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Fredericksburg is the county seat of Gillespie County and is 70 miles west of Austin in the county’s central part. The city got its name from Prince Frederick of Prussia. The area’s history began as the destination of German immigrants sent to Texas in August 1845. The first wagon train of 120 settlers arrived in Fredericksburg on May 8, 1846. More immigrant trains came throughout the summer, and within two years Fredericksburg had grown into a thriving town of almost 1,000.

Religion played an important part in the lives of the German settlers, and devout farmers drove as much as 20 miles into town for religious services and built Fredericksburg's characteristic Sunday houses for use on weekends and religious holidays. The Germans tried to maintain their independence by steadfastly refusing to learn or use English. Not until after 1900 were the first purely English-speaking teachers employed in the town’s public schools.

As the town grew in size and importance, however, and with the railroad coming to town in 1913, Fredericksburg’s self-imposed isolation began to break down. Visitors were welcomed with open arms, and have been welcomed and indeed anticipated and expected ever since. In 2004 the community had 10,087 inhabitants and 910 businesses.


Fredericksburg’s population has increased from 1,000 in 1848 to over 10,087 in 2004. Well over one million people annually visit Fredericksburg and Gillespie County. The population is mostly white non-Hispanic and the median age is 46.3. Since 1990 the population has grown 21%.


In 2016 the unemployment rate in Fredericksburg was 2.70%, with the job growth of 3.02%. Future job growth over the next ten years is predicted to be 43.30%. The income per capital is $28,350 which includes all adults and children. The median household income is $51,864. Major area employers include health-related organizations (particularly Hill Country Memorial Hospital and nursing/retirement homes), school and government facilities, banks, and retail and construction (huge employers).


Fredericksburg is about 70 miles from both Austin and San Antonio, cities with major commercial airports. While located convenient to these airports, Fredericksburg’s general aviation airport (with 5,000-foot runway) provides access to most jet aircraft. Three major transportation highways serve Fredericksburg (US87, US290 and TX16).