Evangelical Lutheran Church of Dessau
Dessau, Texas

more information follows the photos

photo Mike Gross, November 2021

photo Mike Gross, November 2021. Interior of Dessau church,  prepared for moving of the building.

photo Mike Gross, November 2021

Interior of the Dessau church. Undated historical photo from collection of Margaret Nauert Dickens, courtesy Mary Dickens Jackson

Estimated pre-1900 historical photo of the Dessau church and parsonage.

From the collection of Margaret Nauert Dickens, courtesy Mary Dickens Jackson

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Dessau
Dessau, Texas

The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Dessau was built in 1876. Dessau (near today's Pflugerville) was founded in 1854 by a  group of German immigrants and named after the town in Germany that was the home of founder Martin Wieland. The adjacent Dessau Lutheran Cemetery was founded in 1877.

The church was active into the 1970's, when a shrinking congregation forced its closure in 1972. The church was revived and re-opened in 1987 and was active until 1994, when Dessau Evangelical Lutheran was closed again.

The town, which had numerous, mostly German residents, several stores, a school, and a post office, declined after the 1940's as descendants of the old families moved away.. Since the 1960's the area has been heavily developed into subdivisions, and, besides the church and cemetery, and the nearby Wieland house , little evidence of the community remains.

After a series of transactions over the years, the church and the cemetery are under the ownership of the Dessau Lutheran Cemetery Association. By an agreement between the Cemetery Association and Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms of Austin, the church will be moved to the Pioneer Farms historical park and restored. The cemetery is lovingly maintained by the cemetery association, which will retain ownership of the property and the cemetery.

The original home built by Martin Wieland in 1854 and expanded numerous times by him and his descendants, is nearby. Not currently open to the public, it is part of a recreational park maintained by the subdivision of Fort Dessau, and is located at 1425 Fort Dessau Road. Descendants of the pioneer families note that, while the original house has thick limestone walls and ports through which weapons could be fired, that there never was a “Fort Dessau,”

The location given here is the original location, and is current as of December 2021.

Dessau Church
Location: 13300 Dessau Road, Austin, TX 78754, US
coordinates: 30.4024417, -97.6414083
directions: Take I-35 North in Austin, exit at Howard Lane. Turn right (east) on Howard lane and continue to Dessau Road. Turn right (south) on Dessau Rd. and continue approx 0.13 miles to the driveway on the right. The sign will say Cornerstone Baptist Church.

Wieland House
Location: 1425 Fort Dessau Road, Austin, TX
coordinates: 30.4097317, -97.63942

Other resources/ information
Numerous historical documents are available for download at the Dessau Lutheran Cemetery Association web site: https://dessaulca.org/history.

Heartfelt thanks to:
Kent Saathoff, President of the Dessau Lutheran Cemetery Association, who opened the church for me to photograph, and for sharing many memories.

Mary Dickens Jackson, Secretary Treasurer of the Dessau Lutheran Cemetery Association, opened the church for me and also shared the many historical photos and other documents from collections compiled by her mother, Margaret Nauert Dickens.

Dottie Davis, who shared her memories of the church and the congregation

Return to the home page

Copyright © All rights reserved.
Using Format