Art is on State Highway 29 seven miles east of Mason in eastern Mason County. One of the first settlements in the county, it began around 1856 when five German families settled along upper Willow Creek. Later, German settlers from Fredericksburg established themselves on either side of the creek for about ten miles in both directions. The early community, originally called Willow Creek (or Upper Willow Creek) Settlement, suffered from numerous Indian raids, although nearby Fort Mason offered some protection. Provisions were scarce, and many were forced to get supplies from Fredericksburg.

Most of the early settlers were Methodists. The first church, a log building that doubled as a schoolhouse, was built on the east side of Willow Creek in 1858. It was part of a group of churches, known as the Llano Charge, served by the pioneer missionary Rev. Charles A. Grote. This building was replaced by a stone structure in 1875, and a third church was built in 1890 by the Methodist Episcopal Church, South. The first schools were conducted at home or at a neighbor's house. Eventually, early teachers traveled from community to community. Otto von Donop was probably Willow Creek Settlement's first permanent teacher. The log church was used as the schoolhouse until 1890, when the new church was built. Classes were then held in the old stone church until 1945, when all rural schools in the county were consolidated with the Mason schools.

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Alice J. Rhoades | © TSHA

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Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.

Belongs to

Art is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

Art is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • (Plehweville)
  • (Willow Creek)


Latitude: 30.73851090
Longitude: -99.11144160

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Population Count, 2009