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  Texas : Towns A-Z / Gulf Coast : Vattmann

VATTMANN, TEXAS

Kleburg County, Texas Gulf Coast
FM 628
5 miles NE of Riviera
16 miles SE of Kingsville

Population: 15 (estimated)

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Our Lady of Consolation Church, Vattmann Texas
Our Lady of Consolation Church, c. 1920
Photo courtesy Gerald Walker, October 2007

Vattmann was once called Vattmannville after Father Edward J. Vattmann who was secretary to the Catholic Colonization Society. Vattmann was invited to visit the area by Theodore Koch, land developer for Riviera and Riviera Beach.

Father Vattmann was impressed with the location and with his approval, German Catholic families started moving there. The first family was from Westphalia, Texas (Falls County). Others came from other parts of the U.S. and they built their first church in 1909.

Church and cotton field

The church as seen from the cotton field
Photo by John Troesser, July 2001

The present church, Our Lady of Consolation, was built in 1920, after the devastating 1916 hurricane.

Vegetable crops and the raising of dairy cattle were the main occupations. Today the entire community is surrounded by cotton crops, which grow nearly up to the door of the church.

cotton field, church and school
School house, church and cotton field
Photo by John Troesser, July 2001
The school (built next to the church) started sending its students to Riviera in 1948 and the town shrank for the same reasons other small towns shrank after World War II. The population had been given as an estimated 20 persons from 1939 to 1948, but it has dwindled to even fewer than that in recent years.

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Vattmann Texas sign

The former town of Vattmanville
Photo by John Troesser, July 2001

Wedding Photos
Photos courtesy Mr. Gerald Walker, a descendant of Charles and Amanda
... Orlando Underbrink was the man who built the famous King's Inn restaurant.
...Olando's daughter Idella Underbrink Strubhart .. started the local museum that occupies the former Riviera post office building.

Vattmann Texas Forum

  • I have visted your site on many occasions and really enjoy all of it. I think the name of the Church at Vatmannville in Kleberg County must be a misprint. I have never been there, but as a practicing Catholic I am sure the name of the parish is not Our Lady of Consolidation but rather Our Lady of CONSOLATION. Thanks again for a most enjoyable site on Texas. - Paul Thompson, March 07, 2002

  • I am the descendent of Remlinger Underbrink. My great great grandfather was the one who drew the floor plan for that Church. The name of the Church is Our Lady of Consolation Church. Ignatius Underbrink (grandfather) was the architect. Orlando Underbrink (great uncle) built the three solid oak alters.

    Loyola Beach was named after my grandfather Ignatius Loyola Underbrink. My great uncle Orlando Underbrink built the Cafe which at that time was called Orlando Cafa. In 1945 he leased the Inn and opened a restaurant specializing in fish and chicken. Later they added a full range of seafood dishes.

    Further down South Texas at the near end of King Ranch near Raymonville, my Dad's brother-in-law and Dad went duck hunting behind the King Ranch on Nov 3.1932 and there Names where Luther and John Blanton and they disappeared. To this day they have never been found. - G Walker, February 19, 2003
    To share history or photos of Vattmann, Texas, please contact us.
    John Troesser
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    This page last modified: November 17, 2007