Burton was originally established in 1862 and named for John M. Burton, an early settler in the area. The town is a rural, farming, German community with deep heritage. The town's economy benefited from the extension of the Houston and Texas Central Railway from Brenham to Austin after the Civil War. During the 1880s Burton had three churches, a bank, a school, and a hotel, and by 1885 it had a population of 150. Burton had a population of 800 and thirty businesses by the mid-1940s. During the 1970s, however, the town declined, and its residents had dwindled to 311 by 1990.
Built on the traditions of German immigrants, Burton still holds true to its small town values. You will be hard to find an unfriendly face or an unpleasant greeting. Although Burton is in the middle of it all - minutes from Washington on the Brazos, a couple hours from The Alamo, an hour and half from the State Capital, and a few hours from the coast - the citizens still keep to a humble small-town life that is rare to find.
US Hwy 290 runs straight through Burton. You can either enter eastbound on 290 coming from Austin or westbound coming from Houston. You may travel down FM 1697 or FM 390 to come in on the Northern side of town. Both routes offer plenty of historical markers for understanding the historical significance of the area. If you are traveling by private plane, Brenham has the closest municipal airport, and is approximately 20 miles away.
All modes of transportation are accommodated to the streets of Burton. You can easily get around in a car or bicycle, but it due to its' size walking is a great alternative. You might even find a group of horseback riders out for a ride.
- The Burton Cotton Gin, 307 N Main St, ☎ . Began operation in 1914, and still makes a bale of cotton at the annual Cotton Gin Festival
- Burton Train Depot, 507 N Railroad St, ☎ . The location of the train depot where tracks used to run by downtown Burton.
- The Burton Cafe, 12513 W Washington St, ☎ . Serves up authentic made from scratch German cuisine, in a small rustic cafe. Also the pastries and pies are worth a stop in themselves.
- The Brazos Belle, 600 N Main St, ☎ . Big city cuisine in a small town. The Belle prides itself in fine cuisine on weekend nights. Made from scratch French inspired meals for a night out on the town.
- The Cactus Restaurant, 9700 FM 390, ☎ . Just good old home-cooking. If your looking for a country meal to leave you stuffed, The Cactus is the right place. If your feeling really hungry try to tackle the huge mountain of an order of onion rings.
- The Burton Short Stop, 12400 FM 390, ☎ . A place to grab a quick but good home style meal.
Even though Burton is small town, but you can still find places to wet your whistle. Keeping true to its' German heritage, a cold beer is always a great way to spend an evening catching up.
- Pig & Whistle Pub, 12607 West Washington St, ☎ .
- The Burton Short Stop, 12400 Highway 390, ☎ .
- White Horse Tavern, 400 N Main St, ☎ .
- Knittel Homestead Bed and Breakfast, 520 N Main St, ☎ .