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|The first known residents of Gillespie County were the Tonkawa Indians. By the nineteenth century, Comanches
and Kiowas had also moved into the area. The future county was first settled by Europeans in 1846, when John
O. Meusebach led a group of 120 Germans sponsored by the Adelsverein to the site of Fredericksburg, which
became one in a series of German communities between the Texas coast and the Fisher-Miller Land Grant, originally the immigrants'
ultimate destination. A brief history is found in the article "A Glimpse of the Past."
Fredericksburg, on the Pinta Trail, and the surrounding rural areas grew quickly, and on December 15, 1847, 150 settlers petitioned the Texas legislature to establish a new county, which they suggested be named either "Pierdenales" or Germania. The legislature formally marked the new county off from Bexar and Travis counties on February 23, 1848, named it after Capt. Robert A. Gillespie, a hero of the recent Mexican War, and made Fredericksburg the county seat. Gillespie County originally included areas that today are parts of Blanco, Burnet, Llano, and Mason counties. It underwent the first of five boundary changes in 1858, when the legislature formed Mason and Blanco counties, changed the Llano County boundary and established the present northern and eastern boundaries of Gillespie County. The last change came in 1883, when the county's boundaries were redefined and its present limits set.
President Lyndon Baines Johnson was born in Stonewall, in the eastern part of the county. The Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park, which includes much of the former president's LBJ Ranch, is located just outside of Stonewall.
Admiral Chester W. Nimitz was born in a house that still stands on Main Street in Fredericksburg. Nimitz, who grew up in Fredericksburg and in nearby Kerrville accepted an appointment to the United States Naval Academy, rose to the rank of Fleet Admiral and commanded the Pacific War during World War II.
Cities, Towns, and Communities
Albert -- Bankersmith -- Cain City -- Cave Creek -- Crabapple -- Cherry Spring -- Doss -- Eckert -- Fredericksburg -- Grape Creek -- Grapetown -- Harper -- Hye -- Lange's Mill -- Loyal Valley -- Luckenbach -- Morris Ranch -- Rheingold -- Rocky Hill (Zodiac) -- Sandy -- Stonewall -- Tivydale -- Willow City
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