- Castell, Texas
Castell began in 1847 as a land grant in
Comancheterritory settled by German Abolitionists and Free-Soilers. The unsettled land had formerly been part of the Fisher-Miller land grant. It was part of a series of five immigrant settlements sponsored by a group of prominent Germans known as the Adelsverein, including Count Emil von Kriewitz, [http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/CC/hnc23.html Castell, Texas] by James B. Heckert-Greene in the "Handbook of Texas Online". Accessed August 7, 2007.] John Meusebach, Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, H. Spies, and Count Carl of Castell. The other communities were Schoenburg, Meerholz, Leiningen, and Bettina. The first two were unsuccessful from the start. Leiningen and Bettina had brief lives, Bettina lasting only a year. Only Castell remains.
Describing conditions in Castell in the mid-1800s, a tour guide has written cquote|Life here was not easy. For the first couple of years, Castellites depended heavily on supplies and support from the people of Fredericksburg, who had problems enough of their own. A round trip to Fredericksburg—about 50 miles—took 4 days.
Castell briefly experienced an influx of about twenty
Mormonpioneer families under the leadership of Lyman Wight. They had settled in Zodiac, Texasin 1847, in Mormon Mills, Texasin 1851 (where Wight was eventually buried), and then settled in Castell briefly before moving south in 1854 to Bandera, Texas. [http://www.io.com/~xeke/mormons2.htm Lyman Wight's Mormon Colony in Texas] excerpt from "Mormon Trails" chapter in "Hill Country" travel guide by Richard Zelade (2001). Accessed August 6, 2007.] Due to the Mormon custom of sending out missionaries, it is possible that the congregations of nineteenth-century North Carolinatook their name from the Mormons who lived briefly in Castell, Texas.
Castell had a population of 72 people in 1972 and again in 2000. In 2007, a Castell promotional site claims a population of only 23. [http://www.castelltexas.com/ Castell, Texas — 76831] , basic information about the town. Accessed August 7, 2007.]
Castell is in the
Central Time Zoneand is assigned zip code76831 and area code325.
Castell has several small businesses, mainly centering around camping and hospitality as a result of the flyfishing and kayaking opportunities there. [http://www.castelltexas.com/index.html Castell, Texas] ]
Randy Leifeste operates the general store of Castell, which offers
barbecueand Bloody Marys on weekend mornings.
And then there is Cock-A-Roo, Randy’s resident rooster, famous in song and story. People often travel to Castell just to see the bird, which has been on television and may be the most popular citizen of the town. [http://www.tpwmagazine.com/archive/2006/oct/ed_4/ "Hunter Hangouts"] October, 2006 "Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine".]
* [http://www.hometownlocator.com/City/Castell-Texas.cfm Castell, Texas Community Profile] includes numerous links to various Castell maps, aerial photos, Census data, local government offices. Accessed August 7, 2007.
* [http://www.castelltexas.com/ Castell, Texas — 76831] , a reference to the area's zip code, with information about the town's business community and photo of plaque commemorating the founding of Castell, Bettina, and Leiningen. Accessed August 7, 2007.
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