Buda, on Interstate Highway 35 seventeen miles south of downtown Austin in eastern Hays County, was formally established on April 1, 1881, when Cornelia Trimble donated land for a townsite at an International-Great Northern Railroad depot there. The area, originally a part of the Mexican land grant to Stephen vanRensslaer Egleston, had been settled as early as 1846 by Phillip J. Allen. The first community center in this part of the county, Mountain City, developed before the Civil War, but it was rapidly depopulated as its residents and businesses flocked to the new rail depot, which took the name of Du Pre. Folklore has it that this name originated in 1880, when, as the railroad pushed into Hays County, the postmaster at Mountain City approached a railroad official and requested, Do, pray, give us a depot. In 1887, at the request of the post office department, the name was changed to Buda.

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