Prairie Chapel, TX

By: Laurie E. Jasinski

Type: General Entry

Published: August 31, 2005

Prairie Chapel is a tiny rural community located about twelve miles west of Waco in the western corner of McLennan County. The area was settled by the late 1800s, and in January 1884 the town and vicinity received their own rural school district. Settlement increased in the 1880s when the Heinrich Engelbrecht family established their home on approximately sixteen hundred acres near the town. As their farm grew by several thousand acres the Engelbrechts advertised opportunities for tenant farming to German immigrants who came to the area. Canaan Baptist Church was organized, and members held services in the Prairie Chapel schoolhouse into the 1890s, when a church building was constructed on land donated by Heinrich Engelbrecht. By the 1930s highway maps showed numerous farms, the school, the Baptist church, and a cemetery in the area. During this time Prairie Chapel's baseball team gained a reputation as among the best in the region. By the second half of the twentieth century the school was consolidated with the Crawford Independent Rural High School District. No population estimates were available until 2000 when the community reported thirty-five residents.

Dayton Kelley, ed., The Handbook of Waco and McLennan County, Texas (Waco: Texian Press, 1972). Patricia Ward Wallace, Our Land, Our Lives: A Pictorial History of McLennan County (Norfolk-Virginia Beach, 1986).


  • Communities

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

Laurie E. Jasinski, “Prairie Chapel, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed September 25, 2021,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

August 31, 2005