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South Gabriel, TX

Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl General Entry

South Gabriel, two miles southeast of Bertram in eastern Burnet County, was first called Lewiston, for Thomas Lewiston, local store owner and later postmaster. When the post office was granted in 1871, however, the name South Gabriel was chosen because of the community's location on the South Fork of the San Gabriel River. In 1880 South Gabriel had thirty-nine residents, served by a church and a school as well as two stores, a hotel, a saloon, a cotton gin, and several other businesses. When the Austin and Northwestern Railroad Company was planning its Austin-to-Burnet route, residents of South Gabriel offered a $3,000 incentive to build through their town; the company declined the offer, however, and bypassed South Gabriel by about two miles. Many residents moved their homes and businesses to the new town of Bertram on the railroad, and in 1882 the South Gabriel post office was moved to Bertram. The South Gabriel School was maintained for several years, but most local children began attending classes in Bertram; enrollment at the South Gabriel School fell from sixty in 1896 to thirteen in 1904. In 1907 the school was moved farther south and its name was changed to Midway School. A few houses were shown on 1940s county highway maps of the area, but in the 1980s only a cemetery marked the townsite.

Mary Starr Barkley, A History of Central Texas (Austin: Austin Printing, 1970). Darrell Debo, Burnet County History (2 vols., Burnet, Texas: Eakin, 1979).


  • Communities

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Vivian Elizabeth Smyrl, “South Gabriel, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 08, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

July 1, 1995