Jeff Carroll

RABBS PRAIRIE, TEXAS. Rabbs (Rabb's) Prairie is a farming community at the junction of Fayette County roads 162 and 163, about four miles northwest of La Grange in Fayette County. The area was first settled by the families of William Rabb and his son John, members of Stephen F. Austin's Old Three Hundred, who cleared and planted the land between 1822 and 1825. The land was rich but subject to frequent and prolonged flooding from the Colorado River; hence the first name of the site, Bay Prairie. William Rabb's home was the polling place for the Bay Prairie precinct in 1830. In 1840 the commissioners' court of Fayette County voted to clear a road along the north side of the river, through Rabb's Prairie, and on upstream to the county line. In 1844 the area became a favorite place for summer camp meetings. Rabb's Prairie had a school, a store, and a gin, but its proximity to La Grange precluded more extensive development. From 1900 to 1904 a post office operated in the store, but changes in postal policy closed the office, and mail was rerouted through La Grange. Cotton remained the primary crop until about 1960 (later than in surrounding areas), but then was replaced by corn and sorghum. The community's school was consolidated with that of La Grange in 1944, and the old school building was eventually moved to Halsted, where it became a store. By 1950 three businesses remained in Rabbs Prairie, which had a population of about sixty. Upon the death of its owner, the store at Rabbs Prairie closed in 1987, but the building remained. By 1988 no businesses were reported in the community. Many local landowners leased their fields to others who continued to produce good crops of corn, and the resident population had dropped to about thirty, where it remained in the early 1990s. In 2000 the population was thirty-six.

Worth Stickley Ray, Austin Colony Pioneers (Austin: Jenkins, 1949; 2d ed., Austin: Pemberton, 1970). Leonie Rummel Weyand and Houston Wade, An Early History of Fayette County (La Grange, Texas: La Grange Journal, 1936).

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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, Jeff Carroll, "RABBS PRAIRIE, TX," accessed April 24, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnr01.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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