Institute of Texan Cultures' Texans Series
Danish Texans, perhaps, are the best model of a small group going through the acculturation process—that is, becoming Texans and adding to the concept of what it is to be Texan. Danish heritage are notable in the last 170 years. Danish immigrants came for varied motives, but for most the reasons were land and economic prosperity. They are often known for their individuality...in some cases, eccentricity. Informal groups of Danish families settled in northern Lee County, known as “Little Denmark,” as well as in Williamson County and in Rocky Hill near Fredericksburg, but the rural Wharton County colony of Danevang, the Danish Field, is the only coherent Danish colony in the state.
In the late summer of 1894, the first settlers of Danevang, mostly Danes who had spent some years on the United States’ northern plains, arrived in Texas, finding land south of El Campo. In the face of adverse weather, Gulf hurricanes, and the necessity of raising unfamiliar crops, the colony did not initially prosper. The Danes came with the idea of showing off their north-country farming skills and preserving a distinctly Danish way of life. They did neither. But they stayed, eventually a hundred families strong.