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Grapetown

GRAPETOWN, TEXAS . Grapetown is on South Grape Creek 9 miles south of Fredericksburg in southern Gillespie County. The first landholder was John Hemphill, who received the deed to a site on the Fredericksburg-San Antonio road in 1848. Eight other settlers, including several freight drivers who carried produce from Fredericksburg to San Antonio and thence to Indianola, received deeds to land in the area in 1854. In 1860 Friedrich Wilhelm Doebbler opened Grapetown's first business establishment, a general store and hostelry called Doebbler's Inn. Grapetown became a ranching center of some importance; many local ranchers sold their cattle to Charles Schreiner of Kerrville. Most of the people of Grapetown sided with the Union during the Civil War , and many paid the price for their loyalty. Two local men, August Hoffman and Heinrich Rausch, survived the battle of the Nueces and eventually returned to Grapetown, where they spent the duration of the conflict hiding in the hills from the Confederate patrols. The first school in Grapetown was held in 1859 in Doebbler's home; the teacher was a Scot named Louis Hartwig. Grapetown Line School opened in 1882; local children had previously attended school in Fredericksburg. About 1870 a nine-to-ten-month school was opened in Grapetown; it was moved several times. Parents paid the teacher. In 1880 a stone structure was built as a school for the first seven grades. In 1885 a post office was established in Doebbler's Inn; the office closed three years later. A local singing club and a shooting club were combined in 1887, and Grapetown was the site of the first annual Gillespie County Schuetzenfest (shooting festival), at which 140 kegs of beer were consumed in four days.

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Grapetown, Texas



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