WARRENTON, TEXAS. Warrenton is on State Highway 237 between Spencer Pool and Coon Creek, twelve miles northeast of La Grange in northeastern Fayette County. It was founded by William Neese, who landed in Galveston in 1847 and named the new settlement that grew around his store for Warren Ligon, another early colonist. This area of Fayette County was heavily settled by German colonists who, with an admixture of Anglos, formed numerous small farming communities based on the production of cotton, corn, and dairy products. The community flourished. A post office was established in 1873, when the town had a population of over 100, churches, schools, a gin, and supporting businesses. Soils in the area are suited for agriculture but erode easily on slopes and soon lose their fertility. The lowering productivity of the soil and falling cotton prices encouraged a shift to cattle and poultry after 1900, and many farmers who had allowed tenants to grow cotton on shares let the fields revert to pasture. By 1950 the number of businesses in Warrenton had declined to seven, and the population held at 180. By 1985 the population was down to fifty, but twelve antique stores and St. Martin's Church, at twelve by sixteen feet proclaimed the world's smallest Catholic church, attract visitors. In 1990 the population was still fifty. The population reached sixty-five in 2000.
Terry G. Jordan, German Seed in Texas Soil: Immigrant Farmers in Nineteenth-Century Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1966).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Jeff Carroll, "WARRENTON, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnw20), accessed May 23, 2013. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.