Originally established as Bold Springs, the town was renamed West in 1881, when the railroad laid lines through the area. The community was named for Thomas W. West who sold land for the railroad and for businesses wanting to locate close to the rail depot. West became a successful businessman, owning a hotel, furniture store, and bank. Czechoslovakian immigrants came to the area purchasing the rich farmland. Many descendants of the original settlers continue to farm the lands with wheat, maize and cotton. Czech traditions remain today and can be seen in cooking, baking, arts, crafts, and the love for polka music.
The Texas Legislature recognized West as the "Czech Heritage Capital of Texas" and "home of the official Kolache of the Texas Legislature." Since 1976, thousands converge on the city each Labor Day Weekend for the Westfest celebration. The event features music, arts and crafts, and plenty of Kolaches and sausage.
Bed and Breakfast accommodations are available in some of the historic buildings. Bakeries and restaurants feature Czech foods and numerous stores feature antiques, arts and crafts, and imported Czech crystal and jewelry.