The town and county were named after William H. Wharton, a
lawyer, member of the Convention of 1832 and Minister to the
United States, and his brother John A. Wharton, also a lawyer,
soldier, Secretary of War and representative from Brazoria
County to the First Congress of the Republic of Texas.
The land where the city of Wharton is now located was
originally part of a league granted to William Kincheloe
and his family in 1824. Located on the east bank of the
Colorado River, in what was known as the "Great Prairie
Canebrake of "Bay Prairie". This rich flood plain was
covered with a dense stand of tall switch cane through
which flowed Caney Creek, originally a bed of the
This cane had to be cut down by the first team to survey of town site. Kincheloe donated the land for the courthouse and central square,now known as Monterey Square. Land below the square providing access to the river was designated as Kincheloe Common. Under Mexican and Texan laws, water rights remained with the government. Rain collected in cisterns and well water provided the drinking water.