Including the suburbs of East Art and West Art
30° 44' 19" N, 99° 6' 41" W (30.738611, -99.111389)
7.5 miles East of Mason
26 miles West of Llano
90 miles West of Austin
Population: Dispersed. Est.18 (2000)
Book Hotel Here > Llano
County is included in the most heavily populated German part of
the Hill Country,
with the city of Mason being
the northern most town of any real population. Mason,
comprise almost the entire German settlement area, with just a trace
of overflow into Blanco,
Kerr, and Llano
Art is found on detailed maps of Mason
County just East of Mason
(town). It will appear surrounded by five little crosses - a cluster
of family cemeteries.
Art along with Hilda, Loyal
Valley and Doss still have a number
of beautiful utilitarian limestone buildings. The Germans settling
this area were German Methodists, not Catholic or Lutheran Germans.
by Mike Cox
... Until shortly after World
War One, Art’s name was Plehweville, a handle that sounds
something like a sneeze, followed by “ville.”... Turns out that one
person who could pronounce the name Plehweville was Otto Plehwe. In
1886, he had purchased from J.A. Hoerster a one-year-old general store
near the hill top Methodist Church. The area had been settled by German
families in 1856 and they soon built a log church. By 1875, they had
raised a stone church which also served as a school. (And 15 years
later, they would build the church that still stands today.)
|The 1890 United
Photo courtesy Barclay
Gibson, April 2004
thought the area needed a post office as well as a store and the government
agreed. Postal officials even went with Plehwe’s suggested name, one
the new post master thought had a nice ring to it: Plehweville.
Unfortunately, letters to Plehweville, not an easy name to pronounce,
spell or remember, often got lost. Many residents were not content
with the name and neither was the government. Phooey with Plehweville
By 1920, Eli Dechart had taken over as store owner and post master
of Plehweville. Like Plehwe, he envisioned a community named in his
honor. But unlike Plehwe, Dechart had a more practical idea. He recommended
the new name for the post office of Plehweville, Texas be Art, Texas
– Art being the last three letters of Dechart. And so by government
fiat, Plehweville was transformed into Art.
No matter its name, Art never flourished. In 2000, census enumerators
counted 18 residents. You would think that being only seven miles
from Mason the Art post office
would have long since been discontinued by the Postal Service, but
not so. It’s still there at 7866 E. Highway 29, 76820-9817. Read
Site, and Marker
Junction of Hwy 29 & Lower Willow Creek Rd.
Photo courtesy Elwin Jensen, March 2007
Conrad Kothmann (1798-1881) and his wife Ilse Katherine Pahlmann (1810-1905)
and their family sailed from Germany to Indianola,
Texas in 1845. Among the first families to settle in Fredericksburg,
the Kothmanns were issued a 640-acre land grant in Mason
County in 1848. In 1856 they moved to Art
and were among the first immigrant families in this area. A trained
cabinetmaker and musician, Kothmann began ranching and acquired another
640-acre tract of land.
Located on their former homestead, the Kothmann Cemetery is all that
remains of the original ranch site. Containing only five graves, all
of Kothmann family members, the graveyard began with the burial of
Heinrich Conrad Kothmann in 1881. His wife Ilse is buried beside him.
Their son Karl, the first of their family born in Texas, is buried
here along with his wife Katherine (Hoerster) Kothmann. A fifth unmarked
grave is thought to be that of a grandchild.
Though most of the land was sold after Ilse's death in 1905, the family
retained one acre including the cemetery property. The concrete wall
and slab were constructed after 1937 to provide protection and ease
in maintenance for the five graves. The family maintains the cemetery.
much can be said about Art, we would invite the serious reader to
try to locate: Yesterday in the Texas Hill Country by Dr. Gilbert
J. Jordan, Texas A & M Press, 1978.
This small, very entertaining book includes the tiniest details of
life in Art and the other small German Hill Country communities that
no longer appear on highway maps.
The 160 page book. contains details on well-digging, sausage making,
courtship rituals, old-world customs and lessons in German-English
in the Texas Hill Country
Escapes, 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