A history of the West community



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The development of the community of West began with the establishment of the settlement of Bold Springs near the time of the creation of McLennan County. The availability of rich wooded and prairie land enabled the original Anglo-American settlers to form a small farming community called Bold Springs in the mid 1800’s. After the Civil War these original settlers were joined by others, including Czech and German immigrants, searching for land and a new home. The coming of the railroad through the area led to an influx of immigrants, the rise of the cotton growing, and the creation of a new town, West, as the focal point for Bold Springs and other small farming communities. The successful business endeavors of the residents of the new town led to West’s incorporation in 1892 and its becoming the dominant economic and cultural center of the prosperous farming region in NortheasternMcLennan County. The Czech and German immigrants, however, remained for some time isolated from the Anglo-American community by language and religion. Their increasing population and the development of their culture led to a rivalry for dominance in the community. Slowly their traits of isolation and community self-sufficiency broke down, and, with the coming of World War I, the Czechs found acceptance. Although they retained much of their isolationist traits, the Czechs successfully fought off a nativist backlash against foreign elements occurring after the war and emerged as the dominant cultural force in the community. The shift in the balance of economic strengthfrom the Anglo-American to the Czechs was not due to a decline in the populationor business activity of the Anglo-Americans but to the increased Czech population. In its first twenty years as a town the city of West experienced rapid growth, but was followed by a reversal of this trend during World War I. Despite organized efforts to revive a boom feeling, the conflict between the cultures resulted in a lack of unity that impeded the growth and progress of the town. The failure to cope with the problems of lessened economic opportunities left the city of West a small agricultural trading center noted for its unusually large Czech population.



Bold Spring, Texas -- History, McLennan County, immagrants, rivalry for dominance, lack of unity