Windthorst is ten miles east of Archer City and straddles the Archer-Clay county line. It was established by F. T. Ledergerber of St. Louis, Missouri, and others, who in 1891 contracted for as much as 75,000 acres of land in Archer County belonging to the Circle Ranch of the Clark Plumb Pasture Company. The purchasing company, owned by Derr Clark and Duncan C. Plumb, provided money for a rectory, a church, and a school for the community, which was to be settled by German Catholics and named for Ludwig Windthorst, a Catholic statesman in Germany. Later a wooden cross with the name misspelled as Windhorst was erected on a 1,088-foot-tall hill, where St. Mary's Catholic Church was built. The church later burned but was rebuilt several times and still stood in the 1990s. The community had a post office by 1892 and by the following year had forty settlers, including the farming families of Ernest Hoff, Frank Humpert, Ino Andres, and Henry J. Weinzapfel. In 1895 there were seventy-five families in the community. By 1922 the parish school had essentially become a public school taught by the sisters. Farming, oil, and dairying are the most important industries in Windthorst, which is locally known as the dairy capital of North Texas. Each year the community holds several commemorative events. By 1977 Windthorst had a population high of 1,000 and twelve businesses. In 1990 the population was 367. The population reached 440 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.

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Windthorst by the Numbers

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Population Counts

Pop. Year Source
414 2019 Texas Demographic Center
409 2010 Texas Demographic Center
440 2000 Texas Demographic Center
367 1990 Texas Demographic Center