Milam County Historical Commission
Milam County, Texas
Milam County Historical Commission - Milam County, TX
Statue of Ben Milam at Milam County, TX Courthouse
Old Junior High School Building, Rockdale, TX
Milam County Courthouse - Cameron, TX
Preserve America
St Paul Lutheran Church,
School & Cemetery
101 N. 3rd Street
Thorndale, TX
Erected 1999
St Paul Lutheran Church< School & Cemetery Historical Marker, Thorndale, TX
St Paul Lutheran Church, School & Cemetery

August Polnick and his family moved from Lee County
to Thorndale in 1881. The family were the first
recorded Germans and also the first Lutherans in
this area. Their former pastor, G. Birkmann, made
ministerial visits to Thorndale over the next five
years. A congregation gradually formed with
Thorndale residents and Lutherans in the nearby
Hochkirche (Noack) community. By 1890 the combined
parish recorded 69 communicants, with services held
exclusively in German. Later in 1890, Karl Michalk
donated ten acres of land for a church, school, and
cemetery. The church building was dedicated in 1891.
The first burial in the cemetery was that of the
infant son of Ida Schultz in 1891. A. W. Kramer was
called as St. Paul's first full-time pastor in
November 1893. He arrived in March 1894 and also
assumed the role of teacher for the school. As the
economy rose in Thorndale, Lutherans continued to
arrive. By 1899 St. Paul's had 208 members and in
1900 the church congregation moved into a new
building. The first full-time schoolteacher, J.
Jaeckel, was called in 1900 to improve the school
and the facilities. Church membership reached 654 by
1911; the parish boasted 830 members by 1939. A
tornado damaged the church building beyond repair in
July 1940, and a new one was erected later that
year. Sunday School began in 1948. Services were
held in both English and German beginning by World
War l. By 1952, there was one German service each
year. Women became voting members of the
congregation in the 1950s. Always involved in
community development, both church and school
remained active at the close of the 20th century.