Texas Almanac, 1949-1950 Page: 92
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92 TEXAS ALMANAC.-1949-1950.
was facilities for transportation. In fact, not
until the adoption of the present State Con-
stitution in 1876, which may be looked on as
the end of Reconstruction, though the state
had been readmitted to the Union previously,
did Texas arrive at a stage in its political
history where it could look confidently to-
ward the future.
There had begun during Reconstruction a
rapid migration from the Old South, which
was also undergoing Reconstruction. While
this movement added greatly to the Texas
population, still it was a handicap to some
extent because it confirmed Texas as a cot-
ton-growing state and discouraged migration
from Northern and Middle Western States.
Texas had entered the Union as a slave state.
therefore a cotton state. It possessed the
soil and climatic resources for a variety of
other crops, but the postwar movement of
cotton farmers into Texas sealed the doom of
its vast agricultural resources as a one-crop,
cotton-producing territory for many years.
Only during recent years has Texas broken
away from sole dependence on cotton, and
with this breaking away has come an increas-
ing migration of farmers from those parts of
the United States which do not grow cotton.
The increase in wheat growing in Northwest
Texas, the rapidly expanding fruit and vege-
table producing industries and stock farming,
dairying and poultry raising are now attract-
ing farmers from the thickly settled Middle
Recent Population Shifts.
Notable regional population shifts of the
last three decades, other than the growth of
cities mentioned above, have been principally
as follows :
From World War I until 1930 there was
rapid growth in the Panhandle and South
Plains where cotton, oil and the beginnings
of the wheat boom were opening a new eco-
nomic region. The Rio Grande Valley and
Winter Garden areas were expanding and
there was a large shift of population to cen-
ters of oil production in Mid-West and North
Central Texas. Wichita Falls, Breckenridge,
The decade of 1930-1940 witnessed the rush
to East Texas following discovery of the big
field in late 1930 and early 1931. and the
growth of such cities as Tyler, Longview, Kil-
gore and Gladewater to urban importance.
Despite the economic depression the High
Plains area and the Rio Grande Valley con-
tinued to gain population and the Gulf Coast
Country developed rapidly, notably the re-
gion west and north of Corpus Christi.
Fr,,m 1940 to 1949 there has been continued
development of the Panhandle and South High
Plains. Oil discoveries have brought large In-
creases min population to the Midland-Odessa-.
Ke-mit area The Rio Grande Valley and
Corpus Christi areas have continued to in-
crease rapidly in population.
Foreign White Stock.
While the population of Texas has been
recruited preponderantly from other Ameri-
can states, immigration into Texas from for-
eign countries has contributed more to Texas
population than to that of any other Southern
Early German Immigration.
Aside from the Mexican population, Ger-
many and Austria have contributed most of
the present foreign-born and foreign stock of
The first German colony in Texas was
established at the present site of Industry,
Austmn County, in 1842. but the real begin-
ning of German immigration into Texas was
In the founding of the "Association for the
Protection of German Immigrants in Texas"
In 1843. under the patronage of a number of
German noblemen. At that time, the Repub-
lic of Texas was a 7-year-old nation of un-
certain destiny. The United States was in
the throes of a political fight over annexa-
tion, and European nations were watching
uneasily. The willingness of certain German
leaders to sponsor colonization in Texas, to-
gether with internal conflict that had caused
many Germans to turn their eyes to new
countries in search of a future home, were
largely responsible for the first colonization
The organization mentioned a above pur-
chased the Fisher-Miller grant of aaad lying
between the Colorado and th ;an Saba
Rivers. In 1844 thre shiploads of immigrants
landed at Galveston and proceeded by schoon-
er to Lavaca Bay, where they began their
trek to the Fisher-Miller grant under the
leadership of Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels.
Becoming discouraged and realizing the great
distance to the Fisher-Miller tract, the cara-
van went into camp at Victoria, and Braun-
fels rode to San Antonio, where he was told
of the Comal Springs and surrounding
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 Braun-
fels. 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 establish-
ment ot Fredericksburg and some other Ger-
man-American communities in that vicinity.
The German society continued its coloniza-
tion efforts throughout 1845-6-7. bringing sev-
eral thousand immigrants into Texas.
This organized colonization scheme was
undoubtedly the cause of the gradual Immi-
gration of Germans into South Central Texas.
(See table on page 97 for foreign-born by
countries of birth.)
The German. Scandinavian and Czech stock
in Texas is devoted primarily to agriculture
and their thriftiness is recognized. The
Greex. Italian and Russian populations of
Texas are usually town and city dwellers
and are devoted to commercial rather than
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
Foreign Stock Communities.
There are many interesting towns and vil-
lages scattered throughout Texas. which were
founded as colomnies of immigrants from Euro-
pean countries. Many of these places have
Interesting histories, and not infrequently evi-
dences of the architecture and atmosphere of
the mother country of the immigrants are
evident. Mason, New Brauntels. Fredericks-
burg and Brenham were mentioned above as
being largely German-American. Castroville is
one -I the unique places in Texas because of
its quaint architecture, the town having been
settled by 4Alsatitan French. Utopia was also
settl-d by Alsatians. Bandera. Panna Maria
and , number of other towns have a large
Poiisn population. In Bandera are several log
residences built in 1854 when the Polish col-
only settled in the then abandoned Mormon
colony Windthorst, German-American com-
munity on the rolling prairies of Eastern
Archer County. with Its tall church spire vis-
ible for many miles, is typical of the Isolated
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Texas Almanac, 1949-1950, book, 1949; Dallas, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117167/m1/94/: accessed May 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.