Thorndale Texas History:
Thorndale was established in 1878. A post office, store and hotel were established. In 1880 the store was sold and moved three miles east to the site of the International-Great Northern Railroad. Thorndale’s residents and businesses soon moved to the new site. Thorndale was an agricultural town that served as a shipping point for area farmers. The town incorporated in 1929. Thorndale is located at the intersection of U.S. 79 and FM 486 (Main Street), 53 miles northeast of Austin, 31 miles northeast of Round Rock, 22 miles northeast of Hutto, 20 miles northeast of Coupland, 12.6 miles northeast of Taylor, 28 miles northeast of Elgin, 33 miles southeast of Georgetown, 53 miles southeast of Belton, approximately 20 miles southeast of Granger, approximately 8 miles southeast of Granger Lake, 29.6 miles southwest of Cameron, 12.8 miles southwest of Rockdale, and 46.6 miles north of Bastrop, Texas.
St. Paul Lutheran Church School & Cemetery, Texas Historical Marker Text:
“August Polnick and his family moved from Lee County to Thorndale in 1881. The family was 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 Hockirche (Noack) community. By 1890 the combined parish recorded 69 communicants, with services held excursively 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 continues 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 its facilities. Church membership reached 654 by 1911; the parish boasted 830 members in 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 in World War 1. By 1952, there was one German service each year. Woman 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.