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HOCHHEIM, TX

HOCHHEIM, TEXAS. Hochheim is at the intersection of U.S. Highway 183 and State Highway 111 in northeastern DeWitt County. It was named for Valentine Hoch, a native of Alsace-Lorraine who contracted for a homesite in DeWitt County before he immigrated to Texas. Its name may be translated "Hoch's Home" or "High Home"; either meaning is appropriate, since Hoch settled on a hill. Hoch's youngest child died only a few days before the family left Europe, but Hoch, his wife, and their three other children continued their trek and landed at Indianola, Texas, where Mrs. Hoch died and was buried. Hoch arrived with his children at their DeWitt County homesite and in 1856, after several years' labor as a stonemason, completed a 2½-story house constructed of Guadalupe riverbank stones. Hoch later remarried and adopted his new wife's three daughters. After Hoch's settlement, at least six more families arrived, and the community was being called Hochheim and sometimes Dutchtown. The town, located on the stage route to Indianola and Austin, grew as a trading center. A post office was established there in 1870, when the settlement had two groceries, a drugstore, and a blacksmith shop. The Cumberland Presbyterian church that had been established at the old Upper Cuero Creek settlement was moved to Hochheim in 1882; a new building was erected in 1924, and the congregation was still active in 1961. The Hochheim German Methodist Church was organized in 1864 and served the community for a number of years. A Baptist church was established about 1923 and operated through the 1940s. The town also had a Masonic lodge.

By 1885 Hochheim shipped cotton, wool, and hides and had a population of 200 and ten businesses, including a steam gristmill. Daily stages connected Hochheim to Gonzales and Cuero. At that time Cuero, fifteen miles south, had the nearest railhead and bank, but by 1892 Yoakum, eight miles east, provided these facilities. In 1895 half of Hochheim's population was German. The town reported 261 residents in 1904 and 100 from the 1920s until the mid-1950s. In 1964 its population was estimated at 175, but from the late 1960s until 2000 it was reported as seventy. In 1985 the town still had its post office but reported only one business. Valentine Hoch's stone house, which was damaged in a storm in 1934, was restored in 1954. It has won a number of awards and is recognized with a Texas historical medallion. During the 1980s this historic structure still stood on the Hochheim-Cuero road a mile from the Guadalupe River. Above its door is inscribed "V. Hoch-1856."

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Nellie Murphree, A History of DeWitt County (Victoria, Texas, 1962). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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, "HOCHHEIM, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnh34), accessed November 26, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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