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Posted on May 23, 2019 at 2:42 PM by Gabriela Moore
The post office would see a few short years of delivering mail, servicing horses, and hosting overnight travelers until the International and Great Northern Railroad would lay iron from Austin to San Antonio and Cornelia A. Trimble would sell her first commercial block of land to postmaster J.A. Chandler in 1881. Just a quarter mile from the post office and platted along the new railroad, Trimble would name her town Du Pre. It wouldn’t be until the around 1885 when Chandler moved the post office into town that the name would inevitably change to Buda at the command of the U.S. Postal Service after noting there is already a town named Du Pre in east Texas.
Newly vacated and surrounded by 234 acres of land, T.E. McElroy purchased the Onion Creek Post Office and Stagecoach House in the mid-1880’s. Within a few short years he added over 1,000 acres of land to his name and turned the old post office and stage stop into a ranching estate where he raised livestock and cultivated the fertile soil. With wealth and ambition on his side, McElroy transformed the rugged cabin into the elegant home we see today by enclosing the dogtrot, expanding the home and adding the luxuries one would expect in a home like flooring and a ceiling. Remnants of an old porch under what is now the back room point to a re-orientation of the front porch to look towards Loop 4 (Main Street) heading into a now thriving Buda and away from the abandoned stagecoach bridge.
Throughout the years as pieces of land were sold off, the home would continue to bare the markings of each decade with hand-hewn joists in the attic revealing its pre-railroad construction and french doors showcasing the the trend of the 1920’s when European styles reverberated throughout American homes. Though the home was renovated back to its circa 1920s appearance, one lasting mark of those who lived there in later years still exists in the west room. On the fireplace mantle you will find it to be painted blue with gold stars on either side and a gold arch enveloping the opening. It was dated by historians as a 1970’s style work-- a time when the house was rented out by owners Victor and Joe Stanzel to a group of college students in the artist community.
In 1998 the Stanzel Brothers Trust would transfer the 51 acre property to the City of Buda and the Stagecoach House would once again welcome travelers from far and wide as the Visitor Center for the thriving town of Buda.