Marienfeld – German for “Field of Mary” – was what settlers first called the town now known as Stanton. The land was divided up into lots and sold, a courthouse was built, and the first Catholic church in West Texas was constructed before 1885. The friars built a two-story Carmelite monastery made from adobe, as well as the first school in West Texas. The Sisters of Mercy operated a successful Catholic academy here from the 1890s until the mid 20th century.
Many of Marienfeld’s early settlers moved away, forced out by frequent drought and sandstorms. Today, the monastery is the only structure that remains in this former German-Catholic settlement. The Martin County Historical Museum showcases the town’s rich religious and farming history, and is also home to the Connell House, built for Carmelite priests in 1882.
Martin County Historical Museum