The city of Bertram, Texas is a small and welcoming city with 1300 inhabitants. It is situated at the intersection of TX HWY 29, FM 243 and RM1174. The state capital, Austin is 45 miles to the southeast of the city. The annual Oatmeal Festival, several top novelty businesses and train depot, restored by the Austin Steam Train Association are the main attractions of the City. The Bertram Elementary School from grades K-5 has the highest (exemplary) rating for any Texas school in the last four years. The older students in the city attend excellent middle and high schools located ten miles to the west of the city under the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District.
For its size, the city of Bertram has very advanced infrastructure. The water supply is excellent; there is a waste water treatment facility and a full time Police department. There is motel, convenience stores and a Dollar General store. The area is crime free, rural and idyllic, making the place a stress-free and excellent place to live.
Geography of Bertram city
The city is in Eastern County at 30°44′39″N 98°03′21″W. Burnet city is located 10 miles to the west and downtown Austin is 43 miles to the southeast.
Bertram spans an area of 1.2 sq. miles all of which is land. (Source: U.S. Census Bureau).
History of Burnet city
The city is located at the meeting point of FM243, FM1174 and SH29. Burnet city is 10 miles to the east. In 1882, the town was established when the San Gabriel community moved two miles northwest to the Austin and Northwestern Railroad. This new settlement was named after Rudolph Bertram who was the largest stockholder in the Austin and Northwestern Railroad. In 1882 a post office was set up and by 1891 the population had increased to 150. Soon the area had a cotton gin-gristmill, 3 general provisions stores, grocery store, a blacksmith, shoe shop and 2 wagon makers. After 1900, Bertram transformed into a shipping point for cotton, livestock and wool. In 1928 11,624 cotton bales were ginned in the Bertram.
In the early 1930’s the Great depression and the falling cotton prices led to emigration from the town. The population had fallen from 1000 in 1929 to 550 in 1931. The population recovered to 600 in 1949 and in 1966 had increased to 1,205. By 1989 the town’s population was 1,002 with nineteen businesses. The main industries in Bertram at the time were:
- Ceramic floor tiles manufacture
- Tile pavement
- Marbles fixtures
- Vacuum-formed and molded plastic production.
The population of the area was 849 according to the 1990 Census Report.
Demographics of Bertram
(Source: U.S. Census, 2000)
There were 1,112 inhabitants with 387 households and 280 families in the City. The average population density was 1,031.3 people per sq. mile. The number of housing units was 434 at 398.9 households per sq. mile.
The racial makeup of the city was:
- White: 88.24%
- African American: 0.89%
- Native American: 0.62
- Pacific Islander: 0.09%
- Other Races: 9.09%
- Two or more Races: 1.07%
- Hispanic/Latino (any race): 21.21%
Of the 387 households in the area 36.2% had children less than 18 years living with them. 62% had married couples in them, 7.2% had female householder without husband and 27.4% of the households were non-families. Individuals made up 25.6% and people aged 65 years or older made up 13.7% of the households. The average household and family size was 2.69 and 3.24 respectively.
Age distribution of the city:
- Less than 18 years: 24.6%
- 18-24 years: 8.7%
- 25-44 years: 27.5%
- 45-64 years: 20.7%
- 65 years or older: 18.5%
- Median age: 37 years
- There were 90.2 males for every 100.2 females and for every 100 females aged 18 or above, 88.2 males were present.
- Median income (household): $36,250
- Median income (family): $42,031
- Median income (males): $29,688
- Median income (females): $20,179.
- Income per capita: $14,132.
- Below poverty line: 7.0% of the families and 8.3% of the population including 8.3 % of people under the age of 18 years and 22.0% of the people aged 65 years or older.
Culture of the City
During the Labor Day Weekend the annual “Oatmeal festival” is hosted in Bertram. The festival attracts people from all over Central Texas.
Oatmeal festival started in 1978 as a parody of the various chili-festivals in Texas. Ken Odiorne, a resident of nearby Oatmeal community organized the first festival. National Oats of 3 Minutes Oats fame sponsored the first festival.
The money from the Festival has led to the creation of an open-air pavilion in Bertram and a community center at Oatmeal. Local high school graduates receive various scholarships every year and many local events like Easter Egg Hunt, Santa Workshop and Burnet Livestock Show are also sponsored by the money raised from the Oatmeal festival.
Students in the area attend schools in the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District. Bertram Elementary school was named National Blue Ribbon School in 2007.
The area has hot and humid summers and mild to cool winters. The Köppen Climate Classification system classifies the local climate as subtropical.
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