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SPRING BRANCH, TEXAS (Harris County). Spring Branch is in the Memorial Villages area of the western edge of Houston in west central Harris County. It began as a religious community settled by German farmers, many of whom owned dairies. The earliest settler was Karl Kolbe, who arrived from Germany in 1830 and settled on the banks of Spring Branch where it joined Buffalo Bayou, nine miles from Houston. In 1848 farmers cleared the surrounding forestland for farms and built St. Peter's United (Lutheran) Church with lumber set aside from one of three local sawmills on a site donated by the Bauer family, who owned the mill. The Spring Branch school district began with the Spring Branch School Society, sponsored by St. Peter's Church in 1856. The first public school was opened in 1889, and in 1905 the local white school had forty-nine pupils and one teacher and the local black school twenty pupils and one teacher. In the mid-1950s, when efforts to form a corporation known as Spring Branch failed, a group of affluent communities known as the Villages, including Hedwig Village, Bunker Hill, Piney Point, Hunter's Creek, Spring Valley, and Hillshire Village, were formed from the town and its surrounding area. In 1973 the Spring Branch Independent School District, which represented the six communities, had 40,200 students and 2,276 teachers. By the 1980s more than 80 percent of Spring Branch graduates continued their education at the university level.


Big Town, Big Money (The Business of Houston) (Houston: Cordovan Press, 1973). Hedwig Village Gazette, July 4, 1986.

Diana J. Kleiner


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

Diana J. Kleiner, "SPRING BRANCH, TX (HARRIS COUNTY)," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed July 07, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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