La Grange, the county seat of Fayette County, is on the Colorado River at the site where it was crossed by the La Bahía Road (the coastal Camino Real). By 1831 a small community had developed around the site and a town was platted in 1837. That same year, the Republic of Texas founded the county named for the Marquis de Lafayette and the county seat took its name from that of his chateau in France. Early settlers were German immigrants who were surpassed in number by Czech immigrants by the 1870s. La Grange became the trading and government center for an extensive agricultural community. The Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway arrived c. 1880 and changed the local economy with new trade-related opportunities. During much of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, La Grange maintained small scale industries.
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