Bluffton, also known as New Bluffton, is on Farm Road 2241 near the western shore of Lake Buchanan twelve miles northeast of Llano in northeastern Llano County. One of the earliest settlements in the region that was to become Llano County, Bluffton originated when Billy Davis settled on the west bank of the Colorado River in 1852. He was followed by a relative, I. B. Maxwell, in 1853. Maxwell reportedly named the settlement for his hometown, Bluffton, Arkansas, perhaps because of the bluffs facing the new community on the east bank of the Colorado River. Bluffton grew to some significance because it was near an early saltworks operated by Davie Cowan and was also near several Colorado River crossings between Burnet and points west. In 1873 a post office was established there with John O. Brown as postmaster. By 1883 Bluffton was a stage stop between Burnet and Llano, with a blacksmith shop, a cotton gin, a hotel, saloons, and other enterprises. In that year a fire, allegedly started by drunken cowboys, destroyed the town. It was rebuilt a half mile north. Although at one time more prosperous than the county seat, Llano, Bluffton was bypassed by the railroad and subsequently declined. When Buchanan Dam (which originally was to be called Bluffton Dam) was completed in 1937, Lake Buchanan inundated the townsite, and Bluffton moved again, this time five miles west. The new Lake Buchanan also caused the relocation of State Highway 29 between Burnet and Llano, further isolating Bluffton. In 1986 the local economy focused on ranching, tourism, and retirement, and the community had seventy-five residents, a post office, and a store. The population was still reported as seventy-five in 2000.
Support Texas History Now
Join TSHA to support quality Texas history programs and receive exclusive benefits.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
James B. Heckert-Greene, “Bluffton, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 29, 2020, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/bluffton-tx.
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.