Violet is on State Highway 44 twelve miles west of Corpus Christi in Nueces County. It came into being in the early 1900s, as immigrant farmers converted the fertile blacklands of the Coastal Bend from cattle to crops. In December 1906 Erwin Cushman and Louis Petrus acquired a 1,030-acre tract of land containing the site of Violet, then known as Land or Land Siding. Petrus subsequently acquired Cushman's interest and in early 1908 appointed John W. Hoelscher as agent to sell the tract for a commission of fifty cents an acre. Hoelscher decided to promote the area as a community of Catholic farmers of German descent. He advertised in several Texas German-language newspapers and secured the endorsement of the Most Rev. Peter Verdaguer, the vicar apostolic of Brownsville. Within a few months families began to settle this mesquite and brush country. A school district was established in 1910 on ten acres of land donated by Louis Petrus and Charles Hoelscher to Bishop Verdauger. John and Charles Hoelscher donated the money to erect a school building, which opened that December with Geraldine Dunn as the first teacher. The school also served temporarily as a church, and the first Mass was celebrated on December 26, 1910, by the Rev. Ferdinand Joseph Goebbels, the first missionary priest assigned to the community. In 1911 an acre of land was set aside for a cemetery, and in 1912 a rectory was constructed. The following year the rectory was converted to a school, and the original school building was then used exclusively as a church. In 1913 the community was renamed after Violet Fister, the wife of the first storekeeper, John Fister, and a post office was opened that remained in operation until 1947. In 1918 a larger school was built for the increasing number of students, and in 1919 St. Anthony's Church was expanded and remodeled. When the parish erected a new and modern church in 1952 the original church was moved to Clarkwood to serve the mission parish, and its name was changed to Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It was abandoned in 1972, and the following year the Violet Historical Society was formed to raise money to return the building to Violet. In 1975 it was placed some 200 feet east of its original site and restored by third and fourth generation descendants of the original builders. In 1988 approximately 400 people lived on the original farms surrounding Violet, which has remained predominantly a farming community. The community had a population of 160 in 1990. The population remained the same in 2000.
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Violet by the Numbers
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