LATIUM, TEXAS. Latium (pronounced "Latcham" or "Lotzyum"), on Farm Road 389 near Pond Creek, is twelve miles from Brenham in the southwest corner of Washington County. It was one of five Latin colonies founded by German political refugees in Texas after 1848. Early German settlers included artist Rudolph Melchior, who decorated the Winedale Inn, and civil engineer Hermann R. von Biebersteinqv, later a prominent Texas surveyor. Czechs arrived at Latium in 1868. Reverend Josef Chromčik, the first missionary to Texas Catholic Czech immigrants, began a mission there in 1873. A post office was established in 1884 and discontinued in 1907. Latium's population was fifty in 1892. A school operated at the community from 1885 to 1948. Czechs, who eventually came to predominate in the community, built Sacred Heart Catholic Church in 1918; services were still held there in the late 1980s. Latium has served as a supply point for the surrounding agricultural area for most of the twentieth century. The estimated population, predominantly Czech with a German minority, was thirty in 1988. At that time Latium had a Catholic church, a Czech Catholic cemetery, a service station, a volunteer fire department, and a general store, which also served as a community center. In 2000 the population was still thirty.
Rudolph L. Biesele, The History of the German Settlements in Texas, 1831–1861 (Austin: Von Boeckmann–Jones, 1930; rpt. 1964). Estelle Hudson and Henry R. Maresh, Czech Pioneers of the Southwest (Dallas: South-West, 1934).
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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.Carole E. Christian, "LATIUM, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnl15), accessed February 12, 2016. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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