Courtesy Texas State Library & Archives
a Pecan Shell
Founded 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 conflict began.
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.
Rutersville Photo Gallery
TE photo, April 2010
of Pvt. Otto J. Ruether
TE photo, April 2010
TE photo, April 2010
| Tombstones amid
bluebonnets in Rutersville Cemetery
More Texas Cemeteries
TX Historical Marker
Founded 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.
Asa Hill of
(1788? - 1844)
Born in 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
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