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MEYERSVILLE, TX

MEYERSVILLE, TEXAS. Meyersville is just east of U.S. Highway 183 and fourteen miles south of Cuero in extreme southern DeWitt County. It is the county's second oldest German community. Adolph Meyer and his sister settled on the north side of Twelve Mile Coleto Creek near the La Bahía Road crossing in May 1846; the Fritz Hausman family arrived soon thereafter. In 1847 the settlement was named in honor of Meyer. John Yorkqv, for whom Yorktown, Texas, is named, aided these settlers, who built log homes near the creek. Supplies were brought from Victoria, a three-day trip of twenty miles, until a store was established at Meyersville. By 1850 twenty families had settled in the area, and in 1851 a log structure was built to serve as a schoolhouse and Lutheran church. Polish immigrants also began settling at Meyersville in the 1850s, and many attended Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church, which was housed in a frame structure built in 1859. Some German settlement also occurred on the south side of Twelve Mile Coleto Creek and was considered part of Meyersville, but after 1873 this southside settlement was known as Upper Meyersvilleqv. The northside community was then sometimes called Lower Meyersville, though "Lower" was eventually dropped. Population estimates distinguishing these two communities are unavailable; the settlements, simply listed as Meyersville, totaled around 200 to 250 residents from the 1880s to the 1920s, when 150 residents were recorded there.

Meyersville received a post office in December 1851. In 1866 Lutheran residents built the county's first stone church and named it in honor of St. John. This structure served as a recreation building after a new church was built in 1921. Catholic residents built a larger church in 1880 and replaced it in 1939. The first cotton gin, built at the community in 1868, was horse-powered and ginned two bales a day. Meyersville eventually had a gristmill as well. Two days each week were set aside for corn grinding, and farmers would come to Meyersville from as far as fifteen miles away since there were no other mills in the area except at Yorktown. Other early businesses included grocery stores, a mattress factory, a saddlery, a blacksmith shop, and a brewery. The black sandy soil proved good for cotton farming, which soon supported three gins and eventually six. Meyersville students first attended a parochial school taught by one Polish-speaking and two German-speaking nuns. A public school for the community dates back at least to 1899. A two-room, two-teacher school was built in 1924 and used until the 1950s. In 1961 Meyersville, Westhoff, and Arneckeville were the only three rural school districts remaining in DeWitt County. By 1948 the cotton economy was gone and the gins silent, but the Isaac Egg and Sons general store was still operating in 1962. The Egg family was the supplier of the 14,000 turkeys used in the first Turkey Trot in Cuero in 1912. In 1985 Meyersville still had a few businesses and active churches. The population estimates for the Meyersville communities approached 250 during the 1940s but decreased to 150 during the next decade and by 1968 to 110, which remained the figure given for 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Rudolph L. Biesele, The History of the German Settlements in Texas, 1831–1861 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1930; rpt. 1964). Nellie Murphree, A History of DeWitt County (Victoria, Texas, 1962).

Craig H. Roell

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Craig H. Roell, "MEYERSVILLE, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlm61), accessed April 16, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.