Manchaca, TX – Travis County

Population 1,133 // Schools

Manchaca is located 10 miles southwest of downtown Austin in Travis County. Early development in Manchaca was most likely the result of proximity to the springs in the area. Manchaca Springs was a stopping place along a stretch of the Old San Antonio Road and the Chisholm Trail. Throughout the years there has been much conjecture as to the origin of the name “Manchaca”. One theory holds that “Manchaca” is derived from the Choctaw word imashaka, meaning “behind it” or “to the rear.” Another theory is that Manchaca Springs was named for Tejano army officer José Antonio Menchaca, who is believed to have camped at the springs.

An early owner of Manchaca Springs was Washington D. Miller, a South Carolina native who served as a Republic of Texas congressman, private secretary to Sam Houston and after Texas joined the Union, Secretary of the State of Texas. In 1852 Miller sold the springs to Virginia native Adolphus Weir, who ran a stagecoach stop on the property. Descendants of the Weir family retained land in the Manchaca vicinity until well into the 20th century.

The first post office to serve the area was the Manchac House post office, which opened in 1851. This post office closed the following year. A second post office was opened in June 1874, but this one also closed in just under a year. Afterwards area residents received mail in the unincorporated community of Onion Creek.

The area started to experience growth when the International-Great Northern Railroad opened in 1880; which necessitated the opening of a third post office. By 1884 the 75-resident community was a shipping point for grain, cotton, lumber and posts. In the 1890’s a hotel, school and Methodist church were built. By January 1903, Manchaca’s population reached 100 and was home to four businesses: two general stores, a blacksmith and a cotton gin.

At just under 2 square miles Manchaca’s boundaries have not expanded, but today the population is more than 10 times the number it was just over a century ago.

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