Dr. Thomas Jefferson Gazley arrived in 1827 and set the pace of development for Smithville by building the first house and establishing the first store, which served incoming settlers and the friendly Lipan and Tonkawa Indians. He later served in the Mexican government and helped write the Texas Declaration of Independence and the first Constitution, and became a true Texas hero. William Smith's family arrived several years after Dr. Gazley. They also owned a store and were early influences on the area, including the naming of Smithville where about seventeen families lived on the south bank of the Colorado River. Local businessman, Murray Burleson, persuaded the approaching railroad to erect a Terminus here and the TB&H steamed through in 1887. The Missouri, Kansas & Texas took over the Taylor, Bastrop, and Houston Railroad in 1891. In 1894, the MK&T established central shops in Smithville, giving rise to growth which resulted in Smithville becoming the largest town in Bastrop County for nearly fifty years. This population created markets for homes, stores, and other necessities as it grew from a frontier village to a town. The Hill family moved retail marketing here and established the first bank. The need for infrastructure systems attracted the Buescher brothers to come and create the first utilities. Partnerships of prominent, able men involved in land-based activities united the Bueschers, Powells, Cooks, Eaglestons, Turneys, Rabbs, Buntes and others to establish cotton gins, general stores, drugstores, lumber and brick yards and to develop numerous churches and fraternal organizations such as the Masons and the Oddfellows and to provide medical care for this now flourishing community. In 1895, this thriving town was officially incorporated into the City of Smithville. Almost immediately, the city fathers recognized the importance of education by creating the Smithville School District; and Smithville has been fortunate during its development to have forward-thinking men and women who were stalwart and industrious and who paved the way to the fine city and enviable way of life its citizens enjoy today.