cow chips

Bertram, Texas

Bertram is a city in Burnet County, Texas, United States. The population was 1,122 at the 2000 census.


Bertram is located at (30.744132, -98.055721). This is 10 miles east of Burnet and 37 miles northwest of Austin.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 1.1 square miles (2.8 km²), all of it land.


As of the census of 2000, there were 1,122 people, 387 households, and 280 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,031.3 people per square mile (397.4/km²). There were 434 housing units at an average density of 398.9/sq mi (153.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 88.24% White, 0.89% African American, 0.62% Native American, 0.09% Pacific Islander, 9.09% from other races, and 1.07% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.21% of the population.

There were 387 households out of which 36.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.0% were married couples living together, 7.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.4% were non-families. 25.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.24.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.6% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 27.5% from 25 to 44, 20.7% from 45 to 64, and 18.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 90.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $36,250, and the median income for a family was $42,031. Males had a median income of $29,688 versus $20,179 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,132. About 7.0% of families and 8.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 8.3% of those under age 18 and 22.0% of those age 65 or over.


Bertram hosts an annual "Oatmeal Festival" during the Labor Day weekend. Named after the remains of the nearby community of Oatmeal, it includes a number of activities that draw attendees from all over central Texas.

Oatmeal Festival began in 1978 as a spoof of the many chili cook-offs in the state of Texas. Oatmeal was chosen as the theme for the festival because of the nearby town of Oatmeal. Ken Odiorne, who had lived in the Oatmeal community (in an area he knew as Ignert Ridge), dreamed it all up and with a little prodding from some good folks got it all going. He wrote to all the major producers of oatmeal and asked them for assistance. Only National Oats, the makers of 3 Minutes Oats, responded. In honor of this, all Oatmeal Festival events start at :03 or :33 past the hour.

Chili cooks eat hot peppers. Oatmeal cooks ate boiled okra. Chili cooks had beauty queens. Oatmeal cooks had Ms. Bag, who is over 55, Groaty Oat, who is beyond description, and Miss Cookie and Miss Muffin, who are 4 to 8 years old. Watermelon raisers spit seeds. Oatmeal cooks kicked cow chips.

The folks who put together the official map of the State of Texas had also decided to leave Oatmeal off the map because there was not an intersection of main highways there. Since the inception of the festival, however, Oatmeal is back on the map. A lot of folks come home to the country every Labor Day Weekend, even if it is hot and dry.

Over the years the money raised has built an open-air pavilion in Bertram and a community center at Oatmeal. Scholarships are given to local high school graduates every year. Financial assistance has been given to many local events including the Easter Egg Hunt, Santa's Workshop, and Burnet County Livestock Show.


The City of Bertram is served by the Burnet Consolidated Independent School District.


The Duffy-Shamrock Joint Venture Tower a nearly 600 metre high radio mast.


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