Buda is a city in Hays County, Texas, United States. The population was 7,343 residents in 2010. Buda is part of the Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos metropolitan statistical area and one of Austin's fastest growing suburbs.
The town of Buda sprang up along the route of the International-Great Northern Railroad, which was extended from Austin to San Antonio in 1880. Buda bore the name of “Du Pre” from its birth in 1881 until the autumn of 1887, when postal officials became aware that another Texas town was also named Du Pre. According to town lore, the name Du Pre came from the postmaster of the nearby Mountain City, W. W. Haupt, who pleaded with railroad officials, “Do, pray, give us a depot.” Alternate unconfirmed legends suggest that Du Pre was the name of an Austin newspaper editor who may have been instrumental in bringing the depot to the future town site, or given local topography, could borrow from the French phrase “du pre,” meaning “of the meadow.”
Mrs. Cornelia A. Trimble platted the town of Du Pre on April 1, 1881, establishing streets and a wide “Reservation” between the lots and the railroad right of way. Though the reservation was the property of town citizens, the plat allowed the railroad to place buildings on the parkland, including the depot that would become the lifeblood of the town over the next few decades. The Du Pre plat followed the convention of the neighboring city of Austin, giving east-west streets the name of local trees: Ash, Elm, Live Oak and China Streets. The north-south streets were named after surrounding communities: Austin and San Marcos Streets.
Several businesses quickly sprang up in the fledgling town, including the Carrington Hotel, which became known for serving good meals to hungry railroad travelers. By the time Du Pre was forced to find a new name for itself, the Carrington hotel was being referenced as “the Buda House.” In the “Dupre Notes” column of the Sept. 25, 1886 edition of the Hays County Times and Farmer’s Journal, the author notes that “The Buda House is one of the best hotels in the state. The polite and entertaining hostess, Mrs. Carrington, meets all with a courteous welcome.” According to the town’s oral tradition, the name of Buda is a corruption of the Spanish word “viuda,” or “widow,” referencing the widows who supposedly worked as cooks at the Carrington Hotel. Others suggest that like the town of Buda, Illinois, the town name is a nod to the exiles of the failed Hungarian Revolution of 1848 who settled in the area.