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 Texas : Towns A-Z / Central Texas South :

WAELDER, TEXAS

Gonzales County, Central Texas South
Highway 90 and 95
2 miles N of I-10
18 Miles N of Gonzales
24 Miles S of Smithville
41 Miles E of Seguin
75 Miles E of San Antonio

Population: 947 (2000)

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A horse in Waelder Texas

Two blocks from downtown
TE Photo November 2006
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History in a Pecan Shell

Named for Jacob Waelder, a San Antonio lawyer, the town was platted in 1874 in anticipation of the arrival of the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railroad. Waelder's location on the rails drew population and businesses from the established community of Hopkinsville, five miles north.

Even Hopkinsville's Masonic Lodge made the move (1878). By the early 1880s Waelder was thriving with all essential businesses including a brickyard, restaurant and photographer.

The cattle industry was historically Waelder's main economic engine, and in the early 1880s fence cutting became such a problem that Texas Rangers were called in. Waelder maintained its railroad connection up until 1958 when the depot was closed.

R. L. Miller's General Store, which first opened in Hopkinsville remained in continuous operation from 1866 through December 1979. The following year it was bought by the J-Bar-B Food Company, which makes sausage and is today Waelder's sole industry. Dwarfed by added buildings, the original building remains - and is marked by a plaque.

Construction of Interstate 10 just south of old highway 90 closed several of Waelder's businesses and from a population of 1,276 in 1950, it has decreased to the present 947.

Waelder has three cemeteries in a cluster just north of downtown and another just east of town on old Highway 90.

An article in a San Antonio newspaper in December 2006 reported that Waelder is currently divided on what to do with their 1936 WPA-built school. Some want to bus students to the schools in Gonzales ISD, while others want to raise funds for restoration.

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Waelder Texas Landmarks & Images:

Waelder Texas downtown stores
The busiest part of downtown Waelder
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson December 2006
Waelder Texas historic Miller's Store

The current condition of Miller's Store
TE Photo November 2006

Miller's Store marker, Waelder Texas

The marker for the original Miller's Store
TE Photo November 2006
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Texas Waelder Municipal Building
Waelder Municipal Building
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson December 2006
Waelder Tx Waelder Methodist Church
Waelder Methodist Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson December 2006
Waelder Tx First Baptist Church
First Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson December 2006
Waelder Tx St Petersburg Missionary Baptist Church
St. Petersburg Missionary Baptist Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson December 2006
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Waelder Texas Texaco Sign
Texaco "ghost sign" reappears
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson December 2006
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Waelder Texas Religious Sign

A shady backyard
TE Photo, November 2006

Texas Vegetation Agave

Specimen Agave
TE Photo November 2006

 Waelder Texas Water Tower

Waelder Water Tower
TE Photo November 2006
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