San Saba is located northwest of Austin and west of Killeen on US 190 and Hwy 16 on the banks of the river that it and San Saba County were named after.
It was first settled in 1854. The county seat, it took root on the agricultural frontier in the 1850s and developed rapidly as the political and commercial center.
In the mid-1970s local concerns manufactured pecan-harvesting and livestock-loading equipment, and processors prepared meat, pecans, and poultry feed for shipment. The production of construction materials was also significant. Tourism-especially hunting and fishing-also became important.
In 1990 the population of San Saba was 2,626.