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SPANN'S SETTLEMENT, TEXAS. Spann's Settlement was a center for black Catholics in Washington County during the 1800s. It was founded by former slaves after emancipation. They were converted to Catholicism by plantation owner Malcolm Spann (sometimes spelled Spain), who moved to the area from Mississippi in 1840 and who during the 1840s constructed a Catholic church on the Hidalgo Bluffs overlooking the Brazos River. The church and cemetery served a congregation composed of both black and white Catholics. Visiting priests enabled the community at Spann's Settlement to continue worshiping there until the early 1900s, when fire destroyed the church building. During the 1980s descendents of Spann's Settlement residents attended services at the Catholic mission center in the Post Oak community. The Spann's Settlement cemetery was still at the site in the late 1980s.


Bruno Gorzycki, History of St. Mary's Parish, Brenham, Texas, and Catholicism of Washington County and Early Texas (1986).

Carole E. Christian


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

Carole E. Christian, "SPANN'S SETTLEMENT, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed August 02, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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