Anglo settlement in this area can be traced to 1851. Henry B. Steele built a general merchandise store in 1855 to serve residents of the rural community, originally called Mudville because of frequent Brazos River floods. The store became the center of the community, and when a post office was established there in 1878 the settlement was renamed Steele's Store. Italian immigrants, primarily from the provinces of Trapani and Palermo, began settling here in the 1870s. Many of the families established large farms, and by the early 20th Century the Italian community here was one of the largest in the United States. A one-room schoolhouse built in 1889 was later replaced with larger structures as the population grew. The school eventually was consolidated with the Brazos County Independent School District. Predominantly Roman Catholic, the settlement was served by priests from St. Anthony's Church in Bryan until 1903, when San Salvador Catholic Church was built. The church became the focal point of the community, with traditional Sicilian celebrations held each March to honor St. Joseph. Many descendants of the area's pioneer Italian families still reside in the vicinity.