West, Texas

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West is a city in McLennan County, Texas, United States. The population was 2,692 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Waco Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Despite its name it is located in the central part of Texas, north of Waco. Also, most of the city is located on the east side of Interstate 35. The town was named for its first postmaster, T.M. West.



Contents

Geography

West is located at 31°48′12″N 97°5′35″W / 31.80333°N 97.09306°W / 31.80333; -97.09306 (31.803369, -97.093106)[3].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.6 square miles (4.0 km²), all of it land.

History

The first settlers of northern McLennan County arrived in the 1840s. They were farm and ranch families drawn from the east by the rich lands made available by the government sale of land to build schools in Texas. The area farmers cultivated the land growing cotton, wheat and maize and raising cattle. The farming community centered around a fresh water spring that became known as Bold Springs. In 1860 Bold Springs had a population of about 300 and provided services such as a blacksmith, churches, and a post office.

The Katy Railroad was laid between Hillsboro and Waco in the fall of 1881. The path of the railroad cut through land owned by Thomas West. Mr. West moved to the area in 1859. He farmed land that he had purchased and served as postmaster of Bold Springs. A train depot was built on the land he sold to the railroad company and the land running beside the tracks was divided into small sections and sold to people wanting to start businesses. The new depot included a post office and from that time forward it was known as the West Post Office. Mr. West served as postmaster while opening the first general store. He became a successful businessman later owning a hotel, a furniture store and a bank.

The railroad brought prosperity to the area during the 1880s. More businesses were opened and more surrounding land was purchased. Czech immigrants came to the area purchasing the rich lands to farm and start a fresh life in the new world. They also opened businesses sharing their European culture. By the 1890s the Czech businesses flourished in West.

On June 11, 1892 West was officially organized into a town. It had become the center of commerce for the area. There were cotton gins, grocery stores, churches, schools, doctor's offices. Many of the farmers and business men of West contributed to the success of West as a great little farming community.

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