Medina County History 1858
Medina County History Written in 1858
Medina County. A great deal of the surface of this county is made up of hill, dale, valley, and prairie : it is well watered with mountain streamlets, on some of which thriving manufacturing villages will arise. This is a western county, and is settled mostly with foreigners. Castroville, the seat of Medina, county, is most happily located, with regard to fertility of soil, abundance of water, timber and grazing lands. It extends over a level prairie, following the meanderings of the Medina; is surrounded by gentle, well-timbered hills, from the top of which the eye embraces the whole valley, which has been made a perfect garden by the settlers. Twelve years ago, Castroville was one of the most attractive hunting-grounds of the fierce Lipan Indians. It derives its name from Mr. Castro, who obtained, in 1842, a contract from the Texan government to introduce foreign emigrants. The majority of the settlers are from the French and German borders of the Rhine, and seem to be hardy and industrious citizens. They speak German amongst themselves, although most of them have sufficient knowledge of the English language to be able to transact business with Americans. There are three schools in this thriving place, one of which is free ; and the rising generation are receiving inestimable advantages. I do really believe that the foreign children acquire an education, in English, sooner than those born of American parents. I have frequently seen German children, of ten or twelve years old, who were much further advanced than their compeers of more favored birth.
The town numbers 1000 souls, within the incorporated limits, independent of a large rural population in the close vicinity.
The court-house is a substantial building: there is also a Catholic and a Protestant church, the former of which is an elegant stone building, and would be creditable to a wealthier community. Three large stores, several smaller ones, a brewery, and an excellent water-power grist-mill, all doing good business, indicate thrift and prosperity. The dwellings and improvements show that the inhabitants have exchanged their dejected condition, in their faderland [sic], for comfort and abundance.
The principal wealth of this county arises from corn-planting, and raising cattle, horses, hogs, and poultry for which a ready market is found in the military posts farther west. The hauling of stores and subsistence for the army is also an important and profitable branch of business.
Three settlements, viz., Quihi, Vandenburgh, and Dhanis, are west of Castroville, and improve fast. This portion of Texas will, in a few years, be thickly settled and American enterprise and energy, joined with German industry, perseverance, and frugality, will make it the wealthiest portion of our State. - Braman's information about Texas, 1858