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    WEST, TEXAS

    McLennan County, North Central Texas
    I-35
    80 Miles S of Dallas
    16 Miles S of Hillsboro
    17 Miles N of Waco
    Population: 2692 (2000)

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    West Tx First United Church

    West First United Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, March 2003
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    History in a Pecan Shell

    Dating from a settlement called Bould Springs (after founding settler Carey Boulds) in 1852, a post office opened that same year. Four years later the Bennett family relocated here – becoming the town’s first permanent residents. The town reported an estimated population of just over 300 for 1860.

    West (as it appears today) came to life in 1881 with the arrival of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad. It was platted on a quarter section of land belonging to Thos. M. West, landowner, storekeeper and postmaster. The West post office opened in 1852 and was followed by the store (a reversal of how most post offices were opened in Texas) the following year.

    The town incorporated in 1892 and by 1900 the population was estimated at 2,000. The town had duplicates of all essential businesses and became a stop on the Texas Electric Traction Railway – an Interurban line that once connected Waco with Dallas. Primarily an Anglo community during it’s early years, Czech and German immigrants began arriving around 1900. Cotton and cattle ranching were the regions economic engines, supplemented by a textile mill and a sausage factory. The West ISD was formed in 1923.

    Over the years West has become established as the center for Texas-Czech culture despite the fact that it is on the northern extreme of Czech settlement which stretches from west of Austin to Colorado County to the east and as far south as DeWitt County.

    West, Texas Photos

    The restored depot in West, Texas

    The restored depot in West
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008

     Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad Depot in  West, Texas

    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
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    West, Texas train mural

    Train Mural
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, March 2003

    West, Texas mural of train and depot

    Mural showing train & depot
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, March 2003
    More Texas Murals | Texas Railroads

    Downtown West Texas

    Downtown West
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, March 2003

    The 1892 Groppe Building in West, Texas

    West Texas' Historic Landmark: The 1892 Groppe Building
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008

    West Texas' Groppe Building historical marker

    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
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    Ghost signs on the historic Groppe Building in West, Texas

    Ghost signs on the historic 1892 Groppe Building
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008

    Owl Cigar ghost sign in West, Texas

    Owl Cigar ghost sign
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008

    West, Texas Ghost sign c. 1869

    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
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    Snokhous blacksmith woodwork welding shop

    Snokhous blacksmith woodwork welding shop
    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
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    West Texas old building

    Photo courtesy Stephen Michaels, April 2008
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    St. Mary's Cemetery, West, Texas

    St. Mary's Cemetery in West
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, September 2004
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    Photographer's Note:
    St. Mary's Cemetery
    Speaking on graveyards, I came across one just south of West, off I-35. St Mary's Cemetery took my breath away. It was so peaceful, well attended too, and beautifully layed out that I really did not want to leave. That is saying something about a cemetery. I don't know if it was because of the early morning mist, the quietness or just the overall feeling of being in a place that so respected their dead. I just can't explain how I felt. I even went out of my way to go back again, later. - Barclay Gibson
    St. Mary's Cemetery Statues, West, Texas

    Statues in St. Mary's Cemetery
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, September 2004
    More Texas Statues | Texas Cemeteries

    See
    West
    by d.knape 4-23-13

    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic/contemporary photos, please contact us.
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