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    D'HANIS, TEXAS & OLD D'HANIS, TEXAS

    Medina County, Texas Hill Country
    Hwy 90, FM 1796 & FM 2200
    8 miles W of Hondo
    11 miles E of Sabinal
    33 miles E of Uvalde
    46 miles W of San Antonio

    Population: 548 (2000)

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    Old D'Hanis St. Dominic Catholic Church, Texas
    Old D'Hanis St. Dominic Catholic Church
    Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, February 2005
    The old DíHanis Cemetery and the ruins of St. Dominic Church are worthy of a stop for anyone traveling US 90. They are just east of the high school, a quarter of a mile south of highway 90.

    History in a Pecan Shell


    Also known as New D'Hanis, the designation doesnít mean as much to travelers as it does to local residents. ďOldĒ DíHanis which is just over a mile east of what travelers today regard as DíHanis. The colony was Henri Castroís third settlement in Texas and was named to honor his European agent, William D'Hanis.

    When it was formed in 1847, twenty-nine Alsatian families formed the nucleus of the town. Each family was given a twenty-acre farm and a town lot. In 1850 the entire town was a mere twenty buildings and when compared to safe and secure Castroville, DíHanis was a primitive and crude outpost. Two years after the settlers arrived, Fort Lincoln was established to protect them from frequent Indian raids. Several tombstones in the old cemetery testify to the violence.
    St. Dominic Church ruin and cemetery, D'Hanis, Texas
    The ruins showing the Old D'Hanis Cemetery and the northern wall of St. Dominic Church
    Photo by John Troesser, May 2004
    A post office was granted in 1854. The town became a stage stop along the San Antonio-Rio Grande road and St. Dominic Church was formed in 1847. The church building was abandoned in 1914 when the congregation moved to New DíHanis. The sandstone arches that form the ruin seen today are from the original construction of 1853. Other stones are from an 1869 extension.

    The Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway built through Medina County in 1881 and bypassed the town creating ďNewĒ DíHanis (a mile and a fraction west) in the process.

    DíHanis endured floods in 1894, 1919, and 1935.
    D'Hanis Texas after 1935 flood
    D'Hanis after the 1935 Flood
    Photo Courtesy TXDoT
    D'Hanis, Texas water tower
    D'Hanis water tower and Koch Hotel across the tracks from Hwy 90
    Photo by John Troesser, June 2003
    D'Hanis, Texas brick kiln and chimney



    Brick kiln and chimney
    Photo by John Troesser, June 2003
    The kilns of the D'Hanis Brick and Tile Company (founded 1883) are featured in T. Lindsay Bakerís excellent Building the Lone Star Ė a book on civil engineering marvels around Texas. Seco Pressed Brick, which opened in 1910, became DíHanisí second brick manufacturing company.

    D'Hanis had a weekly newspaper from 1908 until 1923.

    Our Lady Queen of Peace, was built in 1924 for the townís Mexican-American congregation.

    The population of the town has never exceeded 600 people.


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    St. Dominic Church ruin, D'Hanis, Texas
    Northern wall wall of St. Dominic Church seen from the south
    Photo by John Troesser, May 2004
    St. Dominic Church arch, D'Hanis, Texas
    The ruined back arch
    Photo by John Troesser, May 2004
    St. Dominic Church front, D'Hanis, Texas
    The upper front facade
    Photo by John Troesser, May 2004
    St. Dominic Church historical marker, D'Hanis, Texas
    THC Marker in front of St. Dominic Church
    Photo by John Troesser, May 2004
    The old DíHanis Cemetery and the ruins of St. Dominic Church are worthy of a stop for anyone traveling US 90. They are just east of the high school, a quarter of a mile south of highway 90.

    The townspeople stopped using the cemetery in 1893 due to a Diphtheria epidemic, but the old-world artistic inscriptions and the wrought-iron markers make the Old DíHanis Cemetery one of the most interesting in Texas. See Old D'Hanis Cemetery >
    © John Troesser
    D'Hanis Texas St. Anthony's Catholic School today
    See St. Anthony's School Then and Now
    TE photo, July 2007

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

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    D'Hanis, Texas
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