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KIRTLEY, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Fayette County, Central Texas S

Highway 71
12 Miles West of La Grange
4 Miles East of Smithville
Population: Unknown

Book Hotel Here > La Grange Hotels
Kirtley TX - Farm Family1920s
Kirtley farm family in 1920s
Fayette Co Hist Commission; submitted by Carolyn Heinsohn, FCHC member
History in a Sandbox

The town, which is now divided into North Kirtley and South Kirtley (by Highway 71) is identified simply as Kirtley by one of those simple green signs. The town dates back to 1831 when it was owned by one William Barton. Part of Barton's land was sold to William Primm by 1840 - and a community named Primm grew around the Barton Creek cemetery. The name is kept alive today by Primm's Lake - but many local residents are unaware that there had once been a town here.

Barton's Creek, which is said to be named after Wayne Barton, veteran of San Jacinto, flows 11.5 miles from its source upward into Bastrop County and then returns to Fayette County to its mouth on the Colorado, 2.5 miles east of present-day Kirtley.

The lone store that had operated in Primm moved to the highway and the community became known as Kirtley (origin unknown). A post office had been in operation from 1902 through 1927. Due to the proximity to Smithville and La Grange, Kirtley was left in an economic limbo producing only sand and gravel - an operation which is still doing business alongside the railroad tracks. The extracted sand and gravel has removed whatever was left of Primm.
Kirtley TX - Primm Lake. 1912
Primm Lake. 1912
Fayette Co Hist Commission; submitted by Carolyn Heinsohn, FCHC member

KIRTLEY

by Carolyn Heinsohn

Originally named Primm after Dr. William Primm, an early colonist from a wealthy, aristrocratic family of Virginia. He owned over a league of land in western Fayette County and developed a plantation, one of the best in the area with 2200 acres under cultivation. " After emancipation, 80 tenants were employed at Primm's plantation, harvesting from 600 to 900 bales of cotton annually.

After a train wreck that resulted from a miscommunication regarding the switching of trains between Plum and Primm, the railroad changed the name to Kirtley, the name of the postmaster of Primm.

Businesses included the post office, a grocery store owned by a Mr. Inge, and a saloon and cotton gin owned by Anton Elias, all located across the railroad tracks from La Grange to Smithville. At one time, there was a train depot.

Convicts from the La Grange jail were transported by train to work in the fields at Kirtley in the early part of the 20th century.

There were two schools - one for whites and one for black children. In 1934-35, there were 35 white students and 38 black students.

Farmers in the area raised cotton, corn and sugar cane. Later gravel mining became a major industry.

Depot at Kirtley, TX; Charles, A.F. & Edwin Miller, circa 1950
Kirtley Depot (Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad)
Charles, A.F. & Edwin Miller, circa 1950

Fayette Co Hist Commission; submitted by Carolyn Heinsohn, FCHC member
More Texas Depots
Kirtley Texas Barton Creek Road
Barton Creek Road
TE photo, February 2007
cows grazing levee of Colorado River, Kirtley Texas

Grazing on a levee of the Colorado River
TE photo, February 2007

Kirtley TX - lost cow
Lost cow
TE photo, February 2007
Kirtley Texas public school sign

Friday Austin to Houston Traffic on Hwy 71
TE photo, February 2007
See Texas Schoolhouses

South Kirtley TX - mail boxes
Mailboxed in South Kirtley
TE photo, February 2007
Kirtley Texas road to bridge flood gauge
South Kirtley Flood Gauge
TE photo, February 2007
Kirtley Texas bridge

Railroad Bridge east of Kirtley on Hwy 71
TE photo, February 2007
More Texas Bridges

Kirtley Texas sand pit

Sand Pit or UFO Crash Site? "North" Kirtley
TE photo, February 2007

Kirtley/ Primm was recommended for inclusion by Theresa Schader.

Kirtley, Texas Area Destinations:
See Fayette County | Bastrop County | Central Texas South
La Grange | Smithville
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La Grange Hotels | Smithville Hotels | More Hotels

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





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