NEW FOUNTAIN, TX
NEW FOUNTAIN, TEXAS. New Fountain is a rural community on Farm Road 2676 four miles northeast of Hondo in Medina County. In 1845 a number of original colonists in Henri Castro's colony settled on Verde Creek at Vandenburg. Within a year the local water supply was absorbed into the porous limestone creekbed; it resurfaced four miles downstream. Most of the colonists resettled near the new source of water and appropriately called their revived settlement New Fountain. Within a relatively short time, the Reverend Johann August Schaper, a German Methodist circuit rider, approached the New Fountain residents, and by 1858 they had organized a Methodist church. Known in the 1980s as the Ebenezer Church of New Fountain, it is distinctive in that it has served its congregation for more than 100 years and has been associated with a pocket of German Methodists in predominantly Catholic territory.
The fourth post office in Medina County opened in New Fountain in 1857, with Roland Goering as postmaster. In 1860 New Fountain had the Methodist church, a mill, and a Masonic lodge; at that time the town was a stagecoach stop on the old road from San Antonio to Uvalde. The post office closed temporarily between 1871 and 1872 and permanently in 1914. The New Fountain School was established in 1876. By 1896 New Fountain had a population of 400 and two general stores, a corn mill, and a railroad express and telegraph agent. In 1906 the school was moved two miles northwest; it remained a one-teacher school until 1911, when a room was added to the building and an additional teacher was hired. At this time the people of New Fountain were predominantly German-Americans, speaking both English and German fluently. The old Muennink Gin, founded in New Fountain by George Muennink of Hondo, is believed to have been the first cotton gin in Medina County. It is also believed to have been the first building with a tin roof, the first with electricity, and the first with a telephone. A new German Methodist church was the only active organization in the community during the 1940s. By the mid-1980s all that remained in the community was the church and the adjoining cemetery.
Castro Colonies Heritage Association, The History of Medina County, Texas (Dallas: National Share Graphics, 1983). Houston B. Eggen, History of Public Education in Medina County, Texas, 1848–1928 (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1950). John J. Germann and Myron Janzen, Texas Post Offices by County (1986). Bobby D. Weaver, Castro's Colony: Empresario Development in Texas, 1842–1865 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1985).