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JONAH, TEXAS. Jonah is on State Highway 29 and the San Gabriel River, seven miles east of Georgetown in central Williamson County. In 1857 James P. Warnock and Joseph T. Mileham erected a mill on the San Gabriel River, and a community gradually formed around it. The site went by several different names in the 1860s and 1870s, including Water Valley and Eureka Mills. When residents applied for a post office in the early 1880s, proposed names were rejected by postal officials until someone suggested that the town was a "Jonah" as far as choosing a name went, and that name was submitted and accepted in 1884. Jonah was a thriving community of 200 by 1896, when it had two each of mills, cotton gins, general stores, and doctors. The Jonah school (known as Water Valley School in 1883) had 100 pupils and two teachers in 1903. In 1921 Jonah was hit by a severe flood that destroyed a church and a bridge, and in 1927 fire destroyed much of the town, but its businesses were rebuilt. The population of Jonah declined to 120 by 1933, rose to some 200 in the 1950s, and then declined again in the 1970s. In 1988 Jonah reported a population of sixty and one business. Its population through 2000 was still recorded as sixty.


Clara Stearns Scarbrough, Land of Good Water: A Williamson County History (Georgetown, Texas: Williamson County Sun Publishers, 1973).

Mark Odintz


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

Mark Odintz, "JONAH, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 26, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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