Texas Military Institute
Courtesy Texas State Library & Archives
|History in a Pecan
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
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.
Grave of Pvt. Otto J. Ruether
TE photo, April 2010
TE photo, April 2010
Tombstones amid bluebonnets in Rutersville Cemetery.
TE photo, January 2010
TX Historical Marker
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.
of Rutersville (1788?
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
Escapes, in its purpose to preserve historic, endangered and vanishing
Texas, asks that anyone wishing to share their local history, stories, and vintage/historic
photos of their town, please contact
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