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Early Life in Fayetteville.

Dr. William P. Smith describes Fayetteville in 1851 as having two stores (Munger Mercantile), a blacksmith shop, a church, a school (Fayetteville Academy), a Justice of the Peace and a constable. Fayetteville had a post office and a postmaster in the Republic of Texas. In fact, Fayetteville has had continuous postal service since 1850.

During the early years the local economy was based largely on subsistence farming, but during the late 1840s and 1850s a thriving plantation economy emerged. In the early 1850s plantations were producing impressive quantities of corn and shipping tobacco, wool and cotton to outside markets.

Buildings in Fayetteville from the mid-19th century still standing include: the two-story Red & White Store (corner of W. Main St. and S. Live Oak St.) was built about 1835 by S. S. Munger and is believed to be the oldest commercial building in the area. Munger had his home (112 W. Main St.) built about 1850 with a detached kitchen. In 1847, Henry Steves’ home was built at 105 E. Fayette St. Dating to as early as the 1860s is the Compton-Zapp House (corner of N. Washington St. and Market St.) which was occupied by many prominent Fayetteville residents including the Zapp family who lived in the house from 1865 to 1945. Its central hall plan is typical of Texas vernacular homes of the time.

The Sarrazin Mercantile Store (107 N. Washington St.) was built in 1875, the same year as the E. J. Knesek Building (corner of N. Live Oak St. and W. Fayette St.); one of its first owners was Frank J. Spacek, an agent for the newly arrived Czech immigrants. The right part of the building once housed the first town newspaper, Vestnik, printed by the SPJST, then later the Fayetteville Fact newspaper. Also from the 1870s is the Kaderka Building (119 W. Fayette St.). The first occupant was a bakery providing delicious Czech baked goods.

The two-story precinct courthouse was built in 1880, holding its first court on February 17, 1881. The old jail still exists on the second floor, complete with leg irons attached. A calaboose was added in 1887.

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