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History of Flatonia

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.
 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
 2001  The City of Flatonia adopts a set of ordinances that establishes zoning districts and regulations for city business
 2003  The City of Flatonia markets itself with a brochure and Web site to expand local businesses and attract new targeted industries
 2017  The City of Flatonia's 36-acre downtown business and commercial area was recognized on the National Register of Historic Places
Flatonia c. 1881

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