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Fayette Co
Fayette County

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Fayette County, Central Texas S

303'54"N 9641'48"W (30.065060, -96.696614)
FM 237, South of US 290
16 miles NE of La Grange via Hwy 159 E and Hwy 237 N
4 miles N of Warrenton
22 miles SW of Brenham
25 miles SE of Giddings
31 miles scenic drive from Bellville
93 miles W of Houston
77 miles E of Austin
Population: 93 est. 2016
90 (2010) 77 (2000) 81 (1990)

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Round TopTX Apothecary
TE Photo, April 2010
History in a Pecan Shell

Round Top's beginnings are similar to other towns in Fayette County in that the original settlers were English and sold their land to German newcomers.

The Stephen Townsend family left Florida in 1826 (in 1826 Florida about all you could do was leave) and came to what is now Fayette County. The Townsends, with the help of neighbors, set up a Presbyterian Church and organized a Masonic Lodge. The church and the Townsend family's former residence explains the name Florida Chapel Road and Florida Chapel Cemetery found just South of town.
Round Top TX historical marker
Round Top historical marker on public square, Washington St.
Historical Marker:

Round Top Community

Home of the Townsends, Hills and McH. Winburn, veterans of San Jacinto; Joel W. Robison, one of Santa Anna's captors; John Rice Jones, first postmaster general, Republic of Texas; and John C.C. Hill, boy captive of Mier Expedition and adopted by General Santa Anna.

A center of German culture and crafts of 19th century. Examples: Nassau Plantation; Art of Mathias and Rudolph Melchior; Rev. Adam Neuthard's School; Stone Masonry of Carl S. Bauer; Lutheran Church with Wantke's handmade organ; and S. K. Lewis Stage Coach Inn.
1936 Centennial Marker:

Round Top

On the Old San Felipe Trail, in memory of John C. Robison, participant of the Battle of Velasco; Joel W. Robison, McHenry Winburn, Isaac Lafayette Hill, Spencer Burton Townsend, Stephen Townsend, Veterans of San Jacinto; J. T. Townsend, John P. Townsend of the San Jacinto Campaign; Mayers Fisher Jones of the Santa Fe and Snively Expeditions; John Rufus Alexander of the Mier Expedition, and other Pioneers who resided in the vicinity.

The Naming of Round Top

The original name was Jones Post Office and named after the town's postmaster John Rice Jones Jr. who also happened to be the first postmaster general for the Republic of Texas. Later, a house with a tall octagonal tower served as the post office and since the tower's "round top" could be seen from a distance, the name gained acceptance.
Round Top Texas precinct courthouse
Round Top Texas gazebo and pumphouse

L - The Square Top of the Round Top Precinct Courthouse
R - The square tops of the gazebo and pumphouse
TE Photos, 2001

Round Top TX - Fire Dept
The Square Top of the Round Top VFD Building
TE Photo, 2001

Round Top Area Attractions
For years Round Top has been an attraction for city dwellers - particularly Houstonians. Many bed and breakfast facilities are available as well as antique stores and restaurants.

  • Henkel Square - A collection of early farmhouses and outbuildings that show the simple utilitarian designs of the German and Anglo craftsmen who built them. The complex is just East of the old precinct courthouse inside an area defined by a split rail fence. Admission. Hours: 12:00 to 5:00
  • Winedale Historical Center - 4 miles East of Round Top.
    FM 1457 and FM 2714.
    A former stagecoach stop and farmstead that was bequeathed to the University of Texas by Miss Ima Hogg. Group tours are available during the week with two days notice. Saturdays and Sundays 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • International Festival Institute - Just a stone's throw north of Round Top on FM 237. Eighty acres of restored buildings including a concert hall (tours can be arranged) provide a residence for international musicians who perform in concerts held throughout the year. Call for a schedule 979-249-3129
  • Antique Weekends -
    Last weekends in March and September, and first weekends in April and October.
  • Edythe Bates Chapel in Festival Hill, formerly Travis Street Methodist Church  of LaGrange
    Festival Hill's Edythe Bates Chapel, formerly Travis Street Methodist of La Grange, was moved in 1994
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson
    Round Top TX - St Martins Catholic
    St. Martin's Catholic Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, May 2003
    TX - Haw Creek Lutheran Church 1906
    Haw Creek Lutheran Church, 1906
    Courtesy Fayette Co Hist Comm; submitted by Carolyn Heinsohn FCHC member
    Round Top TX - Bethlehem Lutheran Church

    Bethlehem Lutheran Church
    TE Photo, April 2010
    More Texas Churches

    Round Top TX Cemetery
    TE Photo, April 2010
    Round Top TX Cemetery
    TE Photo, April 2010
    More Texas Cemeteries
    Round Top Texas haunted house?
    A house rumored to be haunted
    TE Photo, 2001
    Texas German architecture
    A typical German Hall
    TE photo, 2001
    TX Round Top Festival Hill
    Festival Concert Hall
    at the International Festival Institute.
    TE photo, 2001
    Round Top TX - Building with Flag
    TE Photo, 2002
    Round Top TX Library
    Round Top Library
    TE Photo, April 2010
    Nearby Destinations:
    Easy scenic drives from Round Top
  • See Fayette County Towns & Ghost Towns
  • On US 290 - Brenham | Burton | Chappell Hill | Giddings | Carmine and Ledbetter
  • On FM 237- Warrenton | Oldenburg
  • On Hwy 159 - Bellville (Hwy 36) | Fayetteville | Industry | Nelsonville
  • FM 1094 - Cat Spring | New Ulm

    Round Top Tourist Information
    Round Top Chamber of Commerce:
    203 N. Washington
    Website: www.roundtop.org

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  • Round Top TX July 4th Parade Airplane Float
    See Round Top July 4th Parade Airplane Float
    Courtesy Paula Heinsohn Photo Collection

    Population - Census 2000

    We checked with the Round Top chamber of commerce and they said that one of their people just recently went door-to-door and counted 90 persons (May 15, 2001). They believe the Census Bureau counted 91 - but you can't rely on census enumerators. The Official State Travel Guide says 96 and so does the Official State Map. Texas State Data Center's figure as published by Texas A&M is 77.

    One thing is for sure - if you need exactly 100 people for something - don't look for them at Round Top.

    The population figure of 81 that Round Top used from the 1990 Census has also been used as the population for a fictitious Brewster County town in the movie Dancer, Texas Pop. 81. (See Oasis Gas Station.)

    Related Articles

    See All Around Round Top by David Knape

    Take a road trip

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