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Latin Settlements of Texas

Rudolph L. Biesele General Entry

The "Latin Settlements" were five communities in Texas where most of the settlers were highly educated immigrants from Germany. The name came about because in the German culture of the time the knowledge of Latin was considered to be both a prerequisite for higher learning and a sign of educational attainment. Established during the late 1840s, the Latin Settlements included Millheim in Austin County, Latium in Washington County, Bettina in Llano County, and Sisterdale and Tusculum in Kendall County. Many of the residents of these settlements, who were sometimes referred to as Lateiner ("Latin ones"), were political refugees who had fled Germany in the wake of the abortive 1848 revolution. A number of them later attained prominence in medicine, education, law, journalism, and politics.

R. L. Biesele, The History of the German Settlements in Texas, 1831–1861 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1930; rpt. 1964). Adalbert Regenbrecht, "The German Settlers of Millheim before the Civil War," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 20 (July 1916). Louis Reinhardt, "The Communistic Colony of Bettina," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 3 (July 1899). Annie Romberg, "Texas Literary Society of Pioneer Days," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 52 (July 1948).


  • Peoples
  • Germans

Time Periods:

  • Antebellum Texas

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

Rudolph L. Biesele, “Latin Settlements of Texas,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 25, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.