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GERMAN SETTLEMENT, TX

GERMAN SETTLEMENT, TEXAS. German Settlement, sometimes called Dutch Settlement, was on the Matagorda Peninsula midway between Cavallo Pass on the west and the mouth of Caney Creek to the east, in extreme southern Matagorda County. It was one of several settlements on the peninsula until frequent hurricanes persuaded the inhabitants to leave; others included DeCros Point and Mary Ann and Samuel Augustus Maverick's farm, Tiltona. German Settlement was established by a colony of immigrants who left Hanover in 1846 and immigrated first to Indianola, in nearby Calhoun County. After disease took many of their number, the survivors moved to the Matagorda Peninsula, of which Matagorda resident Don E. E. Braman wrote in his Braman's Information About Texas (1857) that "there is no healthier region in the world." The villagers, who had access to fresh water on the Gulf side of the peninsula, were primarily farmers and stock raisers. On the peninsula they built a village of some dozen houses, at one of which Charles A. Siringo was born in 1855. Siringo's autobiographical A Texas Cow Boy (1885) describes his boyhood there and includes his first-hand accounts of Union and Confederate action nearby. By 1854 the peninsula had two of the county's six school districts; Siringo writes of beginning his education in 1859 in a school located a mile from his home. The teacher before and after the Civil War was a Mr. Hale from Illinois. Though the villagers rebuilt after flood damage from the storm of 1854, the destruction wrought by the hurricane of 1875, which also devastated Indianola, brought German Settlement to its end.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

McAllister Junior Historians, Research Papers on Historic Matagorda (Bay City, Texas, 1973). Charles A. Siringo, Texas Cowboy, or Fifteen Years on the Hurricane Deck of a Spanish Pony (Chicago: Umbdenstock, 1885; rpt., Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life, 1980).

Rachel Jenkins

Citation

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

Rachel Jenkins, "GERMAN SETTLEMENT, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrg75), accessed April 23, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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