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COLUMBUS, TEXAS

Colorado County Seat, Central Texas South

I-10 and FM 109
1 mile East of Hwy 71
72 miles W of Houston
24 miles W of Sealy
14 miles E of Weimar
22 miles E of Schulenburg
29 miles SE of LaGrange
Population: 3,621 (2010) 3,916 (2000)

Book Hotel Here > Columbus Hotels

Columbus Texas bird's eye view 1906 vintage photo
A view from the courthouse showing the water tower and the Stafford Bank Building (Opera House) left. Photo c.1906
Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus, Texas

Columbus, Texas Topics:

  • Columbus History in a Pecan Shell
  • Columbus Landmarks/Attractions - Includes photos
  • Colorado County Courthouse next page
  • Columbus Nearby Destinations & Scenic Drives
  • Colorado County Towns & ghost Towns next page
  • Columbus Vintage Photos
  • History in a Pecan Shell

    Columbus' history is so rich, it's difficult to mention even the highlights in the space available. We suggest that the reader consult one of the histories available at the K. Nesbitt Memorial Library (529 Washington Street). We will attempt to include some of the more interesting facts, although each could be (and many have been) written about in length.

    The Early Years:
    Columbus (as Beason's Ferry) played an important part in the Texas Revolution and the few houses that comprised the town were burned by Houston in his scorched-earth tactics during the Runaway Scrape. He spent six days on the east side of the river drilling his troops before continuing on to San Jacinto. The last Indian raid in Columbus took place in 1838 when two citizens were killed.

    Stagelines connected Columbus to San Antonio (a 48 hour adventure) and steamships appeared as early as 1838. The river was navigable from just above Matagorda and in later years (1871) a steamboat once went as far as Dripping Springs.

    Just prior to the Civil War, the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railroad came just short of Columbus to Alleyton. This made Alleyton the most important town on the Confederacy's "Cotton Road" to Matamoros, Mexico. The railroad's post-war plan was to bypass Columbus and Columbians raised money to build a three-mile "tap line" to Alleyton.

    The four Stafford Brothers came from Georgia just before the Civil War.

    R.E. "Bob" Stafford drove cattle to Kansas in 1867 and started making his sizable fortune. He opened his bank in 1882 and he also owned the Columbus Meat and Ice Company on the river.

    Columbus shares its name with 22 other municipalities (of varying size) around the country. They get together every two years and compare notes on what burdens and blessings the name brings. They also vote for a "Miss Columbus, U.S.A." The year 2000 winner was from Texas' Columbus.

    Columbus, Texas Landmarks / Attractions

    Columbus has the distinction of being "the oldest surveyed and platted Anglo-American town in Texas."
    TX - Colorado County Courthouse
    View of the courtroom skylight from the attic
    Photo courtesy Terry Jeanson, May 2014
    Colorado County Courthouse
    Texas Historic Landmark
    Tower

  • Columbus Tower
  • Court Oak
    Columbus Historic/Famous Trees
  • Columbus Court Oak
  • 2nd largest
  • Columbus Oak - Texas' Second Largest Live Oak
  • Columbus Hanging Tree
  • Columbus Courthouse Magnolias
  • Live Oaks & Dead Folks
    Annual Cemetery Tour
  • The Stafford Opera House was built in 1886 and his future looked pretty darn good. John and Bob Stafford were shot dead in 1890 by Columbus Deputies who confronted them in front of a saloon.
    This opened the lid on a whole bunch of smoldering feuds which, when fully in flame, continued well into the 20th Century. They even resulted in Columbus being unincorporated from 1907 to 1927.
  • Columbus Texas opera house
    1886 Stafford Bank Building/Opera House
    Photo Courtesy Colorado County Visitors Bureau
    Columbus TX Old StaffordOpera House Cornerstone
    1886 Stafford Opera House Cornerstone
    TE Photo, 2002
    More Texas Cornerstones
    Old Stafford Opera House Historical Marker
    TE Photo, 2002
    Columbus Tx Oaks Theater
    Oaks Theatre
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2009
    More Texas Theatres
    Columbus TX - 1927 Masonic Hall Caledonia
    Columbus 1927 Masonic Hall
    TE Photo, 2004
    Prince Hall Lodage #18
    TE Photo, 2004
    More Texas Lodges
    Columbus TX Log Cabin
    Log Cabin
    TE Photo, 2002
    Columbus Tx - Benjamin Beason's Crossing Marker
    Beason's Crossing Park in Columbus
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2009
    Columbus Tx - Benjamin Beason's Crossing Centennial Marker

    Benjamin Beason's Crossing Centennial Marker
    See Battle of San Jacinto by Jeffery Robenalt

    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2009
    More Texas Centennial

  • Grave of Gunfighter Dallas Stroudenmire
    3 miles East in Alleyton - Easy to find - it's the only newly fenced grave in the cemetery's large open field.

    Book Hotel Here > Columbus Hotels
  • Columbus Vintage Photos
    TX Colorado County  Men
    Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library Archives
    Timeless Men of Colorado County
    TX Colorado County  Women
    Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library Archives
    Timeless Women of Colorado County
    Columbus Texas water tower vintage photo
    Columbus Tower
    400,000 nicely arranged bricks make up the 32-inch walls of this beautiful tower (c. 1883)
    The tower stored water piped from the Colorado River.

    The photo left is the earliest photograph of the tower.
    Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library
    Columbus TX - Colorado County Jail

    County Jail Building
    Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus, Texas
    More Texas Jails

    Columbus TX - Magnolia Gas Station
    Magnolia Gas Station
    Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus, Texas
    More Texas Gas Stations
    Columbus TX -  Low Water Bridge Snow 1947
    Snow covered low water bridge, 1947
    Courtesy Nesbitt Memorial Library, Columbus, Texas
    Columbus Nearby Destinations & Scenic Drives
  • Colorado County - Towns & Ghost Towns
  • Fayette County - Towns & Ghost Towns
  • The Zimmersheidt School -
    "The Last One Room Schoolhouse In Texas"
  • FM 109 between Columbus and Frelsburg
  • Columbus Hotels
  • Grain elevator in Columbus, Texas

    Grain elevators in Columbus
    TE Photo, 2-2003
    Columbus TX - Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker
    Blue Star Memorial Highway Marker on courthouse ground
    TE Photo
    Cats

    SOLUTION
    Tails of Two Cities by Brewster Hudspeth
    or The Great Columbus, Colorado County / Canada Cat Compromises

    Bill Stein
    OBITUARY
    Bill Stein: a Bibliophile’s Bibliophile
    “A gentleman is one who puts more into the world than he takes out.”
    Columbus Texas Forum
    I don't know where Columbus City Cemetery is.....never cared. But this great piece on Live Oaks and Dead Folks is fantastic! I will be planning a trip next year just for this fun time. I love the writing style and the information makes it come alive (so to speak). Please keep up the good work! I have found you and plan to read and read and read...then maybe mosey on down the road a piece. - Sandy Knebel, Garland.... by way of Waxahachie, December 17, 2005

    Columbus Convention and Visitor's Bureau:
    On the Square in the Stafford Opera House
    979-732-8385
    Website: www.columbustexas.org

    Columbus, Texas
    Area Destinations:

    See Colorado County
    Fayette County

    Book Hotel Here:

    Columbus Hotels
    More Hotels

    More Texas Towns & Hotels:
    See Central Texas South
    Texas Towns
    Texas Ghost Towns
    Texas Counties
    Texas
    Source: Colorado County Chronicles: From the beginning to 1923 Volumes I & II Compiled by the Colorado County Historical Commission

    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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