La Grange History 1902
La Grange History Written in 1902
THE COUNTY SEAT
LA GRANGE lies in a big bend of the Colorado River. For about a mile, the Colorado runs due south until it strikes the Bluff mount, opposite La Grange; here its course is turned eastward so that it encloses in this angle the city. West and south of La Grange rises the Bluff, north of La Grange abruptly rises a high plateau, while towards the east the land rises gradually. La Grange, therefore, lies in a deep basin, sheltered on all sides against storms. It is said that the Indians always built their camps in storm-proof localities and for this reason the present site of La Grange was the former location of an Indian camp.
La Grange is a beautiful city. The best view of it may be had from the Bluff. Two hundred feet below, at the feet of the spectator, flow the red waters of the Colorado, enclosing from two sides a fertile bottom checkered by corn and cotton fields, a beautiful foreground for a picture of the city. The court house, the steeples of churches and the red roofs of some larger residences break pleasantly through the green of liveoak groves. To the left the bridges and water works, to the right the compress and the railroad wagon park give this picture a fitting termination. The high wood-covered hills, rising back of La Grange form an appropriate background with Chalk. Bluff to the left and the town of Rutersville to the right as a close of the background. What strikes most, is the harmony and symmetry of the picture, An artist could not arrange his subject more artistically than nature has done here. Fitting foreground and background for the main picture of the city, with appropriate beginning and end.
The principal streets of La Grange are those leading from the public square. Most of the streets are nicely graded and graveled. The residences are elegant, with beautiful gardens and lawns in front, What strikes the stranger most upon visiting La Grange is the great number of large and beautiful live-oak trees, veterans of the wood that reach back into past centuries. Of the more noticeable buildings may be mentioned the court house, the jail, the First National Bank Building, the Schuhmacher Bank building, the Heintze building, the Rosenberg building, the Meyenberg building, the Casino, the Opera House, the school and the compress.
La Grange was settled in the latter part of the twenties on land granted to John H. Moore. It was for a long time a very inconsiderable place. The first settlers had come from Tennessee and named their new home after their old home, LaGrange in Tennessee. (La Grange is French, the name of La Fayette’s estate, and means “the mansion.”)
The Census of 1900 gives La Grange 2400 inhabitants. Its population is American, German and Bohemian. About one-third of the population are negroes.
La Grange is an independent school district; it has two schools, one for white and one for colored pupils. The school for white pupils is managed by Prof. C. A. Brown with the assistance of an able corps of teachers and visited by 251 pupils. The colored school is visited by 196 pupils and managed by Prof. _____. Jefferson. The city levies a district school tax.
The lodge brother has a large choice of lodges to join to. There are not less than nine lodges in La Grange: Odd Fellows, Knights of Honor, Knights and Ladies of Honor, Free Masons, Knights of Pythias, United Workmen, Sons of Hermann, Fraternal Mystic Circle and A. L. of H. Some of these lodges insure the lives of their members, others aid them in case of sickness. Besides these lodges, the Fayette County German Mutual Aid Society pursues the same object.