Merle R. Hudgins

PRESTON, TEXAS (Wharton County). Preston was on a site near present Farm Road 1096 eight miles south of Wharton in southeast Wharton County. It had been in Matagorda County prior to 1846, in the John Huff league. In February 1838 an advertisement was placed in the Matagorda Bulletin opening the sale of lots for the town of Preston. The promoters, D. Davis D. Baker, John Huff, and Charles DeMorse, claimed they were making arrangements for the manufacture of bricks and "twenty houses will be commenced as soon as the town is laid off." The first public sale of lots was to be on April 21, 1838. Preston was on the direct road from Matagorda to Bastrop and the nearest route to Houston, crossing the Brazos at Little's. The site was four miles from the Colorado River and two from Caney Creek. The promoters felt sure that when the new county of Wharton was established, Preston would be chosen as the county seat. The town lasted about twenty years and served as a center of trade for settlers along Caney Creek in the upper part of the Bay Prairie area. A post office was established in the 1840s and closed in 1857. A cemetery, which has been fenced, was still at the site in 1990, but neglect had caused much damage to the tombstones. A marker honoring Preston as Wharton County's first settlement is at the entrance of the cemetery.

James M. Day, comp., Post Office Papers of the Republic of Texas (2 vols., Austin: Texas State Library, 1966–67). Matagorda Bulletin, February 14, 1838. Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Annie Lee Williams, A History of Wharton County (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1964).

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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, Merle R. Hudgins, "PRESTON, TX (WHARTON COUNTY)," accessed April 21, 2019,

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