Bastrop Early History
By the beginning of the 19th century, the Tonkawa Indians inhabited the area while Comanche Indians came to hunt along the river each autumn. With an early road known as the "Camino Real de los Tejas" between Nacogdoches and San Antonio running through the region, in 1804 Spanish Governor Manuel Antonio Cordero y Bustamonte established a fort at the Colorado River crossing where the town of Bastrop now stands. The Baron de Bastrop planned a German community at the site, but it was not until after Stephen F Austin obtained a grant for a "Little Colony" from the Mexican government in 1827 that settlement began. Pioneers met with intense Indian resisitance, but by 1832 the town of Bastrop had been founded. Previously called Mina, the town was renamed for the Baron de Bastrop in 1837.
Elgin Early History
The City of Elgin was created by the Houston and Texas Central Railroad in 1872 and named for Robert Morris Elgin, a railroad land commissioner. The original plat placed the train depot in the center of a one-square mile area. Many of the original residents of the new to3wn of Elgin came from Perryville, or Hogeye as it was nicknamed, located two miles south. The community was known by three different names. The post office was officially named Young's Settlement and the churches and Masonic Lodge carried the name Perryville. The name Hogeye was given to the stage stop at the Litton home where the community dances were held, and according to legend, the fiddler knew only one tune, "Hogeye", which he played over and over as the crowd danced.
Smithville Early History
The village of "old Smithville" was laid out on 640 acres of land granted to Thomas J. Gazley and Lewis Lomas. The town was located on the Colorado River in the northeast section of present Smithville. The Taylor, Bastrop and Houston Railroad arrived in 1886 and the town relocated along the tracks. Legend has it that a coin was tossed to decide if the name would be changed to Burlesonville for Murray Burleson, who gave the land for the railroad depot. The coin toss resulted in "Smithville" being retained as the name, most likely in honor of pioneer settler William Smith. The town was incorporated in 1895.