Settled in 1825 by Green C. DeWitt, American impresario from Missouri, the town was named for Rafael Gonzales (then governor of the joint state of Coahuila-Texas) and designed by the Mexican government. The streets were named for saints, and markers today show the original plan. The town is the seat of Gonzales County.
Gonzales is known as the "Lexington of Texas" because the first skirmish of the Texas Revolution was fought here. In 1835, as political unrest grew in colonial Texas, Mexican soldiers came to retrieve a six-pound cannon given to the town for frontier defense. Colonists resisted, and waving a flag that read "Come and Take It," they turned the cannon on the soldiers--firing the first shot in the fight for Texas independence. Today, the town celebrates its place in Texas history with the Come and Take It Festival on the first full weekend of October.