Merle R. Hudgins

NOTTAWA, TEXAS. Nottawa was at what is now the intersection of State Highway 90A with Farm Road 1164, five miles west of East Bernard and one mile east of West Bernard Creek in northeastern Wharton County. The Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado Railway was completed through the area in 1859, but it was after 1878 when settlers were brought in. Previously, this lower edge of the prairie had been used as free range. The settlers were primarily Czech; a few were Welsh or English families who came with the New Philadelphia project. Nottawa was established in the late 1880s, when it had one general store. A post office opened in the store in 1904 with Frank C. Boyden as postmaster. In 1914 the community supported a blacksmith (Z. R. Cayler) and the Darby and Reed general store. Nottawa Common School No. 37 opened in 1917 with grades one through six, but in 1924 it was consolidated with the East Bernard school. The 1920 census lists twenty-five residents at the community, but the 1926 Wharton County poll-tax roll lists eighty-four white and two black registrants. Mail service to Nottawa was discontinued in April 1930 and moved to East Bernard. As local roads improved, farmers could travel to East Bernard or Lissie (four miles west) for their supplies and religious services. By the late 1940s the store closed, and Nottawa ceased to exist. The Tennessee Gas Transmission Company located its booster plant in the general vicinity of the community in 1944 and built a number of homes and a community center for its employees. During the 1970s the homes were sold and moved, though the plant remained in operation. In the late 1970s a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum, in a cooperative project with China interests, set up a research farm on Farm Road 1164. They were to develop new rice and soybean varieties that would do well in China and other Asian countries. The project ended in 1991. Although during the early 1990s the community no longer existed, local residents still referred to the area as Nottawa.

J. O. Graham, The Book of Wharton County, Texas (Wharton?: Philip Rich, 1926). 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, "NOTTAWA, TX," accessed August 17, 2019,

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