BERTRAM, TEXAS. Bertram is at the junction of Farm roads 243 and 1174 and State Highway 29, ten miles east of Burnet in eastern Burnet County. The town was established in 1882, when the community of San Gabriel in Williamson County was moved two miles northwest to the newly constructed Austin and Northwestern Railroad. The new community was named for Austin merchant Rudolph Bertram, the largest stockholder in the Austin and Northwestern. A post office opened in 1882, and by 1891 the town had an estimated population of 150, a cotton gin-gristmill, three general stores, a grocer, a blacksmith, a shoemaker, and two wagonmakers. After 1900 Bertram was a shipping point for cotton, cattle, and wool. In 1928 a record 11,624 bales of cotton were ginned in the town. In the early 1930s plummeting cotton prices and the Great Depression caused the town's population to decline from a high of 1,000 in 1929 to 550 by 1931. It was 600 in 1949 and by 1966 stood at 1,205. In 1989 the town had a population of 1,002 and nineteen businesses. At that time Bertram's principal industries included the manufacture of ceramic floor tiles, paving tiles, marble fixtures, and vacuum-formed and molded plastic products. The population was 849 in 1990, 1,122 in 2000, and 1,353 in 2010. In 2016 the population was estimated at 1,433. In 2016 the city was served by the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District. The local train depot, with service offered by the Austin Steam Train Association, offered scenic rides through the Texas Hill Country on the Bertram Flyer. Since 1978 the city has hosted the annual Oatmeal Festival on Labor Day weekend. The event, which started as an ironic spoof of the ubiquitous chili cook-offs hosted by numerous small Texas towns, has become a favorite destination for locals and regional day-trippers alike.
Darrell Debo, Burnet County History (2 vols., Burnet, Texas: Eakin, 1979).
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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, Tommye Dorbandt Potts, "BERTRAM, TX," accessed March 28, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlb27.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Modified on December 10, 2017. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.