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SWISS ALP, TEXAS

Fayette County, South Central Texas

Highway 77 - just S of FM 1383
11 miles S of La Grange
6.1 miles N of Schulenburg
3.8 miles W of Ammannsville
Population: 46 (1990)

Swiss Alp, Texas Area Hotels > La Grange Hotels
Swiss Alp TX - Philadelphia Lutheran Church 1910
Philadelphia Evangelical Lutheran Church in 1910
"Image from a small museum at the United Evangelical Lutheran Church at Swiss Alp".

Submitted by Carolyn Heinsohn, Fayette County Historical Commission

History in a Pecan Shell

German Lutherans were the first settlers here around the time the Civil War was ending. The modest population was bolstered somewhat by Wends who transmigated from Serbin in Lee County. The Philadelphia Lutheran Church was opened in 1867 and the community got its own post office ten years later. The population in 1884 was a mere 35 people which reached the high-water mark of 100 in 1896. The decline set in just after 1900 and the post office was discontinued in 1906.

The community's proximity to Schulenburg and the county seat in La Grange dashed any hopes of growth (if there had been any). Swiss Alp sat content for decades becoming famous for its community dance hall. Three nearby Lutheran churches formed the United Evangelical Lutheran Church in Swiss Alp in 1967. The region remains a cattle producing area and the population has increased from a mere 30 in the late 60s to 46 in 1990.

The community has a cemetery of its own but nearby are the Kaase, Philadelphia and Ammannsville cemeteries.


United Evangelical Lutheran Church

"Three church congregations combined to make United Evangelical Lutheran Church - the Philadelphia Lutheran Church at Swiss Alp, the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church at Black Jack Springs and the Salem Lutheran Church at Freyburg." - Carolyn Heinsohn, Fayette County Historical Commission
Swiss Alp TX - United Evangelical Lutheran Church
United Evangelical Lutheran Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2014
Swiss Alp TX - United Evangelical Lutheran Church Sanctuary
Sanctuary
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2014
Swiss Alp TX - United Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery
United Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2014
Swiss Alp TX - United Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery Historic Marker
United Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery Historic Marker
(2038 FM 3171)
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2014

United Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery
(Philadelphia Evangelical Lutheran Church Cemetery)

The Swiss Alp community was settled about 1865. Within a short time, the Philadelphia Evangelical Lutheran Church was established and began meeting on land given by John and Christina Knippa in 1867. The first recorded burial on this site is that of Emma Gertraut Ritter, who died in October 1867. She was soon followed by Anna Rudi, the wife of Pastor C. C. Rudi. Ten more church members were interred here before the site was formally established as a cemetery in February 1877. Other members of the Rudi family are interred here along with numerous church members. After several small area churches merged in 1967 the church name was changed to United Evangelical Lutheran Church and Cemetery. The historic graveyard contains both marked and unmarked burials.
(1999)
Swiss Alp TX - United Evangelical Lutheran 1913 Church
United Evangelical Lutheran 1913 Church
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2014
More Texas Churches
Swiss Alp TX  - Philadelphia Evangelical Lutheran Church Historical Marker
Philadelphia Evangelical Lutheran Church Historical Marker
West of U.S. 77 on FM 3171 (about 9 miles SW of La Grange)
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2014

Philadelphia Evangelical Lutheran Church

Second oldest congregation in the Texas-Louisiana Synod, United Lutheran Church in America. The founding occurred on March 24, 1867, under leadership of the Rev. C. C. Rudi, who had just moved to the Swiss Alp area. A ten-acre church site was donated by John and Christina Knippa by deed of March 29, 1869. Cedar was donated by J. F. Melcher and the Knippas, and original log church was built in 1869. In Feb. 1877 the cemetery was established and in Nov. 1877 an adjoining tract of 44.5 acres was added. The present church building was erected in 1889-90.
1974
Swiss Alp TX - United Evangelical Lutheran Church sign
Sign to United Evangelical Lutheran Church sign
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2014
Swiss Alp TX
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2014
Swiss Alp TX Dance Hall Sign
Swiss Alp Dance Hall
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2014
Swiss Alp TX Dance Hall
Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, June 2014
The Swiss Alp Dance Hall by David Knape
Swiss Alp TX - Egon Tietjens Store 1954
Egon Tietjen's Store, 1954
Courtesy Egon Tietjen family collection
Submitted by Carolyn Heinsohn, Fayette County Historical Commission
Swiss Alp TX - Couple on porch, vintage photo
Vintage photo courtesy Fayette Heritage Museum
Swiss Alp TX - Old Washington School
Old Washington School in Swiss Alp
Image of a photo "in a small museum at the United Evangelical Lutheran Church at Swiss Alp".
Submitted by Carolyn Heinsohn, Fayette County Historical Commission
Swiss Alp TX Public School site
Swiss Alp Public School site.
TE photo, 2006
More Texas Schoolhouses
Swiss Alp TX 1897-1947 Public School marker
1897-1947 Swiss Alp Public School marker
TE photo, 2006
Swiss Alp TX
Photo courtesy John J. Germann Collection, February 2015
Swiss Alp TX, Hwy 77
View of Swiss Alp on Hwy 77
Photo courtesy John J. Germann Collection, February 2015
Swiss Alp TX road sign
Approaching Swiss Alp.
TE photo, 2006
More Texas Signs
Swiss Alp TX - Fayette Co 1891 Postmark
Swiss Alp TX - Fayette Co 1891 Postmark
Cover cancelled with Swiss Alp TX 1891 Postmark
Courtesy The John J. Germann Collection

Swiss Alp Texas Area Destinations:
See Fayette County | La Grange | Schulenburg | Ammannsville
Book Hotel Here:
La Grange Hotels | More Hotels

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