New Ulm, on the Missouri, Kansas and Texas line at the intersection of Farm roads 109 and 1094, in extreme western Austin County, was first known as Duff's Settlement, in honor of James C. Duff, who in 1841 acquired title to the tract on which the town was founded. The community's growth was spurred after 1845 by an influx of German-speaking settlers from nearby communities such as Industry, Shelby, and Nassau Farm. In 1852 a post office was opened in the settlement, which became known as New Ulm in commemoration of the well-known city in Würtemberg, Germany, the province from which most early inhabitants had originally emigrated. During the 1850s the agricultural community had six general merchandise stores, five blacksmith shops, three breweries, three cabinetry shops, and a cigar factory. During this period local residents organized both a turnverein (see TURNVEREIN MOVEMENT), or athletic club, and a Schützenverein, or rifle club, the members of which sported light green uniforms. Arrival of the Missouri, Kansas and Texas line in 1892 further stimulated the New Ulm economy, and the town shipped cotton, poultry, eggs, and butter to markets in surrounding counties. New Ulm had 225 residents in 1898. By 1930 its population had grown to 500, and the number of businesses had increased to forty, including a bank and an English-language newspaper, the New Ulm Enterprise. The population declined to an estimated 390 by 1950. Growth resumed, however, during the 1960s, and by 1968 the population was estimated at 600, and New Ulm had sixteen businesses. In 1990 the population was estimated at 650. The population remained the same in 2000.
Adapted from the official Handbook of Texas, a state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA). It is an authoritative source of trusted historical records.
Charles Christopher Jackson | © Texas State Historical Association
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