Belgium Immigration to Texas

By: Sunny S.

Map – Homeland and Push Factors

Belgians were influenced to leave Belgium due to the expansion of the French Empire. The execution of Maximilian, a Belgian, that was appointed empire of Mexico by the French, also made the Belgians want to leave Belgium. Since Belgium bordered France it feared its power.

Map - Texas and Pull Factors

Belgians came to Texas for financial opportunities and a better life for their families. The first Belgians to arrive at Texas, came with La Salle, but most immigrated during the 1800s. In the 1890s, Belgians came to San Antonio, following the lead of Van Daele’s and Adolph Baeten. Then, in 1906, Belgians also immigrated to La Reunion, now West Dallas, with the France and the Swiss. Victor Considerant, founder of the French colony in Dallas, wrote a book, "To Texas", which described Texas' beauty and persuaded settlers to come to Texas. The Belgian and French colonist met at Antwerp and then went to New Orleans and from there to Texas. Once they had reached Galveston, Texas, they went to Houston, and from there they got to Dallas by ox wagon. One of the first groups arrived at Dallas on April 26, 1855. Wherever the Belgians were, gulf coast or north central plains, they were always farming and helping Texas grow as their new homeland.

Culture Highlights

Belgians prefer to have beer with their meals which are very rich and hearty. They wore wooden shoes and took them off before entering a house. Belgian lace was used to trim all their cloths and was still practiced once they immigrated to Texas. They performed the "Dance of the Dust" in honor of the soil that they harvested their food from. They celebrated the abundant harvest with the festival of Kermiss and they celebrated their independence on July 21.

Significant Individuals

Van de Walle, van Daele, Persyn, and Baeten made agriculture an all year business that people can make a living off of. Van Daele first came to Texas in 1884 and then a year later he made his 20 acer farm in San Antonio. Daele partnered with Baeten and built an artesian well to get water. The well provided water to all other settlers for a penny a gallon. Persyn was known for his radishes and for introducing cauliflower for to the San Antonio markets. Octave Van de Walle started a dynasty of growers and processors that serves a national market today.

Did You Know?

Q- Which place is Belgium in the amount of beer consumed, per capita?

A- 2nd and Germany is first.

Q- How many varieties of beers were brewed in Belgium?

A- Over 300

Q- How many loaves of breads can a Belgium oven hold at a time?

A- 50 loaves of breads

Q- Who did the first Belgians come with to Texas?

A- La Salle

Analysis Paragraph

In 1951, the Belgian community made agriculture and trade possible and easier by establishing the San Antonio Produce Terminal Market. It is still here today receiving produce around the clock from farmers all around. Van de Walles, a Belgian, made the largest truck farm, over 800 acres, in San Antonio, before World War II. He also started Van de Walle Farms, Inc, a dynasty of growers and processors that serves a national market today. Belgians, like Pete Persyn, introduced Texas to new vegetables, such as cauliflower. The Belgians formed the foundation for San Antonio's reputation of fine dishes, food production, and beautiful flowers.

Analysis Paragraph

The immigration of Belgians to Texas has benefited Texas and the New Worlds in multiple ways, but especially by making its food market better. Belgians introduced new foods and flowers to Texas and did a lot of farming and trade. Belgians have established a basis of trade in San Antonio and promoted agriculture by making resources, such as water, plentiful and easier to get to. Thus Belgian immigration has been a boon to Texas.


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Belgian Culture Group

By: Sunny S.

7th GT Tx. History

Mrs. Vice

3rd period