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COLETOVILLE, TEXAS. Coletoville is near Coleto Creek Reservoir ten miles west of Victoria in Victoria County. The site was known in its early days as Steiner's Settlement, after Carl Steiner, who arrived from Germany in 1850. It took its present name from Coleto Creek, which, with Dry Creek, marked the community's boundaries. The Coleto Creek valley communities are part of the large area of German settlement in Victoria, DeWitt, and Goliad counties, which also includes Schroeder (Germantown), Arneckeville, Meyersville, and Yorktown. Steiner's Settlement produced 2,000 gallons of wine from the local wild Mustang grapes in 1860 alone. The Old Goliad Road, which carried Victoria-Goliad traffic through Coletoville, contributed to the town's early growth. The community had a store, a school, and the Coleto Schuetzen Verein (shooting club), as well as a Gesangverein (singing club) established in 1854, a Lutheran church founded in 1872, and a post office established in 1875. Trustees paid four dollars for the two-acre church site, upon which they also established a community cemetery without burial restrictions regarding creed. Most early Coletoville settlers are buried there.
Coletoville was one of the few German settlements that failed to prosper, however. The post office was closed in 1877, and the store was closed by 1884. The Gulf, Western Texas and Pacific Railway established a stop five miles away at Raisin in 1889, and the Goliad-Victoria road missed the community. Raisin emerged as the new business center. Local custom merges the two settlements into Raisin-Coletoville, the combined population of which remained about fifty from the early 1900s to 1986, when many residents were descendents of the pioneers. The rural school served the area into the 1940s, and the church was still active in 1986.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Anne A. Fox and Katherine Livingston, Historical Architectural and Archaeological Investigations at the Steiner-Schob Complex, Victoria County, Texas (Archeological Survey Report 52 [Center for Archeological Research, University of Texas at San Antonio, 1979]). Terry G. Jordan, German Seed in Texas Soil: Immigrant Farmers in Nineteenth-Century Texas (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1966). Victoria Advocate, Progress Edition, March 10, 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, Craig H. Roell, "COLETOVILLE, TX," accessed September 19, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hrc76.
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