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.
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
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.
Located at Main and Crockett
Cities, Towns, and Communities
Bankersmith -- Cain City -- Cave Creek -- Crabapple -- Cherry Spring --
Doss -- Eckert -- Fredericksburg
Grape Creek -- Grapetown --
Harper -- Hye -- Lange's Mill -- Loyal Valley -- Luckenbach -- Morris
Rheingold -- Rocky Hill (Zodiac) -- Sandy -- Stonewall --
Tivydale -- Willow City
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