History of Flatonia
Flatonia was established in 1873 on the Galveston, Harrisburg, and San Antonio Railway and was named for the pioneer merchant F. W. Flato. The City became the meeting place of the two main railway lines in Texas in 1887, when the San Antonio and Arkansas Pass Railway was built south from Waco. With the new railway came new settlements and new businesses, including the Swift Meat Packing Company, cotton and agricultural companies. In 1910 a new electric light plant, ice plant, water works, and cold storage warehouses were established, earmarking Flatonia for future growth.
Tourism began growing with the completion of I-10 in the 1970’s and is a big contributor to Flatonia’s current economy. Flatonia is a well-known and scenic spot for train watchers, boasting one of Texas’ longest standing, manually operated railroad switching towers with North-South, East-West cross rails. A true piece of Americana, the tower now resides on South Main and can be toured by appointment through the Chamber of Commerce.