Lifestyle

Odd Facts You Probably Don’t Know About Doss, Texas

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Doss, Texas is situated on Mormon Creek where FM 783 meets FM 648, 19 miles northwest of Fredericksburg in Gillespie County. Since Doss is an unincorporated farming and ranching community, census data is estimated and gives an approximate population of 225.

1. Doss boasts the state’s smallest school district.

Children at school

Photo: en.wikipedia.org

Started in 1884, Doss School is one of the few remaining rural school systems in the state of Texas. A limestone schoolhouse replaced the initial 1894 frame structure in 1905 and the addition built in 1927 is still in use today. Doss Elementary School operates within the Doss Consolidated Common School District with a full-time staff of five—two teachers, two aides, and an administrative clerk. The 2015-2016 school year ended with nine students. Although this is the smallest class Doss Elementary has seen in several years, community members were eager to keep the doors open and held a meeting to discuss the current situation. Following the meeting, district trustees made a unanimous decision to begin the 2016-2017 school year in August, its 133rd consecutive year. As it currently stands, Doss Elementary is expecting enrollment this fall to total six.

2. Doss started as a gristmill and distillery.

Lange's Mill

Photo: www.texasalmanac.com

Brothers Thomas C. and John E. Doss founded the town in 1849, building a gristmill and distillery on Threadgill Creek. Later they added a dam and sawmill. August Steiness bought the mill from the brothers in 1864, dismantling the distillery and expanding the gristmill. Following Steiness’s death two years later, his widow sold the operations to William F. Lange, a German immigrant. The mill came to be known as Lange’s Mill and was operated by members of the Lange family from 1859 to 1888. Lange’s Mill has been greatly cared for by the community over the years and in almost perfect preservation is one of the last old burr mills in Texas.

3. Doss founding family has ties to Herman Lehmann and Quanah Parker.

Herman Lehmann
Photo: www.joeherringjr.blogspot.com

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