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 Texas : Towns A-Z / South Central Texas :

WATTERSON, TEXAS

Bastrop County, Central Texas South
On Old Watterson Road
West of FM About 11 Miles S of Bastrop
About 25 Miles W of Smithville
About 4 Miles E of Rockne
Population: Unknown

Watterson, Texas Area Hotels:
Bastrop Hotels

Bastrop County TX Watterson School
Watterson Schoolhouse
Photo courtesy Francis Smith, 2009
See Texas Schoolhouses

History in a Pecan Shell

Charles Coffin Watterson, and his wife Martha are credited as being the first settlers here. The Wattersons arrived in the early 1850s and were soon joined by Samuel and Caroline Wolfenbarger and others.

These settlers were mostly farmers who raised livestock.

The community was officially using the name Live Oaks and a post office was granted under that name in 1878 (with Charles Watterson as the first postmaster).

Watterson had to have been held in high regard by his neighbors, for in 1891 they honored him by renaming the town for him.

The community had a population of 100 by the mid 1890s with the residents being served by a cotton gin, gristmill and a general store.

Two local schools (Lentz Branch and Hilbig) merged with the Watterson school in 1900.

The Watterson post office closed its doors in 1904. The community doesn’t seem to have suffered any disasters and made it through the Great Depression, although it’s hard to measure the economy due to lack of population figures.

The larger farms in the region had broken into smaller plots by the 1960s and many of the area’s residents are direct descendants of the town’s initial settlers.

Photographer’s Note:
“My mother, Josephine Metcalfe, taught at the school in the 1930s.” - Francis Smith

Watterson Remembered >
Watterson Today >
Watterson TX School Front, 1937
Front of Watterson School, 1937
Photo courtesy Josephine Metcalfe Smith

Watterson Remembered

Rail Fence -
Somewhere in Watterson is this real, handmade rail fence, set up as our grandfather remembered them in Tennessee. He wanted a snapshot taken before it should disappear. The year is about 1929. The man is Dr. T. B. Taylor, medical doctor, Bastrop; the girl became a teacher at the school in 1937.

Front of Watterson School -
Watterson School building, 1937, front entry into the building, Smith, 2009. The two doors are probably from the days when boys and girls entered separately! This was also the community church building (1937) with removable interior wall to provide two classrooms, two teachers: lower grades in first room, upper grades in second.

There were no convenient buses; students and teachers came on foot or horseback. Compare TE photo of cat on rutted road with the paved one in Smith photo, 2009. In 1937, when it rained, only horses and people a-foot could get about. No one could come in to us; no one could get out. But Watterson people have endured from 1850 to a new millennium. That's Texas.
- Sincerely, Josephine Metcalfe Smith, 2010
Watterson TX circa1929 Handmade Rail Fence
Handmade Rail Fence circa 1929
Photo courtesy Josephine Metcalfe Smith
More Texas Vintage Photos
Bastrop County TX Watterson  road sign
The way to Watterson
Photo courtesy Francis Smith, 2009
Bastrop County TX Watterson  Cemetery
Watterson Cemetery
Photo courtesy Francis Smith, 2009
More Texas Cemeteries
WattersonT X Old House
TE photo, April 2010
Watterson TX Cat
Watterson Greeter
TE photo, April 2010
Where to Stay:
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Watterson, Texas
Area Destinations:

Bastrop
Elgin
Smithville
Rockne
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This page last modified: June 17, 2010