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GREENVINE, TX

GREENVINE, TEXAS. Greenvine (Green Vine) is on Farm Road 2502 near Pond Creek five miles southeast of Burton in southern Washington County. In 1860 J. Frank Kiefer, a German Baptist evangelist, conducted a revival in the new community, and the first German Baptist Church in Texas was organized there in 1861. The decline of nearby Vinegrove spurred growth in Greenvine, which had its own post office from 1879 to 1907. By 1879 the community was a supply point for the surrounding agricultural area. In that year William Seidel, Greenvine entrepreneur and farmer, discovered natural gas and became the first person in Texas to use it as fuel. Cotton production and processing and agricultural commerce made the community prosperous. By 1882 its population was 300, predominantly German with an Anglo minority. By 1884 Greenvine had a district school, a justice of the peace, and a Grange store. In 1884 Greenvine Lutherans organized Emmanuel Church. By 1890 the community's population had declined to 150. The community had the first five-and-dime store in its part of Texas. The Texas Lutheran Synod met at Greenvine in 1915. The population increased to 182 by 1904, but by 1936 the Great Depression and county urbanization had reduced the population to 100. Businesses declined from fifteen in 1890, including a hotel, to six in 1936. The school was consolidated with the Burton Independent School District in 1943. By 1949 the businesses and three gins had dwindled to one store and one gin. From 1980 through 2000 Greenvine reported a population of thirty-five. Despite its decline as a commercial center, Greenvine was sustained by its Baptist and Lutheran churches during the 1980s. It has two Texas historical markers, one commemorating the first use of natural gas as fuel, and the other marking Ebenezer Baptist Church.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Annie Maud Avis, ed., History of Burton (Burton, Texas, 1974). Hans Krause, Geschichte der ersten Evangelisch-Lutherischen Synode von Texas (1926). Charles F. Schmidt, History of Washington County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1949).

Carole E. Christian

Citation

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

Carole E. Christian, "GREENVINE, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hng31), accessed July 26, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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