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El Campo (Wharton County)

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El Campo, the largest town in Wharton County, was platted in 1892 along the New York, Texas and Mexican Railway, although settlement had begun here in the 1880s at what had been a switching stop and cattle shipment point for Wharton County ranches west of the Colorado River. El Campo's initial settlers included German and Moravian Texans from Fayette County to the north as well as Swedish Americans from the Midwest. The economic dynamism produced by the introduction of new types and scales of agricultural production caused El Campo to outgrow Wharton, although El Campo never replaced Wharton as the county seat.

The central east–west spine of El Campo is the right-of-way of the New York, Texas and Mexican Railway. The former depot site is now a landscaped public square, Evans Park. The prominence of rice cultivation is evident in El Campo's tallest structures, the rice-drying silos of the El Campo Rice Milling Company downtown and the Rice Belt Warehouse on U.S. 59 southwest of town.

Writing Credits

Gerald Moorhead et al.

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