The Crabapple School is one of twelve old school buildings saved by The Friends of Gillespie County Country Schools, Inc. All of them are picturesque, quaint and remotely located – the communities they once served, long gone. Many of the buildings were built in the familiar German-Texan vernacular of the Fredericksburg area.
German immigrants who came to Fredericksburg in the 1840 and later, settled in the Crabapple area. Many parents were eager to donate land so a school could be built near their homes. The two families who were extremely anxious to give the land for a school were Crockett Riley and Mathias Schmidt. It was decided to have a foot race to see who would have the privilege of donating the land. Mathias Schmidt, a farmer, won the race. The school was then built on the land he gave for this purpose. The families donated their labor to erect a school building of native limestone, which opened in 1878 as Crabapple School #10.
This first building was a two-story rock house consisting of two rooms. One room was a used as a classroom, with the other used as a teacherage or living quarters for the teacher. The upstairs, used for storage, had an outside stairway. About 10 years later, another room was added. Between 1887 and 1910, this building also served as a post office. In 1882, the second school building was built of limestone at a cost of $600. It not only served as the school, but also as the Lutheran church, until the congregation built their own church nearby in 1897. There was only one teacher to teach all grades.
The highest enrollment was at the turn of the century with about 40 students. Teachers’ salaries ranged from $80 per month in the 1920’s to $250 in the early 1950’s. In all, 28 teachers taught at the Crabapple school. Crabapple School was consolidated with Fredericksburg ISD in May 1957, when only nine students remained.
Crabapple is located in Gillespie County approximately 10.5 miles north of Fredericksburg.
REFERENCE: Martin Donell Kohout, “CRABAPPLE, TX,” Handbook of Texas online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hvcae), accessed January 31, 2014. Published by the Texas State Historical Association. The Friends of Gillespie County Country Schools.