Wharton is a city in and the county seat of Wharton County, Texas, United States. This city is 60 mi (97 km) southwest of Houston. The population was 8,832 at the 2010 census. Wharton is located on the Colorado River of Texas. U.S. Highway 59 passes west of it. The area now known as Wharton was part of the Caney Run mail route established in 1838 by the Republic of Texas. The community was named after two leaders in the Anglo-American struggle for Texas independence, brothers John and William Wharton. What developed as a plantation community along the Colorado River was first settled in 1846 by some of Stephen F. Austin‘s original colonists. A post office was established the next year in 1847.
The first lieutenant governor of Texas, Albert Horton, was an early settler. Land for the courthouse square was donated by William Kincheloe and surveyed by Virgil Stewart and William J. E. Heard. Early settlers came from across the South: Alabama, Kentucky, Virginia, Georgia, and Mississippi. European Jewish immigrants, arriving as early as the 1850s from Germany, established additional businesses and began the Congregation Shearith Israel (Texas), the only synagogue in a three-county area. Other settlers in the community included Swiss, German, Mexican, and Czech immigrants and, after the Civil War and emancipation, descendants of plantation slaves.
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