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WINDTHORST, TEXAS

Dairy Capital of North Texas

On Archer-Clay County Line, Panhandle / Central Texas North

33 35' 0" N, 98 26' 0" W (33.583333, -98.433333)
Highway 25, 281 and FM 174
10 miles E of Archer City
25 miles S of Wichita Falls
33 miles SW of Jacksboro
Population: 402 (2010) 440 (2000) 367 (1990)

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St Marys Catholic Church, Windhorst Texas
St. Mary's Catholic Church in Windthorst
January 2004 photo courtesy Barclay Gibson
History in a Pecan shell

Windthorst, like several other north Texas communities was settled by German Catholics who has transmigrated from the North. The namesake was Ludwig Windthorst, a Catholic statesman back in the "Old Country." St. Mary's Catholic Church was built on the hill, replacing an earlier simple wooden cross. After burning and several reconstructions, the church building still stands today.

The community dates from 1891 when 75,000 acres of the Clark Plumb Pasture Company was sold. Developers, eager to establish a town put up the money for the church, a rectory and a school. In 1892 the post office had been granted under the name Windthorst and the next year brought 40 families into the community. Within two years another 35 families had arrived.

Windthorst became known as the Dairy Capital of North Texas. The church school became public sometime in the 1920s. The population had reached 1,000 by the late 1970s although it has since declined to 367 in 1990, and rose to 440 in 2000.
Windthorst TX - St. Mary's Catholic Church
Photo courtesy Holly Gibson, April 2015
See Texas Road Trip - From Owls to Eiffel Tower
Historical Marker (Off US 281 on St. Mary's Street, Windthorst)

St. Mary's Catholic Church

Obtaining 75,000 acres of Archer County land for a farm colony in 1891, German-American Catholics planted cross here and laid off Windthorst around a 20-acre site for church, school, and rectory. Ernest Hoff built town's first structure, a home. There on Jan. 1, 1892, Father Joseph F. Reisdorf celebrated the first Mass in Windthorst, before 10 parishioners. The first church was dedicated in 1893, second in 1904. The present one, third for the parish, was completed in 1925. Two members of parish have become priests. St. Mary's Church continues to be the center of community life.
(1974)
St Marys Catholic Church altar, Windhorst Texas
St. Mary's Catholic Church altar
January 2004 photo courtesy Barclay Gibson
St Marys Catholic Church balcony, Windhorst Texas
St. Mary's Catholic Church balcony
January 2004 photo courtesy Barclay Gibson
St Marys Catholic Church, Windhorst Texas
Another view of the St. Mary's Catholic Church
January 2004 photo courtesy Barclay Gibson
More Texas Churches

Windthorst, Texas Area Towns:
Archer City | Wichita Falls | Vernon
See Archer County | Clay County
More Texas Panhandle | Central Texas North

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