The City of Elgin was created by the Houston and Texas Central
Railroad on August 18, 1872 and named for Robert Morris Elgin,
the railroad’s land commissioner, following the practice
of naming new railroad towns after officers of the company. The
original plat placed the train depot in the center of a one square
City of Elgin owes its existence to a major flood of the Colorado
River in 1869. Originally, the railroad was to have run from McDade,
ten miles east of Elgin, southwest to the Colorado River at a
point somewhere between Bastrop and Webberville, then to Austin
following the river.
of the original residents of the new town of Elgin came from Perryville,
or Hogeye as it was nicknamed, located 2 miles to the south. The
community was known by three different names. The post office
was officially named Young’s Settlement, and the churches
and Masonic Lodge carried the name Perryville. The name Hogeye
was given to the stage stop at the Litton home where the community
dances were held and according to legend, the fiddler knew only
one tune. “Hogeye”, which he played over and over
as the crowd danced on the puncheon floor.
1885, a group of citizens met in Elgin to organize a new north-south
railroad which would run from Taylor, the rail head for the Missouri,
Kansas and Texas (“Katy”) Railroad 16 miles to the
north, through Elgin to Bastrop, the county seat, 16 miles to
the south. The Taylor, Elgin and Bastrop Railroad were formed
in 1886 and began building the line. That same year the “Katy”
acquired the line and continued the construction on to Houston.
Thus, Elgin became the beneficiary of two major rail lines with
eight passenger trains daily.
1890, the population of Elgin had reached 831, and Elgin was growing
during the next few years many new businesses were started. The
construction business, brick making, farming, and nearby coalmines
brought many Latin American and Black citizens to the area.
year 1900 produced a bumper crop of cotton and Elgin prospered.
The population had increased to 1,258. The city incorporated in
1901, electing Charles Gillespie, building contractor, Mayor;
J.D. Hemphill, Marshal; W.E. McCullough, J. Wed Davis, Ed Lawhon,
Max Hirach, and F.S. Wade, Aldermen. Local law enforcement was
established to enforce newly established civil and criminal codes.
By 1910, Elgin was enjoying a period of great prosperity as families
from out on the prairie and surrounding communities moved to Elgin
and built nice homes.
rapidly became the most important agricultural center in Bastrop
County. Five cotton gins and a cotton oil mill were in operation
at the same time. Three manufacturing brick companies in the area
gave Elgin the title, “The Brick Capital of the Southwest”.
a tour of Historic Elgin
Here for Printable PDF Guide
Or Contact the Chamber for Group Tours
Historic Downtown Elgin