Discover Shelby, Texas: The Tiny Town Where Everyone Speaks German and Spreads Gemütlichkeit (friendliness)

Hidden among Texas’s expansive plains is Shelby, a charming town where the residents speak German fluently.

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Yes, you read that right—Shelby, Texas, might just be the only place in the Lone Star State where “Guten Tag” is more common than “Howdy.” But how did this come to be?

Economic Woes

The tale begins in the mid-19th century when a group of German immigrants, fed up with economic woes and political turbulence (and perhaps in desperate search of decent sauerkraut), set sail for the United States.


These pioneers didn’t just bring their suitcases; they brought an entire culture with them. Landing in Texas, they established Shelby, where they planted roots—and plenty of bratwursts.

Keeping the Heritage Alive

From day one, these settlers were determined to keep their heritage alive. They set up schools where the ABCs were more like the ABCDs (Danke included), churches that resounded with hymns in German, and community clubs where discussing the latest schnitzel recipe was a serious business. They even had town meetings that might as well have been straight out of a Bavarian village.


Berlin With a Souther Drawl

Fast forward a few generations, and you’ll find that the commitment to speaking German in Shelby hasn’t wavered. In fact, it’s evolved. Today, walking through Shelby feels like you’ve stepped into a time warp with a Texas twist. Street signs are a linguistic delight, local eateries serve up bratwurst alongside barbecue, and eavesdropping on street conversations feels like you’re in the heart of Berlin (with a Southern drawl).

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