Texas Almanac, 1952-1953 Page: 64
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64 TEXAS ALMANAC.-1952-1953.
were largely responsible for the colonization
The organization mentioned above purchased
the Fisher-Miller grant of land lying between
the Colorado and the San Saba Rivers. In 1844
three shiploads of immigrants landed at Gal-
veston and proceeded by schooner to Lavaca
Bay, where they began their trek to the Fish-
er-Miller grant under the leadership of Prince
Carl of Solms-Braunfels. Becoming discour-
aged and realizing the great distance to the
Fisher-Miller tract, the car avan went into
camp at Victoria, and Braunfels rode to San
Antonio, where he was told of the Comal
Springs and surrounding country.
Founding of New Braunfels
Braunfels visited the place, was pleased with
its great beauty and bought the land from its
-Spanish owners. The colonists moved forward
from Victoria and arrived in March, 1845, thus
establishing New Braunfels, which has been
a center of German-American population in
Texas ever since. A later attempt of colonists
to reach the Fisher-Miller grant resulted in the
establishment of Fredericksburg, and some
other German-American communities in that
vicinity. The German society continued its
colonization efforts throughout 1845-6-7, bring-
ing several thousand immigrants into Texas.
This organized colonization scheme was
undoubtedly the cause of the gradual immi-
gration of Germans into South .Central Texas
over a long period.
Czechs and Bohemians settled at many points
in South Central Texas, including Williamson,
Washington and Fayette Counties, but in no
place do they remain dominant as in some
German-American communities. There are a
number of small Swedish settlements in this
area also, such as New Sweden in Travis
County. The principal Norwegian settlement in
Texas is in and around Clifton, Bosque County.
Foreign Stock Communities
There are many interesting towns and vil-
lages scattered throughout Texas, which were
founded as colonies of immigrants from Euro-
pean countries. Some of these places have
interesting histories, and not infrequently evi-
dences of the architecture and atmosphere of
the mother country of the immigrants are
found. Mason, New Braunfels, Fredericks-
burg and Brenham were largely of German-
American beginnings. Castroville is one of the
unique places in Texas because of its quaint
architecture, the town having been settled by
Alsatian German and French under the leader-
ship of Henry Castro. Utopia was also settled
by Alsatians. Bandera, Panna Maria and a
number of other towns have a large Polish
population. In Bandera are several log resi-
dences built in 1854 when the Polish colony
settled in the then abandoned Mormon colony
Windthrost, German-American community on
the rolling prairies of Eastern Archer County.
with its tall church spire visible for many
miles, is typical of the isolated foreign stock
communities of Texas.
The German, Scandinavian and Czech stock
in Texas is devoted primarily to agriculture
and their thriftiness is recognized. The Greek,
Italian and Russian populations of Texas are
usually town and city dwellers and are devoted
to commercial rather than agricultural pur-
This is true, too, of the Jewish population.
which is not shown separately in the census
tables. However, the Jewish population of
Texas was estimated at 49,196 in 1937, by the
Jewish Statistical Bureau of Synagogues of
America, New York. This was 1.03 per cent of
the Jewish population of 4,770,647 in the
United States. The Texas Jewish population
was placed at 46,684 in 1927 and at 30,839 in
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Texas Almanac, 1952-1953, book, 1951; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117137/m1/66/: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.