City of Westhoff
WESTHOFF, TEXAS. Westhoff is on U.S. Highway 87 near the Gonzales county line fourteen miles from Cuero in far northwestern DeWitt County. In 1906 the Galveston, Harrisburg and San Antonio Railway was extending its line from Cuero to Stockdale. A town and depot were surveyed near the northwestern border of the county on this route. Early settlers called the new community Bello, but the name was rejected by the postal department because of its supposed resemblance to Bells, the name of a community in Grayson County. Choosing a new name proved controversial, however, and some residents continued calling the community Bello until the summer of 1909, by which time the town was officially named Westhoff, in honor of William Westhoff, Sr., the pioneer settler of Upper Meyersville.
Westhoff grew rapidly as a market and shipping point in northwest DeWitt County. Before the advent of the boll weevil three gins processed as many as 4,800 bales of cotton annually. Despite a fire in 1913, which destroyed thirteen businesses and from which the town never fully recovered, by 1915 Westhoff had a population estimated at 475, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist, and Presbyterian churches, and thirty businesses, including a hotel, a bank, and the Westhoff Advertiser, a weekly newspaper edited by Walter W. Eatman. The Westhoff school, established in 1908, was expanded to a six-room brick structure by 1928 and in 1961 was one of the county’s three remaining rural school districts, along with Meyersville and Arneckeville. The estimated population of Westhoff was recorded as 500 from the mid-1920s to the mid-1960s, when it fell to 410. Passenger service to Westhoff on the Texas and New Orleans Railroad operated until 1950, and in 1960 the community had Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist, and Methodist churches. In 1985 410 residents and two business establishments were recorded. Through 2000 the population remained at 410.
BIBLIOGRAPHY: Nellie Murphree, A History of DeWitt County (Victoria, Texas, 1962).
Craig H. Roell