Rhineland is at the intersection of Farm roads 2534 and 267, eighty-five miles north of Abilene in southeastern Knox County. It owes its existence to German-born Catholics, Father Joseph R. Reisdorff and Hugo Herchenbach, who persuaded J. C. League in 1895 to set aside 12,000 acres of Knox County ranchland for a German Catholic colony. The settlement was legally established on February 1, 1895, when the land contract was notarized, and was named for the Rhineland in Germany. Reisdorff and Herchenbach started building a colony house in March 1895, but the settlement grew slowly, although the colony was widely advertised as a land for German Catholics. In 1898 the Rhineland Common School District was organized, and during the following year League built the first schoolhouse. A fine brick school building was constructed in 1926 that provided public education through the high school level, though most area grade school children continued to attend the local parochial school. Rhineland increased in population from seventy-five in 1950 to 196 in 1980, but the number of major businesses in the community declined during the period. The town lost its post office, and high school students attended school in Munday. In 1990 the population was still reported at 196. The population dropped to 100 in 2000.
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