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BEND, TEXAS. Bend, on Ranch Road 580 at a horseshoe-shaped bend in the Colorado River fourteen miles southeast of San Saba in southeastern San Saba and western Lampasas counties, developed in the nineteenth century as a supply and processing center for farmers. The area was originally settled in 1854 by three Low brothers from Tennessee, David Donald, James Milton, and William, and first named Schleicher's Bend, after Gustav Schleicher. By 1856 it was called McAnelly's Bend, for Robert Daugherty McAnelly, a landowner on the Lampasas side of the river. A post office under the latter name opened on the east side of the river in 1858 but was discontinued sometime after 1861. When application for a post office on the San Saba side of the river was made in the late 1870s, the names Little Breeches and Bend were submitted; the Bend post office opened in 1879 in the home of Seth Martin Moore, the local ferry operator, and has operated continuously since.
The town developed in the 1870s and 1880s, as a gristmill, cotton gin, and general store were established to meet the needs of local farmers and cattlemen. The first school on the San Saba side of the Colorado River was organized in 1872 near the mouth of Cherokee Creek, and by the 1880s Baptist, Methodist, and Christian churches had opened. In 1890 the community had a reported 400 residents, a justice of the peace precinct, a constabulary, craft shops, mercantile stores, and a hotel. For most of the twentieth century, however, Bend has recorded 100 to 125 residents. Corn, cotton, and cattle provided the initial basis for local commerce. In the late nineteenth century the pecan industry also became commercially important. After 1920 extensive pecan orchards were planted, and by midcentury the Hollis native pecan had become the region's primary cash crop. Bend boosters consider the Jumbo Hollis, which stands near the banks of the Colorado River, to be the world's most productive pecan tree. It is claimed that the tree yields nuts of extraordinary size and that in 1919 it produced more than 1,000 pounds. The tree is named for its first known owner, Thomas I. Hollis. In 1990 Bend reported a population of 115 and two businesses. In 2000 the population remained the same and four businesses were reported.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Jonnie Ross Elzner, Relighting Lamplights of Lampasas County, Texas (Lampasas: Hill Country, 1974). Alma Ward Hamrick, The Call of the San Saba: A History of San Saba County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1941; 2d ed., Austin: Jenkins, 1969). San Saba County History (San Saba, Texas: San Saba County Historical Commission, 1983).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Daniel P. Greene, "Bend, TX," accessed April 29, 2017, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlb24.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.