Smithville's reputation is that of a railroad town, yet it offers an even richer history. Fertile land and the Colorado River attracted pioneers with energy, dreams, and a hunger to build. After Thomas Gazley chose head-right land in Stephen F. Austin's Second Colony in 1827, area settlers joined the fray to secure a Texas free from Mexico's supremacy. Some represented Bastrop County in the new Republic of Texas's legislature. Others stayed home and built a village on the banks of the Colorado. Businessmen influenced the growth of Smithville by attracting the railroad, and soon Smithville was the largest city in the county, offering a place for businesses and families to thrive. Smithville's fortunes have risen and fallen with the railroad, the river, and the Central Texas ecomy, and it has again become a vital community, this time nurturing scientists, artists, filmmakers, and antique lovers.
Carol Phillips Snyder, David L Herrington, Smithville Heritage Society