Westphalia Pictures

       Westphalia is dissected by State Highway 320, the shortest state highway in Texas, in western Falls County. In the summer of 1879 several immigrants from the Westphalia province in Germany moved from Frelsburg, Texas, into the area. Early settlers included Theodore Rabroker, John Bockholt, Casper Hoelscher, Frank Glass, Fritz Schneider, and Theodore Schneider. There were thirteen families on 270-acres of homestead plots by 1884. The Church of the Visitation was completed in 1895 on 100 acres of land high on a hill, and its picturesque twin towers can be seen for miles. A three-room school was constructed in 1896 and operated as a parochial school until 1935, when it was consolidated with the public school. The school received a historical marker in 1982 and in 1989 held classes for kindergarten through eighth grade. The post office and the first store were opened in 1887. P. A. Heckman was the first postmaster. The post office was closed in 1906, and mail was sent to Lott. Westphalia had four businesses and a gin in 1892. By 1933 the population was 100; it was 300 in 1964, and in 1990 it was estimated at 324. Cotton Collins, a fiddle player for the Lone Star Playboys, composed a "no-name" waltz in 1946. After a dance, local citizens suggested the song be titled the "Westphalia Waltz." It was first recorded by the Lone Star Playboys. Please see all of this information and more at The Handbook of Texas Online.

Copyright © Texas State Historical Association with written permission granted to use above information.

     BIBLIOGRAPHY: Lillian S. St. Romain, Western Falls County, Texas (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1951). Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.

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Agnes (Heese) Niersmann

The 3rd lady from the left in the middle is my Great Grandmother Agnes (Heese) Niersmann. The young girl in front I believe is my Great Aunt Alma Niersmann.

It was taken in Westphalia or the surrounding area.

Karen May