The town of Wharton was founded as the seat of Wharton County in April 1846, named for two brothers, William Harris and John Austin Wharton, who were Texas heroes. Land for a courthouse named Monterey Square was given from the land grant of William Kincheloe, one of Stephen F. Austin's Old 300 colonists who settled in this area in 1822. The town site was surveyed by Virgil Stewart and William J.E. Heard, and rich farmland attracted many settlers. The advent of railroads and irrigation brought increased settlement to the town, which remains a center of agricultural, educational, industrial, and medical services for a large area. The Wharton County Courthouse is being restored to its 1888 status.

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