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Fayette Co
Fayette County

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Fayette County, Central Texas South

29 50' 18" N, 96 42' 16" W (29.838333, -96.704444)
Hwy 71
12 miles East of La Grange
15 miles West of Columbus
Population: 200 est. (2010)

Ellinger Area Hotels > La Grange Hotels
Ellinger TX - 1898 C. W. Ellinger General Store on Main Street
C. W. Ehlinger General Store, built 1898, on Main Street
Courtesy Fayette County Historical Commission, submitted by Carolyn Heinsohn
History in a Pecan Shell

Joseph Ehlinger, was born in Alsace, France and actually served in Napoleon's army before its defeat. He at least got to see Moscow. He also was present at San Jacinto and received a grant of land for his service. He had just built a fine house in Fayette County and had gone to Europe to bring his family to their new home. While crossing Buffalo Bayou near Houston, his horse became entangled in wild grapevines and he drowned. The family entered the house he had built for them without Joseph being there to see it.
Charles Ehlinger was Joseph's son and he became a surveyor.He laid out the plat of the original town which was then known as Live Oak Hill and was just north of present day Ellinger - near the old cemetery. He was also the town's first postmaster. His son, Charles W. Ehlinger grew to become a merchant, farmer and a Board Member on the First State Bank of Ellinger.
Charles Ehlinger of Ellinger, Texas
The Southern Pacific Railroad came through the area in 1873 and missed Live Oak Hill by two miles. In 1880, land was donated and a man named Andreas Ondry, suggested they name it after Joseph Ehlinger.

When the Ellinger post office was opened, it was in Colorado County. Sometime between 1877 and 1889 it became part of Fayette County. The location has changed over the years - at one time it was in the former bank. (See photos below.)

The town entertained the idea of becoming the tomato capital of Texas in the 1930s before a late April freeze ended that dream.

Today the blinding lights of modern gas stations distract the Houston-Austin traveler from noticing that there is a community on the north side of the highway.

Old Ellinger Cemetery >
Ellinger TX - Main Street
Ellinger Main Street showing the C.W. Ehlinger Store
Courtesy Carolyn Heinsohn
Ehlinger store sign
The Old C.W. Ehlinger Store - (showing the original spelling)
before it collapsed

TE photo, 2001
Ellinger TX - Koehl Drug Store
Koehl Drug Store
Courtesy Fayette County Historical Commission, submitted by Carolyn Heinsohn
More Texas Stores
Ellinger, Texas - W.J. Lemp's Beer & ice House
"W. J. Lemp's Beer & Ice House"
Photo Courtesy Fayette County Heritage Museum & Archives
TX - Old Ellinger Depot
The old Ellinger Depot
Photo Courtesy Fayette County Heritage Museum & Archives
More Texas Depots
Ellinger TX St. John's Lutheran Church & German School
St. John's Lutheran Church & German School at first location in Ellinger
after being moved from Ross Prairie

Courtesy Fayette County Historical Commission, submitted by Carolyn Heinsohn
More Texas Churches | Texas Schoolhouses
St. John Lutheran Church Ellinger Texas
St. John Lutheran Church north of Ellinger
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, January 2006
More Texas Churches
Ellinger Texas Brass Band old photo
An endorsement from the Ellinger Brass Band
for the C.G. Conn musical instrument company.
Photo Courtesy Fayette County Heritage Museum & Archives
See Texas Music & Musicians
St. Mary's Catholic Church, Ellinger, Texas
St. Mary's Catholic Church about 1.7 miles NE of Ellinger
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, January 2006
St. John Lutheran Church and cemetery Ellinger Texas
St. Mary's Catholic Church and cemetery
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, January 2006
More Texas Churches | Texas Cemeteries
Ellinger Texas former bank
The long vacant Bank of Ellinger. Never robbed, but the doors once had their handles shot off.
TE photo, 2001
TX - Ehlinger Road sign
Ehlinger Road sign in Colorado County
Photo courtesy John J. Germann, January 2015
More Texas Signs
Photographer's Note:
The road in northern Colorado County bears testimony to the actual birthplace of the community (nothing there any more, except some corn as you can see). As you'll note, it bears the correct spelling of the founding family. By the way, the post office, founded in 1877, apparently moved from Colorado County to Fayette County circa 1883. It has always borne the misspelling. - John J. Germann
Ellinger TX 78938
Ellinger, TX 78938
Photo courtesy John J. Germann, January 2015
Ellinger TX Post Office
Ellinger Post Office (Fayette County)
Photo courtesy John J. Germann, January 2015
More Texas Post Offices
Ellinger TX bridge
A bridge in Ellinger
TE Photo
More Texas Bridges
Ellinger TX - Kubala Garage
Kubala Garage
TE photo, 2001
Ellinger TX barn
The old Lee Walla Gin
TE Photo, January 2002
Ellinger Texas cemetery
The Old Ellinger Cemetery
TE photo, 2001

Ellinger, Texas Forum

  • Subject: Name change of Ellinger

    Dear TE: The name changed from Ehlinger to Ellinger when the railroad came through the area. In fact the town was originally up the hill (Live Oak Hill) near the church where the graveyard is, and was moved to its current location to induce the railroad to stop there - as my grandfather told me. It was easier for the people to phonetically spell it. The silent "H" is a royal pain, believe me when I tell you as I have to constantly spell it for people.

    My grandfather was Dr. Rancier B. Ehlinger, his father was Dr. Otto Ehlinger - both MD's born in Ellinger, TX, and both were graduates of and the college doctors at Texas A&M (Tulane University MD graduates), and both were descendants of Joseph Ehlinger. The hospital at Bryan was owned at one time by my grandfather in partnership with another Dr., and given to the nuns that now own it when he retired in ca. 1948. - Ladd P. Ehlinger, AIA, August 09, 2005

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