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Nance's Mill, TX

Daniel P. Greene General Entry

Nance's Mill was one of the earliest centers for processing the agricultural products of Hays County. In 1850 Ezekiel Nance came with his family and slaves to a large section of land in the eastern part of the county. On the Blanco River about three miles west of the site of present Kyle, Nance built a mule-driven gin and a gristmill that became the center of a riverside community and that launched his career as the most energetic entrepreneur of the county's frontier period. Over the next three decades Nance constructed and operated a series of mills and gins, including cottonmills, sawmills, and a beef packery. All of these enterprises are reported to have been washed away by various floods on the Blanco River. When Nance built a combined church and schoolhouse in the 1850s the Nance settlement came to be called Blanco. In 1865 Nance replaced the church with a permanent stone chapel that for twenty years served first Anglo and then Hispanic Presbyterians. Blanco Chapel, rededicated in 1965 as a state historic landmark, is today all that remains of the early village. When the rail link between Austin and San Marcos bypassed the settlement in the early 1880s, the center of community life and Nance's business interests shifted several miles east to Kyle. Nance built that town's first gin in 1881.

Dudley Richard Dobie, A Brief History of Hays County and San Marcos, Texas (San Marcos, 1948). Dudley Richard Dobie, The History of Hays County, Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1932). Tula Townsend Wyatt, Historical Markers in Hays County (San Marcos, Texas: Hays County Historical Commission, 1977).


  • Communities

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

Daniel P. Greene, “Nance's Mill, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 25, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.