FLATONIA HISTORY

Celebrating 130 years

Flatonia was established in 1873 on the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railway and was named for the pioneer merchant F. W. Flato. The City became the meeting place of the two main railway lines in Texas in 1887, when the San Antonio and Arkansas Pass Railway was built south from Waco. With the new railway came new settlements and new businesses, including the Swift Meat Packing Company, cotton and agricultural companies. In 1910 a new electric light plant, ice plant, water works, and cold storage warehouses were established, earmarking Flatonia for future growth.

Tourism began growing with the completion of I-10 in the 1970’s and is a big contributor to Flatonia’s current economy. Flatonia is a well-known and scenic spot for train watchers, boasting one of Texas’ longest standing, manually operated railroad switching towers with North-South, East-West cross rails. A true piece of Americana, the tower now resides on South Main and can be toured by appointment through the Chamber of Commerce.

Flatonia Histroy Timeline

1873 The Galveston, Harrisburg, & San Antonio Railway (GH&SA) began running through Flatonia
1874 Flatonia was established
1875 Flatonia was incorporated, named after pioneer merchant F.W. Flato
1875 The first election was held
1878 Population of 800 depended on cattle and cotton
1888 The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway (SA&AP) came through Flatonia
1902 Tower three was established at the crossing of the SA&AP and the GH&SA
1906 Swift Meat Packing Company moved into Flatonia
1907 Flatonia Lumber Company was organized by a group of citizens
1910 A new electric light plant, ice plant, water works, cold storage, creamery, and sauerkraut packing plant located in Flatonia
1912 First fair at the Fair Grounds
1912 Official opening of the Flatonia Public School was on September 2nd
1941 Highway was paved
1950 Flatonia reach forty businesses and a population of 1,024
1970 The completion of I-10 during brought tourist-oriented businesses to Flatonia
1973 Flatonia celebrated its Centennial with a festival called Czhilispiel
2003 The City of Flatonia markets itself with a brochure and Web site to expand local businesses and attract new targeted industries