TexasEscapes.com HOME Welcome to Texas Escapes
A magazine written by Texas
New   |   Texas Towns   |   Ghost Towns   |   Counties   |   Trips   |   Features   |   Columns   |   Architecture   |   Images   |   Archives   |   Site Map

Fayette Co
Fayette County

Texas Towns
A - Z


Fayette County, Central Texas South

Hwy 159
5 Miles E of La Grange
Population: Unknown

Rutersville Area HotelsLa Grange Hotels
Fayette County TX - Rutersville distant barns

Distant Barn
TE photo

Rutersville, Texas Topics

  • History in a Pecan Shell
  • Rutersville Today - Photo Gallery
  • Rutersville Cemetery
  • Rutersville Historical Marker
  • Asa Hill of Rutersville Historical Marker
  • La Grange Hotels

  • Rutersville Texas Military Institute

    Texas Military Institute
    Courtesy Texas State Library & Archives

    History in a Pecan Shell

    Founded on La BahŪa Road, the site was surveyed as early as 1838. It was incorporated as one the Texas Republicís first towns. Unlike most towns that sprang up due to concentrations of population, Rutersville was planned to be the host town for a Methodist Episcopalian college.

    The name posthumously honored the Reverend Martin Ruter, who came up with the college concept. In 1840 the college was chartered, accepting students regardless of their personal faith on the 66 acre campus.

    The town received a post office in 1846.

    The school was consolidated with Galvestonís Texas Military Institute in 1856 and was no longer under Methodist administration. To accommodate the female students, Rutersville Female College was established under the same supervision as the main school.

    The mass enlistment of students for active duty in the Civil War forced the school to close when the conflict began.

    Rutersville later became German Lutheran community and put the vacant college buildings to use as a German-English elementary school (a public institution). But a proposed college and seminary failed to develop and the property was sold in the early 1880s.

    The population reached 150 in the mid 1880s and had most essential businesses including two stores, two blacksmiths and their own doctor. The population peaked at 175 in the mid 1890s but itís proximity to La Grange and itís lack of a railroad prevented any hope of unbridled growth. It fell to a mere 100 for the first two decades of the 20th Century.

    No one is sure of the year the post office closed itís doors, but it was after 1930. The population increased somewhat and from the 30s through the 50s, Rutersville reported an estimate of 150 residents.

    The population reached a mere 72 people in the late 60s, remaining there for the 1990 census. Rutersville no longer appears on the Official State Map of Texas.

    Rutersville Photo Gallery
    Rutersville TX - Old Methodist Church 1940

    Old Methodist Church, 1940
    Photo courtesy Carolyn Heinsohn, FCHC
    More Texas Churches

    Rutersville, TX - Elo Tietjen Store & gas station, 1927 photo

    Elo Tietjen Store & gas station, 1927
    Photo courtesy Carolyn Heinsohn, FCHC
    More Texas Gas Stations

    Rutersville Today

    Rutersville TX - Old Wessels Store and Hall 2013

    Old Wessels Store and Hall
    Photo courtesy Carolyn Heinsohn, 2013

    More Texas Stores

    Fayette County TX - Rutersville silos

    TE photo
    More Texas Grain Elevators

    Fayette County TX - Rutersville old barn

    Old barn
    TE photo

    Fayette County TX - Rutersville Sons of Hermann

    Sons of Hermann
    TE photo
    More Texas Lodges

    Rutersville Cemetery
    Fayette County TX - Rutersville Cemetery Bluebonnet Field

    Rutersville Cemetery
    TE photo, April 2010

    Fayette County TX - Rutersville Cemetery tombstones with bluebonnets

    TE photo, April 2010

    Fayette County TX - Rutersville Cemetery Dove

    TE photo, April 2010

    Fayette County TX - Rutersville Cemetery, Grave of Otto Ruether

    Grave of Pvt. Otto J. Ruether
    TE photo, April 2010

    Fayette County TX - Rutersville Cemetery, tombstone porcelain portrait

    A porcelain portrait
    TE photo, April 2010

    Fayette County TX - Rutersville Cemetery Tombstone Dove in bluebonnets

    TE photo, April 2010

    Fayette County TX - Rutersville Cemetery tombstones
    Tombstones amid bluebonnets in Rutersville Cemetery
    TE photo, January 2010
    More Texas Cemeteries

    Rutersville TX Historical Marker

    Rutersville TX Historical Marker
    TE photo

    Historical Marker:


    Founded in 1838 upon the recommendation of Dr. Martin Ruter (1785-1838), as a site for an institution of higher learning. Named in honor of Dr. Ruter, a pioneer Methodist missionary who entered Texas on Nov. 21, 1837 and weakened by his travels, died on May 16, 1838. Later in the year of his death, a company of ten Methodists bought a tract of Land, platted the townsite, and began to build Rutersville.

    In 1840, Rutersville College was chartered by the fourth Congress of the Republic of Texas as the Republic's first Protestant college. The legislation specified the school should not be exclusively for the benefit of Methodists, and it was patronized by families of various faiths. Rutersville students were noted for their loyalty to neighbors, sometimes spending days away from class, pursuing Indians.

    The Rev. Chauncey Richardson, A. M. (1802-1852), whose grave is nearby, was first president of the college. The campus was half a mile southeast of this marker.

    After the Civil War ended in 1865, the original inhabitants of Rutersville sold their property. It was later purchased by German immigrants, whose descendants now live here in large numbers.

    Rutersville TX - ASA Hill Historical Marker

    TE photo
    More People | Texas History

    Historical Marker:
    Asa Hill of Rutersville
    (1788? - 1844)
    Born in Martin County, N.C. Married Elizabeth Barksdale in Georgia, Oct. 6, 1808. Came to Texas 1835. In army in 1836, was sent by Gen. Houston to warn people in enemy's path. Settled here 1839. In 1840, enrolled eight children in Rutersville College. With sons Jeffrey and John C.C., joined the 1842 expedition to Mier, Mex.; captured, he drew a white bean thus escaped death, but was in prison until Aug. 1843. Jeffrey was wounded, captured, likewise imprisoned. John C.C., then 14, was adopted by Gen. Santa Anna.

    Asa Hill died here; was buried on Cedar Creek, off SH 159.

    Back of marker:
    In Memory of Jeffrey Barksdale Hill, son of Asa Hill; william Carroll Jackson Hill, son of Asa Hill; James Monroe Hill, son of asa Hill; Asa Collinsworth Hill, son of Asa Hill; John Christopher Columbus Hill, son of Asa Hill; Lucy Amanda (Hill) Jones, daughter of James Monroe Hill; Frank Webb Hill, son of James Monroe Hill; George Alfred Hill, Jr., grandson of James Monroe Hill; Thomas Lindsay Blanton, great-grandson of Asa Hill

    Rutersville, Texas Area Destinations:
    La Grange the county seat
    See Fayette County | Central Texas S

    Book Hotel Here:
    La Grange Hotels | More Hotels

    Texas Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history and vintage/historic photos, please contact us.











    Texas Towns A - Z Texas Regions:
    Gulf Texas Gulf Coast East East Texas North Central Texas North Central Woutn Central Texas South Panhandle Texas Panhandle
    South South Texas Hill Texas Hill Country West West Texas Ghost Texas Ghost Towns counties Texas Counties

    Texas Escapes Online Magazine »   Archive Issues » Home »
    Texas Counties
    Texas Towns A-Z
    Texas Ghost Towns

    Central Texas North
    Central Texas South
    Texas Gulf Coast
    Texas Panhandle
    Texas Hill Country
    East Texas
    South Texas
    West Texas

    Rooms with a Past

    Gas Stations
    Post Offices
    Water Towers
    Grain Elevators
    Cotton Gins

    Vintage Photos
    Historic Trees
    Old Neon
    Ghost Signs
    Pitted Dates
    Then & Now

    Columns: History/Opinion
    Texas History
    Small Town Sagas
    Black History
    Texas Centennial

    Texas Railroads

    Texas Trips
    Texas Drives
    Texas State Parks
    Texas Rivers
    Texas Lakes
    Texas Forts
    Texas Trails
    Texas Maps

    Site Map
    About Us
    Privacy Statement
    Contact Us

    Website Content Copyright Texas Escapes LLC. All Rights Reserved