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Flatonia History 1902

Flatonia History Written in 1902

Flatonia is situated in the southwestern part of the county on the crossing of the Southern Pacific and the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway. East and south of it are rich black prairie lands, west and north is postoak. Flatonia is favorably situated, in the best part of the mineral region of Fayette County. In its neighborhood are fine kaolin and clay beds; coal may also be found in the neighborhood of Flatonia. While none of these mineral resources are developed right now, there is a chance of their future development on account of the city being situated at the crossing of two important railroads.

Flatonia stands on a bed of rich black clay. In wet weather the streets are muddy and cause a great deal of inconvenience. There are several substantial brick buildings in Flatonia.

The land on which Flatonia stands was owned by Wm. Ferris and bought of him by the Southern Pacific Railway Com­pany which laid out the town on its arrival in that section of country, early in 1873. One mile southeast of Flatonia was situated old Flatonia (a place that has now disappeared from the surface), and three miles northwest of Flatonia was the town of Oso (no trace of that town is left). The people of these towns moved on the arrival of the Southern Pacific to the new town and in a very short time it was a thriving little city. It soon was incorporated. The election for incorporating the town of Flatonia was held November 8, 1875; November 10 it was proclaimed incorporated and on the sixth day of December, 1875, the first election for mayor and aldermen was held by John Cline.

The oldest settlers in that part of the county are the Harrisons, Cockrill, Yaeger, Flato, Sloma, Ferris and Menefee families.

The population of and about Flatonia was originally entirely American, but after the Civil War a great many Germans and Bohemians have been attracted by the fertile lands and settled there. Now they form the majority of the population. During the last ten years a great many Greeks, Arabians and Italians have settled in Flatonia and established themselves in business, selling peanuts by the pack.

The summit of the flourishing times in Flatonia was reached before the arrival of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass. Those were lively times then. Cotton was carried then to Flatonia from as far as Yoakum. At that time the country was a stock country. The cowboys held their rendezvous in Flatonia and. very often made times too lively for peaceable citizens. But those times have passed. Since the arrival of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway, Flatonia had an energetic competitor in the thriving town of Moulton. Its trade was cut off from all sides and the disappointment of having lost it which could not be helped, still reflects from the business attitude of its citizens. During the last decade it not only not gained, but even lost in population; according to the census of 1900 nearly two hundred.

Of the business men who treated this writer with kindness and patronized him in spite of the hard times—which kindness for that reason he appreciates the more—he mentions the former mayor of Flatonia, the jovial and popular Stoffers, the proprietor of a first-class saddlery; Mr. Wm. Stein who excels in his line of work in roofing and guttering, and who is prepared to do all kinds of tin work; Wm. Fritsche, the artistic shoe maker, and last but not least, Ernst Olle, who keeps in his popular barroom the purest and best brands of whiskies, liquors, wines, beer and cigars. In connection with this business he runs a restaurant.

The people are public spirited and take a great interest in county affairs. On all public questions Flatonia is generally heard from. The late crop failures have to some extent depressed the spirit of her citizens, but there is no doubt that Flatonia some of these days will awaken and regain some of her former prosperity.

There are two churches in Flatonia.: the Methodist with Rev W. T. McDonald, and the Baptist with Rev. J. M. Sallee. The people of Flatonia are religious and earnest members of their churches.

The following lodges are represented in Flatonia: Knights of Pythias, Woodmen of the World, J. H. Murphy, C. C., H. R. Thulemeyer, clerk; Woodmen Circle, Miss Maud Murphy, clerk; Knights of Honor; A. O. U. W.; Hermann Sons; R. A. M.; A. F. and A. M., J. F. Mulcahey, W. M., F. P. Yaeger, secretary; Odd Fellows, J. H. White, N. G., W. A. Beckham. secretary; Royal Society of Good Fellows.

The following gentlemen are the city officers: Mayor, J. D. Bunting; Secretary, H. R. Thulemeyer; Treasurer, B. A. Kempe; Attorney, Chas. Nesrsta; Marshal, W.O. Goode;

Aldermen, J. H. White. F. P. Yaeger, Wm. Stein, R. L. Simmons, Frank Worley, C, Stoffers, Albert Kubiana and J. A. Cadwell.

Fayette County, Her History and Her People, Schulenburg, Texas, 1902, Pages 350-354


29° 41' 15.828" N, 97° 6' 30.96" W