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Colorado County, Central Texas S

29° 45' 1" N, 96° 26' 13" W (29.750278, -96.436944)
Not on State Highway Map
Mentz and Frelsburg Roads
7 miles NE of Columbus
W of Bernado
Population: 100 (2000)

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Mentz TX - St. Roch's Catholic Church

St. Roch's Church
TE photo, 2006

History in a Pecan Shell

Mentz' history is primarily based on its church and post office.

The first settlers came in the 1840s with the Mainz Society - an organization formed to oversee immigration issues and look after the welfare of its members. Originally called Neu Mainz, after the city in Germany, it was later corrupted into Mentz.

Most of the settlers were German Catholics from Büdesheim, in the German provence of Hesse. In 1858 a church was built and named after a chapel back in the old country. St. Roch's Catholic Church remains the community's dominant stucture.

A Catholic school taught by the Sisters of Divine Providence was in operation from 1872 to 1916.

A post office was opened in the 1850s and called San Bernard - after the shallow river nearby. Renamed New Mainz in 1860, it was closed after the Civil War. It reopened under the name Mentz in the late 1880s and closed again in the mid 1890s. It opened yet again in 1897 but in 1913 mail delivery went through the post office at Alleyton.
Mentz TX -
St. Roch's Church interior
Photo courtesy John J. Germann, July 2015
Mentz TX - St. Roch's Catholic Church plaque

St. Roch's Church Plaque
TE photo, 2006

TX - Mentz-Bernardo Community Historical Marker

Mentz-Bernardo Community Historical Marker
TE photo

Mentz-Bernardo Community

As early as the 1830s German immigrants had begun to settle in the general vicinity of Cat Spring. They were soon joined by others who preferred this region to the various sites that had been designated formal colonization efforts. With the area's continued growth, the settlements of Bernado (4 mi. E) and Mentz developed as early focal points of the surrounding agricultural community.

The German settlers who founded Mentz named the pioneer community for an area of their homeland. Predominately Roman Catholic, they established St. Roch parish by 1858 under the leadership of priests from Frelsburg. The church developed as the religious, social and cultural center of the area.

Bernado was begun about 1845 on an important early route from Houston to inland settlements. Because of its location on the prairie land of the San Bernard River, the rural community was first known as Bernardo Prairie.

Once identified by separate schools and post offices, the two settlements now share a common lifestyle and heritage, which reflect the continued influence of the early German settlers. Their descendants still live in the Mentz-Bernardo Community.
Mentz TX - St. Roch's Catholic Church

St. Roch's Church
TE photo, 2001
More Texas Churches

Mentz TX - tree

TE photo, 2006

Mentz TX, Colorado County, 1899 postmark
Mentz TX, Colorado County, 1899 postmark
Postcard cancelled with Mentz, TX 1899 postmark
Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection
1907 Colorado County postal map showing Mentz & Bernardo
Courtesy Texas General Land Office

Mentz or Neu Mainz, Texas Forum

  • Subject: Mentz, Texas
    I happened upon your website one day and can’t get enough! I’ve come to be quite a history buff to Texas history and love reading about the rich stories in Texas Escapes.

    My wife’s family is from the Mentz area with a Cat Spring address. My wife’s Father had a band and played the Mentz Picnic for many years. As his children got old enough to play an instrument they were brought into the band. In the early 1960’s they were known as The Sunset Playboys and as his daughters and sons learned their instruments the name morphed into The Sunset Playboys and Girls.

    As time changes things my wife’s brother took over the band and called themselves The Country Pickers with some none family members, but as fate would have it eventually it became an all family band again and that’s when they became known as the The Family Tradition Band. All the while playing for different events and yes, the Mentz Picnic.

    Through the years the band had opportunities to open for Legends of country music like Willie Nelson in 1995. James Bonamy in 1996, and David Allan Coe in 1997. The band finally retired in February 2005 with the last show being for the Danevang Volunteer Fire Department in El Campo. Best Regards and Happy Trails, Barney Lee Douglas, December 24, 2006

    Anyone wishing to share history or photos of Mentz or Neu Mainz, Texas, please contact us.
  • Take a road trip

    Mentz, Texas Nearby Towns:
    Columbus the county seat

    Cat Spring
    See Colorado County | Central Texas South

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





























































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