Uncovered Texas


Czech Settlers in Hill County

One of the most influential and numerous national groups to settle in Hill County, Czechs came to this area from Fayette County and the province of Moravia in Austria-Hungary. Many sought greater freedom due to barriers to attaining national status in the old country, political restraints, introduction of German into the schools, and compulsory military service. Land agents painted a rosy picture of opportunities awaiting those who purchased cheap state university lands in this region. The first immigrants arrived in the 1870s and found the soil so fertile that they induced many others to join them. Building of the Texas Central and "Katy" railroads boosted immigration. "Capital" of Czech settlement in the area is Abbott, named for Jo Abbott (1840-1908), judge, legislator, and lawyer. Surrounding towns are Zee Vee (so called for the local ZV cattle brand), Penelope, and Aquilla. Neighbors admired the Czechs for their neat, well managed farms and their thrift and industry. For many years they retained a strong group spirit, speaking their own language and observing old world customs. In recent decades they have mixed more with other groups and today fill many public and professional offices as well as continue to farm.

Abbott, Texas

Hill County

Year Erected: 1970

Marker Type: 27" x 42"

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