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BIEGEL, TEXAS. Biegel was on Baylor and Cedar creeks in the Joseph Biegel league, eight miles east of La Grange in central Fayette County. Biegel, a German immigrant from Alsace-Lorraine, received his league, originally granted to F. W. Johnson, from the Mexican government on November 29, 1832. He sold one-quarter of the league to Bernard Scherrer, 1,872 acres to Christian Wertzner, and smaller parcels to others. By 1845 Biegel owned only 400 acres of his original 4,428. As the earlier landowners divided their holdings, an agricultural community of German, Swiss, and Alsatian families developed. Many were related, and all considered themselves part of one large family. In 1866 Helmuth Kroll opened a general store that became the post office and polling place in 1875. A commercial area developed around Kroll's store, including two cotton gins, sugar and corn mills, a sawmill, and a blacksmith shop. The Schützen Verein operated a dance hall and public school. In 1882 the Texas State Gazetteer and Business Directory reported the population as 250, but by 1896 it had declined to fifty. The commercial area, located on the old road from La Grange to San Felipe, declined after the railroad passed to the south in 1888.
In 1974–75 the Biegel league was acquired by the Lower Colorado River Authority, and a coal-fired generating plant and reservoir were constructed there. Several buildings and family cemeteries were moved to various locations in Texas. The Biegel home, built of twenty-foot logs, was moved to the Winedale Historical Center, and the Biegel-December cemetery was moved to higher ground within the confines of the LCRA property. By the end of 1975 the site of the first German settlement in Fayette County had been inundated.
BIBLIOGRAPHY:Emily Suzanne Carter and Crystal Sasse Ragsdale, Biegel Settlement: Historic Sites Research, Fayette Power Project, Fayette County (Texas Archeological Survey Research Report 9, University of Texas at Austin, 1976). Frank Lotto, Fayette County: Her History and Her People (Schulenburg, Texas: Sticker Steam Press, 1902; rpt., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1981).
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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, Daphne Dalton Garrett, "Biegel, TX," accessed February 21, 2018, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvb60.
Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.