A native of Hanover, Germany, Charles Welhausen immigrated to Texas with his parents, arriving at the Port of Galveston in 1843. They settled first at Cat Spring in Austin County, and later moved to High Hill in Fayette county, where Charles became a saddle maker.
Enlisting in the Confederate army at the outbreak of the Civil War, Charles Welhausen served at Fort Brown and Fort Manhassett in Texas before taking part in the Battle of Calcasieu Pass in Louisiana in 1864. Cited for gallantry in action, he was promoted to captain. Returning to Fayette County after the war, Welhausen married Eliza Amsler in 1867. He served as county commissioner and justice of the peace, and was elected to represent Fayette County in the twenty-first Texas Legislature in 1888.
In 1890 the Welhausens and their children moved to Shiner, where they purchased a ranch from H. B. Shiner. Charles Welhausen opened a bank and became a respected business and civic leader; Eliza Welhausen was an active lay leader in the Methodist church. Charles Welhausen purchased this site in 1911 and donated it to the city for a park.