The following descriptions come from The Handbook of Texas Online, unless otherwise noted.
Kinkler and nearby New Kinkler are on U.S. Highway 77 and Lavaca County Road 214, seven miles north of Hallettsville in northern Lavaca County. In 1838 Richard J. Woodward was issued a headright certificate for one league and one labor of land in the area, and the grant was patented to him in 1841. For many years the area, with its moderately well-drained sandy loams that support grass and scattered trees, provided excellent range for cattle. During and after the Civil War the original Anglo-American settlers were gradually replaced by German and Czech immigrants, who divided the large ranches into farms.
In 1875 Jack Kinkler settled on Mixon Creek on the Woodward grant, and the growing community of predominantly German farmers took his name. A school called Mule Spring was built in 1880, and in 1895 New Kinkler School was erected a mile to the east. The population of Kinkler in the 1890s was about twenty-five. A post office operated from 1885 to 1905 and served both communities.
Improved travel conditions drew residents to Hallettsville or to the railroad at Schulenburg and precluded commercial development. The Texas Almanac has no records for Kinkler until 1933, when it lists the community with a population of twenty-five and two businesses. By the early 1940s the population had climbed to seventy, where it remained with slight fluctuations for several decades. By 1950 students attended school in Hallettsville. When cotton ceased to be an important crop in Lavaca County during the 1950s, much of the farmland reverted to pasture and residents took jobs in nearby towns. By 1987 no businesses remained to mark the site of Kinkler, and a year later the Almanac had dropped the community from its listing.
Koerth is on Farm Road 531 three miles west of U.S. Highway 77 in south central Lavaca County. The families of William Ryan, Bernard O'Dougherty, and other settlers of Irish descent first settled the area in 1833. The original community was known as Yellow Bank, for Yellow Bank Creek, and Antioch. St. John the Baptist Catholic Church and school were built there by 1865, replacing a private school taught by Rube Walton in the H. P. Riley home. After the Civil War German and Czech immigrants began to replace the earlier settlers, and C. J. Koerth built a store. The community took his name, as did the post office, which operated in his store from 1884 to 1887 and again from 1893 to 1910. By 1896 the community had a flour mill and gin. In 1914 a public school was built at the intersection of the old Victoria-Hallettsville and the Sweet Home-Hope roads. When the schools were consolidated in the 1950s students began attending classes in Sweet Home, and at the same time U.S. 77 was built along the east flank of the community. The population of Koerth from the early 1930s to about 1945 was twenty; the settlement had one business. In 1950 one store served a population of thirty. In 1990 the store remained, and the church was the center of community life for the population of forty-five.
Komensky is a farming community at the intersection of Farm roads 532 and 1295, fourteen miles northwest of Hallettsville in northwestern Lavaca County. Its boundaries are roughly equal to that of the old Lavaca County School District No. 6. In May 1895 a number of residents, primarily Czech, Moravian, and German newcomers to the area, met at the home of C. M. Karasek on Woods Prairie to plan the construction and operation of a school for their children. By the next fall a building had been completed at a cost of about $215, and in a subsequent election the school and the growing community were named in honor of Jan Amos Komensky (John A. Comenius), the noted seventeenth-century Czech-Moravian educator and bishop of the Protestant Moravian Unity of the Brethren Church. The community's school, rather than the church or a business district, remained the focal point of community life. Most business was conducted at nearby Breslau, Moravia, Novohrad, Witting, or Moulton. There was no post office, but a combination service and supply business met the immediate needs of farmers. Crops consisted primarily of cotton and corn. Through the years the school and its supporting facilities grew to accommodate well over 100 students in the first through seventh grades. By 1915 it was recognized as a model for rural schools in Texas. Consolidation after World War II deprived Komensky of its school but not its community spirit. Cotton was last grown in the area during the 1950s, and during the 1980s one farm service center remained to serve the needs of residents, who at that time grew corn, cattle, and hay.
Site of Komensky School
Citizens of the Czech/German Woods Prairie settlement created a fund and hired a carpenter in 1895 to build a community school. By fall 1895 a one-room schoolhouse, named for 17th century Czech (Moravian) educator and religious leader Jan Amos Komensky, was built here on land owned by Emanuel Breitschoff. Student enrollment reached 107 in 1900 and in 1901 the school was enlarged. A teacherage was erected in 1903 and in 1910 a special tax was established for the Komensky School District. Two sixth grade graduates were recognized in 1913 in the school's first public graduation ceremony. The community proudly dedicated the opening of an impressive new school here in 1914. A Parents-Teachers Association was organized in 1928. Higher grades were added over the years and by 1940 Komensky School offered 12 grades of instruction and competitive athletic programs. Eight former Komensky school students lost their lives while on active duty in World War I and II. Although the school had dropped grades 10-12 by 1955 a new school building was erected. By 1958 Komensky School offered only eight grades and in 1966, after 71 years of providing educational opportunities for the area's rural community, Komensky School closed. Sesquicentennial of Texas Statehood 1845-1995
FM 1295 .25 miles north of FM 532
Hallettsville Herald, 7 Aug 1914
School Dedication at Komensky
Dedication exercises were held Monday at the Komensky school, located some 14 miles north of our city, the occasion given in honor of the completion of a new $2,000 school building by the people of that school district.
The community may justly be proud of their school edifice. It is large, well arranged and properly ventilated, built in accordance with the new law relating to light, heat, ventilation, and sanitation, and is the best rural school house in the county.
Much credit for this fine building, as well as for the school pride manifest in that community is due to the energy and ability of Prof. F. K. Bucek, who has been in charge of the school for the past 16 years. He has been ably assisted in the school work the past term by Miss Ernestine Brooks of Weimar, assistant teacher. Messrs. Frank Jurena, John Janak and John Wenske, who have been the trustees for a number of years, have also taken active interest in the upbuilding of the school.
The people of the community are diligent and industrious , and since the location is in one of the best sections of the county, naturally, they are prosperous. They show a commendable spirit in liberally contributing and working for a good school that their children may reap its benefits and privileges. With this feeling of community fellowship and co-operation the trustees and teachers have been enabled to not only build and equip on of the best school buildings in the county, but also have accomplished school work that ranks in the van of the county schools.
The school has a census enrollment of 119 scholastics, has a teacher's home, has the largest school library in the county, 343 volumes and other features. Upon the walls of the building may be seen, appropriately placed, a fine selection of pictures, portraits of American statesmen and other noted personages, scenery pictures, etc., giving a pleasing view to the eye, the effect of which will tend to raise the child's ideals and strengthen its patriotism.
There is probably no other school in the county that can boast of having a trustee who has served so long in that capacity as Mr. Frank Jurena, a record of 19 years, trustee of Komensky.
A large crowd was present for the day's celebration, many traveling a number of miles. From Moulton were several businessmen, among them T. J. Jaeggli, a member of the county school board. F. T. Fehrenkamp and son Victor, O. B. Eilert, Mr. Nachlinger, besides a number of other Moulton citizens. From Hallettsville were: Supt. Wm. Eilers, Judge P. H. Green, Tax Collector Steve Bennett, District Clerk, F. T. Long, Chas. Fertsch, Jas. Howerton; Supt. Busch of the Cuero schools, J. W. W. Harvey of Vienna, member of the county board of trustees.
A fine dinner was served at noon, after which the dedication exercises were held. Music was furnished during the day by a good band.
The firs number on the afternoon program was the song, "America," by the school. Supt. Eilers then made a few brief, appropriate remarks. It may be well to add here that his untiring work for the county schools has aided Komensky, as well as the others of the county, in making material progress.
Judge Green then delivered a short address, complimenting the trustees, teachers and patrons upon their excellent school. He reviewed and compared that section as it is today and what it showed some thirty years ago, at that time practically unsettled, noting the wonderful changes during the time. Judge Green, was formerly ex-officio county superintendent of schools, and having taken active interest in the work, appreciates the school spirit now prevailing in the Komensky neighborhood. His remarks were well received. The next number on the program was a song by the school.
Judge Haidusek, of LaGrange, leading Bohemian editor of South texas, and an advocate of good schools spoke in Bohemian along educational lines. His remarks were frequently applauded.
Supt. Busch, of Cuero, delivered an address in which he outlined a plan citing vital points to be considered in the upbuilding and success of a school. He commended the Komensky people on their school work and suggested that they continue to upbuild and add to their school facilities.
Prof. Bucek, principal at Komensky, busied himself during the day seeing that all present enjoyed the occasion, and his courtesies extended, are appreciated by all.
May the Komensky school and community continue to prosper is the wish of the Herald!
Rudolph F. Skrehot, established the Krajina post office on May 3, 1895. Evidently, the town did not prosper as expected as the post office was discontinued 30 Sep 1902, with papers going to Seclusion.
Houston Daily Post, 15 Jan 1897, Hallettsville column
The new town of Krajina, some twenty miles southeast from here, is booming. Twenty-five lots were sold here yesterday.
Shiner Gazette, 20 Jan 1897, Hallettsville column
Judge R. F. Skrehot has platted a town at Krajina and has sold a number of lots to parties here. The new town is about twenty miles south-east from here.
Shiner Gazette, 21 Jul 1897, page 3
Mr. Will Leazear says it is a mistake about his going to the little town of Krajina as there was nothing there to go to but a 4X6 postoffice and a one-horse blacksmith shop under a live-oak tree.
Midway is on Farm Road 958 and Lavaca County roads 326 and 332, halfway between Shiner and Yoakum in southwestern Lavaca County. In March 1838 J. Branton Johnson of Austin County received a certificate for a half league and a labor of land in the area, which was used for many years for ranching. During the latter half of the nineteenth century German and Czech settlers moved in, subdivided the large ranches into smaller farms, and gradually replaced the earlier residents. In 1925 Frank Klecka built a store and recreation hall where several settlement roads crossed the line of the Southern Pacific Railroad between Shiner and Yoakum, and in 1928 he was followed by August Rogge, who built a cotton gin. The growing community took its name from its location on the railroad. Land in the old Johnson survey is gently sloping and relatively deep loamy clay, well-suited for growing cotton and grain sorghums. The store and gin served a population of fifty in 1950 and continued in operation during the 1980s. Cotton was the economic foundation of farming in Lavaca County. In 1906 gins there produced slightly over 40,000 bales. By 1948 however, the number had dropped to slightly over 20,000, and during the next thirty-five years production ceased completely. The gin at Midway was the last to operate in Lavaca County.
Mont is on Farm Road 318 seven miles southwest of Hallettsville in southwestern Lavaca County. The area was settled in the 1830s, and in 1846 settlers built the Rocky Creek Baptist Church, which was also used as a school. Bohemian settlers arrived in the area in the 1850s. In 1887 the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway built through the community, and George Wilcox built a store and gin there. In 1894 the community was granted a post office under the name Monserate; this office closed in 1905. A new school was constructed in 1908 and was called the Mont school. That seems to have been the name of the community as well from that point on. Mont had two businesses and an estimated population of twenty in 1940. Railroad service to Mont was discontinued by 1961, and the school was closed by the 1960s. In 1981 Mont had a number of scattered dwellings. Its population was estimated at thirty in 1990.
The community descriptions on this page come from The Handbook of Texas Online, unless otherwise noted.
Moravia is at the intersection of Farm roads 957 and 532 in Lavaca County. In this Catholic community of Czechs, Germans, and Anglos, the Czech-Moravian group was the largest during the 1980s. Most of the Moravians speak both Czech and English; in the early 1980s a few still spoke only a Moravian dialect. Anglo settlers were already in this farm area before the Czechs arrived in the early 1870s. The Anglo settlers, who may have moved there in the early 1850s, probably began to leave around 1865, and the settlers who replaced them had immigrated from northeastern Moravia and brought with them their culture and their Moravian dialect, which differs from standard Czech. During the 1980s Czech was still used in the recitation of the Rosary and in hymns. Moravia was founded in 1881, when Ignac Jalufka and James Holub moved a preexisting store to the junction of three roads. The next buildings were a blacksmith shop, a gin, and a school. A post office operated in Moravia from 1882 to 1900. In 1912 a Catholic church, named Ascension of Our Lord, was built. The architect was its first pastor, Emil Schindler; the builder was Koch and Sons; and Ponecker and Sons did the interior work. The church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Schooling was conducted in private homes when the community first began. A one-room school, built on donated land and supported by tuition, burned in 1878 and was replaced; the Moravian dialect was part of the course of study. A new structure was built for the school in 1923, though it was subsequently destroyed after the Moravia school was consolidated with those of Hallettsville. In 1933 the population in Moravia was estimated at forty. The Texas Almanac listed a population of 165 there from 1968 through 1990, but according to the church census, 227 people lived in Moravia in 1983. In the 1980s the main income of Moravia residents continued to come from the sale of farm produce. Cattle production was the main cash crop, followed by hay and grain sorghum production, truck farming, and poultry raising.
Many Czech and German immigrants settled in this area of South Texas in the 1870s. Moravia was a Czech farming community that included homes, a Catholic church, businesses, and a school. The first school in the Moravia community was a one-room structure located about one mile northwest of this site. Students attended classes on a tuition basis. The one-room schoolhouse was destroyed by fire in 1878, and students temporarily attended school in a former store building (about 1 mile north). Land at this site was acquired in 1885. Moravia School, a two-story schoolhouse with two classrooms, was erected in 1887. Classes were conducted primarily in the Czech language until 1895. Additional land acquisitions in 1908 and 1922 enlarged the school property, and in 1923 materials from the 1887 structure were used in the construction of a larger school facility with four classrooms. Serving students from a large rural area, the Moravia School continued to grow as other rural schools declined. Students participated in scholastic, literary, and athletic activities. The Moravia School was closed following the 1971-72 school year and was consolidated with the Hallettsville School System. - 1989
Ignac (J. E.) Jalufka and Jakob Hollub brought their families to northern Lavaca County in 1874, followed by several other Czech families. Founded in 1881, Moravia was so named to honor Moravia, Czechoslovakia, the settlers' homeland. The first commercial structures here were a blacksmith shop, cotton gin, and school. In 1889 Jalufka built a two-story frame saloon on this site. Grocery and mercantile supplies took up the rear half of the ground floor; the saloon was located in the front. The second floor served as a dance hall. Masquerades, seasonal celebrations and other events made it a popular gathering place for the entire community. From 1891 to 1900 Jalufka also was United States Postmaster for the area, operating the post office from his store. The saloon was popular and successful until 1920, the year that J. E. Jalufka died and prohibition was passed into law. Agnes Jalufka inherited the business, and sold it to Annie Chromcak and Lillian Blahuta in 1922. Annie Chromcak sold her interest to Lillian and Frank Blahuta the following year. In 1930, a new dance hall was erected across the road. The second story was torn down, leaving the one-story Moravia General Store. The new dance hall across the road was torn down in 1950. The Moravia store remained in the Blahuta family until 1979. In 1990 the store was closed for the first time in 109 years, but it was reopened in 1996. The Moravia General Store remains a link to the past and to the spirit of the pioneers of Lavaca County. (1998)
FM 957, 9 mi. N of Hallettsville at CR 229
See history, photographs, historical markers, and other information about Moullton.
Mount Olive is six miles from Shiner in Lavaca County. It was settled about 1838 by the Culpepper family. A Baptist church built in 1848 was also used as a school. J. E. Hranitzky established the first store.
Novohrad is a decentralized farming and ranching community ten miles northeast of Moulton on Farm Road 1295 in northern Lavaca County. In the early days of the Republic of Texas, Norman Woods, son of Zadock Woodsqqv and a survivor of the Dawson Massacre,qv received a grant to land on the old La Bahía Road and Big Rocky Creek. There in 1880 Frank Migl built a store and cotton gin, and J. R. Jacek, formerly a botanist for the government of Bohemia, operated a nursery. The community that grew around these businesses took its name from a town in Bohemia. A post office operated in the store from 1894 to 1905, and as early as 1882 separate schools existed for the children of Bohemian and German residents. The Greive school for German students was later consolidated with the school at Praha in Fayette County. By 1950 Novohrad had two stores, a gin, a lodge hall, and a population of about twenty-five. The school was consolidated during the 1950s with the Moulton Independent School District; the demise of cotton as a cash crop and improvement of roads closed the businesses and directed commercial activities to Moulton. The ruins of the gin remained in 1987.
In January 1858 Gottfried Pagel bought 110 acres in the Sherrill League from Jacob Woodward. He and his second wife, Johanna (Anna) Zorn Fritsche, and his seven unmarried children moved from Willow Springs in Fayette County to the new farm six miles southwest of Hallettsville. In June of the same year Gottfried bought 547 additional acres from Woodward. The area became known as Pagel Settlement and can be found on old maps of Lavaca County. With shooting tournaments being a popular past time, Gottfried Pagel organized the Pagel Settlement Gun Club in 1869.
This souvenir from the Pagel Settlement School Year, 1897 -1898, lists Watt Neeld as the teacher and Ernst Pagel and A. Bonorden, trustees. The students listed on the reverse side included: Julius, Gustave, Emil, Robert, Bernard, and Thekla Bonarden; Joe and Sophie Bosak; Emil, Albert, Phoebe and Amelia Einkauf; Edward and John and Louisa Kubicek; Frank and Franska Miloosky; Julius Neumann; Oscar, Lena, Martha, and Annie Pagel; Anna and Agnes Pastucha; Mary Raatz; Frank, Louis,Charley, Barbara, Clara, Lena, and Pauline Rother; Anton, Minnie, and Lena Schindler; Theodore Schrubar; Mary and BerthaWolfe; and Bell, Fannie, Maggie, and Bettie Woodall.
In 1923 the school building was moved from its location on County Road 134 on the east side of the district to a more central location on County Road 126 where Albert Bonorden had donated two acres of land for the school. The school was annexed by the Hallettsville I. S. D. in 1950 and closed. The building was sold to Matt Bozka.
Today about all that is left of the community is the Pagel Settlement Cemetery (sometimes referred to as the Meyer and Bonorden Cemeteries). An iron fence in the Pagel Settlement Cemetery encloses the grave of the community's founder, Gottfried Pagel.
From the historical marker:
County seat Lavaca County, 1846-1852. Founded upon the town site donated by Arthur Sherill. Named by order of the Commissioners Court, August 1, 1846. First officers, 1846-1848, Andrew Ponton, chief justice; B. Stribling, probate judge; M. H. Hinch, sheriff; Josiah Dowling, county clerk; D. Laughlin, district clerk; Gabriel Zumwalt, tax assessor and collector; Phillip Howard, treasurer.
Petersburg, the first seat of Lavaca County when the county was organized in August 1846, was located six miles southeast of Hallettsville on Farm Road 2616 and the east bank of the Lavaca River. Petersburg's first post office was granted in 1848; William T. Townsend was the postmaster. The townsite, 300 acres of land given by Arthur Sherill in 1846, was near Zumwalt Settlement, which Adam Zumwalt and his family had established in the early 1830s. Petersburg was on the San Felipe-Gonzales-San Antonio and the Victoria-Columbus roads. The population was twenty in 1848, when John Williams opened a store. Town lots did not sell rapidly, and it was not until the single building which was used as courthouse, church, school, and sheriff's office burned to the ground that a courthouse was constructed in mid-1850s. For a time county business was held in various buildings or under the trees, and prisoners were locked in barns and boarded in private homes. In a bitterly contested election in 1852 Hallettsville was made the county seat; it required most of the town's manpower and arms to secure the county archives from the irate citizens of Petersburg. The matter was not settled until a final legal decision in 1860. In the 1850s E. H. Nelson and his wife established Nelson Academy, using the courthouse and the old Spencer Townsend tavern to house the academy's boarders. During the Civil War the school had to close for lack of pupils. In 1876 the post office was moved to Williamsburg, where John Williams operated a large storehouse, gristmill, and gin. By 1880 Petersburg had only one establishment. The one building on the site in 1963 was a home which was built with the old post oak lumber from the Petersburg courthouse.
The community descriptions on this page come from The Handbook of Texas Online, unless otherwise noted.