Ellinger is at the intersection of State Highway 71 and Farm Road 2503, eleven miles southeast of La Grange in eastern Fayette County. The town is on W. O. Burnham's league and was established as a point on the La Grange Tap spur of the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway. Its 200-acre site was donated by John H. Meyer and Henry Fordtran. Andreas Ondrey, a local resident, suggested the name in honor of Joseph Ehlinger, a veteran of the battle of San Jacinto who received a grant in the area and whose family settled there after his death. The first businesses in Ellinger were operated by the Hotmann, Meyer, Rosenberg, and Hill families. A post office was established in 1877, and by 1878 the community had a population of 100. Early farmers concentrated on the production of cotton, and the community prospered. By 1900 Ellinger had two churches, a school, four lodges, a public hall, fourteen stores, two gins, two blacksmith shops, and four saloons. During the 1890s the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad passed through Fayetteville, four miles to the north, and much local trade moved there. Ellinger maintained its status as a business community, however, and by 1950 had eleven businesses and a population of 223. The decline of cotton reoriented the local economy to cattle ranching and the production of grain and pecans in the 1960s. During the 1970s the Lower Colorado River Authority began construction of its nearby Fayette County Power Project. In the 1980s Ellinger had an active chamber of commerce but only two rated businesses, serving a population of 200. In 1990 the population was still estimated at 200.