Bookmark and Share
Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn

WALHALLA, TX

WALHALLA, TEXAS. Walhalla is at the intersection of Farm Road 1291 and County Road 209, fourteen miles north of La Grange in northern Fayette County. Its name originated with the first German settlers (see GERMANS), who arrived in the 1830s. Some of the earliest German settlers included William Koepke, Gerhard Imken, John Blume, and George Oetken. The community remained German until the 1900s. In 1880 Mr. and Mrs. Richard Frenzel began cooking syrup in Walhalla, and in 1918 their grandson Alfred built a mill, bought a used press, and began manufacturing syrup from sorghum cane. He was so successful that farmers came from as far as Victoria and Austin to have their cane processed. The mill closed in 1942, but it reopened in 1955. This time Frenzel had made such innovations as using a motor instead of old horses to pull the press. Though he and his family did all the work themselves, the mill was not profitable, and within a year it had closed again. The building was torn down, and in the 1980s only the cement slab remained. The Old Walhalla store, known as Frank's Ranch Store, and the Old Saloon, which had a dance hall upstairs, were also in business in the 1880s. The store was a gathering place for the community of about fifty residents. Some 200 yards from the store was Frank Zapp's cotton gin, which processed the main crop grown on the fertile blacklands. The gin was torn down in 1955, and the store was demolished in 1970. The Old Walhalla school was originally located 100 yards behind the store; it was later moved several miles north, away from the saloon, and renamed Friendship. Later the name was changed to Walhalla School, and students continued to attend it until 1944, when they transferred to the newly consolidated Round Top-Carmine schools. In 1900 the town was a voting precinct and included a store, a saloon, a gin, a mill, a blacksmith shop, and a post office. It was served by one physician and had a population of about seventy-five. In April 1984 Albert and Virgie Hall opened Hall's U.S.A. Walhalla Store, a store, restaurant, and bar, which, like the Old Walhalla store, also served as a gathering place for area residents. Hunters met there during the season, and occasionally live music was performed on weekends. In 1986 the community consisted of Hall's store and a few houses. The total population was estimated at fifteen, and the mail was delivered from Round Top. The population was thirty-seven in 2000.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

La Grange High School, Fayette County: Past and Present (La Grange, Texas, 1976). Frank Lotto, Fayette County: Her History and Her People (Schulenburg, Texas: Sticker Steam Press, 1902; rpt., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981). Leonie Rummel Weyand and Houston Wade, An Early History of Fayette County (La Grange, Texas: La Grange Journal, 1936).

C. Dijkman

Citation

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

C. Dijkman, "WALHALLA, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnw07), accessed July 11, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.