- Haschke Store, Bank, Hart's Store, Drug Store
Courtesy Fayette County Historical Commission
submitted by Carolyn
Heinsohn, FCHC member
in a Pecan Shell
Named after Winchester, Tennessee and laid out by John Gromme
in 1851, the town is in an area known as Ingram's Prairie.
The town site was along the tracks of the Texas and New Orleans
Railroad, and when a second railroad (The San Antonio and Aransas
Pass) came through in 1888, the town really took off. Hotels,
saloons, rooming houses, blacksmiths, wheelwrights, barbers and seven
merchantile stores made Winchester a town to be noticed.
Like Round Top and Fayetteville,
Winchester once had a precinct courthouse and could afford to have
a jail for white prisoners and one for black prisoners. An escape
from the black jail resulted in a corner being burned and thereafter,
all prisoners were housed together. The fire damaged jail ended up
being used as a tool shed.
It has nothing to do with Winchester, but when Schulenburg
built a tool shed that was too short to accommodate long handled tools,
the handles were sawn off to the level where they would fit.
A huge storm in 1910 damaged two churches in Winchester, so the townsfolk
built a "Union Church" which was shared by the two denominations.
Postcard courtesy www.rootsweb.com/ %7Etxpstcrd/
and Shoot, Gun Barrel City, Gunsight, Point Blank and Winchester
by Mike Cox)
"The stereotypical Texan is seldom gun shy when it comes to
settling a difficulty with violence, a mythology reflected in the
number of Lone Star communities
with names evocative of rough and tumble ways.
At least five such towns come to mind: Cut
and Shoot, Gun
Barrel City, Gunsight,
Blank and Winchester...
One would think the Fayette
County community of Winchester honors the weapon that won at
least half the West, the lever-action repeating rifle generically
known as a Winchester. But one would be wrong.
Turns out Winchester is named for a town of like name in Tennessee.
(Founded in 1809, that town was named for James Winchester, a Revolutionary
soldier who served as a brigadier general in the War of 1812.)
Located 20 miles northwest of La
Grange on a tract of land first settled in 1827, Winchester,
Texas was laid out in 1857 by John Gromme. By 1866 the community
was of sufficient caliber to merit the opening of a post office.
A farming town, Winchester boomed as much as it ever would when
the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway came through on its way
in the mid-1880s.
being king back then, the communtity had 18 businesses by the turn
of the century. But as cotton
became less dominant as a Central
Texas crop and better roadways made it easier for folks to trade
in larger towns, Winchester whithered like so much long staple in
a dry year. By 1950 the population had decreased to 220. Thirty
years later it was down to 50, which was also the head count in
TE photo, May 2010
Methodist Church in 2005
Photo courtesy Barclay
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, April 2005
old store in Winchester
TE photo, 2000
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