Edloe A. Jenkins

RHINELAND, TEXAS. 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.


Mrs. R. D. Gray, Early Days in Knox County (New York: Carleton, 1963). Knox County History Committee, Knox County History (Haskell, Texas: Haskell Free Press, 1966).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Edloe A. Jenkins, "RHINELAND, TX," accessed June 19, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlr11.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on May 9, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Texas AlmanacFor more information about towns and counties including physical features, statistics, weather, maps and much more, visit the Town Database on TexasAlmanac.com!

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox