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Welcome to Columbus, Texas

Columbus was established in 1821 on the legendary site of Montezuma’s Indian Village by members of Stephen F. Austin’s Old Three Hundred. Colonist’s Robert H. Kuykendall with his brother, Joseph, and Daniel Gilleland had arrived in the area of Columbus by late December 1821. In 1822, settler Benjamin Beason began operating a ferry across the Colorado River known as Beason’s Ferry. In 1823, the area was surveyed and platted by some of the original 300 families of the Stephen F. Austin Colony. In 1835, it was officially remanded Columbus, in honor of residents from Columbus, Ohio.

During the following March, the Alamo fell, Fannin’s men were massacred at Goliad and General Sam Houston’s Texas army was forced to retreat from Gonzales with the Mexican army in close pursuit. The Texans camped on the east bank and the Mexicans on the west bank of the Colorado River near Columbus. Both armies remained in these positions for five or six days, until Houston, over the opposition of many of his men, ordered a withdrawal.

Many of the Colorado River settlers fled east before the armies in what became known as the “Runaway Scrape.” But, after Houston’s army defeated the Mexican army at San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, they slowly returned to their homes, many of which had been burned to the ground. The work of organizing Colorado County was completed in 1837. In later years, portions of the county were used in the creation of Fayette, Lavaca and other adjoining counties.

In the early 1850’s, Columbus became a substantial place, with many brick and concrete buildings. One, millionaire cattleman, Robert E. Stafford, built an expensive and well-appointed theater, the Stafford Opera House, on the courthouse square. In the few years after it opened in 1887, the opera house hosted several first-rate performers. In the early twentieth century, the sand and gravel industry and rice farming became important cogs in the local economy. Later, steady production of oil and gas brought more money into the county. In 1923, Columbus, marked its centennial followed by the Columbus Sesquicentennial in 1973 and the Columbus Terquasquicentennial in 1998.




To find out more about the history of Columbus, visit the
Columbus Chamber of Commerce

For even more information about our incredibly historic area of Texas, visit: The Colonial Capital of Texas

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