History of Elgin

The City of Elgin was created by the Houston and Texas Central Railroad in 1872 and named for Robert Morris Elgin, the railroad’s land commissioner, following the practice of naming new railroad towns after officers of the company. The original plat placed the train depot in the center of a one-square mile area.

The city of Elgin owes its existence to a major flood on the Colorado River in 1869. Originally, the railroad was to have run from McDade, ten miles east of Elgin, southwest to the Colorado River at a point somewhere between Bastrop and Webberville, then to Austin following the river.

Many of the original residents of the new town of Elgin came from Perryville or Hogeye as it was nicknamed, located two miles to the south. The community was known by three different names. The post office was officially named Young’s Settlement and the churches and Masonic Lodge carried the name Perryville. The name Hogeye was given to the stage stop at the Litton home where the community dances were held, and according to legend the fiddler knew only one tune “Hogeye” which he played over and over as the crowd danced.

In 1885, a new North-South railroad line was organized and Elgin became the beneficiary of two major rail lines with eight passenger trains daily. By 1890, the population had reached 831 and Elgin continued to grow and prosper.

In 1900 a bumper crop of cotton helped to establish five cotton gins and a cotton oil mill, all in operation at the same time. The growth continued through the 1920’s when most of the downtown brick commercial buildings were built.

Today, Elgin is famous for the two products it’s been making since 1882: reliable bricks and delicious hot sausage. Three brick companies are still operating in the Elgin area. Elgin has also gained a national reputation for its hot sausage. Three local companies produce over 3 million pounds annually.

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