in a Pecan Shell
The town was named
by Catholic priest Joseph Reisdorff, who recruited settlers by advertising
in midwestern German Catholic newspapers.
He and a core of four farmers moved to the future town in 1902. A
post office was opened the following year the community built its
Catholic church. The town had seventy-one residents by 1904 - the
year Nazareth was platted. The community's cemetery was (consecrated
in 1906) was the only one for miles.
The population grew to 50 by 1914 and to150 people by 1927.
Dust storms hit the area in the 30s and the population dropped back
to fifty. By the time America entered WWII
the population was back up to 200.
The population dropped to about 75 in 1955, then rose to 275 ten years
later. The town remains primarily a Catholic community.
My early childhood years were spent at Nazareth. We lived on a farm
owned by Howard Scoggins of Dimmitt,
and one of my greatest childhood memories is the many times I helped
my father irrigate. I also learned to drive during those early years.
I could not see over the steering wheel, but my father thought it
was important that we learn how to maneuver a vehicle. My first
experience with driving involved driving the car into the nearest
tree, but those early experiences would prove to be very beneficial
when a short time later, our mother was seriously burned and my
brother and I drove her to the hospital in Dimmitt.
That was the morning of November 30, 1962. Our house exploded due
to a gas leak, and 27 days later, my mother died. We left Nazareth
forever then, but I still remember the wonderful teachers at Nazareth
school. My favorites were Sister Bernadine Terese and Celestine
Marie, and of course, I remember my childhood love, Craig Clemens.
He probably did not even know I existed, but his name is forever
in my memory. One incident that really stands out in my memory is
the morning I took my pet badger to school on the bus. The badger
got loose in the classroom and my parents had to pick me up after
school. Oddly, my badger disappeared that night and I never saw
it again. There was also a period of time when I decided I did not
want to go to school, so my mom would literally drag me onto the
bus and frequently, I would arrive at school with bloody knees.
I never have figured out why I didn't want to go, because I loved
school and was a very good student when I was there. The one thing
I am forever grateful for is that the teachers at Nazareth not only
taught reading, writing, and arithmetic, but they also taught manners-something
that is rarely seen in today's society. Although I spent only four
years in Nazareth schools, those were the best four years of my
life, and I still have the letters that my classmates sent to me
after my mother died and I left Nazareth. They are very dear to
me. - Kathy Darlene Throne Daniel, Bedford, Texas, May 25, 2007
My grandma, Rose
Decker Birkenfeld was born in 1909 at Rhineland,
Texas. She raised 8 children (Alber Leslie, Bryan, Clarence,
Joe Lynn, John Ronald, Carol, Stephane, Vernie) When she was 60
years old, after the loss of one of her sons and husband she took
in 2 grandkids (Kirsten and Bridget) to raise them as her own. She
quilted and painted some, but her heart was in cooking. She lived
in her Nazareth home until the ripe age of 95 1/2. She then moved
into a nursing home. In 1997 she became the oldest resident of Nazareth.
Being 97 is no shock to the Decker family. Her oldest brother lived
in Rhineland until
he was 106 years. They mentioned at Rhineland's 100th year anniversary
that Joe Decker was older than the town. Rose's brother Frank lived
in Alberqueque until he was 96, her sister, Annie, lived in Oklahoma
until she was 92, and her oldest sister, Mary, lived to be 96. Thank
you. - Bridget Birkenfeld, March 19, 2006
My name is Jonna Huseman and I live in Lincoln, Nebraska. I am the
only person in my immediate family who was born in Nebraska, however
the majority of my family lives in North West Indiana.
I was told some years ago that ancestors of mine helped to found
Nazareth, Texas with a Roman-Catholic priest. If it helps, my late
grandfather's name was Ira Joseph Huseman and his wife was Mary.
Their parent's names were Anastasia and Paul Semanchuk and Anton
and Marie Huseman. I was wondering if there is another Huseman from
Nazareth that I could share stories with. Thank you. - Jonna Huseman,
October 05, 2005
County Map showing Nazareth
Courtesy Texas General Land Office
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