Originally established as Bold Springs, the town was renamed West in 1881 for Thomas W. West, who sold land for the railroad and for businesses wanting to locate close to the rail depot. Czech immigrants came to the area for the rich farmland, and many descendants of the original settlers continue to farm here. Czech traditions can be seen in the food, arts and crafts, and the love of polka music. The Texas Legislature recognized West as the "Czech Heritage Capital of Texas" and "home of the official Kolache of the Texas Legislature."
Thousands converge on the city each Labor Day Weekend for Westfest. Bed-and-breakfast accommodations available in historic buildings.