Fayette County Communities

Floy

From Fayette County, Texas Heritage, published in 1996:
This community was the site of a switch on the southern Pacific Railroad between Flatonia and West Point. E. A. Arnim requested that this switch be built to accommodate the loading of wood. He named it after his daughter, Floy. There was still a schoolhouse here in 1948.

Related article at the Handbook of Texas Online

Floy, Texas

Ford's Prairie

Ford's Prairie was a Fayette County community south of Smithville near the Fayette County-Bastrop County line on present-day Old Lockhart Rd. The community was only comprised of the area farms and a school that served the area from 1898 to 1939, when it was consolidated with Flatonia ISD. The first school was built on the Harris farm on the old Ford's Prairie Road, which may now be the Old Lockhart Rd., about a mile off of Highway 95. In 1908, the school was moved to the John Adamcik farm at the intersection of Highway 95 and Ford's Prairie Road. Finally in 1910, it was moved to the Frank J. Kruppa farm across from the original location of the school built in 1898. There is a school marker at the site.

Probably the oldest cemetery in the Ford's Prairie community was the Harris Cemetery, a family cemetery. The oldest public cemetery in the area is the Barton Springs Cemetery.

Information from Carolyn Heinsohn

Franke

From Historical Sites and Communities:

Franke was named for a prominent member of the Franke family who was one of the county's first legislators. Franke was murdered on the steps of the Capitol in Austin and the murderer was never found.

Freyburg

From Fayette County, Her History and Her People by F. Lotto, 1902:
Freyburg is situated about seven miles north of Engle, one-half a mile east of the East Navidad in a fine looking prairie. It lies in one of the richest agricultural sections of the county. It is a postoffice and a voting place. As voting place it goes by the name of Thulemeyer's. A fine M. E. Church building gathers in its roomy aisle a devoted Methodist congregation. Rev. F. Bomfalk is the preacher in that church. The mercantile business of that place was established in the year 1868 by Mr. F. Thulemeyer; it is now owned by Mr. C. F. Thulemeyer. There are also a gin and a blacksmith shop close to the place. The population is German and Bohemian. Among the first settlers were F. Thulemeyer, B. Warnken, Fr. Burns, J. Romberg, Bernh. Romberg, F. W. Richter, John Czichos, Aug. Hahn, Fritz Laux.

 

Hermann Christoff Klaevemann Home at Freyburg
Callie Klaevemann, Hermann Klaevemann holding Syivie, and Minnie Jochen Klaevemann.

Hermann Christoff and Meta Joost Klaevemann
Klaevemann photos contributed by Jon Todd Koenig
Paul and Emma (Kempe) Grasshoff Family, ca. 1905
Willie (born 1882) or Otto (born 1884), Herman (born 1891, twin to Hattie), Alvin (born 1896), Paul (father, born 1859), Alma or Lillie (girls who died as children), Emma (mother, born 1861), Charles (born 1898), Bertha (born 1896), Mollie (born 1894), Laura (born 1887), and Hattie(born 1891, twin to Herman). Photo contributed by Ray Grasshoff.

See Related Articles at This Web Site

Freyburg Cemetery
Freyburg United Methodist Church Cemetery
Salem Memorial Cemetery
Adolf Klaeveman Grave

Related Links

Freyburg, Texas
Handbook of Texas Online

A History of the Freyburg United Methodist Church
Written by Elaine Thomas and published in Recollections and Recipes, Freyburg United Methodist Church, 1879-2004

Church records of the Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church at Freyburg can be found at the Texas Wendish Heritage Museum

Gay Hill

From The Handbook of Texas Online:
Gay Hill is on State Highway 71 six miles southeast of La Grange in eastern Fayette County. The settlement was named for James Gay, whose brother Thomas had established a Gay Hill community in Washington County. The Gay Hill in Fayette County grew around a plantation established during the days of the Republic of Texas. The original community stretched along a low ridge that rose sharply to 370 feet above the broad Colorado River floodplain, which produced excellent crops of cotton and corn. Beginning in the 1960s the area excelled in producing grain, pecans, and improved pasture for cattle and horses. In 1986 the extended community included three cemeteries, St. Matthew's Church, and homes for twelve families.
Mary Ann Talbert & Neill Munn?
John Hollerday Munn & Frances Judson Cooper?
These photographs were contributed by Debra Munn. The photographs were identified by a relative, but Debra has good reason to believe that the captions listed above are incorrect. Please contact Debra if you recognize these photos.
Neill and Mary Ann Munn were very early Fayette County settlers who are buried in the Gay Hill Cemetery. Neill died in 1842 and Mary Ann remarried to Reddin Andrews. She died in 1852. John Hollerday Munn was Neill's and Mary Ann's son.

 

Related Sites

Gay Hill Cemetery
Gay Hill Black Cemetery
St. Mathews Black Cemetery 

Haw Creek

See more about the Haw Creek Cemetery

The Haw Creek Church was moved to Henkel Square in Round Top.
From Fayette County, Her History and Her People by F. Lotto, 1902:
Haw Creek is situated about ten miles in a northerly direction from Fayetteville on the William H. Sheppard league. It has a rich agricultural surrounding country with the Haw Creek and Cummings Creek bottoms in its immediate neighborhood. It is a postoffice and a voting precinct and consists of a store, a gin and a blacksmith shop. Among the oldest families and settlers in that neighborhood may be named the Menking family, the Aschenbeck family, L. Bartlingk [sic.], Drawe and Voelkel.

From Historical Sites & Communities:

Haw Creek is located on FM 389 between 954 and Shelby. All that remains of Haw Creek is a cemetery. At one time it was a voting precinct with a post office, a store, gin and blacksmith shop. The road to Haw Creek from Cummins Creek is still known as the Haw Creek Crossing Road with a historical iron and wood bridge. Haw Creek was named for the black and red haw trees which grew there. Otto Menking owned the store and also had a peddlers wagon to sell [to] those without transportation.

Related Links

John Rice Jones Grave & text from historical marker
Otto F. Menking

Photo of Farmers Orchestra, Haw Creek, Texas, ca. 1923.
Winedale Photograph Collection, University of Texas Center for American History 

Related articles at the Handbook of Texas Online

Haw Creek, Texas
John Rice Jones, Jr.
John Rice Jones, III

Indian Creek

Text from The Handbook of Texas Online:
Indian Creek is an unincorporated community at the intersection of U.S. Highway 77 and Farm Road 153, six miles north of La Grange in north central Fayette County. Its name is derived from the creek that flows through it. A school operated in the community but was later consolidated with the La Grange schools. Indian Creek was the commercial center for farmers of the upper end of the Rabb's Prairie area and provided-in addition to the school-a store, a saloon, a blacksmith shop, and a gin. Declining cotton production during the 1960s forced the gin to close. During the 1980s two businesses remained to serve the needs of the ranching and oil-producing community.

From Fayette County, Texas Heritage, article by Carolyn Heinsohn:

The Indian Creek Community was located about seven miles north of La Grange. A creek by the same name served as the southern boundary line of the community. It was named for the Indians who had settlements in this area, one of which must have been on Mr. Benjamin Buscha's farm based on the numerous arrowheads found there.

A two-room school was built in the early 1900's on the corner of Racetrack Road and county Road 146. One room was the classroom; the other was a cloakroom for coats and lunch buckets. During the winter months, the first student arriving in the morning started the fire in the wood heater. All eight grades were taught by one teacher. There were 22 students enrolled in the 1934-35 school year. From 1935 to 1945, the following teachers taught at the school: Mrs. Hoch, Mrs. Johanna Heise, Mr. Allen Weber and Ms. Gest. The school closed in 1949 when the rural schools were beginning to be consolidated. Mr. Frank Tomacek donated a pump-type merry-go-round for the school playground. After the school closed, it was donated to the Sacred Heart School in La Grange. It is still [1996] being used in their playground.

By 1931, Mr. Tomacek built a service station on the corner of what is now Racetrack Road and Hwy 77, when that highway was built through the area. Later he changed the business into a small grocery store. This was the only known business in the community. In later years, the store was owned by the Hobratschk family.

Some of the settlers were the families of the Harbers, Nietsches, Huebels, Drosches, Kratzs, Buschas, Roenschs, Schuberts, Sniders, Vaneks, Michalks, Tomaceks, Schoppas, Michaels, Dreshers, and Seelkes. These were farming families who grew cotton, corn, and milo.

Joiner

From Fayette County, Texas Heritage, published in 1996:
Joiner originated in 1880 in the George Duty League along the banks of the Colorado River approximately seven miles southeast of La Grange. It was established as a result of the Southern Pacific Railroad being built from La Grange to Glidden. Cotton, gravel and wood was shipped from Joiner, which provided for the major source of income for the area's settlers.

The origin of Joiner's name is unknown, although the muster roll for Terry's Rangers, Company F, lists 2nd Corporal B. E. Joiner, age 25, of Fayette county, who enlisted in September, 1861. Perhaps his family were early settlers in this area.

The topography of the area was mostly flat river bottom land with a few scattered trees. Baylor Creek ran through the area on its way to the river. The land was divided into fields and pastures by the early farmers. Only two businesses ever existed in Joiner, a general store and a combination cotton gin and mill, all owned by Albert Nitsche, who built the complex in 1910. His store supplied the sharecroppers with groceries, hardware and other necessities. The cotton gin was operated by a steam engine which also ran the grist mill on Saturdays, when Mr. Nitsche ground cornmeal that was either sold to customers that day or bagged for sale in his store. The cotton bales were shipped to the cotton compress in La Grange.

Besides Mr. Nitsche, other settlers in the Joiner area were the Brugger and Rotter families. There is a lack of information about some of the other early settlers that may have come and gone, because Joiner only existed until the 1930's, a total of less than sixty years. Its decline resulted from the abandoning of the Southern Pacific spur, which not only provided a means of transportation, but also was the main route for cotton to be shipped out of the community. Therefore, the gin was discontinued, and all of the farmers and sharecroppers left the area.

 

Related article at the Handbook of Texas Online

Joiner, Texas

 

Kocicina

From The Fayette County, Texas Web Site:

Kocicina was located at the corner of FM Road 2503 and County Road 254. At one time it had a store owned by the Orsak Family, a dance hall, and a school.

Leevan

From The Handbook of Texas Online:
Leevan was on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad north of State Highway 71 and just northwest of West Point in western Fayette County. It was established about 1923 and named for Lee and Van Urman, who operated a gravel pit. The site was originally granted to Montreville Woods in 1831 and abutted on the north side the old Woods Prairie Cemetery on Fayette County Road 117. During the 1980s most of the gravel operations were abandoned, and local residents did not recognize themselves as being part of the Leevan community.

Lena

From The Handbook of Texas Online:

Lena was on Farm Road 154 and the Southern Pacific Railroad, four miles south of West Point in northwestern Fayette County. Prior to 1927 the name applied to a siding on a branch line of the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway, where local farmers and ranchers loaded firewood cut from the surrounding oak-covered prairie. The wood, destined for markets in San Antonio and Houston, sold for fifty cents a cord and was brought to the siding by wagon. During the period 1919-28 a single store operated in a tent at the siding during the peak of wood-cutting season. Beginning in 1928 and continuing for the next thirty-five years the Earthen Products, Millwhite, and Texas companies excavated clay pits and shipped bentonite clay from extensive deposits described by J. C. Melcher in 1902. The Texas Company built an extensive processing plant on a spur line to the railroad and provided cottages for about twenty employees. There was no post office; residents received mail at West Point. Children attended school at Rock Ridge or nearby Muldoon. In 1965 the Texas Company ceased operations, and the Lena siding was discontinued. The eighty-foot masonry smokestack at the old processing plant collapsed in a wind storm in 1989, and many local residents, new to the area, know nothing about the old community.

Live Oak Hill

From The Handbook of Texas Online:

Live Oak Hill, also known as the Live Oak community, was a farming community of German settlers located a mile north of Ellinger near the eastern border of Fayette County. A Catholic church, established there about 1856, served as the focal point for community life. There was also a store, a gin, and a blacksmith shop operated by Charles Erlinger [Ehlinger]. In 1883 a tap-line railroad (which connected the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway at Columbus with the Missouri, Kansas and Texas line in La Grange) passed south of Live Oak Hill, and the business portion of the community moved to be near the tap line and established Ellinger. The church, however, remained at the original townsite, and during the 1980s was still an important part of Live Oak Hill community life.

From Historical Sites and Communities:

Hostyn Hill (Live Oak Hill). This community is the former site of Ellinger and at one time had several stores and a large saloon and dance hall owned by Mr. August Girndt, a former Sheriff of Fayette County. The oldest Catholic Church in Fayette County is located here and was also named Hostyn Hill at one time. It is located two miles southeast of Ellinger just off FM 2503. The first Fayette county artist A. M. Kainowski [Koniakovsky] sketched the first Czech wedding held there. 

Related Link

See Ellinger Catholic Cemetery

The First Catholic Church in Fayette County (St. Joseph Catholic Church)

Lyons

Footprints of Fayette article by Norman C. Krischke:

Lyons, Texas

DeWitt Clinton Lyons founded the town of Lyons, a mile south of the railroad tracks in Schulenburg, near State Highway 77 in 1842. Comanche Indians five years' prior killed his father, James Lyons, in October of 1837. DeWitt had built a General Store at the crossroads of the stagecoach lines on land originally owned by Kesiah (Cryer) Taylor. Mrs. Taylor had obtained the land from the Mexican Government in April of 1831. Part of Schulenburg was built on Kesiah's league of land. She lived at Lyons for a short time until her third husband, George Taylor, died and then she moved back to Arkansas. [Additional research since this story was originally published, leads us to believe that Kesiah stayed in Texas and was buried in the Navidad Baptist Cemetery.]

The town was first called Lyons Store, then Lyons (Stage) Station, followed by Lyons Post Office, Town of Lyons, Lyonsville and, finally, simply, Lyons. J.G. Armstrong surveyed the townsite about 1845. D.C. Lyons General Store was also the residence of D.C. and Elizabeth (Bridges) Lyons. D.C. and wife moved to near Runge, Texas after the Civil War where they are buried in the Lyons Private Cemetery. DeWitt served nine short terms with the Texas Rangers, including the 1845-1846 war with Mexico.

The town of Lyons had a stage station, post office, doctor, Masonic Lodge, public school, and several general stores. The post office, D.C. Lyons as postmaster, was established in May of 1846 in the Lyons Store and had four boxes in the "lobby". Lyons Lodge No. 195, A.F. & A.M, was founded the 23rd of January 1857 with 21 charter members. Dr. Henry P. Overbay, buried at Old High Cemetery, was the first Worshipful Master and D.C. Lyons was the first Senior Stewart. The lodge building was moved to Schulenburg in 1874, where it was used as the lodge meeting place and as the public school from 1862 to 1900. W. H. Dixon was the first teacher. Lyons Lodge No. 195 is still in existence and located on College Street in Schulenburg.

The Lyons Mounted Riflemen Civil War Company was organized in May of 1861 at Mrs. Bridges' Spring on School Branch. A.J. Murray was Captain of the company of 101 men. William F. Upton was the 1st Lieutenant and W. B. Anderson was 1st Sergeant.

The doctor, who served the community, was Dr. Henry P. Overbay. A.J. Street was the blacksmith, R.H. Skinner operated a carpenter shop and Neill McKinnon had a general store. The town died in 1874 after the founding of Schulenburg in 1873 when the people moved to the new railroad town. The site of the old town of Lyons is marked with a State Historical Marker, erected in 1972.

From Historical Sites and Communities:

Lyons, now just a memory, was one of the towns that packed up and moved to the railroad tacks when Schulenburg was being formed. Sparsely settled from 1831 to 1845, Lyons began to grow rapidly, peaking in 1860, when the local sons marched off to war. The onces that did return found their farms in disarray and squatters living on their land. Lyons was named after a family that was attacked by Comanches and the father killed. The youngest son, Warren, was captured and lived with the Comanche for many years. He eventually returned to his family, but never fully gave up the Indian way of life.

Text from historical marker erected on State Highway 77, one-half mile south of Schulenburg in 1972:

Site of Former Town of Lyons

Early town on land grant of Keziah Cryer. Named for settler James Lyons, killed by 1837 Indian raiders, who kidnapped his son Warren. In 1860s town had stores, Masonic Lodge, school, post office; and was on "Cotton Road" to Mexico, but it died in 1870s when the Southern Pacific Railroad was built.

Related Links

Lyons, Texas
Indian Raid
William A. Chandler
Navidad Baptist Cemetery
Navidad Corinthian Baptist Cemetery

Marly

From Fayette County, Texas Heritage, published in 1996:
This was a station on the Southern Pacific Railroad. A type of Marly clay was mined here for oil field use.

Mecklenburg

From Fayette County, Texas Heritage, published in 1996:
This community was located approximately eight miles north of La Grange, east of the Indian Creek settlement and south of Nechanitz, principally in the J. R. Phillips League. On of the first German settlers in the area was John Gau of Mecklenburg, Germany. He immigrated here in 1873 and named the community after his home town. His home was moved to Round Top and restored.

It had its own school district, number 75, with a white and negro school for grades one through seven. The white school was located near the intersection of FM 2145 and 2981. It was built in 1878 and remained open until 1941. The school census for 1934 - 1935 states that there were only six white students attending this school. However, there were 60 negro students enrolled in their school.

The only business known to exist in the community was a cotton gin. There were two cemeteries, one known as the Hickory Ridge Cemetery, which was a very old site with both white and negro people buried there. In 1958, Mr. Joe Cole located this cemetery on the Marvin Heinecke farm near Luther Hill. He found the grave of an early American settler, J. T. Campbell, who was born in 1847 and died in 1916. The Campbell home was still standing in 1958. There were sixteen other marked graves and many unmarked ones in the cemetery.

The Mecklenburg School

The Mecklenburg School
Click on photo for larger view. Please contact the volunteer coordinator if you recognize any of these students. Photo contributed by Lauren Jodoin.

Middle Creek

From Fayette County, Texas Heritage, published in 1996:
Middle Creek was located in the southern part of the county between the east and west Navidad River on FM Road 615 north of Schulenburg. At one time there was a two-story Catholic school here called St. Anthony's, built in 1902 by the Rev. Gerlach of High Hill. Some of the early Czech and German settlers were the families of Joe Demel, Anton Kainer, Joe and Frank Stanzel, Raymond, Henry and Emil Christ, Frank Mensik, Frank Winkler, Franz Schmidt, and Frank Brossmann, Jr. After the 1920's, there were the families of Rudolph and Emil Heinrich, Frank Kainer, Alfred F. Stanzel, Fred Kloesel, and A. B. Cernosek.

Miller's Station

From Fayette County, Texas Heritage, published in 1996:
Miller's Station was located on FM Road 153 between Hwy 77 and Winchester. It was named for a Presbyterian minister who settled there. There was a gin about fifty yards from the store conducted by Drisdale and Norris. There was also a blacksmith shop nearby. Gertrude Pope was the school teacher at Miller's Station in the 1880's.

Source: Freytag Files

 

O'Quinn

Snow at O'Quinn, 1949
Contributed by Jon Todd Koenig
From Fayette County, Her History and Her People by F. Lotto, 1902:
The O'Quinn settlement is situated seven miles southwest of La Grange on the La Grange-Flatonia road on O'Quinn's Creek. South of O'Quinn is the rich Navidad prairie, north of it the sandy postoak of Buckner's Creek mixed with loam. The Buckner's Creek bottom lands are very fertile. It was settled mostly by Germans as early as 1850. Among the first families who settled there were the Sellers, Luck, Sample, Duellberg, Melcher, Bruns and John Voigt families. The settlement was named after an Indian chief by the name of O'Quinn; another version is that is was named after an Irishman by that name. O'Quinn is a postoffice, but not a voting place. The people mostly vote at Black Jack Springs. O'Quinn has two stores - one conducted by Mr. J. C. Melcher, the other one by Mr. T. A. Dieckert, both popular gentlemen - a gin and a blacksmith shop. It has two lodges, the Knights of Honor and the Fraternal Mystic Circle.

Related Links

Black Jack Cemetery
Trinity Lutheran Church Baptism & Marriage Records
Cedar O'Quinn School, 1911-1912
Louis Melcher, O'Quinn

Related article at the Handbook of Texas Online:

O'Quinn, Texas 

Orizaba

Orizaba was a post office from 1856 to 1866. The postmaster was Greenville W. Penn.

Oso

From Fayette County, Her History and Her People by F. Lotto, 1902:
The old settlement of Oso is situated about three miles northeast of Flatonia. It used to be quite a town, but nothing has remained of it but the name retained by the neighborhood. After the Southern Pacific passed through the county the town of Oso was deserted and its people settled in Flatonia. Once there were three stores, a mill and a gin, a tannery and a blacksmith shop at Oso. In old times it was a voting precinct, but after Flatonia was built the latter city became the voting precinct of that section of the county. Among the first settlers were the Menefee, Lane, Harrison and Cobb families. The population is American and German.

 

From Pine Springs Cemetery by Norman C. Krischke, copyrighted 1997:

William Menefee, who signed the Texas Declaration of Independence 2 March 1836, purchased land in the Miguel Muldoon League No. 14 in 1846 and founded the village of Oso on 8 December 1858 with the establishment of a post office. Oso means "bear" in the Indian and Spanish languages. The village was located on present FM 609 about a miles west northwest of the cemetery. Oso consisted of several stores, a gin and grist mill, tannery, blacksmith shop, the Methodist Episcopal Church and school, both of which were located at the cemetery, and a post office. Other family names included Menefee, Lane, Harrison and Cobb.

The neighborhood built a church at Pine Springs called the Pine Springs Methodist Episcopal Church, South. It was located on the east side of the cemetery and on the north side of the walkway to the cemetery. The church burned to the ground on Sunday, 26 September 1880.

The Pine Springs School was established in 1859 and flourished until 1946 when the children of the neighborhood were bused to Flatonia. Myrtle (Bebert) Isensee taught school here a a substitute when the assigned teacher had an appendectomy. Some of the other teachers were: Erna Phillipus, Laura Meyer, Annie Lee Kelly and George Pechacek.

 

The Shiner Gazette
29 Jun 1898, page 1

A good teacher is wanted for the Oso school, one that can speak the German language.

 

 

 

Related Link

See Pine Springs Cemetery

Related article at the Handbook of Texas Online:

Oso, Texas