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SCHOENAU, TEXAS. Schoenau was a farm community on the west bank of West Mill Creek three miles northwest of Industry in northwestern Austin County. Settlement in the vicinity began in 1831, when Johann Friedrich Ernst, an immigrant from Oldenburg, Germany, was granted a league of land on West Mill Creek; the town of Industry was surveyed on the Ernst property in 1838. Over the next several decades hundreds of Germans, primarily from the northwestern provinces of Holstein, Oldenburg, and Westphalia, settled in the fertile farmlands of western Austin County. Schoenau was founded by German immigrants in the 1880s, and a post office operated there from 1896 to 1907. Emil Wasserman, an early postmaster, operated a general store in the community around 1900. That year a population of fifty was reported, and that figure remained unchanged in 1910, the last year for which community population statistics were available. In 1918 there were thirty-two pupils enrolled at the Schoenau School. The town appears to have declined rapidly after World War I and was abandoned by the mid-1900s. The former townsite is marked by the Schmidt cemetery on the headwaters of Sawmill Creek east of Farm Road 1457.


Rudolph L. Biesele, The History of the German Settlements in Texas, 1831–1861 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1930; rpt. 1964).

Charles Christopher Jackson


The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Charles Christopher Jackson, "SCHOENAU, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (, accessed November 26, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

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