Calvert is a city in Robertson County, Texas, United States. It is part of theBryan-College Station metropolitan area. Calvert is located in west-central Texas and encompasses a total area of 3.9 square miles (10 km2). The city's schools are part of the Calvert Independent School District. TheRobertson County News reports the local news.
For the last 35 years Calvert has enjoyed a relative success as an antique“capital.” The town also benefits from steady traffic on Texas State Highway 6 and the town's location halfway between Waco and Bryan-College Station.
The earliest known white settler in the area was Joseph Harlan, whose 1837 land grant laid five miles south of what is now the City of Calvert. In 1850 Robert Calvert, for whom the town was named, established a plantation west of the town. Calvert, who was a former Texas Representative and area farmer urged the Houston and Texas Central Railway to build through the area. A railroad was completed in 1868. The City of Calvert was founded that same year after a group of investors purchased land at the town site and platted the community. In January, the town was named in honor of Robert Calvert. The post office opened in 1868 and the first trains arrived in 1869. Calvert incorporated with an alderman form of government in 1870 and, that same year, founded its first school. From 1870 to 1879, Calvert replaced Owensville, Texas as county seat due to reconstruction in Robertson County.
The Republican party in the county drew much of its strength from black voters on the plantations in the Calvert area, and, for a number of years, the party was able to elect black people from Calvert to county and state office. As a rail center and as county seat, Calvert prospered. In 1871, the town claimed to have the largest cotton gin in the world and cotton planters (many of whom arrived in the area following the Civil War) established huge plantations with reputations for prosperity and Southern hospitality. Many of these families later moved from plantations located in the Brazos River Bottoms into the city of Calvert. These families built large Victorian style mansions, many of which are still in existence today. In 1873 a severe yellow fever epidemic killed many in the community. The county jail, built in 1875 and now known as The Hammond House, is still a local landmark.
By 1878, Calvert was a thriving community with 52 businesses. In 1879 the town of Morgan replaced Calvert as the county seat, but Calvert continued to prosper as a commercial center. By 1884, Calvert had an estimated 3,000 inhabitants with Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Episcopal, and Catholic churches, a public school system, two banks, an opera house, and a newspaper entitled the Weekly Courier. The community remained a major cotton center with many gins, cotton compresses, and cottonseed oil mills, until 1899 when the town was damaged by floods. In 1901, a fire destroyed much of Calvert's remaining business district.