D'Hanis, Texas

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D'Hanis is a small unincorporated community in central Medina County, Texas, United States. It is part of the San Antonio Metropolitan Statistical Area.

D'Hanis is located at the intersections of U.S. Route 90, Farm to Market Road 1796 and Farm to Market Road 2200 on the Seco Creek.The community is sometimes called New D'Hanis to distinguish it from the site of old D'Hanis one mile to the east.

Contents

History and Settlement

Now considered Old D'Hanis, the original settlement site was the third of Henri Castro through his agent, Theodore Gentilz. When D'Hanis was established in the spring of 1847 by twenty-nine Alsatian families, the community became the frontier settlement on the Old San Antonio Road. Castro named the village for William D'Hanis, Antwerp manager of his colonization company. Jean Batot and his son Christian were the first settlers to arrive. Town lots and twenty-acre farms were surveyed and deeded to the first colonists.

With building materials in short supply, the early settlers built rough shelters of mesquite pickets and thatch. Distinctive homes constructed with stone from the area and influenced by European architectural styles ultimately replaced these structures.

The building of nearby Fort Lincoln in 1849 afforded the settlers employment and much-needed protection from Indian raids. By 1850 the settlement comprised twenty dwellings and had one schoolteacher. A post office was established in 1854, and the town became a stage stop on the San Antonio-Rio Grande road.

Catholic services, conducted by priests from Castroville, were initially held in a small chapel in the middle of the village. St. Dominic's Church was built in 1869, and in the early 1870s two nuns of the Sisters of Divine Providence taught school in D'Hanis.

Laid across Medina County in 1881, the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway bypassed Old D'Hanis, then the site of two stores, a dance hall, and sulfur-well baths. A new settlement developed around the railroad loading depot 1½ miles west. Over the next few years, the post office, businesses, and citizens relocated around the depot, an area dubbed New D'Hanis. After several years, the prefix fell out of the lexicon, and the town transplant became official. The railway still bisects D'Hanis proper.

In 1883, The D'Hanis Brick and Tile Company opened its plant, and would become one of the town's longest running and most successful businesses, still in operation in the 1980s. By 1890, the community was home to four general stores, one saloon, a flour and grist mill, and by 1896, two hotels.

By 1900 the population had reached 266. St. Anthony's School was built in 1908, the same year The D'Hanis News began weekly circulation. The D'Hanis News became The Star some years later, and publication stopped in 1923. A second brick factory, Seco Pressed Brick, opened in 1910 alongside the formation of the D'Hanis Independent School District. Holy Cross Church was completed in 1914, and the town's first bank opened in 1916. A Catholic church, Our Lady Queen of Peace, was built in 1924 for the Mexican-Americans of the town. The population was estimated 270 in 1930, 550 in the mid-1940s, and between 500 and 550 from the late-1940s through 1990, when the census reported 548. The population remained the same in 2000. D'Hanis installed waterworks in 1955, street lights in 1957, and a sewer system in 1973. The town was flooded in 1894, 1919, and 1935. Holy Cross Church was badly damaged by fire in 1963 and was rebuilt the following year.[1]

Sports

Kole Lovett, one of D'Hanis' best known athletes, was the first basketball player from the 1A school to be elected to an All-State team. Mr. Lovett was also the first baseball player in school history to get thrown out at first base after not running out a hit to right field. The D'Hanis ISD mascots are the Colt (middle school) and the Cowboy (high school). The school's varsity baseball team has made the playoffs for the past several years. Basketball, football, golf and tennis are also offered at the school.

Business

Businesses in the downtown area include: The Country Mart, The D'Hanis State Bank, The Buckhorn Saloon, Bill and Rosa's Steakhouse, and the J.M. Koch Hotel Bed & Breakfast.

Education

The D'Hanis Independent School District, campus located near Highway 90, serves as the public education utility for the area. The current school has been renovated and expanded many times, the most recent additions completed in the fall of 2009. The current secondary school principal is Steve Alvarado, and the district superintendent is Pam Seipp.

Tourism

The few remaining walls of the picturesque St. Dominic's Church and Cemetery, now part of the ghost town of Old D'Hanis, are situated south of Highway 90. The ruins of Fort Lincoln, another important historical attraction, can be found north of town along FM 1796.

Likely the town's most active time of year, hunting season brings visitors flocking to D'Hanis from all over the state.

Notable People from D'Hanis

Capt Henry J Richarz, son Walter Richarz KIA as Texas Ranger on Blanco Creek in Sabinal, Texas. He is also buried on family Ranch 1871. Texas Ranger Co D, E, F 1st Postmaster Medina County Medina County Judge State representative Austin, Tx Noted Indian Fighter Owned Camp Lincoln, and buried there on Seco Ranch Brought Merino Rams to Texas, hall of Fame Texas Wool Industry Related thru wife to Caspar and Agustus Real, Turtle Creek, Kerrville, Tx and Mrs Chas Schriener of YO Ranch Fame The Reals and Schreiner owned in 1900, approximately 1,400,000 acres among them. Previously Capt Heinrich Josepf Richarz earned doctorate in Engineering, headed up Prussian Railroad and served 2terms in Prussian National Legislature. In 1848, he was found out participating in uprising against Napolean III, and supporting Democracy was sentence in absentia to death by fuselage, thus leaving immediately for new opportunities in Texas. He was considered a member of Hill Country Royalty, and instrument ally in encouraging family to work hard, save much, help those in need. Died 1910, at his Ranch on the Seco.

References

  1. ^ Handbook Of Texas Online

External links

Coordinates: 29°19′50″N 99°16′47″W / 29.33056°N 99.27972°W / 29.33056; -99.27972