Welcome to the Deanville Texas Webpage
By Texas Author and Historian, Leonard Kubiak of Rockdale.
Photos from the 2012 First Annual German Fest Celebration.
Received the following email from Sandra Edwards (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I am the Great Great Granddaughter of Clem and Berniece Kaltwasser. That is my Great Great Grandfather standing on the wagon seat in front of the Deanville Cotton Gin in your photo. Later in life he lost his arm in an accident in the Cotton Gin. He was a Justice of the Peace until the accident. My grandmother was their daughter Ruby Kaltwasser. I remember going to Caldwell as a little girl to visit. Grandma Kaltwasser would give us mason jars and we would catch lightning bugs. Thank you for this interesting website. It brings back a lot of wonderful memories.
St. John's Lutheran Church of Deanville celebrated it's CENTENNIAL CELEBRATION on Sunday, June 27, 2010
Photos on the Deanville Lutheran Church webpage (www.forttumbleweed.net/stjohnsdeanville.html).
Deanville pioneer, John (Johnny) Frank Gerdes passed away on August 31, 2009 at the age of 90.
Funeral arrangements under the direction of Phillips & Luckey Funeral Home in Caldwell.
John Frank Gerdes was suffering from failing health in recent weeks at St, Mark's Medical Center in La Grange.
Services were held at 10 a.m. Thursday, September 3, 2009 at St. John's Lutheran Church in Deanville with the Rev. Terry Moon officiating. Interment will be in St. John's Cemetery.
Mr. Gerdes was a retired pot room worker for Alcoa Aluminum Company in Rockdale and a rancher. During the mid 1940's, he worked as a longshoreman in the Port of Galveston.
He was also a Charter Member of the Deanville Volunteer Fire Department, the Sons of Herman and a member of St. John's Lutheran Church.
John was preceded in death by his wife, Rowena "Lorine" (Reichle) Gerdes; his parents, John Henry and Elizabeth (Ahrendt) Gerdes; a brother, Albert O. Gerdes and a sister, Helen Gerdes.
Survivors include his two daughters and sons-in-law, Barbara and R. J. Smith Jr. and Deborah and Bill Colley, all of Deanville; five grandchildren and spouses, Lisa Smith and Scott Anderson, John and Casey Smith, Chris Smith, Mary and Douglas Dean and Jessica and Jason Muzny; four great-grandchildren, Dalton, Kymber, Shelia and Madyson; several nephews, nieces, other relatives and numerous friends.
Pallbearers included Garnet Gerdes, Dan Gerdes, Gary Iselt, Bobby Reichle, John Maresh and Bill Colley.
Received the following email from Gloria (Skopek) Pimpler:
Just visited your wonderful website, really enjoyed the stories of Deanville and Hranice and Dime Box as that is where my ancestors settled. J. B. Luedke Sr, , who helped found the St. John Lutheran Church in Deanville was my Great Grandfather. Our family lore has it that he dedicated the bell for the new church. I have heard it rung many times for funerals and services, and even while riding atop a load of hay when it was rung with joy marking the end of WWII. His son, Otto R. Luedke, my Grandfather, was a charter member, Sunday School Supt for 25 years, played the organ for services, and even swept out the church on Sunday mornings and stoked up the old wood stove when it was cold.
His other son, J. B. Luedke, Jr. was also a very active part of this church and its congregation. I have a picture I can send of the church dedication in 1917 and my mother was 2 years old, standing in front of the crowd outside the church.
I was baptised there and have many happy memories of the times we went to church there. Otto R. Luedke lived on the farm next to the John Gerdes farm. He at one time, managed the gin in Deanville with his brother. John B Luedke Sr. had 12 children...all buried in the St. John Lutheran cemetery.
My grandmother, who married Otto R. Luedke, was Mary Brinkmann, sister to Gus Brinkmann, and daughter of A. F. Brinkmann.
I especially enjoyed the pictures of Mary Maresh's 100th birthday party. She is a very dear lady and always greeted us so warmly when we visited at church.
My Great Grandfather on Dad's side was August Skopik, a Civil War Veteran who contributed to the Haranice school and cemetery. His son was August Walter Skopik who raised 12 children at San Antone Prairie, one of them, my Dad August Laddie Skopek (spelling changed somewhere along the way) My Mom and Dad met at the SPJST Hall in Deanville, and my sister and I enjoyed some dances and Fourth of July celebrations there too.
So I greatly enjoyed reminescing through all your history of that area. You have done a great job. I would also like to add that my husband Carroll and I graduated from Rockdale High School, he in 1956 and I in 1957. We married there at Peace Lutheran Church in 1958. I think you went to school there too?
I will keep checking this website for more info. Thank you for all your efforts.
Gloria (Skopek) Pimpler
DEANVILLE, BURLESON COUNTY, TEXAS AREA HISTORY
The area that is today Deanville, Texas was once the home of various Indian tribes dating back some ten thousand years. In the 1800's, the area that became known as Deanville was occupied by roving bands of Tonkawa Indians; a nomadic hunting and gathering people that camped along the rivers and streams of much of Central Texas. Although the Tonkawas were generally regarded as friendly by the Anglo-Americans who began to settle among them during the early nineteenth century, their horse stealing ways were a continual source of annoyance to the anglo settlers.
Hunting parties of Caddo Indians from East Texas, also considered peaceful by the settlers, roved westward through the area as far as the Colorado River in pursuit of buffalo. The territory of the future county also lay within the range of more hostile southern Wichita peoples, such as the Tawakonis and Wacos, and the Comanche Indians. Raids on the white settlements by small parties, typically seeking horses, seemed to become more frequent during the middle and late 1830s. In 1840, President Lamar sent the Texas army to drive out all Indians (many were resettled in Oklahoma; others relocated their camps to Mexico). The federal census of 1850 indicated no Indians were present in Burleson county although the heavily-wooded streams could not be totally checked.
The uncleared areas of Deanville and the areas along the area creeks are covered by hardwood forests with post oak, blackjack oak, hickory, elm, and hackberry trees. The streams are fringed by thick stands of water oak, pecan, and walnut. Much of the Deanville area has many varieties of prairie grasses including bluestem, Indian grass, tall bunchgrass, and buffalo grass. Burleson County is also located along the Luling Fault Zone with vast reserves of petroleum and natural gas and deposits of lignite coal–yet. Deanville is also home to many wild animal species including white-tailed deer, coyotes, skunks, raccoons, fox, bob cat, and opossums.
SETTLEMENT OF THE DEANVILLE AREA (1840's)
In the late 1840's, Horatio Chriesman moved his family from Washington County to what is now Deanville and was soon followed by other pioneer families giving rise to a settlement in the new state of Texas.
Chriesman was a colonial statesman, Methodist lay leader, and pioneer in Burleson County who came to Texas in 1822 from Kentucky. Horatio Chriesman was a surveyor in Austin's Colony(1823-1836). He was also a military officer in General Sam Houston's revolutionary army during the Texas War for independence; in 1837 Chriesman served on the commission to choose the site of the Capital for the Texas Republic. Horatio Chriesman married Mary Kincheloe. After Mary's death, he married Augusta Hope. He had eleven children.
However, the town of Deanville was named for James L. Dean
who established a general store in the new settlement in 1872 supplying the area settlers and cattlement driving their herds down the Chisholm Trail (which passed nearby).
During the Civil War, the unattended longhorns proliferated and Confederate Army veterans returning from the war built up herds by claiming unmarked cattle and branding them. At that time a steer was worth about $4. Up north, that same steer sold for about $40 which was the motivation behind the Texas cattle drives.
Tending a Longhorn Herd near Deanville just off the Old San Antonio Road (Chisolm Trail).
Deanville Named for Trading Post Owner, James L. Dean
The August 1870 census shows James L. Dean was 28 and a clerk in a store, his wife Josephine age 19, was born in Mississippi and they had a month-old baby named Lula.
The June 1880 census lists Dean at 38 and a merchant (having established his general store in 1872), his wife Josephine was 30 years of age, and they had four children: Olivia age 8, Edna age 5, Anna age 2, Jewel age 10 months.
DEANVILLE POST OFFICE ESTABLISHED (1877)
In 1877, a post office was assigned to Deanville which initially operated out of the Dean Trading Post and General Store.
Trail Drivers Shopping at the Deanville Trading Post
Fritz Miman's Store-Early Day Deanville
By the early 1880's, Deanville was a growing town supporting a church, a steam engine, a cotton gin, a post office, and a gristmill.
The first Methodist church and school in the area was called Chriesman Chapel named after Horatio Chriesman who had it built. The First Methodist church was also used by the local Methodist congregation.
A public school (Texas Common School District 9) was established in Deanville in the early 1880s and operated until 1973, when it was merged with the Caldwell Independent School District.
The Houston and Texas Central Railway reached Deanville in 1913 bringing new life to the community.
Deanville Train Depot.
The Houston and Texas Central Railway reached Deanville in 1913.
The Deanville Heritage Association has been formed to retrieve and restore the old depot to its original glory. More details to come.
Deanville Street Scene in 1916. Blacksmith and Drug Store
HISTORY OF ST. JOHN LUTHERAN CHURCH
In June of 1910, the St. John's Lutheran congregation was organized by Martin Weiderhold, John Seibert, Ernest Zwernemann, and John Luedke, Sr. with the help of Rev. A. H. Falkenberg.
For the next seven years, the congregation worshipped in the old Bauer church building until enough money was raised to purchase land and build the new church next to the Bauer Church building.
Original St. John's Lutheran Church of Deanville completed in 1917.
Old building that once served as a congregation home for the Baer Church around the turn of the century.
According to Bishop Michael Rinehart,
Bishop of the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Pastor Carl Baer baptized Tennie Zwernemann (Marburger) in 1904 and Louise Suehs (Schwartz) in 1905.
From 1910 to 1917, the old church building served as the temporary home for the Deanville St. John's Lutheran Church until their new church was completed in 1917.
According to area native, Larry Maresh, " The old church building was moved, expanded and became Lee Woltz's store. Saturdays, people came in to buy or sell live chickens, eggs, have a beer, buy groceries or get a haircut from Mr. Lee. I remember some who came mostly to visit and they would spend most of the afternoon. Of course there was a competing store across the street, somewhat larger, owned by the Mimans and then Jodie Lesikar.It was always interesting to watch the two store owners try and steal each others customers, but people mostly traded with one or the other".
This historic old Deanville building now stands directly across from the Deanville Bank. According to Barbara Smith the building that became the Wolz store was originally the old Baer Church located adjacent to where the original St. John's Lutheran Church was built.
The formal dedication of the St. John's Lutheran Church took place in 1917 with the donation of the church bell that currently hangs in the new Lutheran Church built in 1966.
The church established an adjacent cemetery in 1918. The congregation prospered and a new church building was erected here in 1966.
Early Day Congregation at St. John's
The original bell, housed in a tower at this site, continued to herald the commencement of worship services. This congregation has played a vital role in the community's civic, social, and religious development.
New Deanville Lutheran Church, completed in 1966.
Deanville Lutheran Church Cemetery (established in 1918)
St. John's Lutheran Church of Deanville
SON'S OF HERMAN LODGE (1916)
The Order of the Sons of Hermann was initially organized in New York City in 1840 by a small band of men of German descent. Hermann, for whom the order was named, was an early folk hero known as Hermann the Cherusker (Cherusker is the name of the ancient German tribe to which Hermann belonged).
Five years afer the Sons of Hermann lodge was established in Deanville, the Texas Hermann Sons Order went on its own with more members than all other Sons of Hermann lodges in all other states combined.
The Son's of Hermann Lodge, established in Deanville in 1916, sponsored July 4th celebrations , dances, BBQ functions and other social events for the town of Deanville. This lodge is still going strong almost a century later.
Another view of the Sons of Herman Hall in Deanville.
Fritcher's Garage (1940)
Present day Deanville Bank
Deanville Fire Department and social center of Deanville.
Photo of John H. and Elsie Gerdes Homestead (1900) in Deanville
While Deanville initially grew with the support of the cattle drives and ranching, cotton was an important part of the local economy.
Picking Cotton in Early-day Deanville Cotton Fields.
One of two early-day Deanville Cotton Gins. Clem Kaltwasser, Justice of the Peace is shown standing on the wagon in front of the Deanville Cotton Gin. Later in life he lost his arm in an accident in the Cotton Gin.
At one time, Deanville had two cotton gins, a cotton warehouse, two garages, a drugstore, a barbershop, a blacksmith shop, a cafe, a large general merchandise store, a produce house, a butcher shop, a lumberyard, an icehouse, a machine welding shop, and a dry-goods store.
One of the natives of Deanville around the turn of the century was
Hattie Wysong who died recently at the age of 94. She has two daughters, Wanda Cade of Bayard, Lula Andrews of Dallas, Texas, three sons, Autrey Wysong of Cottage Grove, Oregon, Jesse Wysong and Allen Wysong both of Bayard, ten grandchildren, nineteen great-grandchildren and two great-great-grandchildren.
John Maresh, Jr.; Deanville Blacksmith in the 1930's
Another prominent settler in early-day Deanville was John Maresh Jr. who was the local blacksmith in Deanville in the early 1930's.
Photo of Deanville Blacksmith, John Maresh Jr. (Center) in training under C. Kaltwasser Blacksmith and Wheelwright
Photo of Deanville Blacksmith, John Maresh Jr. in his Deanville Blacksmith Shop
John was married to Julia Muzny. John also had three brothers that lived in Deanville including:
William John Maresh
John and Julia Maresh had two children:
John (Jay)Cameron Maresh, Deanville Farrier
Decendants of John and Julia Maresh still live in Deanville including grandson, John Cameron Maresh, the local farrier in Deanville.
Photo of John (Jay) Cameron Maresh hard at work in his grandfather's profession.
As a farrier, John Maresh provides essential hoof care services for the horses under his care including the trimming and balancing each horse's hoof for precise fitting to the shoes. Unlike his grandfather, Jay Cameron's blacksmith shop is the back of his pickup truck.
Gus Brinkman, Another Deanville Businessman in the 30's
Another prominent settler in early-day Deanville was Gus Brinkman, born on June 6, 1893, to Mr. and Mrs. A. F. Brinkman in the Birdsong community of Burleson County. Gus lived and farmed in Birdsong until 1930 when he bought the cotton gin in Deanville. Gus was the oldest of a family of fourteen.
In 1931, he moved his family to Deanville. He acquired the water works and furnished water to the residents of Deanville. As the years went by, he added other businesses such as house moving, grist mill, well drilling, and shipping wood. He employed from four to ten men besides his own sons, depending on the season. Gus became a director of the Deanville First State Bank in later years.
Gus and New Bride. Gus married Emma Fojtik on July 31, 1913 at Galveston, Texas.
Emma's parents, Frank and Rosina (Vaura) Fojtik, came to this country from Czechoslovakia. Emma was born on April 17, 1894, in Burleson County. Emma had two brothers, Emil and Frank Fojtik. The Fojtiks also lived at Birdsong. When Gus bought the gin in 1930, Emma ran the farm and raised the best cotton crop of their married years (made thirty bales of cotton that year). Emma loved working with her hands. She did her own gardening and canning. In her later years she took up quilting and was quite good at it.
Gus and Emma had five sons: Jake, Gussie, Ernest, Stonewall, and Jimmy andn four daughters: Annie, Alma, Roselee, and Mildred.
Jake married Gladys Mahlman and had four daughters, Glenda Gay, Bonnie, Victry, and one daughter died at birth. Jake drove the school bus and worked with his dad for many years. He moved to Caldwell, and then to Bryan where he died in 1976. He is buried in Bryan. Glenda is married and has three children. She lives in California. Victry is married and has two children. She lives in north Texas.
Gussie married Sheila Wallace in England. They have four children: Terry, Kevin, Patricia, and Kathy. Gussie lives in Baytown. He served in the Air Force during WWII. Terry is a Catholic priest in Houston. Kevin is married and has two children and living in Baytown. Patricia is married and has two children and lives in Houston. Kathy is married, has two children, and lives in Brownsfield.
Ernest has two sons: Ronnie and David, and lives in Corpus Christi with his son, David. Ernest's wife Helen died in 1976. Ernest served in the Navy in WWII. Ronnie lives in Freeport with his wife and three children.
Stonewall married Rosemarie Balcar and has three children: Keith, Dawn, and Kyle. Stonewall served in the Navy during the Korean War. Kyle died as an infant. The rest of the family lives in Irving.
Jimmy married Betty Burttschell and has two children: Michelle and Kelly. Jimmy bought the family business in Deanville and still lives there. He now works in Caldwell. Betty works at the bank in Deanville. Michelle lives in Austin and Kelly is married, living in Giddings.
Annie married Eldie Dworsky and had one child, Doris. Eldie died in 1976. Annie lives in Houston. Doris is married, has two children, and resides in Houston.
Alma married Burney Mayer and had one son, Rudy. Rudy is married and has one child. They all live in Giddings, where Alma is a real estate broker and Rudy has an equipment company. Burnie is retired.
Roselee married Charles Weir and has one daughter, Diane. Charles died in 1970. Roselee lives in Lubbock. Diane is married, has two daughters, and all live in Lubbock.
Mildred married Doyle Wiederhold and had two daughters: Sharon and Bette. They all live in Houston. Sharon is married and has one child. Bette is married and has two children.
Gus and Emma lived at Deanville until 1968 when Emma moved to Houston to live with her daughter because of ill health. Gus also moved to Houston in 1969 because of ill health. In 1971, Gus and Emma entered Hennessey Nursing Home in Giddings. Gus died on October 18, 1976 and was buried at St. John's Lutheran Cemetery at Deanville. Three months later on January 16, 1977, Emma died and was also buried at St. John's Cemetery.
Early Day Resident , T.F. Mays, Recalls Civil War Battle of Milliken's Bend
The Deanville and Caldwell area sent many young men into the Confederate army. The following battlefield account was provided by Deanville resident, T.F. Mays in 1914.
"This is June 6, 1914 and it very vividly calls my mind back to this day 51 years ago, 1863, when we charged over breastwork at Milliken’s Bend on the Mississippi River and engaged in one of the bloodiest fights for about one hour that was ever fought. We marched all the day before the battle and lay on our arms during the night within a mile of the battle ground and just as day began to dawn we received orders to prepare for battle and resumed our march to meet the enemy and within a few hundred yards of the enemy we had to concentrate our men and cut through a Boisdac hedge and the enemy began firing on us before we could deploy columns and about fifty of our men fell, but we were only a few minutes in making our way to the levee behind which the enemy was fortified and they proved to be mostly Negroes. We charged right over on them and within a very short time we completely demolished the entire enemy, killing 750 Negroes while we never lost a man after we got to the levee. Blood was in the trenches several inches deep in places after the battle. I was a member of the 17th Texas Volunteer Infantry, Col. R. T. P. Allen was our colonel and Wash Jones was our lieutenant colonel. Though the battle was led by the illustrious General E. McCullogh who has long since received his reward, not only as a faithful Confederate soldier, but as a faithful Christian soldier of the cross of Christ.
Among the brave Burleson County boys who participated in that famous and hard fought battles were: B. H. Carroll and his two brothers, Will Ike Heslep, C. C. Harvey, Billy Brymer, T. M. Hunt, Beverly A. and John Porter, Tom Ridgeway and Jack Allbright, the two latter being killed in the first charge and many others were there who I can’t call to mind as I am only quoting from memory.
Now I am a citizen of Burleson County and my address is Deanville, Texas and I am writing this synopsis of the battle at the request of some of the old boys who were there and if I have made any misquotations, I stand corrected. I was born and raised in the that little historic town of Bastrop and was the eldest son of Judge Thomas H. Mays and if any of the dear old 17th see this, I would be glad to hear from them".
T. F. Mays
June 6, 1914
Early-Day Deanville Postmasters
In 1873, a post office was assigned to Deanville which initially operated out of the Dean General Store with James L. Dean as postmaster.
Subsequent postmasters of the Deanville Post Office included:
Womble, J. C., 27 Jun 1877
Dean, Jas. L., 3 May 1880
Donath, Adolph F., 2 Jan 1894
Wilkinson, John R., 6 Mar 1901
Donath, Adolph F., 15 Oct 1901 (Declined)
York, Dewitt C., 16 Nov 1901
Donath, Adolph F., 20 Jun 1903
Wolle, Elo F., 2 Sep 1905
Connolly, Jas., 17 Mar 1908
Radtke, Henry L., 4 Mar 1912
Radtke, Lula M., 16 Feb 1915
Griffin, Harry L., 3 Apr 1917
Seibert, John C., 13 Mar 1919
Photo of Deanville Post Office (Jan 2008)
DEANVILLE CITIZEN CELEBRATES 100th BIRTHDAY
On Sunday, April 26, 2009, the citizens of Deanville, family, and friends
celebrated Mary Prazek Maresh's 100th birthday. Mary came to Texas on the Orphan train and has lived in the Deanville area over 98 years. Mary and her husband, Vince Maresh, were married in 1926 and had four children: Delphine May, Beverly Blinka, James Maresh, and Jimmy Maresh.
Vince and Mary Maresh in early day Deanville (1926).
Mary has four grandchildren, seven great grandchildren and three great great grandchildren. As a young girl, Mary Maresh attended Prarie Dale School and attended the Catholic church in nearby Frenstat. Mary is a member of the St. John's Lutheran Church in Deanville.
Two beautiful Maresh ladies celebrating a birthday (Lynda Maresh Kubiak on left, Honoree Mary Maresh, 100 years young on the right).
Cake dipicting the reason for the big celebration in Deanville. And yes, it tasted as good as it looks!!
MARY MARESH OF DEANVILLE CELEBRATES HER 101 BIRTHDAY!
Looking prettier than ever, Mary Maresh and her family celebrated her one hundred and one birthday.
MARY MARESH OF DEANVILLE CELEBRATES HER 102nd BIRTHDAY!
In fine form, Mary Maresh and her family celebrated her one hundred and second birthday.
Deanville and St' John's Lutheran Church hosted the celebration of Mary's 102nd Birthday.
The St' John's Lutheran Church hosted the celebration of Mary's 102nd Birthday.
Lynda Maresh Kubiak of Rockdale visiting with her Aunt
Jay (John) Maresh, local Deanville Farrier in attendance of his Aunt's celebration along with scores of well-wishing family and friends.
Cemeteries in the Deanville Area
Deanville Lutheran Cemetery. Located on FM 60 S in Deanville at the Lutheran church.
Beaird Cemetery. Located 3 miles SE of Deanville on County Road 126.
Chriesman Chapel Cemetery. Located 2 miles W. of Deanville
San Antonio Prairie Cemetery (also known as the SPJST Cemetery). Located 8 miles SW of Caldwell (SE of Deanville).
San Antonio Prarie (also SPJST) Cemetery
BEAIRD CEMETERY LISTING
This is a work in progress. Check back in a few days for the listing.
HISTORY OF BURLESON COUNTY, TEXAS
Bookmark this page and come back often. If you have an old photographs or family history or story relating to the Deanville area, please email me a copy and I'll include your photos on this webpage.