The Virtual Ghost Town… With Lots to Offer

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Tony Maples Photography


Near the neighboring towns of Boerne, Comfort, Sisterdale, and Waring; Welfare, Texas, is located four miles southeast of Waring, Texas on Waring-Welfare Road in Kendall County in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. Want to visit Welfare? You may not see much because Welfare over the years, has become a Texas ghost town. How did this tiny town become a ghost town?

First settled in the 1800s, this tiny town was first named Bon Ton which is French for high toned. After discovering that another city had that name, the German-American people of this town changed the name to Wohlfarht, meaning pleasant trip. Over the years the town was finally named Welfare.

In the 1890s, this tiny town flourished to the population of 275 settlers due to the building of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway which allowed produced goods to be transported to other nearby Texas cities. A school house was built, a saloon, a hotel, a cotton gin, a post office, and a general store. However, in the early 1900s, due to severe weather conditions (drought and fire) and an infestation of bolls weevils, the population of Welfare, Texas began to decline and the railroad traffic began to slow down. After the drought and fires (the fire wiping out the post office, which was rebuilt a year later) the Great Depression came along adding to Welfare’s problems. Just as if Welfare did not have enough problems, in 1930 State Highway 87 was built bypassing the tiny town.

This school house became a Texas Land Mark in 2000.


Photo: www.texasescapes.com

The tiny one-room school house, originally built in 1878 along Joshua Creek, moved in 1902 to Waring-Welfare Road. In 1952, with the consolidation with Comfort ISD, the tiny school house in Waring was closed, and in 2000 became a Texas Historic Landmark.

Eventually the railroad in Welfare stopped running, in 1976 the post office closed, and in 1978 the general store closed.

Welfare Today

welfare cafe

Photo: www.tripadvisor.com

Today you can find a restaurant, Welfare Wind Bar and Café, that is the converted post office. The general store also displays old artifacts. The Welfare Café is known for its delicious German cuisine. In 2005, The Old Goat Barn was built using wood from the original barn. This has now become a wedding venue.

For more information about the Welfare Café or wedding venue visit Welfare, Texas online at www.welfaretexas.com.