Sisterdale, on Farm roads 1376 and 473, thirteen miles north of Boerne in north central Kendall County, was founded in 1847 by Nicolaus Zink, a German freethinker who surveyed New Braunfels for Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels. This community in the idyllic valley of Sister Creek became one of the famous "Latin Settlements" as Zink was joined over the next two years by Forty-Eighters fleeing after the aborted 1848 revolution in Europe. The leader of these farmers was Ernst Kapp, and the circle included Ottomar von Behr, C. D. Adolph Douai, August Siemering, Julius Dresel, Dr. Julius Froebel, Gustav Theissen, and the Baron von Westphal (a brother-in-law of Karl Marx). John R. Bartlett, Frederick Law Olmsted, and Duke Paul of Württemberg visited Sisterdale and recorded their observations. Sisterdale opened a post office in 1851. The community was one of the centers of German abolitionism and Unionism before and during the Civil War. After the conflict it became a quiet Hill Country hamlet of farmers, with a population estimated at 150 in 1884. At that time the town had a shingle mill, a cotton gin, and a grocery store. Its population fell to twenty-five in 1914 but rose to fifty around 1925. In 1968 the estimate was sixty-three. The community supported two businesses between 1931 and 1980, when the number rose to four. In the mid-1980s local sources estimated the population at just under 100. In 1990 it was reported as sixty. The population was sixty-three in 2000.
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Rudolph L. Biesele, The History of the German Settlements in Texas, 1831–1861 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1930; rpt. 1964). Glen E. Lich and Dona B. Reeves, eds., German Culture in Texas (Boston: Twayne, 1980).
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Glen E. Lich, “Sisterdale, TX,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 01, 2020, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/sisterdale-tx.
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.