a Pecan Shell
Willow City holds a special place in Gillespie
County history for being a non-German settlement. First residents
settled here prior to the Civil War.
Trade was conducted with stores and businesses in Austin,
despite the distance involved. Fredericksburg
was far closer, but the Anglos preferred dealing in English.
Perhaps due to itís collective anti-social behavior, Willow
(as it was then called) acquired a reputation for harboring criminals.
When a post office was granted in 1877, the name was changed to Willow
In 1885 a congregation of Methodists was formed, although it took
another 15 years to construct a church building.
The community had itís own English newspaper in the 1890s but it was
later sold and moved to Fredericksburg.
The population went from a mere 132 people in 1904 to even fewer in
the mid 1920s (100 residents). By the time the Great Depression was
ending, Willow City had only forty people. After a small increase
to sixty, it fell to nearly ghost town status with just 17 people
there in the mid 1960s. Four years later it had increased to eighty-five.
Since 1970 the estimated population of Willow City has been given
of Historic Places - Willow City School
Photo courtesy William
column by Michael Barr)
"... Willow City, or Willow Creek as the place
was first called, was one of the few settlements between Fredericksburg
and points west. To say Willow Creek was on the frontier was not exactly
accurate. Willow Creek was far beyond the frontier line."
"When the new road between Fredericksburg and Llano bypassed
Willow City, the little town was left high and dry. Time stood still
in the hills and canyons around Willow City. Fifty years later the
town still was stuck in the 1920s.
But isolation shielded Willow City and preserved its rare natural
To this day the countryside around Willow City has a wild charm that
is hard to describe to someone who has never seen it. How is it that
a country, so much of it covered with rocks, prickly pear, cedar and
mesquite, is among the most beautiful places on earth?" Read
Here are scenes of Willow City, TX.. Located on FM 1323 and about
15 miles NE of Fredericksburg
in Gillespie County.
It's a thrill to find a place like this out "in the sticks" and still
thriving along. The store/post
office is the center of activity and I'm sure you can get up to
date on any local news there. One old church is a residence now and
the old school is very
well kept. There is still a good nucleus of residences in this quaint
little place. ....the old school makes great shade for the goats!!!
Beauchamp, June 15, 2009
South Of Willow City
Photo courtesy Barclay
| Willow City
Photo courtesy Michael
Barr, November 2018
Evans: Cowgirl Icon by Michael Barr
"Mary Taylor was a real Texas cowgirl. She was a lady who was
the equal of just about any man when it came to riding, roping and
running a ranch.
... Cowboy heroes in popular culture are too numerous to count,
but cowgirls icons are few and far between. Mary Taylor Evans of
Willow City was one of them."
Ranch Rodeo - Early Rodeos Were Thrilling and Dangerous by Michael
"The best known Hill Country rodeo in the early years was the
Wild West Rodeo and Roundup held at the Hardin PL Ranch near Willow
"The most popular act in Willow City was "Friday" Ellis the
rodeo clown and his mule of a thousand tricks. The mule would sneak
up behind Friday and pull down his pants. When Friday sat a rocking
chair, the mule sat in his lap."
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories,
landmarks and recent or vintage photos, please contact