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BRESLAU, TEXAS. Breslau is on Farm Road 957 seven miles northwest of Hallettsville in north central Lavaca County. In the early days of the Republic of Texas, James Lyons received a headright certificate and located a one-half league tract there on the east side of the Lavaca River. Between 1845 and 1848 the Lyons tract became the property of Walter Hinkley, a prosperous lawyer and planter from Harrison County, who occupied the area and in 1850 purchased the tract granted to Horace Eggleston on the west side of the river. The Hinkley plantation was relatively self-sufficient and was worked by the second largest force of slaves in Lavaca County. Following Hinkley's death in 1854, the plantation remained in the ownership of his widow until much of it was sold by a subsequent husband to pay debts.
During and after the Civil War German immigrants moved into the area and established small farms to grow cotton. In the 1870s Fritz Ladewig acquired the land surrounding the old Hinkley crossing on the Lavaca River, established a store and cotton gin, and donated land for a school and a Lutheran church. The community, named in honor of the Prussian city of Breslau (now Wroclaw, Poland), prospered, and in 1880 a post office was established. Although the post office closed in 1911, the predominantly Protestant German community remained relatively self-sufficient during the opening years of the twentieth century. By 1915 enough Czech Catholic immigrants had arrived to support a church of their own. The economy of Breslau rose and fell with the supply and demand for cotton. By 1948 the community had six stores, two schools, a gin, a community hall, and a population of about seventy-five. Subsequent school consolidation sent the students to Hallettsville or Schulenburg. The discovery of oil and the decline of cotton production caused the gin and most of the small businesses to close during the 1950s and 1960s. Most of the farmland reverted to range for cattle, and, although in 1987 two stores remained, the sixty-five residents conducted most of their business in Hallettsville. In 1990 and 2000 the population was still sixty-five.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Paul C. Boethel, Colonel Amasa Turner, the Gentleman from Lavaca, and Other Captains at San Jacinto (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1963).
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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, Jeff Carroll, "BRESLAU, TX," accessed April 20, 2019, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnb75.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.