Smithville, TX is a small town located in Bastrop County, Texas. Despite its small size, the town is steeped in history and has been the site of several important events throughout the years. Here are 7 historical events that have taken place near Smithville, TX.
1. The Battle of Plum Creek
The Battle of Plum Creek was fought on August 12, 1840, near the present-day town of Lockhart, which is only 20 miles away from Smithville. The battle was fought between the Republic of Texas and the Comanche Indians. Over 1,000 Comanche warriors raided Victoria, TX, and were making their way back to Indian Territory when they were ambushed by a force of Texans led by General Edward Burleson. The Texans attacked the Indians, killing over 80 of them and capturing hundreds of horses, cattle, and other provisions that the Comanche had taken from the settlers.
2. The Burning of Bastrop
On September 1, 1862, soldiers from the Confederate Army burned the town of Bastrop, which is located just 10 miles west of Smithville. The soldiers burned down over 50 homes and businesses, and also destroyed the courthouse and other government buildings. The town was left in ruins, and it took years for it to recover from the devastation.
3. The Construction of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad
In 1870, the Houston and Texas Central Railroad began construction near Smithville, TX. The rail line was completed in 1871 and helped to connect the small towns in central Texas to larger cities like Houston and Dallas. The railroad brought new opportunities for business and travel to the area, and helped to spur growth in the region.
4. The Founding of Smithville, TX
Smithville was founded in 1827 by Thomas J. Gazley, who established a trading post in the area. The town was named after James Smith, who was one of the early settlers in the area. Smithville grew over the years, and its location along the railroad helped to ensure its continued growth and development.
5. The Construction of the Bastrop County Courthouse
The Bastrop County Courthouse was built in 1883 and is located in the town of Bastrop, just a short distance from Smithville. The courthouse is a beautiful structure made of red brick and limestone, and features a clock tower that is visible throughout the town. The courthouse is still in use today, and is considered to be one of the most beautiful courthouses in Texas.
6. The Launch of the Apollo Program
In the 1960s, NASA built the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston, TX, which is located just a few hours away from Smithville. The center was responsible for managing the various projects that NASA was working on during the years leading up to the Apollo program. The Apollo 13 mission, which famously experienced technical difficulties while on its way to the moon, was directed from the Manned Spacecraft Center in Houston.
7. The Wildfires of 2011
In September 2011, a series of wildfires swept through central Texas, burning over 34,000 acres of land and destroying over 1,500 homes. The fires were the most destructive wildfire event in Texas history, and impacted many communities in the area, including Smithville. The town suffered significant damage to several homes and businesses, but was able to recover and rebuild in the years that followed.
In conclusion, Smithville, TX has been the site of several important historical events over the years. From the Battle of Plum Creek to the construction of the Houston and Texas Central Railroad, the town has played an important role in the history of central Texas. Today, Smithville is a thriving community that continues to honor its history while also looking towards the future.
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