A treaty between German settlers and Comanche Indians in 1847 lead to the settlement of Fisher-Miller Land Grant, which includes what is now Llano County. Of the first five settlements in Llano County, only Castell still survives. By 1858, the population center was established in what is now the City of Llano, which became an official county in 1856.
To learn more about the 1,000 people — mostly German farmers and ranchers — who first lived in and around Llano, visit the Llano County Historical Museum on the shores of the Llano River, just north of the Texas 16 bridge.
Located at 310 Bessemer Street, the museum features exhibits that include a farm and ranch room, military items, clothing and tons of photos. There’s even a log cabin to help visitors get a better glimpse of the past.
The most famous exhibit, however, has nothing to do with Indian treaties and German ranchers. It’s the polo exhibit of world-famous Llano native Cecile Smith, who was a 10-goal player, the sport’s highest ranking. When the 94-year-old died in Boerne, Texas, in 1999, his obituary ran in the New York Times, which called him “perhaps the greatest player in the history of a game more than 2,000 years old.”
Operated by the Llano County Historical Society, the museum is located in the historic Bruhl Drugstore Building, which was built in 1922. Louis H. Bruhl founded the drugstore in 1900. In 1965, the A.H. Bruhl family gave it to the historical society.
Though some of the original pieces of the building were altered, the marble soda fountain and leather fountain stools remain.
For more, go to www.llanomuseum.org or call (325) 247-3026. Better yet, go visit! You’ll learn even more first hand.