Institute of Texan Cultures' Texans Series
The Swiss had few reasons to leave their homeland for Texas, but that did not stop them from coming. In the 19th century, Switzerland was a well-organized and prosperous country. Switzerland competed with England in the field of spinning and weaving, was the banking center of Europe and had a world-wide reputation for its manufacturing industry. For its citizens, Switzerland provided free public education, highly respected universities, social security and welfare programs as well as civil and religious freedoms.
Despite the many benefits of living in Switzerland, however, many left the country for Texas in search of new opportunities and adventure. They settled throughout the state, often choosing to live near German and French settlements since they were familiar with the languages. Regardless of where they settled, though, the Swiss brought with them the many ideas and skills that made their culture unique.