“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bandera in Bandera County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

The Mills of Bandera

The Mills of Bandera Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Anderson, February 17, 2019
1. The Mills of Bandera Marker
Inscription.  Communities in the 19th century relied on mills to provide lumber, shingles, flour and cloth. Local millers and blacksmiths were integral community members, providing the necessary materials for early development. Stephen F. Austin reported in 1833 that eight mills were operating in his Colony, and during the subsequent two decades, with substantially more settlers coming to Texas, demand for milled products increased dramatically.

In 1852, A.M. Milstead, Thomas Odem and P.D. Saner camped on a hill above a supply of cypress in a hairpin curve of the Medina River west of Castroville. There, they chopped cypress shingles by hand. In June of that year, Charles DeMontel, a Castroville mill owner, entered an agreement with John James and John H. Herndon to establish a sawmill and shingle manufacturing operation at the site. DeMontel moved his horse-powered mill from Castroville to the new location, a migrant shingle camp that would grow to be the city of Bandera. In need of settlers and workers, the James, Montel & Company recruited a group of immigrants newly arrived to Texas from Upper Silesia, Poland in 1854. The recruits, consisting
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of sixteen families, helped construct a dam across the river and dig a millrace along the river from the initial mill at First Street to the site of later mills at Fourteenth Street. As the operation grew, DeMontel acquired land at auction for worker housing.

The Bandera mills, which later included a flour mill, provided shingles for much of the region's construction, including U.S. Army installations at Fort Inge, Camp Wood, Camp Verde, Fort Lincoln and Fort Concho. Major flooding in April and August 1900 washed away the mills, and the first industry of Bandera became just a memory.
Erected 2006 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 13423.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
Location. 29° 43.498′ N, 99° 4.151′ W. Marker is in Bandera, Texas, in Bandera County. Marker is on 12th Street, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 200 12th Street, Bandera TX 78003, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Old Jail & Courthouse (here, next to this marker); First Bandera County Courthouse (a few steps from this marker); Schmidtke-Callahan House (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Old Huffmeyer Store
The Mills of Bandera Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Anderson, February 17, 2019
2. The Mills of Bandera Marker
(about 600 feet away); Recognizing Bandera "Cowboy Capital of the World" (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bandera Water Works Complex (approx. 0.2 miles away); Bandera, Texas USA (approx. 0.2 miles away); Great Western Cattle Trail (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bandera.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 27, 2019. It was originally submitted on February 26, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Humble, Texas. This page has been viewed 478 times since then and 240 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on February 26, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Humble, Texas.

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Dec. 4, 2023