Texas Cotton Gin & Museum

Independence Trail Region
307 North Main Street Burton, TX 77835 (979) 289-3378

German farmers demonstrated that slavery did not increase the yield or value of a crop. In fact, some historians believe non-slave owning cotton farmers received 1-2 cents more per pound than slave-holding farmers.

The cotton boom in Burton – a small agricultural community established by German families – came after the Civil War. Following the practices of Germany farmers who grew “free cotton” before the war, many of Burton’s families made their living in cotton.

As railroad expansion helped cotton become one of Texas’s cash crops, thousands of cotton gins were built across the state. The oldest functioning gin is here, in Burton. Built in 1914, the structure now houses the Texas Cotton Gin Museum, where visitors learn about the crop’s impact on the state's economy, and even have the chance to pick some for themselves.

The Burton Farmers Gin features a vintage 16-ton Bessemer Type IV diesel oil internal combustion engine that proves its staying power every year at the annual Cotton Gin Festival. The gin has been designated a National Historic Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and has secured a Texas Historic Landmark designation from the Texas Historical Commission. And, yes, it can still gin and bale cotton like the best of them.

Texas Cotton Gin & Museum

307 North Main Street Burton, TX 77835