PILOT KNOB (DEWITT COUNTY)
PILOT KNOB (DeWitt County). Pilot Knob, at an elevation of 447 feet above sea level, rises more than forty feet above the southern edge of Nordheim in western DeWitt County on State Highway 72. The earliest travelers spoke of charred rocks and Indian relics on the hill. From the early 1800s through the turn of the century, Pilot Knob served as a guide for travelers and settlers on their way inland from Indianola and the coastal plain to Goliad, San Antonio, and points west. The Pilot Knob area was first surveyed in 1838 by the Goliad Land District and in 1841 was patented to Robert Galletty by the Republic of Texas. The Pilot Knob land changed hands several more times and eventually most of it was sold to several different private individuals. In 1886 the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway was built through the area near the northern edge of Pilot Knob. German settlers were attracted to this area from the 1870s to the 1920s. The first settlers held all their public gatherings and socials on the flat top of Pilot Knob, which had sturdy live oaks and an exhilarating view of the countryside. There they built a dance platform and refreshment stands, but by 1910 all such activities had been moved down to the town. Two of Nordheim's oldest organizations were formed on Pilot Knob: the Nordheim Brass Band (founded in 1898 but later disbanded) and the Nordheim Schuetzen Verein (founded in 1902 and by the late 1980s known as the Nordheim Shooting Club). A historical marker was placed on the top of Pilot Knob in 1968.