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Boerne, Texas, and St. Peter Apostolic Catholic Church

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Abstract

An early-nineteenth-century visitor to the Cibolo Valley, which comprises the area west of San Antonio that is now Kendall County, described it as “a delightful prairie with occasional groves of trees of 10 to 12 varieties of oaks. The whole valley resembles a park, whose diversity and rarity cannot be easily duplicated elsewhere.”1 Whether or not this was a bit of typical nineteenth-century real estate puffery designed to entice settlers is not known. But for whatever reason, in 1847 a small group of young idealistic German socialist intellectuals, part of a large group of German immigrants from the “Adelsverein” who had earlier settled New Braunfels and Fredericksburg, Texas, established an experimental community at Bettina, near where Boerne now sits. Within a year, dissent within the community led to its breakup. Eight of the dissidents decided to set up another community at present-day Boerne in 1849 and called it Tusculum. By 1851 fresh like-minded immigrants from Germany had arrived, and a surveyor was engaged to lay out a town. The residents renamed their settlement for a German journalist, Ludwig Boerne, who had had to flee to France from his native Frankfurt because of left-wing articles he had written.2 Along with farming, the people quarried limestone in the nearby hills and fabricated shingles from the cedar trees that grew in the area.

Keywords

Historic Building Planning Committee Local Landmark Cedar Tree Religious Liberty 
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Notes

  1. 1.
    Garland A. Perry, Historic Images of Boerne, Texas (Boerne, TX: Perry Enterprises, 1982), vii. The information regarding the history of Boerne and Kendall County that follows is taken from this book and a volume published by the Kendall County Historical Commission, A History of Kendall County (Dallas, TX: Taylor Company, 1984). The February 23, 1994, edition of the Boerne Star also has a lengthy article detailing the history of Boerne. There were two weekly newspapers published in Boerne during these years, the Star and the Hill Country Recorder. I will henceforward merely cite them as the Star and Recorder respectively. They have since merged.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    The information on Fr. Fleury and the history of St. Peter Church is taken from Anna Marie Davison, A History of St. Peter’s Catholic Church, Boerne, Texas (Boerne, TX: St. Peter’s Restoration and Preservation Society, 1987). The technical name of the church is St. Peter Apostolic Catholic Church. However, members and other locals use “St. Peter” and “St. Peter’s” interchangeably. I will simply follow their form.Google Scholar

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© Jerold Waltman 2013

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