Town Square

Town Square

Wood Campus


               museum                  Open 2nd Saturday each month: Noon to 3:00 p.m.

               today                   This second Town Hall 

was built in 1925



Historical Society

ROUND TOP AREA HISTORICAL SOCIETY, INC. / P.O. Box 151 Round Top, TX 78954 /A 501 (C) (3) Organization /  /  979.249.5058  

    © Copyright RTAHS / 2013 - 2014  all rights reserved  /  webmaster Randy Melton

  information courtesy of Facts & Artifacts newsletter Vol. 1 No. 1 Spring 1994

ideas can grow

     Round Top must have been born from the simple idea of someone's thinking that "this beautiful spot on earth" would be a wonderful place to live and share with others.  It was first called Townsend Settlement after the family that lived here, then Jones Post Office Settlement.  No one declared . . . "this will be the town of Round Top."  The idea just grew.

     The Round Top Area Historical Society Inc., began exactly that same way.  A group of ladies was cleaning the city hall one day in 1989 when the conversation got around to how great it would be if some of the memorabilia reflecting the history of Round Top could be displayed in the city hall.

     That conversation sparked an idea,  why not have an historical center for Round Top?


Cynthia A Thornton gave a presentation on her book The Times of Round Top

The settlement of Round Top was Incorporated to be a town in 1870.

Preserving history daily.


helping to develop

When you become a member of the historical society certainly an optimistic thought must have been playing on your mind about helping develop an interesting historical center for Round Top.  The directors will never know your thoughts unless you bring them forward. It’s your thoughts and concerns that the directors are interested in because it is your historical center. Let your thoughts be known. If you have an idea…such as:

>Certain kinds of displays to exhibit:

     Periods of time; people and families; you may want information on.

>Ways to improve the historical center:

     Efficient use of talent, time, money and other resources.

>Fund raising ideas.

>Programs you would like us to present.

     Please contact one of the society directors with your idea or write to the society.

Round Top Area Timeline Facts

  • Before 1500s  to 1859 Indian tribes in the Round Top area were Tonkawa and Karankawa.
  • 1820s to 1840s  The earliest Round Top area settlers were English who came to    the area from other parts of the United States.
  • 1821 With Mexico’s Independence from Spain the area of Texas is given to    Mexico by Spain.

  • 1823  Stephen F. Austin received a land grant from the Mexican government and began colonization in the region of the Brazos River. (Round Top is located within this Austin grant)

  • 1826 Stephen Townsend and his family move to the Round Top area.  The family established a Presbyterian Church, Florida Chapel, and founded a Masonic lodge. The Townsend family had the distinction of sending more men to the battle of San Jacinto than any other family.

  • 1824-1828   Ten members of the Old 300 Received titles to land grants-a total of 92 land grants were eventually granted by Mexican Government.

  • 1828-1835  The Leagues of Land in Fayette County were granted by year as follows: 1824-7 Leagues, 1827-2 Leagues, 1828-1 League, 1831-58 Leagues, 1832-2 Leagues, 1835-15 Leagues.

  • 1830s  The Ledbetter family land was the site of the first Round Top Academy. ​At this time Round Top was known as the Townsend Settlement.

  • 1833 Santa Anna was installed as President of Mexico.

  • 1834 Stephen F. Austin was incarcerated in a Mexican jail for an act of sedition.

  • 1835  Austin escapes Mexican jail.

  • 1835 John Rice Jones, Jr. settled in the Round Top area in 1831 and in 1835 was made the first postmaster general of Texas by the provisional government.

  • 1830s By the mid-1830s Round Top was identified as the Jones Post Office Settlement.

  • 1836  Texas becomes an independent republic from Mexico.

  • 1837  Fayette County established.

  • 1840s A house was built in the Round Top area, with an octagonal tower, which by 1847 was listed as a United States post office. The odd-shaped tower gave rise to the name Round Top.

  • 1840s to 1860s  German settlers and their traditions start to characterize the Round Top area.

  • 1843  Nassau Farm/Plantation established by German Royals.  The plantation site is located east of Round Top along FM 1457 at Wolff Road, with Historical Marker.

  • 1845  U.S. President James Polk makes Texas the 28th state of the United States.

  • 1847  Richter Cemetery and the Connersville Black Cemetery is established, located one half mile out of Round Top on FM 1457 (same location as the Round Top Academy)
  • 1850’s  African American Slaves brought to Fayette County from the South to work on Plantations; which contributed to the growth and economic development of Fayette County.
  • 1850  Round Top had a population of 150, two stores, two blacksmith shops, two taverns, a post office, and a line of tri-weekly stages serving the predominantly German citizenry.
  • 1851  The first Czech immigrants started their journey to Texas, headed by Jozef Silar, attracted by rich farm land in Austin, Fayette, Lavaca and Washington Counties. 
  • 1851  Round Top has the distinction of having the oldest continuous July 4th Independence Day celebration west of the Mississippi.
  • 1860  Fayette County Slave Population totaled 3,700.  By 1870 the African American population totaled 5,901, and by 1900-1/3 of Fayette County’s population was African American.
  • 1866 Rev. Adam Neuthard organized a Lutheran congregation; the massive old stone church completed in 1867 and is still in use today.  (Traugott Wantke carved the pipe organ out of native cedar in 1867)

  • 1870  Round Top was incorporated and was one of the smallest incorporated communities in Texas. It is on the old La Bahía Road between La Grange and Brenham in Fayette County.

Counter started May 2013

The museum and historical buildings are open to the public on the "2nd" Saturday of each month: . . . 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. . . . where the past is saved for you to see.

Throughout the times of the land we call Round Top, one thought has constantly prevailed. This is a land of opportunity. The land was formed over the centuries into that land and hills by rivers beyond and by creeks and springs, while waiting for animals and mankind to arrive.    Cynthia A. Thornton

"The Times of Round Top" book can be purchased at the Round Top  Town Office.

Office Hours: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday from 1-5 PM     979-249-5885