Castroville was colonized in the mid-1840s by a group of colonists from the Alsace province of France as well as colonists from other regions of Europe. The colonization was led by Henri Castro. In February 1842, Castro received a land grant contract from the Republic of Texas. The grant promised him more than a million acres of land in South Texas if he would introduce at least 600 families and/or single men within three years and establish four towns. To entice people to leave Alsace and other regions of Europe and come to Texas, Castro promised each head of a family 640 acres (one square mile) and each single male (17 or older) 320 acres. The settlers had to agree to build a cabin, cultivate at least 15 acres, and live on the property for at least three years.
On September 3, 1844, Castro, with 50 men and 27 oxcarts, crossed the Medina River near the site of the present-day Landmark Inn. Two weeks later, on September 12, 1844, he founded Castroville, 25 miles west of San Antonio. Between 1842 and 1847, Castro introduced more than 2,100 colonists to Texas, second only to Stephen F. Austin.
Mostly a farming community in the early days, the city of over 3,000 people now boasts agriculture, civic, commercial and industrial advancements. Castroville still has strong cultural ties to Alsace as many of its citizens are descendants of the original settlers who journeyed here from Alsace in 1844. It’s the home to many who can trace their ancestry back to Alsace, France. Sources:
Texas Historical Commission, Landmark Inn, www.visitlandmarkinn.com/index.aspx?page=977
Castroville Chamber of Commerce, www.castroville.com/heritage--history.html