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Doris Voltin

WESTPHALIA, TEXAS. Westphalia is dissected by State Highway 320 in southwestern Falls County. In the summer of 1879 several immigrants from the Westphalia province in Germany moved from Frelsburg, Texas, into the area. Early settlers included Theodore Rabroker, John Bockholt, Casper Hoelscher, Frank Glass, Fritz Schneider, and Theodore Schneider. There were thirteen families on 270-acres of homestead plots by 1884. The Church of the Visitation was completed in 1895 on 100 acres of land high on a hill, and its picturesque twin towers can be seen for miles. A three-room school was constructed in 1896 and operated as a parochial school until 1935, when it was consolidated with the public school. The school received a historical marker in 1982 and in 1989 held classes for kindergarten through eighth grade. The post office and the first store were opened in 1887. P. A. Heckman was the first postmaster. The post office was closed in 1906, and mail was sent to Lott. Westphalia had four businesses and a gin in 1892. By 1933 the population was 100; it was 300 in 1964, and in 1990 it was estimated at 324. The population dropped to 186 in 2000 and remained there in 2010. Cotton Collins, a fiddle player for the Lone Star Playboys, composed a "no-name" waltz in 1946. After a dance, local citizens suggested the song be titled the "Westphalia Waltz." It was first recorded by the Lone Star Playboys. In 1996 the entire town was added to the National Register of Historic Places as the Westphalia Rural Historic District in recognition of it's history as a hub of rural German Catholic culture and the many historic buildings that remain there, including the Church of the Visitation. 


Lillian S. St. Romain, Western Falls County, Texas (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1951). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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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, Doris Voltin, "WESTPHALIA, TX," accessed July 11, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlw27.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on November 5, 2018. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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