Ellinger is a rural unincorporated community in Fayette County, Texas, United States. It is located on the highway TX-71 about 12 miles (19 km) southeast of La Grange and 2.0 miles (3.2 km) from the Colorado County line. Farm to Market Road 2503 starts at a stop sign on TX-71 in Ellinger and heads to the northeast. Ellinger is currently located along the Southern Pacific Railroad, which missed the original Live Oak Hill by two miles. The town moved to be closer to the railroad, which gave it business and travelers. When the town moved, the silent H was removed and the name was changed to Ellinger. Ladd P. Ehlinger, a descendant of Joseph and Charles Ehlinger, says this is because "it was easier for people to phonetically spell it". The Ellinger official website states that this change happened "when the railroad came through". According to Lotto's book, Ellinger was laid out in 1883. The oldest local businessmen at the time of writing (1902) were Messrs. J. and B. Wacker, who owned a general store selling "staple and fancy groceries, hardware and crockery, and especially a fine assortment of pistols, guns, and ammunition". These men were said to have established their store in 1884, one year after the founding of the town. Further business owners included the Hotmann, Meyer, Rosenburg, and Hill families. Lotto also documents the existence of two churches - one Lutheran and one Catholic. The Lutheran church, called St. John, is still in operation. It is operated by Shared Lutheran Ministries of Fayette County, at the corner of Fayette and Grover street. Communion and worship are held every Sunday at 8:00 in the morning, served by a Pastor Marcia Kifer along with churches in Fayetteville, Warrenton, and Rutersville. There is a post office currently functioning on FM 2503 in Ellinger, said by the Texas State Historical Association to have been founded in 1877, but no primary source documents this date, notably the USPS post office finder or Frank Lotto's 1902 book. Production of cotton carried the local economy in the early 1900s, and in previous eras Ellinger was a commercial center for farmers of cotton within the region. In 1900, the town had fourteen businesses and a thriving community, but it began to decline in the early part of the 20th century with the building of the Missouri-Kansas and Texas Railroad, a large railway which passed through nearby Fayetteville and missed Ellinger.
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