History of Cat Spring Texas
Cat Spring is situated a few miles southwest of Bellville, the county seat. As one of the first German/American settlements in the state, it is also home to Texas’ first agricultural society. Its rolling prairie-type land made it easy for settlers to start farming.
Legend has it that a hunter killed a wildcat at one of the springs of the San Bernard River and the place was first called Wildcat Spring then shortened to Cat Spring (Katzenquelle).
The Cat Spring Settlement was founded in 1834 by the Otto von Röder family who came to Texas from Germany due to Industry’s “Ernst Letter,” published in Germany. At that time, Austin County had a population of about 1,000 people. The little town began to grow and by 1880 it had a gin, a saw mill, a grist mill and a planing mill. There was also a hotel, a saddle shop, a shoe shop, a school and a church. Cat Spring, once part of the early travel route from San Felipe to Industry, today is at the intersection of FM 2187 and FM 949. A 1936 Texas State Historical Marker honors this early German settlement and the pioneer families of von Röder, Kleberg and Amsler.
Cat Spring Agricultural Hall – “Landwirth-Schaftlicher Verein” began when Germans and some Czechs formed this Agricultural Society in 1856, to share information and tips on how to farm. In 1902, local carpenter Joachim Hintz was hired to build a 12-sided structure that still stands at 13035 Hall Rd. The Agricultural Society still holds some agricultural-related functions there, but the unique structure has an expanded purpose and hosts a multitude of activities.
Each June brings the Annual June Fest and in September the hall hosts one of the largest antique shows in the area. For more information and a schedule of events, call (979) 885-2719.
Cat Spring today is a beautiful rolling hill area alive with wildflowers, vineyards, show horse farms and at the right time of year an abundance of birds and wildlife. It has several unique bed-and-breakfast facilities as well as a famous local stop for some of the best cat fish you will ever eat at Cross Roads Tavern on Friday nights.