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MUENSTER, TEXAS. Muenster, on U.S. Highway 82 fifteen miles west of Gainesville in west central Cooke County, is named for the capital of Westphalia. It was established as a German Catholic colony by the Flusche brothers, land agents. In October 1889 Emil and August Flusche and the three owners of the Childers and Fisher pastures, Jot Gunter, C. E. Wellesly, and J. W. Childers, signed a contract that obligated the brothers to sell 22,000 acres in two years to immigrant settlers. Even before the surveying was completed and the acreage divided colonists began arriving, drawn to the new town by letters that the Flusches wrote to other settlements they had established in Iowa and Kansas and by advertisements in the German-language papers published in the Midwest. Twenty-five men, seven women, and six children were residing in Muenster by December 8, 1889, when they observed the feast of the Immaculate Conception with a Mass celebrated by the Reverend H. Brickley of Gainesville. The date marks the official birth of Muenster. On January 1, 1890, the colonists decided to build a permanent church and school. The school, which also served temporarily as a church, was completed by the spring of that year at a cost of $1,000 and still served the community in 1987. Gunter donated $500 toward the construction of a church. A church was begun in 1891 and was to cost $6,000, but a storm in December destroyed the building before services could be held. The second church, a Gothic frame building, was completed by the spring of 1892; it was also destroyed, this time by a tornado, on July 31, 1893. The third structure, a brick building of Gothic style, was begun in 1897 and served until the present church was built in 1952.
In 1887 the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad constructed a branch line from Gainesville westward to Henrietta. It served Muenster until it was discontinued in 1969. The main traffic artery in the late 1980s was U.S. Highway 82, which connects Muenster with the rest of North Texas. Muenster was incorporated in December 1927, and on September 5, 1959, the residents voted to legalize the sale of alcoholic beverages within the city limits. Muenster had 1,408 residents in 1982, the majority of them descendents of the early German Catholic settlers. Industries included farming, dairying, and oil. The town had a hospital, two high schools (Sacred Heart High School and Muenster High School) a public library, a large community center, and two churches (Sacred Heart Catholic Church and the First Baptist Church). The town holds an annual spring festival, the Germanfest. In 1990 the population was 1,387. By 2000 the population grew to 1,556.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Thomas R. Moster, ed., A Diamond Jubilee History of the Sacred Heart Parish (Subiaco, Arkansas: Abbot of New Subiaco Abbey, 1964?).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Handbook of Texas Online, Robert Wayne McDaniel, "MUENSTER, TX," accessed November 20, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hjm19.
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