution, San Felipe was the central mail center for the seven colony postal routes. The Texas Gazette began publishing its newspaper in 1829. Gail Borden's Telegraph and Texas Register began publishing in 1835. This paper later became the unofficial journal of the Texas Revolution. San Felipe became the trading center for the large cotton plantations which were established near San Felipe in the 1820s. Area cattle were herded to market in Nacogdoches. The Brazos River provided keelboat transportation for goods. In the 1830s, three steamboats were making the trip between the coast and San Felipe, though most goods were transported over land. Protestant church services were provided by itinerant ministers. Father Michael Muldoon, San Felipe’s first priest, arrived in 1831.The first churches were not built until after the Texas Revolution. By the 1835 San Felipe had 600 residents and was second only to San Antonio as a commercial center. The conventions of 1832 and 1833, and the Consultation of November 3, 1835 were held in San Felipe. The town served as the provisional government of Texas until the Convention of 1836 met the following March at Washington-on-the-Brazos. General Sam Houston’s army retreated to San Felipe after the fall of the Alamo. When he left he ordered the town burned to keep it out of the hands of the advancing Mexican army. The citizens fled and most did not return. After the war the government of the republic was unable to conduct business from the town due to the lack of buildings. San Felipe incorporated in 1837 and became the county seat of the newly established Austin County. By the mid-1840s, the only buildings in town were the courthouse, a few log houses and a tavern. In 1846, Bellville was elected as the Austin County seat. As the original San Felipe residents abandoned the town they were replaced with German immigrants in the mid-1880s. After the Civil War, freedmen moved to the town. In the late 1800s, Czechs moved into the area. A large influx of Mexican immigrants arrived in the early 1900s. In the mid-1870s, San Felipe refused to give the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway a right-of-way through the town. Instead the railroad the railroad built a line four miles west and established the town of Bullinger’s Creek which became Sealy. Many San Felipe businesses and residents moved to Sealy to be closer to the railroad. In 1882, many of the remaining residents moved 0.5 miles south to the new line and station established by the Texas Western Narrow Gauge Railway. Proceeds from the sale of the town’s original five league township were invested and allowed the town to build an excellent school system and to function without taxes. After the Texas Western abandoned its line in 1899, the town’s population dropped to 177. In 1980 residents were still claiming the rights of the original inhabitants to free water, wood, grazing, and burial ground on the common lands of the municipality. In 1980, more than 700 acres of open land remained in possession of the community. Most of the original townsite on Bullinger’s Creek was donated by the town to the 4,200 acre Stephen F. Austin State Park in 1940. San Felipe is located at the intersection of IH-10 and FM 1458, 11.3 miles west of Brookshire, 19 miles west of Katy, 32 miles west of Addicks, 48 miles west of Houston, 16.6 miles northwest of Wallis, 44 miles northwest of Needville, 40 miles north of Wharton, 23 miles northeast of Eagle Lake, 5 miles northeast of Sealy, 28 miles northeast of Columbus, 46 miles northeast of Fayetteville, 18 miles northeast of Cat Spring, 37.5 miles northeast of Brenham, 18.6 miles southwest of Bellville and 30 miles south of Hempstead, Texas.   
 
San Felipe de Austin State Historic Site Information: 
The Stephen F. Austin State Park opened in 1940 on 663.3 acres of land donated by the San Felipe de Austin Corporation. When the state park was being developed, twelve acres of parkland were set aside for the San Felipe State Historic Site. These acres are located on the Brazos River near the old ferry site and the Commercio Plaza de San Felipe in the old town of San Felipe, the site where Stephen F. Austin’s established his "Old Three Hundred” colony. From 1824 to 1836, San Felipe was the capital of the American Texas Colonies, and the site of the 1832 and 1833 conventions held to outline the reforms being requested from the Mexican government. The 1833 convention also formed a draft constitution (similar to the U.S. Constitution). After both conventions, Stephen F. Austin carried the reform petitions to Mexico City, but both were rejected by the Mexican Government. At the July 14, 1835 convention, the men drafted the Consultation of San Felipe. The document established the Provisional Government of Texas, and eventually led to the Texas Revolution. In addition to being the home of Stephen F. Austin and other famous early Texans, both the Texas postal system and the Texas Rangers were established in San Felipe. Facilities include the restored 1817 J.J. Josey store (now a museum with exhibits and displays of pioneer artifacts), a reproduction of Stephen F. Austin's log cabin, and the original well dug by Austin's colony of settlers. Many monuments and historical markers are located onsite, including a statue of Stephen F. Austin and a commemorative obelisk. The Visitor Center is ADA compliant. Crushed granite paths lead to the Visitor Center and the log Cabin. Leashed dogs are permitted. Group tours and special programs and events are offered on Saturdays and Sundays, 9am-5pm. Tours last 30 minutes to an hour. Volunteer positions are available. The historic site is located on the eastern edge of the Stephen F. Austin State Park and golf course at 15945 FM 1458, San Felipe, Texas 77473. (979) 798-2202. Email    For more park information, read the Park Brochure and go to the San Felipe SHS Home Page.
 
J.J. Josey General Store, 1847, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“Built by John Crutcher in 1847 at the Plaza de Commercio in San Felipe; was the last store built in San Felipe after it was burned by military orders in 1836. Josey purchased the store in 1867; it was in continuous operation as a store until 1942, though it was relocated several times. It was moved to the San Felipe State Historic Site in 1969.” The marker is located on Park Road 38, off of FM 1458.
 
Novemberfest, First Saturday in November:
Activities include live music, live and silent auctions, a Metric century ride, and other activities. Proceeds benefit those with developmental disabilities. This event is held at Willow River Farms. (979) 885-4121. 4073 FM 3318, San Felipe.
 
Annual Christmas Caroling Hayride & Supper With Santa, 2nd Saturday in Dec:
This event begins at 6pm. (979) 885-3613. This event is held at Stephen F. Austin State Park.From Houston, go west on IH-10. Just before Sealy, Texas, turn right (north) on FM 1458, then turn left on Park Road 38.
 
Cazadores Mexican Restaurant No. 3, Sealy, TX:
(979) 885-3211. 241 Gebhardt Road. Yelp Reviews 
 
Tony’s Family Restaurant, Sealy, TX:
Breakfast served all day and is great. They also have very good chicken fried steak. (979) 885-4140. The restaurant is located at 1629 Meyer Street (SH 36). Yelp Reviews
 
Cafe at Brookwood, Brookshire, TX:
If you have time, go to Brookshire to eat. The Brookwood Community is an educational and residential facility designed to enhance the lives of adults with intellectual disabilities. The Café serves excellent soups, salads, sandwiches, and other menu items. The gift shop is full of interesting things; the garden center has great plants. (281) 375-2400. 1752 FM 1489, Brookshire. Yelp Reviews