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 Texas : Towns A-Z / Central Texas South : Winchester

WINCHESTER, TEXAS

Fayette County, Central Texas South
FM 153 & FM 148
9 miles S of Serbin
14 miles S of Giddings
11 miles E of Smithville
18 miles NW of La Grange

Population: 50

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Winchester TX - United Methodist Church
Winchester's Cathedral
TE photo, May 2010
History in a Pecan Shell

Named after Winchester, Tennessee and laid out by John Gromme in 1851, the town is in an area known as Ingram's Prairie.

The town site was along the tracks of the Texas and New Orleans Railroad, and when a second railroad (The San Antonio and Aransas Pass) came through in 1888, the town really took off. Hotels, saloons, rooming houses, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, barbers and seven merchantile stores made Winchester a town to be noticed.
Winchester Tx Roeusch Street
Roeusch Street
Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
Winchester Texas old store
An old store in Winchester
TE photo, 2000
Like Round Top and Fayetteville, Winchester once had a precinct courthouse and could afford to have a jail for white prisoners and one for black prisoners. An escape from the black jail resulted in a corner being burned and thereafter, all prisoners were housed together. The fire damaged jail ended up being used as a tool shed.

It has nothing to do with Winchester, but when Schulenburg built a tool shed that was too short to accommodate long handled tools, the handles were sawn off to the level where they would fit.

A huge storm in 1910 damaged two churches in Winchester, so the townsfolk built a "Union Church" which was shared by the two denominations.
Winchester, Texas post office
The Winchester Post Office
TE photo, May 2010
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Winchester TX - Winchester St. Michaels Lutheran Church
St. Michaels Lutheran Church in Winchester
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2005
Winchester TX - Winchester St. Michaels Lutheran Church steeple
St. Michaels Lutheran Church steeple
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2005
More Texas Churches
Winchester  TX - Winchester First Methodist Church
Winchester United Methodist Church in 2005
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson

Winchester

From Cut and Shoot, Gun Barrel City, Gunsight, Point Blank and Winchester by Mike Cox

"The stereotypical Texan is seldom gun shy when it comes to settling a difficulty with violence, a mythology reflected in the number of Lone Star communities with names evocative of rough and tumble ways.

At least five such towns come to mind: Cut and Shoot, Gun Barrel City, Gunsight, Point Blank and Winchester...


One would think the Fayette County community of Winchester honors the weapon that won at least half the West, the lever-action repeating rifle generically known as a Winchester. But one would be wrong.

Turns out Winchester is named for a town of like name in Tennessee. (Founded in 1809, that town was named for James Winchester, a Revolutionary soldier who served as a brigadier general in the War of 1812.)

Located 20 miles northwest of La Grange on a tract of land first settled in 1827, Winchester, Texas was laid out in 1857 by John Gromme. By 1866 the community was of sufficient caliber to merit the opening of a post office. A farming town, Winchester boomed as much as it ever would when the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway came through on its way to Waco in the mid-1880s.

Cotton being king back then, the communtity had 18 businesses by the turn of the century. But as cotton became less dominant as a Central Texas crop and better roadways made it easier for folks to trade in larger towns, Winchester whithered like so much long staple in a dry year. By 1950 the population had decreased to 220. Thirty years later it was down to 50, which was also the head count in 2000." more

Winchester, Texas
Area Destinations:

Serbin
Giddings
Smithville
La Grange
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