Ruins of St. Dominic Catholic Church

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Credits: realworldracingphotog @ flickr

Located in the town of D’Hanis (now known as ‘Old’ D’Hanis). Established in 1847 by 29 families under the leadership of Theodore Gentilz, representing Henri Castro (1781-1861), distinguished pioneer and colonizer of Texas who introduced the early settlers of Medina County. When the Southern Pacific Railroad missed the town, its citizens moved to the present day (‘New’) D’Hanis.

The congregation of St. Dominic Catholic Church formed in 1847 with the founding of D’Hanis colony by settlers from Alsace, France. In 1853 when the town became a mission parish the limestone church was built using timber hauled by ox-wagon from the Medina River. The sandstone extension was built in 1868 upon arrival of the first resident pastor but abandoned after 1914 when the new church was built in “New” D’Hanis (1.8 miles west). The adjacent cemetery, dating from the burial of a child of colonists in 1847, was used until 1893 when the new cemetery was started following a diphtheria epidemic.