D'Hanis is on Parkers Creek at the intersection of U.S. Highway 90, Farm roads 1796 and 2200, and the Southern Pacific Railroad, eight miles west of Hondo in western Medina County. The community is sometimes called New D'Hanis to distinguish it from the site of old D'Hanis one mile to the east. The original settlement was the third made by Henri Castro through his agent, Theodore Gentilz. When established in the spring of 1847 by twenty-nine Alsatian families, D'Hanis was 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, to be replaced eventually by the distinctive European-style rock homes of the settlement. Catholic services, conducted by priests from Castroville, were held in a small structure built in the middle of the village. 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 a schoolteacher. A post office was established in 1854, and the town became a stage stop on the San Antonio-Rio Grande road. St. Dominic's Church was built in 1869, and for a time in the early 1870s two nuns of the Sisters of Divine Providence taught school in D'Hanis.

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Mark Odintz | © 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.

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Adoption Status:
This place has been adopted and will not be available until September 23, 2025
Adopted by:
Kevin and Virginia Gilhooly
Dedication Message:
For The Kids' Table

Belongs to

D'Hanis is part of or belongs to the following places:

Currently Exists


Place type

D'Hanis is classified as a Town

Associated Names

  • [New-]


Latitude: 29.33051240
Longitude: -99.27976270

Has Post Office


Is Incorporated


Population Count, 2021 View more »