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The people memorialized in the obituaries and death notices below either lived at least part of their lives in the county or are buried here. Please contact volunteer coordinator Regena Williamson to contribute obituaries and/or photographs from your research.



The Weimar Mercury, Friday, March 21, 1941

Hallettsville, March 14.—Funeral services were held here Thursday for Robert J. Sobotik, 51, lifelong resident of this city.

Surviving Mr. Sobotik are his wife; a son, Hubert H. Sobotik of Hallettsville; two daughters, Mrs. Joe Strieber of Victoria and Mrs. Emil Janicek of Hallettsville and the following brothers and sisters, Mrs. Alois Havel of Sweet Home, Louis Sobotik and Mrs. Paul Henneke of Hallettsville, Rudolph Sobotik of Schulenburg, Julius Sobotik of Hallettsville and Miss Agnes Sobotik of Dallas, and three grandchildren.

San Antonio Express Friday, March 14, 1941

HALLETTSVILLE, March 13. Robert J. Sobotik, 51, for 30 years connected with the Nolen Produce Company and owner of the Sobotik apartments, died of a a heart ailment in Renger's Hospital Tuesday and was buried Thursday.

His wife and three children survive; Mrs. Joe Strieber of Victoria, Mrs. Emil Janecek and H. H. Sobotik.

Interred in Sacred Heart Cemetery. Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Shiner Gazette, 21 Dec 1972

Impressive Church, Military Rites For WWII Veteran, Businessman, C. J. Sofka

C. J. "Sopie" Sofka died at 10:00 a.m. Friday, December 8, 1972 in the Shiner Hospital after a lingering illness.  He entered Eternal rest at the age of 55 years, 1 month and 7 days.  He underwent surgery at M.D. Anderson Hospital, Houston, on his 55th birthday and later returned home.  After three weeks, he was confined to the local hospital for 9 days before his death.

The body lay in state at the Buffington Funeral Home, Shiner, where a family rosary with the Sisters of St. Paul High and St. Ludmila's Academy was recited Friday evening.  The parish rosary, led by the Rev. Msgr. John J. Hanacek, was recited Saturday, December 9 at 8:00 p.m.

Funeral services were held at 2:00 p.m. Sunday, December 10 in Sts. Cyril and Methodius' Catholic Church with Requiem Mass offered by Msgr. Hanacek and the Rev. Thomas Collins, pastor of St. Thomas More Catholic Church in San Antonio.

Burial was in the Shiner Catholic Cemetery with Military graveside rites conducted by members of the Shiner Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion Posts.

Serving as pallbearers were Joe Strauss, Jerry Mikes, Ewald Erdelt, Emmett Blohm, Edgar P. Kram and Floyd Siegel.  Carrying the flag and banners were Monroe Menke, Louis Dusek and Joe Surovec; color guards were Melvin Harbers and Melvin Ahrens.

Eddie Jaks folded the flag which was presented to the widow by Chaplain George Watzlavick, who also read the graveside ritual.

"Taps" pre-recorded by Leonard Darilek concluded the military ritual.  The flag flew at half mast on the recently installed flag pole at the cemetery.

Clement Jerry Sofka, the youngest of six children, was born October 31, 1917, at Oak Grove, near Moulton, Lavaca County, Texas son of James and Johanna (Kubicek) Sofka.  He was reared on the family farm and attended elementary school at Oak Grove and St. Joseph's Catholic School in Moulton.  His high school education was acquired at the Shiner Public School, graduating with the class of 1937.  He was one of the star players on the famed basketball team of that era, coached by the renowned Milton Jowers, who died at M.D. Anderson Hospital Saturday, December 16th.

During his senior year, he worked at the Meyer Ice House and later purchased the business.  It was then that he started his trucking business.  He also operated a salvage yard for many years.  He was also the local agent for the Southern Pacific Transport Co. until a few months ago when the agency was disbanded.

During World War II, he entered the US Army December 30, 1943 at Fort Sam Houston and was assigned to Company G, 180th Infantry.  After basic training in Florida, he departed on July 26, 1944 for the European theatre of operation where he served for more than a year.  He was wounded in action April 17, 1945 and after a period of hospitalization, returned to active duty.  He returned to the States September 14, 1945 and was honorably discharged, November 11, 1945 at Fort Sam Houston with the rank of Staff Sergeant.

His qualification and citations included the Combat Infantryman's Badge, EAME Campaign Medal, with 3 Bronze Stars, Good Conduct Medal, Victory Ribbon, Purple Heart, and two Overseas Service Bars.  He participated in the Rome-Arno, Rhineland and Central Europe battles and campaigns.

On January 2, 1940, he was married to Christie Stock, daughter of Paul H. and Mary (Meyer) Stock, in the Shiner Catholic Church with the Rev. Edmund Bily officiating. The couple established their home in Shiner.  Seven children were born to this marriage union.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Christie Sofka of Shiner; six daughters, Mrs. Troy (Joyce) Johnson of Weimar, Mrs. Carroll (Margie) Sembera and the 13-year-old twins, Donna and Diane Sofka, all of Shiner, Mrs. Thomas (Paula) Korenek of Victoria, Mrs. Marvin (Cathy) Boedeker of Houston; one son, James Sofka of Houston; his mother, Mrs. Johanna Bujnoch of Moulton; two brothers, John and Otto Sofka, both of Houston; three sisters, Mrs. Adolph (Hermina) Dudik, Mrs. Johnny (Bessie) Sweeney, both of Galveston, Mrs. Michael (Margaret) Krezsi of Dayton, Ohio; and 12 grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his father in 1927; his stepfather, Frank Bujnoch, December 9, 1966; and an infant grandson, William Patrick Johnson, who died December 20, 1962 at the age of 3 months and 7 days.

Mr. Sofka was a lifelong member of the Catholic Church, a member of the American Legion Kolar-Stanek Post No. 301 and a charter member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Shiner Memorial Post No. 6209.

He contributed most of his time to sports activities and for a time assisted in coaching the basketball teams at St. Ludmila's Academy.

Peaceful death terminated his suffering, calmed his body and eased his soul into the hands of One he was prepared to meet.  His charities were many to his fellow-man, that of actual needed services and aid to those in want of help.  Nothing was too difficult for him to accomplish for others.

The hundreds of friends and relatives, who braved the bitter cold and freezing rain to attend the last rites and the bower of beautiful floral bouquets, many spiritual tributes and memorials bore mute testimony to the high esteem in which he was held.  He was a highly respected person whose memory will live on in the hearts and minds of all who knew him.

Contributed by Matt Cross

SOKOL Infant

Weimar Mercury, 16 Jul 1892, page 2

Halletsville New Era

Our fellow townsman, Mr. F. Sokol, had the misfortune to lose his infant son on Friday morning at 7 o'clock. The funeral took place Friday evening.


Victoria Advocate, November 21, 2012


YOAKUM - Alton Leo Sokol, age 86, passed away surrounded by his family, Monday, November 19, 2012. He was born August 18, 1926, in Schulenburg, Tx. to the late Adolph and Julia Kellner Sokol.
He was a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church and the Knights of Columbus. Alton worked at Western Auto, Elo's Grocery, Stanley's Grocery, and was a worker for the Knights of Columbus bingo, benefiting St. Joseph's school. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, dominoes, and bingo.

Survivors: wife of 66 years, Evelyn Mitchon Sokol, daughters; Lorene Roznovsky and husband Jimmie of Ganado, Anna Migl and husband Jimmy of Austin, son; Bob Sokol and wife Cali of Seabrook; grandchildren: Michael Roznovsky, Thomas Roznovsky, Larry Migl, Jeff Migl, Scott Migl, Sarah Sokol, Christopher Sokol, Valia Gazis; great-grandchildren: Trace and Asher Roznovsky, Alexandra and L.P. Migl.

He is preceded in death by his parents, sisters: Adela Schoener and Hilda Hollas, brothers: George, Herbert, Alfred, and Julius Sokol, and grandson Chuck Roznovsky.

Rosary will be recited at Thiele-Cooper Funeral Home at 7 p.m., Friday. Funeral mass will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday at St. Joseph Catholic Church, with Rev. Matthew Huehlefeld officiating. Internment to follow at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery. Pallbearers will be his grandchildren.

Memorials contributions may be made to St. Joseph Endowment Fund.
Special thanks to Yoakum Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Dr. Lambert, and staff at Yoakum Community Hospital, and Accolade Hospice, for their compassionate care. Thanks to Father Huehlefeld who has been a endless source of spiritual comfort to our family.
On-line guest book may be signed at
Arrangements by Thiele-Cooper Funeral Home in Yoakum 361-293-5656.

Contributed by Rosemary Ermis


Lavaca County Tribune, 24 Mar 1944

Mrs. Anna Sonntag Succumbs Wednesday

Mrs. Anna Sonntag, aged 88 years, died Wednesday March 22, at 6:50 at her home.  Rev. A.D. Klages conducted the last rites Wednesday at the Sublime Lutheran Church and interment was in the Smoothing Iron Cemetery.

Mrs. Sonntag nee Anna Meek, was born in Austria and at the age of 17 came to America.  After residing at Weimar for a short time, she moved to Sublime where she married Ernest Sonntag in 1883.  Mr. Sonntag passed away in 1932.

Those surviving are: four children, Mrs. Minnie Miller of Rosenberg, Mrs. Emilie Martens of Altus, Oklahoma, Mr. E.W. Sonntag of Shiner, and William Sonntag of Sublime; and one step-daughter Mrs. Emma Grossman of Houston, besides 9 grandchildren.
Contributed by Regena Williamson


Shiner Gazette, 7 Aug 1901

Two Deaths from Sunstroke.

Last Friday Mr John Sontag [sic.], an aged citizen, was found dead about four miles south of town. Justice Strauss held an inquest and delivered a verdict of sun stroke. Deceased was about sixty years of age and lived with his son-in-law, Mr. Thomas Hurt.

Gerhard Theilen-Gerdes, a carpenter who had worked all day at his trade, was overcome by heat about 5 o’clock last Saturday evening and died of sun-stroke about 7 o’clock. Temperature 106 in the shade at 2 p. m. Saturday. This makes the second case of sun-stroke in two days.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Lavaca County Tribune, 3 Jul 1970

William P. Sonntag, 73, of Sublime, nine miles east of Hallettsville, died Monday, June 29th, at 3 p.m. in Renger Memorial Hospital here.

The remains were taken from the Kubena Funeral Home at 2:00 p.m. to the Sublime Lutheran Church where services were held at 3:00 p.m. Wed, July 1st.  Rev. Lee Eschberger officiated.  Interment was in Smoothing Iron Cemetery near Sublime.

The deceased was a member of Sublime Lutheran Church; he was a veteran of World War II.  He was born at Sublime Nov. e, 1896 and was a rancher all his life.

Surviving are two sisters, Mrs. Hugh (Minnie) Miller of Rosenberg and Mrs. Henry ( Emilie) Martens of Altos, Oklahoma: and a half sister, Mrs. Adolph H. ( Emma) Grossman of Houston.

Parents of the deceased were the late Ernest W. Sonntag and Anna Meak Sonntag.
Contributed by Regena Williamson


Colorado County Citizen, September 4, 1975

Henry Sonsel

Henry Sonsel of Moulton, uncle of Mrs. Clause Rhodes and Edgar Suchadoll of Columbus, died Aug. 25 in the Shiner Hospital at the age of 100. He had been a resident of Shady Oak Convalescent Home in Moulton since 1968.

Mr. Sonsel, a retired farmer, was born May 15, 1875 in the Oak Hill community in Colorado County. He lived in Moulton since 1900 with the exception of 8 years spent in Houston.

He was married to Annie Anderle of Moulton Oct. 28, 1905 and they celebrated their golden wedding anniversary Oct. 28, 1954. His wife passed away Dec. 23, 1954.

Funeral services for Mr. Sonsel were held Aug. 27 at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Moulton with burial in the church cemetery.

Survivors include one daughter, Mrs. Emil Laque of Shiner; 2 sons, Herman of Willis and Harry Sonsel of Gonzales; a sister, Mrs. R. J. Gloger, 93, of Houston; 11 grandchildren; 21 great-grandchildren and 2 great-great-grandchildren. One son, Arthur, died as an infant in 1912.

Pallbearers were his grandsons, Dennis Sonsel of Gonzales, Archie Sonsel of Austin and Eugene Laqua, Charles Kostak, Larry Sonsel and David Sonsel, all of Houston.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Shiner Gazette, 8 Mar 1905, Bunjes School Notes column

Mr. and Mrs. Isidor Wallisperger of San Antonio and Mr. and Mrs. Matthew Havel of Gonzales were here to attend the funeral of Jos Soukap [sic].

Mr. Jos Soukap was born in Austria-Hungary; he came to Texas 18 years ago and lived most of his life with his daughter, Mrs. John Havel of Shiner. Mrs. Matthew Havel, Mrs. Isidor Wallisperger of San Antonio and Mrs. Wencel Matuska of Austria-Hungary, are his four surviving daughters.

Josef Soukup, 1 Feb 1829 – 23 Feb 1905, was buried in SS. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Cemetery, Shiner. Contributed by Matt Cross


Victoria Advocate, Tuesday, February 23, 1971

Charlie A. Spanihel

Advocate News Service
HALLETTSVILLE – Charlie A. Spanihel, 78, of Hallettsville died Monday at 8:15 a.m. in a Weimar hospital.

A retired businessman, Mr. Spanihel was a member of the Catholic Church. He was a member of the Hallettsville Volunteer Fire Department, Knights of Columbus, SPJST and KJT.

Funeral services will be held Wednesday at 10 a.m. from Sacred Heart Catholic Church with the Rev. Stanley Petu [Petru] officiating. The body will lie in state at Kubena Funeral Home until 9 a.m.

Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Hallettsville Fire Department.

Survivors include the widow, Mrs. Albina Spanihel of Hallettsville; a daughter, Mrs. R. W. (Evelyn) Deatherage of Houston; two sons, Hubert O. and Benjamin J. Spanihel, both of Hallettsville; two sisters, Mrs. Joe Dornak and Mrs. Frank Rainosek, also of Hallettsville; two brothers, Rudolph of Eagle Lake and Henry Spanihel of Hallettsville; eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Victoria Advocate, 24 Dec 2005

Albert Spann - SHINER

SHINER - Albert Spann, 79, of Shiner, died Wednesday, Dec. 21, 2005.

He was born Sept. 22, 1926, in Shiner, to the late Frank Sr. and Lillie Vincik Spann. He was a veteran of U.S. Navy, having served in World War II, a packer for a meat company, and a Catholic.

Survivors: daughters, Patricia Spann of San Antonio, Betty J. Fragoso of Houston; step-daughter, Kathy Haikenwaelder of Moulton; son, Albert Carl Spann of San Antonio; stepsons, Wade Peterson of Floresville, Duane Peterson of LaVernia and Tim Peterson of San Antonio; and brother, Louis Spann of Shiner.

Preceded in death by: wife, Catherine Carter Spann.

Visitation will be 7:30 a.m. Monday at Buffington Funeral Home.

Services will be 11 a.m. at Buffington Funeral Home Chapel, the Rev. Frank Lenz officiating.

Burial will be at Shiner City Cemetery (Memorial Gardens). Buffington Funeral Home, Shiner, 361-594-3352.

Memorials: donor's choice.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Dallas Morning News, February 8, 2007

SPANN, BESSIE BARTA, Bessie was born December 28, 1911 in Ennis, TX, passed away Tuesday, February 6, 2007 in Richardson.

She was preceded in death by husband, Frank J. Spann, parents, Louis & Nellie Barta and 7 brothers. Survived by daughter & son-in-law, Betsy & Lucky Lofman, grandchildren, Sheryl Pegler & Clint Lofman; 4 great-grandchildren, Amber & Rob Pegler, Luke & Jake Lofman and numerous nieces & nephews.

Visitation 6:00 p.m. followed by a Rosary at 7:00 p.m., Thursday, Sparkman/Crane Funeral Home Chapel. Graveside Service and burial, 4:00 p.m., Friday, February 9, 2007, Shiner Catholic Cemetery, Shiner, Texas.

In lieu of flowers, please make donation in her name to the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, 9400 N. Central Expressway, Suite 1201, Dallas, TX 75231. Dignity Memorial Sparkman Crane 10501 Garland Rd. Dallas

Contributed by Rosemary Ermis

Emil Spann

Church Rites Held For Emil Spann

The Shiner Gazette – December 13, 1990

Emil “Buck” Spann of Rt. 2, Shiner, died at 3:36 a.m. Monday, Dec. 3, 1990 in DeTar Hospital in Victoria after a malignant illness of some four years duration.

A year ago he underwent surgery, but the advances condition gradually worsened. He reached the age of 69 years, 5 months  and 7days.

A native of the Shiner community, Mr. Spann, one of seven children, was born June 26, 1921, son of Frank and Lillie (Vincik) Spann. The family resided north of Shiner in the Dickson School community, where he was reared and worked on the family farm. He attended Dickson School.

On July 14, 1942, during World War II, he was inducted into the U.S. Army Air Force at Fort Sam Houston. He was assigned to Squadron H, 3702nd AAF Base Unit in Florida before being transferred to Buckley Field, Colorado.  Sgt. Spann was honorably discharged July 4, 1945, at Buckley Field, Colorado.

He returned to Texas and went to  work for Rath Packing Company in San Antonio in the shipping department for 22 years from 1945 to 1967.

In 1967, he moved his family back to their farm in Shiner and went into the cattle and hog raising business.

On April 26, 1949 he married Verline Hagens. The ceremony took place in the United Dr. Martin Luther Church in Shiner with the Rev.  Edwin J. Oehlke officiating. Two children were born to this union. Mrs. Spann is a valued employee of the First National Bank in Shiner fro some 23 years.

A prayer service was  held at 7:00p.m. Tuesday, December 4 at the Buffington Funeral Home in Shiner conducted by Darrel Heidrich of West Columbia, a close family friend, and frequent visitor in the Spann home.

The body lay in  state at Buffington Funeral Home until 9:00 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 5 when it was conveyed to the United Dr. Martin Luther Church in Shiner where funeral services followed at 10:00 a.m.

Officiating at the impressive rites were the  Rev. Charles Mantey, pastor and the Rev. Clarence Hagens.

 Mrs. Joyce Riske selected several appropriate hymns for the organ prelude and recessional. Hymns sung by the congregation during the service included “What a Friend We Have In Jesus” and “How Great Thou Art”, accompanied by Mrs. Riske at the organ.

Grave side services and burial followed in the Shiner Cemetery. Serving as pallbearers were Pat Waltman, of Taylor, Richard Vaclavik of Dickinson, Eugene Welfel of Bay City, Carl Spann of Austin, Gus Jaehne and Mark Hagens, both of Shiner.

Surviving are his devoted wife of some 41 years, Mrs. Verline Spann of Shiner; son and daughter-in-law, Rodney and Karen (Chumchal) Spann of Shiner; daughter and son-in-law, Venetta and Wayne Bell of Leander; two grandsons, Ross and Ryan Spann; his mother, Mrs. Lillie V. Spann, a resident at Trinity Lutheran Home in Shiner; two brothers, Albert Spann of  Witting, Louis Spann of Shiner; two sisters, Mrs. Emil (Lillie) Steinocher of Adkins, Mrs. Frank (Alice) Mueck of China Grove; numerous nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his father, June 7, 1947; two brothers, Frank Spann Jr., June 13, 1975; and Otto Spann, Feb. 8, 1988.

Contributed by Ed Neubauer


Shiner Gazette, November 29, 2012

Gladys Spann

Gladys Wagner Sralla Spann, 87, passed away Wednesday, November 21, 2012 at Shady Oaks Nursing Home in Moulton.

Funeral services were held at 2 p.m. Saturday, November 24 at United Dr. Martin Luther Lutheran Church in Shiner, with the Rev. Clarence Hagens officiating.

Interment followed at Shiner Cemetery under the direction of Buffington Funeral Home, Shiner.

She was born on November 23, 1924 in Shiner, to the late Arthur and Martha (Heidrich) Wagner. She married Lee Sralla in 1942. She married Edwin Spann in 1965. She was employed by Trinity Lutheran Nursing Home/Shiner Nursing & Rehab. For 23 years.

Survivors include one son, Philip Sralla and wife Joan of Shiner; one sister, Ruby Biehle of California; one granddaughter, Candice Lu of Connecticut; and two great-grandchildren, Lauryn Lu and Megan Lu, both of Connecticut.

She was preceded in death by her husbands, Lee Sralla and Edwin Spann, June 28, 1989; her mother March 26, 1987; her father Sept. 13, 1957; brothers, Lane Wagner and Eugene Wagner; sister, Doris Grun; and grandson, Roger Lee Sralla, Feb. 15, 1997.

Contributed by Ed Neubauer


Victoria Advocate, 4 Jun 2008


MORAVIA - Frederick Clarence "F.C." Sparks Jr., 67, passed away on Sunday, June 1, 2008 at Schulenburg Regency Nursing Center after a courageous battle with Parkinson's Disease. He was born on Nov. 17, 1940, in Victoria, to Frederick and Jessie May McCurry Sparks.

F.C. lived where he farmed in Moravia and worked at the Moravia Cotton Gin, was an excellent carpenter, and also worked as a soft drink bottler for Better Beverages in Hallettsville.

F.C. is survived by Eunice Rybak Sparks of Moravia; son, Ronald Wayne Sparks of Moravia; daughter and son-in-law, Donna Lynn and Skip Smith of Moravia; and sisters, Caroline Sparks Hood of Victoria and Bernice Baker of Victoria.

He was preceded in death by his parents.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. today at Schwenke-Baumgarten Funeral Chapel in Schulenburg with Chaplain Steve Borowicz of Hospice of South Texas officiating. Burial will be in Moravia Catholic Cemetery.

Serving as pallbearers will be Louis Hood, Leroy Rybak, Dennis Kloesel, Dallas Canada, Brendon Bowman, and Chris Rybak.

Honorary pallbearers are Robert Hood, Anton Orsak, Keith Martin, and Lynn Gray.

Schwenke-Baumgarten Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements, 979-743-4151.
Contributed by Matt Cross


Hallettsville Herald, 17 Oct 1889

—This morning, while Johnny Speakaman, about 15 years of age, and half brother of Mr. Sam Foster, was driving a two-mule team hauling iron fro the bridge on the Lavaca at Brown's crosing, the mules became frightened and ran away, throwing him out on the single-tree, dragging him in this position for some distance. While on the single-tree the mules kicked the boy in a frightful manner, until he fell to the ground and the wagon ran over him. His right arm was broken, his head badly bruised and cut, besides other contusions. Medical aid was speedily summoned and the unfortunate lad was taken to his mother's home several miles north-east of town.

Hallettsville Herald, 31 Oct 1889

We omitted to state in our last that Johnny Speaglemann, who was so horribly mangled by a runaway team, died on the 17th inst. His remains were followed to the grave by a large concourse of sorrowing friends and relatives. Johnny was his poor mother's only comfort and support and the sympathy of this entire community goes out to her in her trying ordeal.

Contributed by Rox Ann Johnson


Weimar Mercury, 20 Jan 1894


Died, at Shiner, Tex., last Sunday, Uncle Jerry Spears, (freedman), aged 84 years. He had lived in this place about thirty years. His remains were broughthere and buried in the Wooldridge burying grounds.


Halletsville Herald, August 1891

The Death of John Speary.

The announcement last Thursday afternoon that Mr. John Speary had just fallen from a tree and sustained serious, perhaps fatal, injuries, caused a sensation of painful surprise and regret. The news was brought to town as quickly as possible and sugical assistance summoned. An examination of the injured man discovered a fracture of the right thigh and wounds to the back of the head. It is thought that he received internal injuries also. Mr. Speary lingered until about 2 o'clock Friday morning, when death relieved him of his sufferings.

Mr. Speary on the day of the accident climbed a tree in his pasture near town to gather grapes. The distance of the fall is stated from twenty to twenty-five feet.

The funeral took place at 4 o'clock Friday evening from the family residence, the remains being followed to the grave by a large concourse of citizens. Rev. Mr. Geiger, a Lutheran minister of sublime, conducted the funeral exercises. Many places of business were closed in the afternoon as a mark of respec to the deceased.

Mr. Speary was one of the oldest citizens of Halletsville. There are those who knew him here in the early 50s. At the breaking out of the civil war he joined Company 8, Eight Texas regiment, Walker's division, and remained in the service until the cessation of hositllities. He then returned to Halletsville, soon commenced business in a modest way and in a few years amassed a competence. Mr. Speary was in the sixty-fifth year of his age.


Schulenburg Sticker, 8 Dec 1922

Speary – Hallettsville, Dec. 3. – Mrs. Matilda Speary died at her home here Friday afternoon. She was 79 years of age and leaves surviving several children. She has been a resident of this county and of this town for many years. Her husband preceded her to the grave many years. Interment took place today in the City Cemetery.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Hallettsville Herald, 1 Jun 1893

Mrs. Wilhelmina Spickerman [sic.] died Sunday night, the 28th inst., at the residence of her son-in-law, Mr. J. A. Koehler, aged 84 years. The remains were buried in the graveyard in the Pagel Settlement on Monday. Mrs. Spickerman was born in Pommern, Germany. She had a large connection, being related to the Pagel and Appelt families of this city and county.

Contributed by Rox Ann Johnson


Hallettsville Herald, 23 Jan 1914

Wm. F. Spieckermann, 77 years of age, died on Tuesday, January 6th, at the home of his daughter, Mrs. Chas. Maecker. The funeral took place on Wednesday, January 7th, in the city cemetery in Shiner and was attended by numerous relatives and friends. Rev. Wm. Dziewas conducting the funeral services. Mr. Speakerman [sic.] was born in the year 1836 in Musherin, Province of Pommern, Germany. He served as a soldier in the Franco-German war and also in the war against Austria. After the war he emigrated to America and settled at Pagel Settlement in Lavaca county, later he moved to Bauersville, where he bought a farm. He lived in Lavaca county for about 40 years. In his last years the deceased was quite hard of hearing and decrepit. He was married in 1852 to Henrietta Spuhn, eight children were born to them, two sons and six daughters, of which five are now living, viz: Albert Spieckerman, Mrs. Chas. Maecker, Mrs. A. Hummel, Mrs. Louise Hajek and Mrs. Frank Boehm, one sister also survives Mrs. Augusta [sic.] Pagel, and numerous grandchildren. His wife preceded him in death about five years. [from Shiner Gazette]

Contributed by Rox Ann Johnson


Undated news clipping

Arthur W. Spies

Arthur Wm. Spies, Sr. 60, well known farmer of Route 2, Hallettsville died Saturday Jun 25th, at 1:30 a. m.

in Southwest Baptist Hospital in Houston following a lingering illness.

Funeral services were held at the Kubena Funeral Home in Halletsville at 9 a. m. and at the Monrovia Catholic Church at 9:30 a. m. Monday, Jun 27th.  Internment was in the Catholic Cemetery in Halletsville.

The Rev. Edward C. Bartsch pastor of the Moravia church, officiated offering a Requiem High Mass at the church.

The deceased was a member of the Holy Name Society at Moravia.  He was born at Halletsville October 4, 1905, and lived his entire life in this area, farming all his life until he became ill some time ago.

On October 29, 1929 he married Miss Lillie Hanslik at St. Mary's Church near Halletsville and the couple settled on Route 2, Halletsville near Breslau where they spent their entire lives together.

Surviving are his wife Mrs. Arthur Wm. Spies nee Lillie Hanslik/ two sons, Arthur Spies, Jr. of Houston, and Dannie Spies at home; one daughter Mrs. Leroy Loth of Austin; three step-sisters, Miss Hilda Wolle of La Grange, Mrs. H. C. Fertsch of Nordheim, Mrs. Clara (Wolle) Spies of La Grange and seven grandchildren. 

His parents, both deceased, were Otto H. Spies and Katherine Heller Spies.

Rosaries were recited at the funeral home here Saturday evening at 8 p. m. by Sacred Heart Parish, and Sunday at 7:30 p. m. by the Moravia Parish, and at 7:45 by the Catholic Daughters of America.

Besides his parents, one brother preceded him in death. 

Contributed by Brenda Coon


The Weimar Mercury, 1 Aug 1941

Mrs. Otto Spies Dies at Breslau

Hallettsville, July 26 – Mrs. Otto Spies, a resident of Breslau since 1877, died at her home Thursday morning.  She had been in poor health for several years.

Born Catherine Heller, near LaGrange, Oct. 24, 1866, she married Charles Wolle in 1887, who passed away in April, 1898; later she married Otto Spies of Breslau who survives, together with three daughters, Mrs. Herman Fertsch of Nordheim, Hilda Wolle, R.N., of La Grange, and Clara Wolle of Breslau; two sons, Victor Spies of Victoria, and Arthur Spies of Breslau; also one stepson, Charlie Wolle of LaGrange, nine grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Thursday with services at the home at 3:30 in the afternoon and at the Lutheran church at 4 o’clock.  Burial took place in the Breslau cemetery, with Rev. Zimmermann of Sublime officiating.

Submitted by Sandra Long Anders


Victoria Advocate, 11 Oct 2005

Daniel S. Spies

HALLETTSVILLE - Daniel S. Spies, 59, of Hallettsville, died Sunday, Oct. 9, 2005.

He was born Feb. 4, 1946, in Hallettsville, to the late Arthur Williams and Lillie Hanslik Spies Sr. He was a member of Knights of Columbus and Ascension of Our Lord Catholic Church in Moravia.

Survivors: wife, Mary Ann Stasny Spies; sons, Patrick Spies of Bryan and Brian Spies of College Station; sister, Lillie Loth of Hallettsville; and brother, Arthur Spies Jr. of Hallettsville.

Visitation will be noon today at Kubena Funeral Home chapel.

Rosaries will be recited 7 P.M. tonight at the chapel and 9:30 A.M. Wednesday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.

Services will be 10 A.M. Wednesday at the church, the Revs. John Peters and Charles Sonnier officiating.

Burial will be at Moravia Catholic Cemetery. Kubena Funeral Home, Hallettsville, 361-798-3271.

Memorials: American Heart Association.

Contributed by Brenda Coon


Hallettsville Tribune Herald

Eldor E. Spies

Eldor E. Spies, 96, of Hallettsville, died Thursday, Feb. 21, 2008.

He was born Aug. 12, 1911 in  the Shiloh Community of Lavaca County to Richard and Ida Stratmann Spies.  He lived in Lavaca County his entire life being a farmer, insurance agent and a Lutheran and member of  St. Peter Lutheran Church in Hallettsville.   On Oct. 18, 1933 he married Laura Fertsch in New Kinkler.

Eldor was an agent and secretary for Hochheim Prairie Insurance Company, Hallettsville Branch, also being a grand board director of the company for 20 years, as that he served a district of 43 counties in the East Texas area. He retired in 1996 after 46 years of service.

Eldor is survived by numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Eldor was preceded in death by his wife, Laura Spies on Dec. 7, 2004; his parents, and  three brothers, Victor, Leonard, and Lester Spies.

Visitation began at 4 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 23 at Kubena Funeral Home.

Services were held at 2 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 24, at St. Peter Lutheran Church. Sister Carolyn Hellerich officiated.  Burial followed in the Hallettsville City Cemetery.

Pallbearers were Howard Spies, James Rother, Jesse Allan, Judge Ronnie Leck, Jerry Lackey, and Harvey Spies.

Memorials may be  made to Shiloh Community Center, Shiloh Cemetery Association, or St. Peter Lutheran Church.

Words of comfort and guest book entry may be shared with the family at
Contributed by Brenda Coon


Undated news clipping

Emil B. Spies Buried In Alice

Emil B. Spies, a former Lavaca Co. resident died December 15th, in a Corpus Christi hospital following a short illness.

Born Oct. 11, 1896 in Halletsville, he was the son of the late Ernst Spies and Gesina Schmidt.  He was an employee of the M. C. Barney Truck Bids and Equipment Co. of Alice.

In the year of 1922 he united in marriage to Mis Lydia Kohlleffel.

He leaves to mourn his wife, three daughters,  Mrs. Floyd (Lorine) Kotrla of Freer, Mrs. Chester (Ruth) Gawlik and Mrs. James (Cherry) Miller both of Alice, and one son Roger Spies of Falfurrias.  Five brothers, Bill, Adolf, Ernest, Alvin and Theodore all of Houston; three sisters, Mrs. Jim (Ella) Ehler, Mrs. Otto (Hattie) Pechancek and Mrs Bruno (Selma) Lucus all of Houston, and nine grandchildren.

Funeral services were held at 2 p. m. Thursday Dec 17th, at the America Lutheran Church of Alice with the Rev. Don Vlasak Assistant Pastor, and the Rev. Kemit Menking pastor of the American Lutheran Church of Orange Grove officiating.  Burial was in the Alice Fraternal Cemetery.

Contributed by Brenda Coon


Undated news clipping

Last Rites Held For E. Spies, Jr.

Ernest Spies, 57, a resident of Houston, passed away Sunday, January 22nd about 10 o'clock of a heart attack, but was not found until Monday about 1 P.M..   Mrs. Spies was not at home at the time as she had left for San Antonio Saturday morning to take care of her daughter and get acquainted with her new grandson, who was born on Friday, Jan. 20th.

Mr. Spies was born on October 1st. 1903 in Halletsville.  He had reached the age of 57 years, 3 months, and 21 days.  He was the son of the late Ernest Spies and Gesina Schmidt.  He was an employee of the Sanitary Dairy over 10 years as a Retail Salesman.

On November 8th., 1927 he was united in marriage with Miss Theresa Schulte, who survives him together with one son, Clarence Spies of Houston and one daughter, Mrs. Eric Jo Ann Eckhardt of San Antonio; three grandchildren, Billye Faye Spies of Houston and Tammy Ann and Bauren Glen Echhardt of San Antonio; three brothers, Adolf, Alvin and Theo Spies of Houston and three sisters, Mrs. Jim (Ella) Ehler, Mrs. Otto (Hattie) Pechancek and Mrs. Bruno (Selma) Lucus, all of Houston.  This makes three brothers passing away in the last 13 months.  One brother, Emil Spies of Alice passed away on December 15th, 1959 and Bill Spies of Houston died on January 25th, 1960.

Pallbearers were all nephews; Bill Spies, Clarence Ehler, Milbert Penchanek, Weldon Spies, Gilbert Marek and Charles Starcich.

Contributed by Brenda Coon


The Victoria Advocate, November 10, 1970

Mrs. Hedwig Spies

Hallettsville—Mrs. Hedwig Spies, 82, died at 7 p.m. Sunday in a local hospital.

Born March 17, 1878 in Fayette County, she was married to Henry Spies in 1894 in Brenham. He died may 23, 1936.

She was a member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church.

The body will like in state at Kubena Funeral Home until 1 p.m. Tuesday when it will be taken to St. Peter's Lutheran Church for funeral services at 2 p.m. Burial will be in the City Cemetery.

Survivors include a son, Standly: three daughters, Mrs. Herbert Laas and Mrs. Leon Laas and Mrs. Henry Boethel all of Hallettsville: four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.

Contributed by Regena Williamson.


Victoria Advocate, 21 Mar 2006


HALLETTSVILLE - Hermina C. Spies, 99, of Hallettsville, died Saturday, March 18, 2006.

She was born Sept. 27, 1906, in Lavaca County, to the late William and Anna Fojt Marek. She was the secretary for 12 years for St. Peter Lutheran Church, working on quilting relief, was a Sunday School teacher for more than 25 years, taught Bible study and Vacation Bible School, did home demonstration at Shiloh's Community and was a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church.

Survivors: seven grandchildren; 17 great-grandchildren; and nine great-great grandchildren.

Preceded in death by: husband, Lester Carol Spies; daughter, Earline McGehee; son, Royce Richard Spies; sister, Albina Schumaker; brothers, Emil Marek, Eddie Marek, and Victor Marek.

Visitation will begin at noon today at Kubena Funeral Home, with the family receiving visitors between 6 to 8 P.M.

Services will be 10 A.M. Wednesday at St. Peter Lutheran Church, the Rev. Herb Beyer officiating.

Burial will be at Shiloh Cemetery. Kubena Funeral Home, Hallettsville, 361-798-3271.

Memorials: St. Peter Lutheran Church or Shiloh Cemetery Association.

Kubena Funeral Home, Hallettsville, 361-798-3271.

Contributed by Brenda Coon


Victoria Advocate, 11 Dec 2004

Laura Spies

HALLETTSVILLE - Laura Spies, 90, of Hallettsville, died Tuesday, Dec. 7, 2004.

She was born Feb. 9, 1914, in Hallsburg, to the late Loues and Emma Buro Fertsch. She was a homemaker and a member of St. Peter Lutheran Church.

Survivors: husband, Eldor E. Spies.

Visitation will begin noon Sunday at Kubena Funeral Home chapel.

Services will be 10:30 A.M. Monday at St. Peter Lutheran Church, the Rev. Lynnae Sorenser officiating.

Burial will be at Hallettsville City Cemetery. Kubena Funeral Home, Hallettsville, 361-798-3271.

Memorials: Shiloh Cemetery Association or St. Peter Lutheran Church Radio Ministry.

Contributed by Brenda Coon


Undated news clipping

Lester C. Spies Dies Suddenly

Lester Carl Spies, 51, died suddenly at his home in Shiloh, Thursday, Apr 4th., at 12:05 A.M..  He had been in ill health for some time and death was due to a heart attack.

Funeral services are scheduled for Saturday, April 6th., at 9:00 A.M. at the Kubena Funeral Home, and at 9:30 A.M. at the Shiloh Lutheran Church Rev. George Krueger will officiate.  Internment will be in the Shiloh Cemetery.

Mr. Spies farmed most of his life, and had interest in cattle.  Recently he operated the Spies Grocery and Feed Store in Halletsville and he retired form this business due to his health after only a comparatively short period in the venture.

He was born in Halletsville, November 12, 1905, and lived in this area all his life.  During his active life he realized success as a farmer and rancher, and was well known and had many friends.

On Dec. 6, 1927, he married Miss Hermina Marek at Halletsville and they settled at Shiloh.

Surviving are his wife Mrs. Hermina Spies; on son, Royce Spies of Victoria; one daughter, Mrs. Earline McGehee of Victoria, and three brothers Victor Spies of Yoakum, Leonard and Eldor Spies of Halletsville.  Four grandchildren also survive.

Contributed by Brenda Coon


Undated news clipping

Mrs. Gustav Spies Buried Monday

Mrs. Gustav Spies, 85, former resident of Lavaca County died at Weimer, Saturday, Feb. 2nd., at 10:30 A.M.

Funeral services were held at the Kubena Funeral Home Monday, Feb. 4th., at 1:30 P.M. with internment in the Old Kinkler Cemetery.  Rev. George Kruger officiated.

Mrs. Spies nee Mary Koehler, was born in Germany, June 14, 1871, and was brought to America the same year by her parents.  They settled in this area, and in 1889 she married Gustav Spies at Gleckler, and they settled in Lavaca County.  On July 21, 1948, Mr. Spies died, and she had been living with a daughter in Weimar.

Contributed by Brenda Coon



Yoakum – Services for Victor Bernhard Spies, 91, of Yoakum who died Tuesday (Oct. 19, 1995), will be held at 2 p.m. today at Holy Cross Lutheran Church, the Rev. Tim Van Antwerp officiating.

Burial will be at Oak Grove Cemetery, Buffington Funeral Home, Yoakum, 293-2333.

Pallbearers: Leonard Hagens, Wilbert Hagens, Ralph Polzin, Joe Laufer, John Langhoff and Vernon Matusek.

Memorials: Yoakum Community Hospital.
Unidentified newspaper clipping contributed by Rex Moore


Undated news clippings

Funeral Rites For W. O. Spies

Funeral services were held for W. O. Spies, 65, of Houston on Wednesday, Jan 27th, 10 A.M. Pastor Reck of the Zion Lutheran Church officiated with the burial in the Brookside Park Cemetery.

The deceased was ill for some time and passed away in the Checker Cab Co. office by whom he employed and was on his way to work. 

A native of Lavaca Co., he was the son of Ernest and Gesina (Schmidt) Spies.  He was united in marriage to Miss Emma Cordes who died 20 years ago.

He leaves to mourn his passing one son, William of Houston; two grandsons,  also 4 brothers  -- Adolph, Ernest, Alvin and Theo, all of Houston; and 3 sisters -- Mrs Jim (Ella) Ehler, Mrs. Otto (Hattie) Penchacek, and Mrs. Bruno (Selma) Lucas, also all of Houston.

One brother Emil preceded him in death just 6 weeks ago.

Contributed by Brenda Coon


Weimar Mercury, 23 Jun 1950, page 1

Kosmas Spoetzl, 77, Well-Known Brewer, Dies At Shiner

Kosmas Spoetzl, owner of the Spoetzl Brewery at Shiner which he established nearly 40 years ago, died at Wagner Hospital in Shiner Saturday morning, June 17, ending a long illness. Funeral services were held Monday from the family residence, and he was buried in the Shiner cemetery.

Born at Rosenheim, Bavaria, Germany, March 3, 1873, Mr. Spoetzl emigrated to America in 1914, settling at Shiner. There he established his brewery, which makes the well-known Shiner Bock. He married the former Miss Elsa Wink, who preceded him in death in 1922.

He was a member of the Catholic Church, St. Joseph’s Society, the ODHS, the US Brewers Association, the Small Brewers Institute, the Texas Brewers and Texas Brewers Institute and other organizations.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Victoria Advocate, 16 Feb 1997, page 7A

Early morning accident kills one and critically injures one

SHINER - A 28-year-old Shiner man was killed in a two-car accident on Texas highway 95 early Saturday morning.

The victim, Roger Lee Sralla, was northbound in his 1991 Chevrolet with his wife, Bonnie Sralla, 27. A 1990 Ford, driven by Heath Owen Long, 20, of Yoakum, was southbound, when the two vehicles collided. The accident occurred about 12:45 a.m.

Sralla was pronounced dead at 2:04 a.m. at Yoakum University Hospital, police said. Mrs. Sralla was transported to University Hospital in San Antonio, where she was in critical condition with multiple injuries Saturday night, officials said.

Long suffered minor injuries. His passengers, 17-year-old Shane Cretors of Yoakum, and 21-year-old Robert Cowan of Shiner, also suffered minor injuries.

Victoria Advocate, 16 Feb 1997, page 19A


SHINER - Roger Lee Sralla, 28, of Shiner, died Saturday, Feb. 15, 1997.

He was born April 22, 1968, in Shiner to Phillip Lee and Joan Marie Bujnoch Sralla. Roger was a 1987 graduate of Shiner High School. He was employed in the plastics division at Kaspar Wire Works and was a Catholic.

Survivors: parents of Shiner; sisters, Candice Marie Sralla of Salt Lake City; grandparents, Gladys Spann and Anton and Mary Bujnoch, all of Shiner.

A rosary will be recited 7 p.m. tonight at Buffington Funeral Home chapel.

Services will be 3 p.m. Monday at St. Cyril and Methodist [sic] Catholic Church, the Rev. Charles Sonnier officiating.

Burial will be at Shiner Catholic Cemetery. Buffington Funeral Home, Shiner, 594-3352.

Memorials: donor's choice.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Hallettsville Herald-Tribune, 1964

Mrs. Rosie Sralla

Funeral services for Mrs. Rosie Sralla, 89, formerly of Granger, who passed away at the Rest Home in Taylor, were held Sunday, September 7th at 2 pm at the Granger Brethern Church. Rev. Glenn Jurek, Rev. Frank Simicek and Rev. Albert Dusek officiated at the services and burial was in the Granger Brethern Cemetery.

Survivors include a daughter, Mrs. F. L. Hunka of Temple; a son, Edward P. Sralla of Edna; two sisters: Mrs. Albina Guenther of Weimar, and Mrs. Julia Woytek of Hallettsville; five brothers, Charles H. Dusek, Adolf Dusek, Victor Dusek, and Oscar Dusek, all of Hallettsville and Emil Dusek of Weimar. Also surviving are eight grandchildren and thirteen great grandchildren.

Rosie's parents were Josef and Rosie Pecena Dusek. Contributed by Darlene Baker


Weimar Mercury, February 3, 1933, page 1


Numerous Weimar friends regretted to learn of the death of Mr. Tom Sralla of Oakland, which occurred Sunday, according to report reaching us. He was about 50 years of age and his death is said to have been caused by Bright’s disease and high blood pressure. Our deepest sympathy goes out to his bereaved ones.

Weimar Mercury, February 3, 1933, page 3


The community was shocked when news came that Mr. Tom Sralla had passed away at his home here Sunday night, after a week’s illness. He had lived here nearly thirty years and was one of our best citizens. Interment will take place at Svetin [sic.] Tuesday. He is survived by his wife and five children—Victor, Hayden, Frank, Esther Ruby and Clifton—three brothers and three sisters. Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to his bereaved ones.

Tom Sralla, 18 Sep 1877 - 30 Jan 1933, is buried in the Vsetin Cemetery.


Lavaca County Tribune, March 1959

Anton Srubar, 65 died in LaGrange

Mr. Anton J. Srubar of Moulton passed away in the Fayette Memorial Hospital in LaGrange Friday morning, March 6th at 4:15 o'clock at the age of 65 years 2 months and 15 days.

Mr. Srubar had been in failing health for three years, and confined to bed for the past 5 months. He was taken to the LaGrange hospital Wednesday, where cause of death was attributed to pneumonia.

Born in Europe, he was the son of the late Anton and Antonia Srubar. At the age of 16, he cam to America with his mother and two sisters and the family settled near Hallettsville.

In 1918 Mr. Srubar was married to Agnes Orsak in Hallettsville and they made their home in the Breslau community where they farmed for livelihood until two years ago when they moved to Moulton, settling in the southern part of town.

He was a member of the SPJST and of the Lutheran faith.

Funeral services were held Saturday, March 7th at 3:00 p.m. at the Zion Lutheran Church here with the Rev. Jullius Holm officiating. The body lay in state at the Smith Funeral Home here until 1:30 p.m. Saturday, then was conveyed to church. Interment was in the Moulton City Cemetery.

Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Anton J. Srubar of Moulton and one half-brother, Charles Maresh of Corpus Christi. He was preceeded in death by his parents and two sisters, Mrs. Helen Savell and Mrs. Josephine Johnson.

Pallbearers were Frank Kremenek, Alfonse Kresta, James Maresh, Emmett Orsak, Edmund Valigura and Matus Cada.

Contributed by Regena Williamson


Shiner Gazette, 4 Nov 1903, Wied Happenings column

The infant boy of Mr. and Mrs. Joe Staertz died last Tuesday and was buried on Thursday at the Catholic cemetery at Halletsville.

This grave may be unmarked. Contributed by Matt Cross


Victoria Advocate, April 7, 1979

Mrs. Staha

Advocate News Service
HALLETTSVILLE – Mrs. Val. W. “Anastasia” Staha, 78, of Route 2 Hallettsville, died Thursday at 2 p.m. in a Victoria nursing home.

The body will lie in state until 12 p.m. Saturday at Kubena Funeral Home. Services will be at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church, with burial to follow in the Sacred Heart Cemetery. The Rev. Stanley Petru will officiate.

A rosary was held Friday by the parish and an additional service will be Saturday at 12:30 p.m. by the society at the church.

Mrs. Staha was a member of the Sacred Heart Church and KJZT. Born in Lavaca County on Aug. 21, 1900, she was married to Val W. Staha on Feb. 5, 1923.

She is survived by her husband, five sons, Val R. Staha of Cheaspeake, Va.; Harry of Yoakum; Raymond of Hallettsville; Thomas of Victoria and Carl of Oklahoma City, Okla.; five daughters, Mrs. Dorothy Sutherland and Elizabeth Staha of Victoria; Mrs. Eleanor Hester and Mrs. Carolyn Aulick of San Antonio and Mary Ann Staha of Houston and 17 grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents and a brother.

Pallbearers will be Michael, Charles, and Gerald Sutherland, Scott Staha, Gregory Aulick, Carl Anthony Staha Jr., and Carter R. Rohan.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis

Mrs. A. C. STAHL

Weimar Mercury, 6 Jun 1908, page 8

Yoakum, May 28.—Mrs. A. C. Stahl died at her home in this city last night from typhoid fever, and this afternoon was buried in the city cemetery. Mrs. Stahl leaves twin babies who are under a year. Her husband is suffering from typhoid fever.
Transcribed by Sharon Sutton


Colorado Citizen, 17 Feb 1881, page 3

DEATHS.—Mrs. Stamps, wife of T. J. Stamps, Esq., died at her residence one day last week.

. . . Hallettsville Herald.


The Colorado County Citizen, November 7, 1968

Mrs. Stancik, Former Resident, Dies After Crash

Funeral services for Mrs. Edward J. Stancik of Waller were held Monday at 3 p.m. at Buffington Chapel in Yoakum, Rev. Lee Nelson of Wharton, Rev. Lowell Thomas of Waller and Dr. Farrar Patterson of Columbus officiating. Interment was in Oak Grove Cemetery at Yoakum.

Mrs. Stancik, age 25, formerly Carol Ann Reeves of Glidden, died at noon Saturday in a Hempstead Hospital from injuries received a short while earlier in an auto accident. Her 3 children who accompanied her were only slightly injured in the crash.

Mrs. Stancik was expecting another child in 6 weeks. The accident happened approximately at 11:30 a.m.

She was a member of the Baptist church in Waller and a 1961 graduate of Columbus high school.

Surviving are her husband, Edward J. Stancik, 2 sons, Edward Jr., 6 and James 5, a daughter, Cara, 3, of Waller; her mother, Mrs. Juanita Reeves and a brother, Andrew Reeves, both of Glidden.

Pallbearers were James E. Suggit, Pal Tesch and Frankie Fry of Waller, Allen Park of Hockley, Samuel McCray of Freeport and John Frnka of Columbus.

Mr. Stancik is employed with James E. Suggit, Dodge and Chrysler dealer, in Waller. The family lived in Columbus until they moved to Waller a year ago.

Contributed by Cara Canik


Colorado County Citizen, September 25, 2002

Eddie Stancik, 61, of Columbus passed away Sept. 20 at Memorial Herman Hospital in Katy.

He was born Sept. 12, 1941 to Clinton and Rosie (Gold) Stancik in Shaws Bend. He married Becky Goynes on Sept. 23, 1991. He was a lifetime resident of Columbus and a member of St. Anthony Catholic Church. He served in the U.S. Army National Guard. He was retired as a shop foreman for the City of Columbus, and a mechanic.

He was preceded in death by his parents; and first wife, Carolyn Ann Reeves Stancik.

He is survived by his wife, Becky Stancik of Columbus; daughters and sons-in-law, Cara and Robert Canik of Austin and Tanya and Gary Estrada of Columbus; step-daughters, Blanche Fox of Dallas and Grace Free of Alvin; sons and daughters-in-law, Joseph and Tammy Stancik of Columbus, James and Cherie Stancik of Glidden and Aaron Stancik of Austin; step-son, Thomas Hamrick of Columbus; sister, Joyce Faldyn of Rosenberg; and 16 grandchildren.

Funeral services were held Sept. 22 at St. Anthony Catholic Church in Columbus with Father Dan Kahlich officiating. Interment followed at St. Anthony Catholic Cemetery in Columbus.

Pallbearers were Lawrence Dungen, Johnie Kubicek, Ronnie Stancik, Rodney Kolb, Lloyd Clendennen and Floyd Fisher.

Contributed by Cara Canik


Shiner Gazette, 20 Oct 1921

Frank Stanek's Remains Expected Friday or Saturday

A telegram was received Tuesday by Post Adjutant O. S. T. Meyer that the body of Private Frank Stanek, killed in France will arrive in Shiner Friday or Saturday of this week and the interment will take place on Sunday. Frank Stanek was wounded and died the same day as Private Joe Kolar and was in the same company. The battle took place in the Muese-Argonne. The Kolar-Stanek Post will be in charge and an effort will be made to secure the Legion Band of Gonzales, also Chaplain Ludwig to make the address.


Weimar Mercury, 6 Sep 1900

Accidentally Shot Himself.

Joe Stang., a German farmer who lived near Moravia while out hunting last Friday morning accidentally shot himself. His children heard the report of the gun and thinking he had killed a rabbit, went out to hunt for him to get the game but could not find him. His body was not found until Saturday morning. The funeral occurred Sunday.

From the position of the body he must have crawled through a fence and in drawing his gun after him it was discharged the shot taking effect in his chest, killing him instantly. Deceased was an honest and hard working man. He leaves a wife, two daughters aged 13 and 12 years, and an adopted boy to mourn his loss. The HERALD extends condolence to the stricken family.


Lavaca County Tribune, Friday, July 5, 1940

Stanzel’s Family Has Joint Funeral

Joint funeral services were held Tuesday afternoon at 2:00 o’clock for Mr. and Mrs. Joe Stanzel and their daughter, Miss Agnes Stanzel, who died together when their home was swept away in the flood Sunday morning.

Hundreds of town people gathered at the Kubena Funeral Home to pay last respects to this family who held a respected position in this city for years. Rev. F. O. Beck conducted the last sad rites at the Sacred Heart Church and interment took place in the Catholic Cemetery.

A retired merchant, Mr. Stanzel came to this country at the age of 5 years with his parents, Mrs. and Mrs. Frank Stanzel, from Austria, his birthplace, and settled in Hallettsville. In 1887, he was united to Miss Selma Fahrenthold and 4 children blessed this union, 2 daughters passing to the grave before him. His age at the time of his death was 80 years.

Mr. Stanzel was a devout Catholic and took an active interest in the activities of the Herman Sons Lodge of which he was a member.

Surviving him is one son, Edwin Stanzel of Houston, and one brother of Schulenburg.

*     *     *

Mrs. Stanzel, nee Selma Fahrenthold, was a native of New Ulm, having been born there 78 years ago, the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. F. W. Fahrenthold.

Besides her son, Mrs. Stanzel is survived by two brothers, Manfred Fahrenthold of Hallettsville and Powell Fahrenthold of Poth, and one sister, Mrs. N. Kroschel of this city.

The daughter, Miss Agnes Stanzel, was fifty years of age at the time of her sudden death and made Hallettsville her home during her entire life.

Submitted by Sandra Long Anders


The Lavaca County Tribune, Thursday, January 14, 1932

Anton Stanzel Dead

Anton Stanzel, aged 71 yrs. 1 mon. 20 da. died at Wichita Falls on Tuesday, Jan. 12 at 11 P.M. The remains arrived in Hallettsville on the train Thursday and were met by the many friends of the family. They were taken to the Kubena undertaking parlor, From there the funeral procession will leave this Friday morning at 8:45, be taken to the Sacred Heart Church and after services interred in Catholic Cemetery.  Mr. Stanzel has been for many years one of Lavaca Co’s most highly respected citizens and the Tribune joins the many friends of the family in expressing sympathy to the bereaved ones.

The Lavaca County Tribune, Thursday, January 21, 1932

Anton Stanzel

To the sad news in the Jan. 14 issue of the Tribune we must add that at the funeral services for deceased Anton Stanzel Rev. Fathers Mathis and E. J. Gerlich of Vernon officiated. Pallbearers were: Frank Grafe, Joe Henke, Aug. Hessler, Gus Hemmi, Ben Bludau and F. W. Berckenhoff.

Submitted by Sandra Long Anders


Halletsville Herald, 3 Nov 1892

Arthur William, the four-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Stanzel, of this city, died at the family residence on Sunday morning last at 4:30 o'clock and was buried in the afternoon of that day, the funeral cortege leaving the Catholic chrch. An attack of croup was the cause of his death. Aurthur[sic.] was a bright and interesting child, and his death falls as a cruel blow on his parents, who have the sympathy of all in this affliction.


Weimar Mercury, 22 Nov 1918, page 6


A message was received late Wednesday evening from the U. S. War Dept., addressed to Dr. and Mrs. F. A. Starbuck at Sublime, announcing the sad intelligence of the death of their eldest son, George Starbuck. The message states that the young man was kiilled on Oct. 17, while on active service with the U. S. army in France. — Halletsville New Era.


unidentified news clipping

Herman J. Stark Dies Here Friday

Death came to Herman Joseph Stark at 12:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 6, at his home on Route 4, Yoakum, following an illness of about 5 months.

Rev. Joseph Pustka conducted the funeral services at the Buffington Chapel Saturday, Sept. 7, at 2:15 p.m., and at St. Joseph Catholic Church at 2:30 p.m. Burial was in the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.

Those who served as pallbearers: Jesse Hanzel, Joe Hunter, Frank McGrew, George Chandler, Walter Greifenstein, and J. J. Stark, Jr.

Herman Joseph Stark, aged 77 years, 7 months, and 9 days, was born on Feb. 27,. 1869. On July 29, 1890, he was united with Mrs. Verdile Hoster, and ot this union were born nine children, four of whom survive: Jesse J. Stark, Sr., of Yoakum, Allen Stark of Houston, Mrs. D. K. Reed of Houston, and Mrs. Mike Wilmoth of Preomunt. The bereaved wife, Mrs. Verdie Stark, resides at the family home on Route 4, Yoakum. Also surviving are ten grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and one sister, Mrs. Clarie Morris of Houston.

Mr. Stark was employed with the S. A. and A. P. Railroad for thirty years. Later he moved and operated a grocery store on North South Street in Yoakum for eight years, and upon retiring from the grocery business he moved with his wife to their farm home on Route 4, Yoakum, where he spent the remainder of his life.

Contributed by Anna Howard


Victoria Advocate news clipping

Mrs. Stark

YOAKUM—Mrs. Mark [Mary] Verdia Stark, 101, died in a Houston nursing home Saturday at 6:35 a.m.

She was born Feb. 11, 1873 in Lavaca County, and was [a] lifetime resident of Yoakum.

Funeral services will be 2 p.m. Monday at St. Joseph Catholic Church, with the Rev. Michael O'Shaughnessy officiating.

Burial will be in St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery.

Grandsons will be pallbearers.

Rosary will be recited in Buffington Chapel Sunday at 6:30 p.m.

Survivors include a son, Allen F. Stark of Houston; two daughters, Mrs. A. W. Wilmoth of Yoakum, Mrs. John F. Snyder of Houston; 10 grandchildren; 29 great-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild; three sisters, Mrs. Willie Palmer of Brazoria, Mrs. Ocie McMurrey of Houston; and Mrs. Autie Brown of Corpus Christi.

Contributed by Anna Howard


Colorado County Citizen, January 7, 1954

Father Of Local Woman Is Buried In Moravia Saturday

Funeral services were held at the Catholic church in Moravia Saturday morning for Jim Starustka of the Moravia community, who died Dec. 30 about noon, while en route to the Youens hospital at Weimar. Mr. Starustka had been in frail health for some time, but had been up and about. He was the father of Mrs. Otto Gundelach of Columbus and Mrs. Fred Janak of Weimar, route.

Rev. Willie Halata of Yoakum officiated, assisted by Rev. Albert Maneth of the Moravia church. Burial was in the Moravia Catholic cemetery.

Mr. Starustka would have been 75 New Year’s Day. He was born in Schulenburg and had spent his entire life in that area.

Beside the daughters here and in Weimar, he is survived by his widow and 5 other daughters, Mesdames Willie Vornsend, Hallettsville; Adolph Goedrich, Highlands; John Krhovjak, Schulenburg; Steve Capak, Rosenberg, and Tom Najvar, Corpus Christi; also 2 sons, Julius of Hallettsville and Jim of Richmond, 21 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Surviving brothers are Pete and Jerome of Schulenburg and Otto of Wallis.

His grandsons were pallbearers.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Weimar Mercury, Friday, August 6, 1954


Lavaca County police had a Sherlock Holmes mystery on their hands this week as they probed the murder of a 75-year-old Hallettsville area widow, who was shot in the back with a .22 caliber rifle sometime between late Thursday evening and Saturdays afternoon.

The shot was fired through a bedroom window screen.

Up to Wednesday night of this week they still lacked (1) any suspects, (2) the murder weapon, and (3) any likely motive for the crime.

The victim is Mrs. Mary Starustka, who had lived alone on her farm at Moravia since the death of her husband last December 30.

She was found dead in a pool of blood beside her bed at 3 o’clock Saturday afternoon by her son-in-law and daughter, Mr. and Mrs. Willie Vornsand, who had also been the last persons to see her alive last Thursday evening at 6:30.


There was nothing to indicate a robbery motive. A trusting woman with many friends and no known enemies, she had left her doors and windows unlocked, as was her custom; yet there was no evidence that anyone had entered the house.

Investigating officers found her two purses with money in them and small amounts of money hidden in various places around the home. An old-age pension receiver, she was known to have little money.

From the position of her body, clad in a nightgown, officers deduced she had been sitting on the edge of the bed, preparing to retire for the night, when she was shot.

Dr. C. T. Dufner, who examined the body, said the shot was almost instantly fatal. It entered her back toward the right side, went through the upper part of her body, and lodged in the upper part of her left arm.

Paul Boethel, newly elected district attorney, who with Sheriff Theo Long has been leading the investigation, said Wednesday that the .22 long rifle slug recovered is not too damaged for a ballistics test.


The nearest thing to a clue in the case was the empty .22 long rifle cartridge the officers found Wednesday of this week. They said it could be the one that held the fatal bullet. A badly corroded, unfired cartridge of the same caliber was found near another window, but because of its condition it was not considered to have any connection with the case.


Possibility of a “stray” shot by a night hunter was ruled out because of the angle at which the bullet entered the house and the body. The hole in the screen showed that it went straight through, and that side of the house is so situated against rising ground that that a shot from any distance would have to enter at a downward angle.

It was not believed to have been a richochet shot, either, because of the way it penetrated the woman’s body, even after striking a rib.


Funeral services were held at Hallettsville Monday morning, with burial in the Moravia Catholic Cemetery.

Survivors include two sons, Julius of Hallettsville and Jim of Richmond; seven daughters, Mrs. Ad. Goedrich of Highlands, Mrs. Willie Vornsand of Hallettsville, Mrs. Otto Gunderlach of Columbus, Mrs. John Krhovjak of Engle, Mrs. Alfred Janek of Weimar; Mrs. Steve Capak of Rosenberg, and Mrs. Tom Najver of Corpus Christi; a sister, Mrs. Frances Staffa of Houston, 25 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Victoria Advocate, April 14, 1979

Frances Stary

Advocate News Service

MOULTON – Mrs. Frances Stary, 59, of Moulton died Thursday in a Shiner hospital.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Moulton. Burial will be in Moulton Catholic Cemetery under the direction of Smith Funeral Home.

Mrs. Stary is survived by her husband, Anton M. Stary of Moulton; a daughter, Mrs. Marjorie Grunewald of Weimar; three sisters, and a granddaughter.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Victoria Advocate, 10 Jul 1970, page 9A

Charles A. Stasny

YOAKUM -- Funeral services for Charles A. Stasny, 66, who died Wednesday in a Houston hospital, will be held Friday at 2 p.m. from St. Joseph's Catholic Church with the Rev. Michael O'Shaughnessy officiating.

Burial will be in St. Joseph's Cemetery under the direction of Buffington Funeral Home. Pallbearers will be Ben and Franklin Erdelt, Charles, Chris, Craig and Curt Stasny.

Mr. Stasny was born in Sweet Home on Sept. 6, 1903, and had lived in Houston for the past 34 years.

Survivors include his wife, Mrs. Isabella Stasny of Houston; a son, Charles W. Stasny of New Orleans; a daughter, Mrs. H. R. Purcell of Houston; four brothers, James of Yoakum, Emil of Sweet Home, Frank of San Antonio, and Walter Stasny of Agua Dulce; four grandsons; and nieces and nephews.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Houston Chronicle, 27 Sep 1995

ISABELLA BROSCH STASNY, 94, of Houston, Texas, passed away at the home of her daughter September 25, 1995. She was the daughter of Joseph and Elenore Brosch of Shiner, Texas. She was preceded in death by her husband Charles who passed away on July 7, 1970. She was a retired private sitter who was affectionately called "Stasny" by her young charges who adored her. Member of St. Theresa Church, Women's and Senior Group; actively involved in Catholic Daughters Court #2258, Incarnate Word Alumnae Association and

Spring Branch YWCA Senior Group. Survived by her daughter Bernice Stasny Purcell and son and daughter-in-law Charles and Lou Stasny of Poplarville, Mississippi; grandsons, Chuck, Craig and Curt Stasny and families; four great-grandchildren, and sister, Helen Harrell, Yoakum, Texas; numerous nieces and nephews, and many dear friends. Her zest for life was admired by all and she will be greatly missed. A Rosary for the Catholic Daughters of the Americas and a Parish Vigil will be held at 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, September 27, 1995 at Earthman Hunters Creek Chapel, 8303 Katy Freeway with the family to receive friends from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Funeral Mass: 9:00 a.m. Thursday, September 28, 1995 at St. Theresa Church, 6622 Haskell Street with Rev. Ben Smaistrla, celebrant. Rite of Committal: 1:00 p.m. Thursday, September 28, 1995 at St. Joseph Cemetery, Yoakum, Texas. Memorials may be made to Incarnate Word Academy Alumnae, 609 Crawford, Houston, Texas 77002.

Contributed by Matt Cross


The Victoria Advocate, Wednesday, March 29, 1967

HALLETTSVILLE—Mrs. John Stasny Sr., 86, of Sweet Home, died at 7:30 p.m. Monday in Shiner.

Mrs. Stasny, who was the daughter of the late Anton and Mary Wagner, was born Aug. 19, 1880 in Praha, and resided in Sweet Home almost all of her life. Her husband died in 1962.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Wednesday at Kubena Funeral Home, at the 2:30 p.m. at Queen of Peace Catholic Church in Sweet Home with the Rev. Vaclav Bily officiating. Burial will be in Sweet Home Catholic Cemetery.

Survivors include two sons, John of Sweet Home and William of Praha; three daughters, Mrs. Mary Janak of Weimar, Mrs. Agnes Janak of LaSalle, and Mrs. Estelle Faltysek of Moulton; a brother, Anton Wagner, of Praha; 19 grandchildren, and 18 great-grandchildren.

Contributed by Roland Beausoleil


Moulton Eagle, Friday, March 11, 1927, page 1

Louis Stavinoha Takes His Life

Louis Stavinoha, residing near Culak school, several miles west of Moulton, ended his life Sunday morning by shooting himself through the heart with a 16 gauge shotgun. Failing health is supposed to have been the cause for the rash act. August W. Janszen, justice of the peace of this place, held the inquest.

The funeral was held from the home Sunday afternoon, with interment in the Catholic cemetery in Moulton.

The deceased is survived by his widow and six children; also three brothers and seven sisters.

To the survivors, The Eagle extends its sympathy.

Contributed by Nancy Scmidt

Weimar Mercury, 18 March 1927, page 2


Moulton, Texas, March 7. —Louis Stavinoha, 42, a prominent farmer living about six miles southwest of here, was found dead in his garden early Sunday morning, with a gun shot wound in his heart. Justice of the Peace A. W. Janzsen held an inquest. Failling health is believed to have been the cause of the act. His wife and six children survive.


Moulton Eagle, Friday, March 11, 1927, page 1

Mrs. Rozalia Stavinoha

Mrs. Rozalia Stavinoha, wife of Mr. Joe Stavinoha, residing near Dickson School, died Thursday, March 4, after a several month's illness.

The funeral was held from the home Friday morning, burial taking place in the Moulton Catholic cemetery, Rev. Father Joseph Kopp officiating.

The deceased was only 41 years old and leaves, besides her husband, the following named children, ranging in ages from 19 years to a little baby of two months: Rosie, Joe, Ignac, Rudolf, Helen and Alvin.

To the grief-stricken survivors The Eagle tenders its heartfelt sympathy.

Note: According to her death certificate, she actually died on Thursday, March 3 and was buried on Friday, March 4. Contributed by Nancy Schmidt


Shiner Gazette, 11 May 1898

Mrs. Anna Stefek of old Sweet Home died last Thursday night at the advanced age of 106 years. She came to Texas from Austria in 1874, and moved to Lavaca county in 1875.

Anna Steffek, 1792-1898, was buried in the Queen of Peace Cemetery. Contributed by Matt Cross


“Herald-Times Highlights” from pages of The Herald-Times, Yoakum Daily Herald and The Yoakum Weekly Herald.

June 1-27, 1941

Frank Steve Steffek, 66, died June 17. He was born Oct. 3, 1874 in Lavaca County and married Martha Hermes July 12, 1911.
Transcribed by Carla H. Ratcliff


Shiner Gazette, 22 Feb 1905, page 1


The wife and babe of Joe Stefka were Shot and Killed at Their Home Near Town.


Last Wednesday evening about 3 o’clock, Joe Stefka, who lives about four miles south of town, came in and reported that his wife, and fifteen months old baby boy, had been shot to death in their home. Deputy sheriff Burkett, Squire Tampke, Dr. J. D. Gray and eeveral [sic] other at once repaired to the scene.

On entering the door the first object seen was the 15 months old baby, with its glassy eyes turned up and a fearful wound in its abdomen, from which the intestines protruded. A few feet away lay the body of its mother, with both breasts nearly shot away and partly burned and charred as, her dress had been set on fire by the powder. The same shots that tore away the woman’s breasts also killed the baby, which she had evidently been holding on her arm when the murderous assault was committed.

There were evidences of a terrible struggle. The room was covered with blood and brains. Stefke’s gun, which had laid near the bodies with three empty shells on the floor and two in the gun, did the bloody work of the murderer. As the woman was not killed with those terrible wounds, the murderer, after a scuffle with the woman, who in trying to save her life had evidently caught hold of the gun, as shown by the bloody finger marks upon the barrel, but it was jerked away from her and the muzzle placed to her head and nearly the whole top of her head shot away, scattering blood and brains all over the ceiling and walls, making one of the most sickening sights to behold. The weapon used was a double barrel shot gun, the property of Stefka, and five shots were fired, as there were three empty bloody shells on the floorand [sic] two empty shells in the gun, which were inserted with bloody fingers, as the bloody finger marks thereon show.

This is the most terrible tragedy ever enacted in the neighborhood of Shiner, and almost in the county. Joe Stefka the husband and a brother-in-law of his, Joe Motl, have both been placed under arrest, and were both carried to Halletsville last Thursday for safe keeping, pending their examining trial, which will take place Monday here at Shiner.

Stefka denies any knowledge as to who did the killing. He claims that he was in the field at work during the morning, and returned to his home about 10 o’clock to shuck some corn for his horses, and there he went to the house and discovered the dead body of his wife and child. He states that he heard no guns fired nor any disturbance whatever. The officers discovered blood spots on Stefka’s clothes and boots, but he claims that this came from killing a hog the day previous.

The theory advanced by Stefka and his friends is that it was a case of suicide.

The officers have been diligent in working up the case. Sheriff Nobles and County Attorney Bagley came over last Thursday and made a thorough investigation of the case. Sheriff Noble was also in town last Friday and Saturday looking up evidence.

Shiner Gazette, 22 Feb 1905

Justice Court.

The examining trial of Joe Stefka, charged with killing his wife and baby, came before this court last Monday. Stefka waived examination and was remanded to jail to await the action of the grand jury. Joe Motl, a brother-in-law of Stefka’s, who had been arrested, was released on a $100 bond.

Sheriff Noble and County Attorney Bagby returned to Halletsville Monday with their prisoner.

Messrs. Paulus and Ragsdale are Stefka’s attorneys.

Contributed by Matt Cross

The Galveston Daily News, Saturday, November 11, 1905

Hallettsville, Tex., Nov. 10.--The case of the State of Texas vs. Joseph Stefka for the murder of his wife was placed on trial this morning. As the case is somewhat notorious owing to the cruel features that are connected with it, an infant child being killed at the same time, the special venire was quickly exhausted, seven jurors being selected. The case was tried at the last term of the court, resulting in a mistrial. There were no eyewitnesses to the crime, and the dependant says his wife and child were killed during a temporary absence from his home.

The Weimar Mercury, March 24, 1906

Hallettsville, March 16—Judge Kennon has stated that he would not order a special venire in the Stefka case, as it was his intention to change venue in the case.

Stefka is charged with the murder of his wife and little child at their home near Shiner last February. He was tried here at the Spring and fall terms of court last year and each time the jury failed to agree. Stefka is out on bond.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis

Shiner Gazette, 25 Oct 1905, page 1

State vs. Joe Stefka, murder; set for November 8th and special venire of 100 men ordered.

Shiner Gazette, 6 Jun 1906

There are six special venire cases set as follows: Joe Stefka, charged with murder, set for June 11; in this case there are 155 names drawn on the venire. The case was transferred from Lavaca county this year.

Gazette articles contributed by Matt Cross


Victoria Advocate, October 7, 2012


SWEET HOME - Frank Steffek, age 87, passed away on Wednesday, October 3, 2012.

He was born on September 2, 1925, in Sweet Home, Texas to Frank S. and Martha Hermes Steffek. He was a funeral assistant with Buffington Funeral Homes for over 59 years and was a lifetime member of Queen of Peace Catholic Church.

Survivors: 12 nieces and nephews, Shirley Jones (David), Pete Slovacek (Grace), Ronald Slovacek (Cindy), David Slovacek (Kim), Frankie Slovacek, Kenneth Steffek, Sr. (Pat), Linda Steffek Quinn (James), Barbara Steffek, Leonard Steffek (Nell), Pauline Karnei (Henry), Paul Steffek (Margaret), Patricia Salazar and numerous great-nieces and nephews.

Preceded in death by: parents; sisters, Mildred Slovacek, Esther Steffek and Dorothy Ann Steffek; brothers, Norbert Steffek, Godfrey Steffek and Marcus Steffek and nieces, Dorothy Slovacek Peeples, Peggy Steffek Roslund, Rose Slovacek and Dolores Steffek Richardson.

Rosary at 7:00 p.m. on Monday at Thiele-Cooper Funeral Home. Funeral mass will be at 3:00 p.m. on Tuesday at St. Joseph Catholic Church, due to restoration at Queen of Peace Catholic Church, with Rev. Charles Sonnier officiating. Burial at Queen of Peace Catholic Cemetery.

Pallbearers: Kenneth Steffek, Sr., Ronald Slovacek, James Quinn, Paul Steffek, Leonard Steffek and Henry Karnei. Honorary pallbearers will be all employees of Buffington Funeral Homes that worked with Frank.

Memorials may be given to Queen of Peace Catholic Church Restoration Fund.

A reception for family and friends, after the committal service, will be held at St. Joseph Catholic Church Family Center.

Online guest book may be signed at
Arrangements by Thiele-Cooper Funeral Home in Yoakum, 361-293-5656

Contributed by Rosemary Ermis


Victoria Advocate, November 8, 2011


INEZ - Gilbert John Stefka, 77, of Inez, passed away Saturday, Nov. 5, 2011; at his home. He was born in Gonzales, July 12, 1934 to the late Rudy and Pauline Stefka of Shiner.

He was retired from Skytop Brewster and Victoria County. He was a member of Catholic Life and enjoyed farming & ranching. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather.

He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Lillian Wagner Stefka; brother Rudy Stefka Jr. of Shiner; daughter Iris K. Stefka of Dallas; son Curtis R. Stefka of Austin; grandchildren, Courtney Stefka Finn (Cassidy) of Austin, John Kolle (Margo) Stefka of Austin, James Connor (Brooke) Stefka of Austin; great-grandchildren: Skylar Stefka and Halee, Cate, and Cooper Finn.

The Rosary will be recited on Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2011, 7 p.m. at Colonial Funeral Home. The Mass will be 10 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2011, at Our Lady of Victory Cathedral. Burial will follow at Shiner Bretheren Cemetary, Shiner.

Pallbearers are grandchildren and spouses. Honorary pallbearer is Rudy Stefka, Jr.
Memorial contributions may be made to Our Lady of Victoria Catherdral.

Contributed by Rosemary Ermis


Victoria Advocate, 23 Dec 2000


YOAKUM -- Edgar Lee Stehle, 62, of Yoakum, died Friday, Dec. 22, 2000.  He was born June 17, 1938, in Yorktown. He was a retired tank truck driver after 30 years and a Catholic.  Survivors: wife, Charline Jiral Stehle; sons, John Stehle, Robert "Gabby" Stehle, Steven Stehle and Charlie Stehle, all of Yoakum and Jerry Stehle of Weimar; and six grandchildren.  Preceded in death by: parents, John Stehle and Clara Baer Stehle Zacharias.  A parish rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. tonight at Buffington Funeral Home chapel.  A KJZT rosary will be recited at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at St. Ann's Catholic Church.  Services will be 2 p.m. Sunday at the church, the Rev. Gary Janak officiating.  Burial will be at St. Ann's Catholic Cemetery.  Buffington Funeral Home, Yoakum, 361-293-2333.  Memorials: St. Joseph School Endowment Fund.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Victoria Advocate, Oct 12, 2004

Mary Ann M. Steinbauer
October 11, 2004

SHINER - Mary Ann Machacek Steinbauer, 97, of Shiner, died Sunday, Oct. 10, 2004.

She was born Feb. 10, 1907, in Lavaca County, to the late Peter and Matilda Novak Machacek. She was a homemaker and Catholic. She was a member of the KJZT, KJT and Altar Society.

Survivors: sister, Hattie Knezek of Yoakum.

Preceded in death by: husband, William Arthur Steinbauer; sister, Annie Korenek; and brothers, Joe Machacek, Frank Machacek, John Machacek, Emil Machacek, Anton Machacek and Edward Machacek.

A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. tonight at Buffington Funeral Home chapel.

Services will be 10 a.m. Tuesday at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church, the Rev. Robert Knippenberg officiating.

Burial will be at Shiner Catholic Cemetery. Buffington Funeral Home, Shiner, 361-594-3352.

Memorials: Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church.

Contributed by Rosemary Ermis



Yoakum – Bernice Steinmann, 84, of Yoakum, died Tuesday, July 21, 1998.

She was born May 27, 1914, in Yoakum, to the late Thomas Jefferson and Ruth H. Fridge Thackston.  She was a homemaker, a former member of Garden Gate Club and a member of First United Methodist Church and Wesley Sunday School class.

Survivors: sons, W.C. Steinmann and J. Nyles Steinmann, both of Yoakum; and four grandchildren.

Preceded in death by: husband, Ernest L. Steinmann; sister, Ethel Hagan; and brother, Marvin Thackston.

Services will be 10:30 a.m. today at First United Methodist Church, the Rev. Bernard P. Ritchea officiating.

Burial will be at Oak Grove Cemetery, Buffington Funeral Home, Yoakum, 293-2333.

Pallbearers: Wade Steinmann, Edwin Steinmann, Elwood Gaus, Billy Natho, Sydney Kaiser and Tommy Kocian.

Honorary pallbearers: Tilford Steinmann, Wilmon Steinmann, Calvin Roth, Berlin Thompson and Harold Knape.

Memorials: First United Methodist Church.
Unidentified newspaper clipping contributed by Rex Moore


Victoria Advocate, April 4, 2004

Emil Steinocher

Emil Steinocher, 84, of Shiner, died Saturday, April 3, 2004.

He was born April 3, 1920, in Wieting, to the late Thomas and Mary Kalisek
Steinocher. He served in the U.S. Army during World War II, was employed by
Kelly Air Force Base, and was a Lutheran.

Survivors: wife, Verline Hagens Spann Steinocher; daughters, Judy Echols of
Friendswood and Beverly Gest Thompson of Adkins; stepdaughter, Venetta Bell
of Burnett; stepson, Rodney Spann of Shiner; sisters, Della Berger of
Shiner, Sophie Machart of El Campo, and Lillie Kaufman of Idaho; two
grandchildren; one great-grandchild; two step great-grandchildren; and one
step great-grandchild.

Preceded in death by: sisters, Annie Trojak and Mary Kresta; and brothers,
Charlie Steinocher, Eddie Steinocher, Louis Steinocher, John Steinocher, and
Tom Steinocher.

A prayer service will be 7:30 p.m. today at Buffington Funeral Home chapels.
Services will be 10 a.m. Monday at United Dr. Martin Luther Lutheran Church,
the Revs. Herb Beyer and Charles Eckert officiating.

Graveside services will be 3 p.m. Monday at Mission Park Cemetery in San
Antonio. Buffington Funeral Home, Shiner.

Memorials: Hospice of South Texas/Hallettsville or Dr. Martin Luther
Lutheran Church.


Lavaca County Tribune, 23 June 1944

Sgt. Steinocher Killed in Action

Another name was added to the list of young lives from Lavaca County lost in this war.  Sergeant Emil Steinocher was killed in action on the Italian front.  His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Steinocher of Moulton received the sad message Wednesday that their son died June 4th

Contributed by Regena Williamson.


Weimar Mercury, March 23, 1895 page 6

Post Special: Sweet Home, Texas, March 10.—A brutal murder coupled with robbery about eight miles north of here last night of which a German lady name Mrs. Stendt was the victim. Two masked men rode up to the back gallery and demanded any money on hand. Mrs. Stendt complied by handing them a purse containing $3. On turning to enter the house she was shot down. The robbers entered the house and beat Mr. Stendt over the head with a pistol. He ran and was shot …and injured.

Sweet Home Texas March 11.—A more detailed account of the brutal murder of Mrs. Stendt and the robbery which occurred above here Saturday night has reached here.

Instead of being killed by a bullet Mrs. Stendt was murdered by having bow after blow rain down on her head with pistols as clubs. The skull was fractured and brain matter oozed from the fracture.

The old people have two children about grown, who were attending a ball at Wied a short distance from home.

About 11 o’clock the murders appeared entering the bed room of the sleeping couple demanded money speaking the German language. The old lady handed them a purse containing $3. The amount enraged them and they began beating the old man over the head with their pistols.

He got away, however, they firing several shots at him though none took effect. The old lady was then brutally dealt with as described above.

Sheriff Houchins is at work on the case.

Shiner, Lavaca Co. Texas, March 12.—John and Charles Othold have been arrested and are under heavy guard as there is danger of mob violence. The people are terribly aroused over the recent foul murders and about 50 men have surrounded the house of Antone Othold the father, of Charles and John, where the prisoners are under guard at present.

Transcribed by Sharon Sutton


Shiner Gazette, 11 Jul 1895



After an illness of about 10 days, Otto Stephan died Sunday morning about three o’clock of typhoid fever. Otto was just entering man hood and was a strong, well built young man. The stronger a person is the sooner he succumbs to this terrible disease. A sad feature of case was that his father had been absent at Corpus Christi during the week and was all unaware of the serious illness of his son. He was slightly ill Wednesday, the day of the excursion, but it was thought to be a mild case of slow fever. When Mr. Stephan arrived at home Saturday he found his son dying. Otto was an exceedingly studious and industrious young man and was his father’s right hand man in his mill and gin works.

The funeral took Sunday eve at 4 o’clock from the family residence and the remains were interred in the O D H S cemetery. Services at the house and at the grave were conducted by the Rev. Dziewas of Scharlottenburg. The GAZETTE extends to the bereaved parents and family its deepest sympathy in this their sore affliction.

Otto W. Stephan, 17 Dec 1876 – 7 Jul 1895, was buried in the Shiner Sons of Herman Cemetery. His parents were August Stephan and Augusta Seigel [per her death certificate]. Contributed by Matt Cross


See death notice for infant of John Stephen, burial place unknown.


Shiner Gazette, 11 May 1972, page 1

Sternadel Lad Dies In Crash

Moulton. – Final funeral arrangements were made for Russell Gene Sternadel, 13, following the arrival of his brother, Roger, who is stationed with the U. S. Navy at Thaipan.

Requiem Mass for the young seventh grade student was said Thursday, May 4 at 2:00 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church where Russell served faithfully as an altar boy. The Rev. Robert Schmidt officiated at the last sad rites.

Burial was in the Moulton Catholic Cemetery.

Russell, who was born in Lavaca County July 18, 1958, was the youngest son of Hugo and Agnes (Barta) Sternadel. Other survivors include three brothers, Roger of the U.S. Navy, Ronney of Houston and Randy of Moulton; one sister, Mrs. Eugene (Renee) Knezek of Shiner and maternal grandmother, Mrs. Vinc J. (Theresa Neugebauer) Barta of Moulton.

Smith Funeral Home, Moulton, was in charge of arrangements.

The Sternadel youth was killed early Sunday morning, April 30, 1972 in a car-train crash at Lolita. He worked as a bus boy at Kloesel’s Steak House.

The boy’s father, Hugo Sternadel, was transferred last week Tuesday from Ben Taub General Hospital in Houston to the Shiner Hospital. He had recovered sufficiently by Friday and was dismissed.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Halletsville Herald, 17 Nov 1892

Fatally Burned.

The four-year-old son of Howard Stewart, colored, was fatally burned at his home on Mustang creek last Thursday.

The boy's parents sent him from a nearby cotton field to the dwelling house on some errand. While there the child's clothing by some means caught fire, and though its cries attracted attention, before help could arrive it was terribly burned, being roasted from head to foot.


Weimar Gimlet, 31 Dec 1885, Oakland Remarks column

We understand that Mr. Wm. Moore killed a freedman by the name of Dooley Stevens, at Hackberry last Friday. Such affairs are to be regretted.

Transcribed by Dorothy Albrecht


Shiner Gazette, 25 Oct 1899

A Young Man Suicided.

Shiner, Texas, October 19. – Near Dreyer, Gonzales county, on the farm of Ed. Emken, where he was employed, Hermann Stindt, a young man 21 years of, committed suicide by shooting himself through the heart with a pistol this morning. No cause is assigned for this rash act. Stindt was well connected.

Herman Stindt, 15 Jan 1878 – 19 Oct 1899, was buried in the Shiner Sons of Herman Cemetery. Contributed by Matt Cross


Victoria Advocate, November 5, 1978

Mrs. Stluka

Advocate News Service
SHINER – Mrs. Aloisia Stluka, 78, of Shiner, died Saturday morning in a local nursing home.

Funeral services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at Shiner catholic Church with burial in Shiner Catholic Cemetery.

A rosary will be recited at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Buffington Funeral Home Chapel.

Surviving are three daughters, Mrs. Daniel Stock of Hallettsville and Mrs. David Albrecht and Mrs. Bill Wallace of San Antonio; three sons, Edwin and Laddie Stluka of Shiner and Henry Stluka of Houston; three sisters, Mrs. William Drabek and Mrs. John Havel of Shiner and Mrs. Agnes Netardus of El Campo; 13 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Shiner Gazette, 2 Mar 1944


Last Monday, shortly after the midnight hour, an Angel came and took with him the soul of little Benjamin Stluka, son of Mr. and Mrs. James W. Stluka of our city and transported him to that Heavenly home above, there to dwell forever with the Angel band.

The span of his life on earth lasted only 1 year, 5 months and 22 days.

Funeral services were held at the Shiner Catholic church on Tuesday, Feb. 29 at 10:30 a.m. with Father Hoffmann officiating.  The handson pink casket was carried by Joe Patek Jr., Willie Marcak Jr., Laddie Stluka and Edmund Zissa.  The flower girls were Lorene, Marie and Jeanette Werner and Annette Friesenhahn.

At rest, seemingly asleep, he was likened unto a fair flower, being taken out of this world of sorrow, before he had tasted any bitterness.

Surviving are his parents, grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Jim Stluka and Mr. and Mrs. Charlie Hajek, besides numerous other relatives.

The Gazette joins a host of friends in extending sincere and heartfelt sympathy to the bereaved parents in the loss of their dear little one.

He was only an innocent baby
All free from sorrow and sin,
He was plucked from this earthly garden,
To bloom in Heaven again.
Contributed by Matt Cross


Lavaca County Tribune, 23 June 1944

Sgt. Stluka Killed in Plane Crash

“The Secretary of War desires that I tender his deep sympathy to you in the loss of your husband, Staff Sgt. Ernest B. Stluka, who was previously reported missing;  report now received states that the was killed July 11, 43 in Asiatic area, in an airplane crash.  Letter follows.  Ulio, the Adjutant General:.

This sad message was received by Sgt. Stluka’s wife, who resides at San Angelo.

Besides his wife he is survived by a 17 month old son, Bennie Wayne, of San Angelo; his parents, Mr. and Mrs. Ben Stluka of Shiner; three brothers, Pvt. Henry of Virginia; Edwin and Laddie at home; four sisters, Mrs. D.J. Albrecht, Henrietta, Mary Ann and Rose Mary, all of Shiner.

Contributed by Regena Williamson.


Shiner Gazette, 12 Jul 1984

Mrs. James W. Stluka

VICTORIA - Florine Frances Stluka, 62, of Victoria, died Wednesday, July 4, 1984 in a Victoria hospital following a short illness.

Funeral services were held at 10 a.m. Saturday, July 7 at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Shiner, where the body lay in state for an hour before the time for services.

Burial followed in the Shiner Catholic Cemetery under the direction of Buffington Funeral Home, Shiner.  The Rev. Abdon Josel officiated at the Mass and graveside service.

Serving as pallbearers were her nephews, Daryl and Neal Hajek of Victoria, Donald and Patrick Hajek of Shiner, Randy Stock of Sugar Land, and Timmy Wenske of Shiner.

A rosary was recited at 7 Friday, July 6 at Colonial Funeral Home chapel in Victoria with the Rev. Peter Higgins officiating.  The body lay in state at the Colonial Funeral Home in Victoria until 8:00 a.m. Saturday when it was brought to the church in Shiner.

Mrs. Stluka was born Oct. 12, 1921 in Yoakum, daughter of Charles and Olga (Janca) Hajek, natives respectively of Praha and Plum in Fayette County, Texas.  She was a former resident of Port Lavaca and Shiner, a member of the VFW Auxiliary and the Catholic Church.

She was married to James W. Stluka.  The couple first made their home in Shiner before moving to Port Lavaca where her husband was employed at ALCOA.  After he retired, about 1976, they moved to Victoria.

Surviving are her husband, James W. Stluka of Victoria; a daughter, Mrs. Georgie Bowen of Victoria; a sister, Mrs. Willie (Evelyn) Stock of Sugar Land; two brothers, Marvin Hajek of Victoria, Laddie Hajek of Shiner; and one grandchild.

She was preceded in death by a 17-month-old son, Benjamin Stluka, Feb. 27, 1944; her father, Feb. 20, 1981; and her mother, Aug. 14, 1983.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Victoria Advocate, 24 Apr 1997, page 10A


James W. Stluka, 78, of Victoria, died Tuesday, April 22, 1997.

He was born July 31, 1918, in Shiner, to the late Jim and Albina Marcak Stluka. He served as a sergeant in World War II and received a Purple Heart Medal. He retired from Alcoa in 1978, having served 27 years. Mr. Stluka was a member of the VFW in Shiner, American Legion and D.A.V. of Victoria and was a member of Holy Family Catholic Church.

Survivors: wife, Julia Stluka; daughter, Georgie M. Stluka Bowen of Victoria; stepdaughter, Carolyn Billington of Inez; stepsons, Kenneth Vanzandt of Meyersville, Aaron Vanzandt of Houston and Heath Vanzandt of Corpus Christi; sisters, Albina Picha and Angeline Wenske, both of Shiner; brother, Lorence Stluka of Bunker, Mo.; one grandchild; six step-grandchildren; and one great-great-grandchild.

Preceded in death by: first wife, Florine Hajek Stluka; son, Benjamin Stluka; brother, Bill Stluka; one granddaughter; and one great-granddaughter.

A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. today at Colonial Funeral Home chapel on Red River.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Sts. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church in Shiner.

Burial will be at Catholic Cemetery in Shiner. Colonial Funeral Home, Victoria, 578-3535.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Victoria Advocate, 8 Dec 1987, page 14A

Vlasta M. Stluka

SHINER – Vlasta Mary Stluka, 92, of Shiner died Sunday at a local nursing home after a long illness.

Funeral services will be Wednesday at 2 p.m. at the Sts. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Shiner, with the Rev. Patrick Fidgeon officiating. Burial will be in the Shiner Catholic Cemetery under the direction of Buffington Funeral Home.

A rosary will be recited Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Buffington Funeral Home chapel. Visitation will begin at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

Mrs. Stluka was born Oct. 5, 1895, in Ezzell to Joseph Pustejovsky and Marie Adamec Pustejovsky. She was a members [sic] of the SPJST, the American Legion auxiliary and the Catholic Church.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Joe Stluka.

Surviving are a son, Robert Stluka of Shiner; a daughter, Mrs. Gladys Marie Porter of Viola, Kan.; six grandchildren; and nine great-grandchildren.

Contributed by Matt Cross

STOCK Infant

Shiner Gazette, 13 Jul 1904

The little infant son of Mr. and Mrs. Frank Stock, aged about two months, died last Saturday morning and was buried in the Catholic cemetery. The bereaved parents have our sympathy.

The Victoria Diocese database lists a Louis H. Stock, 2 May 1903 – 9 Jul 1903, in SS. Cyril and Methodius; July 9 was a Saturday in 1904. It could be that the year was put incorrectly on the stone. In his Volume V, Sammy Tise lists “No Name” with no dates and the note “flowers” next to Mathilda and August Stock. Contributed by Matt Cross


Shiner Gazette, 8 Jun 1904

Death of August Stock.

Mr. August Stock, a farmer of the Shiner vicinity, died on Tuesday May 31st of malignant typhoid fever. He had been sick but a few weeks and his death was unexpected. He leaves a loving wife and six children to mourn his untimely death. The funeral took place Thursday evening June 22 [sic]. and was attended by a large crowd of sympathizing friends and relatives. The deceased was but 36 years old at the time of his death.

August Stock, 1867-1904, husband of Mathilda, was buried in SS. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Cemetery. Contributed by Matt Cross


Shiner Gazette, 9 Aug 1905

Death of Mrs. Joseph Stock.

After a short illness from maliarial [sic] fever, Mrs. Joseph Stock died last Saturday at her home near Shiner, and was buried on Sunday in the Catholic cemetery, Rev. Father Hudecek performing the burial service. Mrs. Stock was 69 years old, and leaves a husband and several children, all grown, to whom their many friends extend sympathy in their bereavement.

Dorothea Stock, 1836 – 5 Aug 1905, was buried in SS. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Cemetery. Contributed by Matt Cross


Shiner Gazette, 29 Jun 1911

Death of Joe Stock.

The sad intelligence was spread over the city last Monday of the death of Mr. Joe Stock, son of Mr. Frank Stock. Joe had been suffering for some time with that dread disease consumption, and while his death was not unexpected, yet it came only too soon, he being but 22 years old at the time of his demise.

The funeral took place Tuesday evening from the Catholic church at 3 o’clock, the interment being in the Catholic cemetery. The sorrowing parents have the deepest sympathy of all friends and relatives. His short life being ended, may he rest well in eternity.

Joseph Stock, 24 Jun 1889 – 26 Jun 1911, was buried in SS. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Cemetery, Shiner. Contributed by Matt Cross


Shiner Gazette, 15 Apr 1903

Joseph, the little fifteen-year-old son of Mr. Frank Stock while out hunting last Friday, accidentally shot himself in the upper part of the left leg, the charge ranging upwards and entering the bowels. The little fellow lived only about thirty minutes after being shot. The funeral took place Saturday and was attended by a large crowd of relatives and friends. The interment was in the Catholic cemetery, the services being performed by Rev. Joseph Hudecek. The sorrowing parents have our sympathy.

Joseph Stock's grave may be unmarked. Contributed by Matt Cross.


Shiner Gazette, 22 Oct 1908


Died on Thursday, Oct. 15th., at the home of his daughter Mrs. Henry Schraer, Mr. Joseph Stock, aged 86 years. Mr. Stock had been ill for some time and his death was not unexpected. The interment took place Friday in the Catholic cemetery.

Jos. Stock, 3 Oct 1822 – 15 Oct 1908, husband of Dorothea, was buried in SS. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Cemetery, Shiner. Contributed by Matt Cross


Weimar Mercury, 12 May 1906, page 3

Yoakum, May 1. — Mr. A. Stoermer, Sr., one of our oldest and most highly esteemed citizens, died at his home in the southern part of town last night, aged 74 years and 4 months, after a protracted illness of cancer of the stomach.

Mr. Stoermer was born at Lautzberg, Germany, came to America in 1858 and located at Fayetteville, in Fayette county, Texas; came to Yoakum in 1888, and since then has been one of its leading citizens. At one time he served the city as city treasurer. His wife died four years ago. He is survived by children, all grown, as follows: A. Stoermer, Jr., and Mrs. C. Pich of Yoakum. William Stoermer of Smithville, Adolph of Eagle Lake, Rudolph of colorado, Mrs. Ida Kuenstler of Sweet Home and Mrs. Otelia Liebe of Flatonia.

The funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon under the auspices of the Masonic lodge, of which he had been a member for years.


Victoria Advocate, Monday, February 11, 1929

Alexander Stoermer, 58[?], died at his home at 603 North Main Street in this city this morning at 7:20 o’clock after an extended illness.

Mr. Stoermer was born in Fayette County August 22, 1872. He located at Yoakum in his early boyhood and was one of the founders of that city. For many years he owned a cotton gin at Yoakum and upon the sale of the plant to Welhausen and Green four years ago he established a cotton gin at Lolita, Jackson County, and made his residence in Victoria. Two years ago he sold the Lolita gin to the South Texas Cotton Oil Company but continued to manage the gin for the company. He had been in failing health for the last 19 months.

Mr. Stoermer was married to Miss Frances Kupa of Hallettsville in 1904. Besides his wife, two sons and five daughters survive: James, Julius, Georgia, Ida, Irene and Doris Stoermer of this city and Mrs. Joseph Ottis of Wadsworth, Matagorda County. He also leaves two brothers, William Stoermer of Clawson, Mich.[?], and one sister, Mrs. Otilla Liebe of Flatonia.

Burial will be made at Yoakum Tuesday afternoon at four o’clock. Rev. Martin A. Blizen[?] of Trinity Lutheran Church will conduct the services here and also probably at Yoakum.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Schulenburg Sticker, 19 Feb 2009, page 3

Aldean ‘Deany’ Stoever

Aldean “Deany” Annie Stoever of San Antonio passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 10, just two days short of her 59th wedding anniversary.

She was born in Moulton on Oct. 18, 1932, and graduated from Shiner High School in 1949. She married N.J. “Smokey” Stoever in Shiner on Feb. 12, 1950. She worked as a secretary for doctors until 1975 when her granddaughter was born. Mrs. Stoever retired early to spend more time with her family. “She was a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and almost great-grandmother. She will be dearly missed,” her family writes.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Otto and Mathilda Kuehn Heerssen; and sisters, Irene Pozzi and Joyce Repka.

She is survived by her husband; a daughter, Dianne Stoever Pollock and husband Ron; a granddaughter, Destinee Lee; and a grandson, John David Lee and wife Rachel.

The family received friends on Wednesday, Feb. 11 from 6 to 8 p.m. at Porter Loring Mortuary North.

Funeral services were held on Thursday, Feb. 12 at 11 a.m. at Porter Loring North Chapel in San Antonio. Pallbearers were Gary McBride, Don McBride, Thomas Darilek, Ronnie McBride, Shannon McBride, Louise Stoever and Barett McDonald. Entombment followed at Sunset Memorial Park Mausoleum.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to VITAS Hospice, 5430 Fredericksburg Road, #200, San Antonio, TX 78229.

Everyone is invited to sign the guestbook at

Contributed by Matt Cross


Weimar Mercury, 8 Apr 1893, page 2

Hallettsville New Era:

Our city was thrown into violent excitement Monday night by the shooting of John Stoner by Tom Willis. The altercation and its terrible conculsion took place at the Exchange saloon about 9 o'clock at night. Stoner received a pistol shot wound in the back of his head, which passed through the brain and crushed the skull.

The trouble between Stoner and Willis originated it may be said over a trivial affair some time since, and on Monday, Stoner, after having had one difficulty in the afternoon with Messrs. Jim and D. Grissom, took occasion to offer Willis very violent abuse, just before supper. A collision was prevented at the time. After supper the two men met in front of the Exchange saloon. Sheriff Houschins was present talking with Stoner when Willis came up. A number of other persons were standing around the building. A quarrel gradually came up between the two men, the fighting point was reached. At this time the relative positions of the men were: Stoner and Houchin leaning up against the saloon window, Willis sitting on a beer keg at the edge of the side walk. Sheriff Houchins warned the men to desist that he would have to harrest them. In less time than it takes to tell it, Stoner had his knife ready for action and Willis a six-shooter. At this point the evidence is contradictory, but it is certain that Stoner retreated through the window and was shot at. The first shot, it is thought, missed its aim and broke a show case setting on the counter. Willis followed after Stoner, shooting a second time. Stoner staggered and fell on his face.

The young man was conveyed to the residence of Mr. Wm. Dillard on a litter in an unconscious condition. Mr. Willis was arrested and yesterday morning was given bond by Justice Townsend in the sum of $750 to await the result of the young man's injuries.

John Stoner died last night about 1 o'clock. The funeral will take place this afternoon at 4 o'clock. The hose company will attend in a body.


Weimar Mercury, 15 Sep 1906, page 6

The little two year old daughter of Frank Strakos, a Bohemian farmer residing near Rabb’s Switch, met with a horrible death Friday afternoon. The children were playing in the yard near a swing, and the little girl in some way had her neck entangled by the swinging rope, strangling her to death before assistance could arrive.—Hallettsville Herald.


Herald Highlights from Yoakum Herald-Times, February 3-13, 1970

Jeffrey Wayne Stratmann

Jeffrey Wayne Stratmann, aged 24 days, passed away Feb. 9. He was born Jan. 17, 1970 in Yoakum.

Jeffrey Stratmann, son of Johnny Wayne Stratmann and Bonnie Le Kaiser, was buried in the Oak Grove Cemetery. Contributed by Rebecca Herder


Halletsville Herald, 11 Oct 1900

Death of Mrs. Strattmann.

Mrs. Sophia Strattmann, aged 46 years, wife of Geo. Strattmann Sr. of Witting, died last Saturday at 11:30 a.m. of malarial fever and was buried in the Witting cemetery Sunday evening.

Mrs. Strattmann was an excelllent woman, a loving mother and a faithful and tender wife. She leaves a husband and seven children, five boys and 2 girls, to mourn her loss. Ther Herald extends condolence to the grief stricken family.


Funeral Notice


Thurdsay, July 4th, at 10:50 p.m.


Aged 72 years, 2 months and 18 days

The funeral will be held this (Friday) afternoon at
5:00 o'clock from the residence of
Mrs. Mattie McKinnon

Interment in City Cemetery

Friends and acquaintances are respectfully invited.

Halletsville, Texas, July 5th, 1918.

Contributed by Barbara Smith


Herald and Planter, 5 Nov 1874

We regret to chronicle the death of Mr. T. A. Streich of our town which occurred on Sunday night last. He awoke, about 1 o'clock P.M., in convulsions and died before 2 o'clock. To the bereaved widow and fatherless children we tender our sincer sympathies. The deceased was a member of the I. O. O. F. Lodge of this place and the customary tribute of respect will soon be published.

The funeral should have occurred on Monday afternoon but in consequence of the natural appearance of the deceased it was postponed untill Tuesday morning. The Lodge attended and performed the obsequies as customary upon the death of a brother.

Herald and Planter, 26 Nov 1874

Whereas, the Divine Ruler of the Universe has removed from our midst by the the hand of death our Brother, T. H. Streich, who died at his residence in Halletsville, Lavaca county, Texas, Nov. 1st 1874.
Be it therefore Resolved,
1st. That we sincerely mourn his loss as a member of the Ark Lodge No. 50, I. O. O. F. and a citizen of our community.
2nd. That while we regret the departure of our Brother we bow in humble submission to the decree of Him who doeth all things well, and earnestly sympathise with the family of our deceased Brother and tender our heartfelt condolence in their great bereavement.
3rd. That though the wife has lost a devoted husband, and the children a kind and loving father, we trust that it has been to him for good; that he has passed from the lodge below to the Great Lodge above; there we hope to be joined by those who must soon follow him.
4th. That we tender to the bereaved family our warmest sympathy in their sad affliction.
5th. That this Lodge wear the usual badge of mourning for thirty days.
6th. That those resolutions be spread upon the minutes of this Lodge and a copy of the same be furnished the family of the deceased by the N. G. and that another be furnished the Herald & Planter for publication.
Committee. John Woods. Jesse Green. W. H. Tevis.

Contributed by Barbara Smith


Houston Post, 7 Dec 1951, section 4, page 15

THOMAS HESTER STREICH, 77, 3319 Leeland Ave, died 1 AM Thursday in a Houston hospital. Native Hallettsville. Lived in Houston 15 years. Retired barber. Member Oddfellows, Sons of Hermann. Survivors: Widow, Mrs. Selma Streich; sons, W. A., H. H. Streich, Houston; one grandson. Services 10 AM Friday, drawing room, Geo. H. Lewis & Sons, the Rev. C. Rodney Sunday. Body overland to Hallettsville for services there at 2 PM Friday, Kubena Funeral Home. Burial, City Cemetery, Hallettsville. Geo. H. Lewis & Sons.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Shiner Gazette, 14 Aug 1901

A little baby was born to Mr. and Mrs. Striebeck last Thursday but the little one’s stay on earth was short as it died in a few hours. The sorrowing parents have the sympathy of their many friends.

This baby's burial place is unknown. Contributed by Matt Cross


Hallettsville New Era, December 24, 1909

Mrs. Stroman Dead.

OLIVE, TEXAS, Dec. 17—Mrs. A. E. Stroman, aged 74 years, died last night very suddenly at the home of her granddaughter, about five miles south from town. Mrs. Stroman was a native of South Carolina, and had been a resident of Texas for thirty-nine years, and resided most of her time near Hallettsville. She was a devout Christian. She leaves five children, all of whom are grown. She was visiting her daughter, Mrs. W. W. Wiggins, and granddaughter, Mrs. John Miller. Mrs. Stroman lost her husband some ten years ago, Jno. J. Stroman, who was a staunch confederate soldier and served his country with honor and fame at Fort Sumter. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced, but the body will likely be shipped either to Hallettsville, Tex., or back to South Carolina.

Ann Elizabeth (Gramling) Stroman was buried in the Old Hardin County Cemtery near Kountze, Texas. She was laid to rest in the Wiggins family plot, close to her daughter, Alice V. Cornelia (Stroman) Wiggins. Obituary and additional information provided by Wayne J. Stroman


Halletsville Herald, October 5, 1899

—Mr. J. J. Stroman, who lived near Antioch, in the lower end of the county, died Monday night. He was an old citizen of the county, having lived here for the past twenty years. He had been sick but a short time, and was not considered dangerously ill. Saturday he had a chill and some fever, and his death came quite suddenly and unexpectedly. Mr. Stroman was about 78 years of age. He leaves a wife and six children, and a host of friends to mourn his death. He was buried Wednesday at Hardy's school house, with Masonic honors, of which fraternity he was an old and honored member.

Halletsville New Era, October 6, 1899

A Good Man Gone.

We are extremely sorry to report that our old friend J. J. Stroman died at his home near Antioch Church on Monday last, at an age of 78 years. While he had been a sufferer from rheumatism for several years, he had been confined to his bed only a short time and was not considered seriously ill. Death came to him very suddenly. He leaves an aged wife and six grown up children besides a large number of friends who feel that a useful member of society, a man in the true sense of the word, has been called to his last rest, one among which is the editor of the New Era. May he rest in peace.

J. J. Stroman was to be buried in the Antioch Baptist Church Cemetery located behind his home, but the Lavaca River was at flood stage. It was decided to try for the Harless Cemetery, but it was also cut off by flood waters. They elected to do the burial at the Hardy School Grounds. Both sons Eddie L. Stroman and John A. STroman were Masons and presumed to have performed burial rites. His grave has never been found on the school property. Obituaries and additional information provided by Wayne J. Stroman


Weimar Mercury, February 24, 1956

Funeral Services For Mrs. Strunk, 86, Held Sunday

Funeral services were held at Hubbard Funeral Home here Simday afternoon for Mrs. Annie Bertthold Strunk, 86, who died in her sleep last Friday. at her home at Oakland

Rev. F. H. Horak Jr., Weimar E&R pastor, officiated. Burial was in the Geiger Cemetery at Sublime.

Mrs. Strunk was a lifelong resident of this area. Born April 28, 1869, in the New Bielau community, she was the daughter of Fritz and Annie Berthold. She was married to Ernest Strunk in 1895 and they settled at. Shimek She was a member of the New Bielau Trinity Church.

Survivors are two stepsons, Otto and George Strunk of Oakland, and one stepdaughter. Mrs. Selma Scott of Schulenburg.

Pallbearers were Billie Strunk, Seth Strunk, Enest Scott, Walter Scott, George Strunk Sr., and Walter Rutledge.

Transcribed by Dorothy Albrecht


Colorado Citizen, 28 Jan 1892, page 3

Oakland Newsy Notes

We are sorry to learn of the death if Mrs. Catherine Strunk, wife of Mr. D. Strunk of Sublime and mother of Commissioner H. J., F. A., and C. H. Strunk, of this place. She died on the night of the 20th inst, at 11:35 o'clock, aged 64 years, 9 months, and was placed to rest near the neighboring church in the Lutheran cemetery, 4 o'clock, p.m., on 22d inst., by a host of sorrowing relatives and friends. The sympathy of the Citizen is tendered to the sorrowing family.

Colorado Citizen, 4 Feb 1892, page 2

Hallettsville New Era: The New Era is called on to chronicle the death of a kind friend of the paper and a most worthy lady. Mrs. D. Strunk, after a protracted illness, died at her home in Sublime, Wednesday night. The funeral took place the following day. The deceased lady had reached a ripe old age, she lived to see her large family of children grow up to be worthy men and women, each doing their duty in life as she would have them. Her life work was done well, may her soul rest in peace. The New Era extends condolence to the bereaved family.

A. M. Cathrine Strunk, Apr 1827 - 20 Jan 1892, is buried in the Geiger Cemetery. Transcribed by Dorothy Albrecht


Colorado Citizen, 14 Aug 1890, page 3


Died at the residence of Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Strunk of this place, at 4:25 p. m., on Sunday last, of congestion, their little daughter Charlotte Johana Strunk, aged 8 years 11 months and 24 days. The remains of little Charlotte were laid to rest near Sublime, at Lutheran church cemetery., Monday 11th inst., at 10 o'clock a. m., Rev. Mr. Geiger officiating at the funeral services. We deeply sympathize with the father and mother in the death of so dear a child, and may the Lord bless them in their affliction.

A great many friends and relatives of Mr. and Mrs. H. J. Strunk, from Sublime, were here last Monday expressing sorrow and accompanied the remains of little Charlotte to her last resting place.

Card of thanks on this same page.

Weimar Mercury, 16 Aug 1900, page 2

Died, after an illness of but four days, Sunday at 3:30 p.m. , Lottie, daughter of County Commissioner H. Y. and Mrs. Lottie Strunk. Little Lottie was a member of the Oakland Union Sunday school, and was a prompt attender with good lessons. She was buried at the Lutheran church near Sublime, in Lavaca county, Monday.

Charolette J. Strunk, 16 Aug 1881-10 Aug 1890, is buried in the Geiger Cemetery Transcribed by Dorothy Albrecht


Weimar Mercury, April 18, 1941, page 1

Funeral Services Held For Ernst R. Strunk, Age 82

(By Oakland Correspondent)

Funeral services for Mr. Ernst R. Strunk, 82, pioneer resident of this community, whose death occurred Friday noon, April 11, were conducted from the family residence at Oakland, Sunday afternoon, with the Rev. W. A. Flachmeier of Columbus officiating. Services were also conducted by the Masons at the Sublime Cemetery, where burial was made.

A native of Colorado County. Mr. Strunk was born at Frelsburg on Sept. 18. 1854, the son of Dredrict[sic] and Katherine Strunk. At the age of one year, along with his parents, he moved to sublime[sic], where he grew to manhood. Until 1915. he lived on a ranch five miles from Sublime; however, in this year he moved to Oakland. He had since made Oakland his home.

During his active life, he was a well-known stockman until his retirement 26 years ago at which time he moved to Oakland to spend the latter years of his life.

In December. 1877, he married Miss Mary Waltersdorf, who expired in February, 1896. He was later married to Miss Annie Berthold, who survives.

Other survivors are two sons. Otto and George Strunk of Oakland: a daughter. Mrs. Selma Scott of Schulenburg; a granddaughter. Mrs. Will Worley of Houston; four grandsons, Billy Strunk of Oakland, Junior Strunk of Brownsville, Ernest and Walter Scott of Schulenburg; a brother, F. A. Strunk of Yoakum; two great-grandchildren, six nieces and four nephews

A large crowd attended the services and floral offerings were beautiful. Quite a number from a distance were present to pay their last respects to their friend--too many to enumerate.

Active pallbearers were Messrs. E. B. Mayes. Otto Moore, Chester Grobe. Geo. Fowlkes, George Chandler and Mr. Schumacher.

Honorary pallbearers were all his friends.

Had he lived until September, he would have attained the age of 83. "One by one the leaves are falling".

The Mercury extends to bereaved survivors its sincere sympathy in the loss of their loved one.

Transcribed by Dorothy Albrecht


San Antonio Express, 5 Nov 1922, page 21


Late H. J. Strunk Began Career As Freighter in 1869.

HALLETSVILLE, Tex., Nov. 4.—The entire community mourns the death of one of its most beloved citizens, H. J. Strunk, who died Sunday night, October 20, 1922.

H. J. Strunk was born in Hartfort, Germany, on April 15, 1855, and as an infant of 6 to 8 months landed in Frelsbrug, Colorado county, with his parents, and in the year 1859 moved to 11 miles east of Halletsville, in Lavaca County.

In his early years, at the age of 14, he began hauling freight from his father's store, then called Strunksville, to Columbus, Tex., in Colorado County.

On January 14, 1875, he was united in [marriage] to Miss Charlotte Weller at Wellersburg. In Janauary, 187?, he moved to Oakland, Colorado County, and began work in the mercantile business for H. Bock. Afterwards he became a partner of H. Bock and the style of the firm was Bock & Strunk. The business was continued as such until November, 1882, then the aforesaid firm sold out to J. P. Woolsey and G. H. Strunk. On May ?, 1883, H. J. and F. A. Strunk entered into a general merchandise business and continued as partners until October, 1901, when H. J. Strunk sold out all of his [mercantile] interests to his brother, F. A. Strunk. From 1881 until 1907, H. J. Strunk was heavily interested in cattle and real estate business. Mr. Strunk, during the year 1907, together with his family, moved to Halletsville, and made Halletsville their home up and until the time of his death. Since his residence in Halletsville, Mr. Strunk has been extensively interested in the banking and real estate business, having been president of the First National Bank of this city, holding the position as president of that bank until about one year before his death, resigning his active duties in the bank on account of declining health, but retained his office as director until death. Mr. Strunk, for a number of years, was president of the Nordheim State Bank, resigning that position and later becoming its active vice president.

Mr. Strunk is survived by his wife, three daughters, Mrs. H. A. Stuerner of Nordheim, Mrs. Hugo Letzerich of Harlingen, Mrs. Annie Ledbetter of Halletsville; and one son, Morris A. Strunk of Halletsville. Also three brothers, F. A. Strunk of Yoakum, Charles and Ernest Strunk of Oakland, and one sister, Mrs. Robert Miller of Sublime, survive.

Saturday afternoon Mr. Strunk was accompanied to the Baptist Sanatorium [sic.] at Houston by Mrs. H. A. Stuerner and Dr. Paul Ledbetter, seeking relief from a complication of troubles which had kept him in poor health for the past 12 months. The last three weeks he had been confined to his home. Mr. Strunk died at 8:05 Sunday evening, and the remains arrived on the 12:52 train Monday. The funeral was held from his late residence Tuesday afternoon. Services were had in the Lutheran Church, where Mr. Strunk had held a long membership. Rev. A. D. Rode officiating. Rev. McWhorter, pastor of the Methodist Church, and Rev. Mizzell, pastor of the Baptist Church, both being friends of Mr. Strunk, assisted in the ceremonies.

Mr. Strunk, besides being a member of the Lavaca Board of Trustees, was a member of the Masonic lodge, Hermann Sons and Woodmen of the World. The following members of the Masonic lodge acted as active pallbearers: J. Hendley Simpson, G. A. Young, Ferd Lacy, A. Klatt, H. J. von Rosenberg, Dr. C. T. Dufner. The honorary pallbearers were Wm. Green of Shiner, W. C. Munn of Houston, T. Y. Hill of Llano, Philip Welhausen of Yoakum, S. G. Tarkington of Cuero, Fritz lardiner of Nordheim, Emil Appelt of Cordele, Charles Sengelmann of Schulenburg, Hy Sengelmann of Schulenburg, Henry Laas of Weimar, H. P. Sachs of Weimar, S. L. Bennett, Wm. Peterson, Dr. Paul Renger, H. L. Stulken, F. Hillje and R. A. Baessler of this city.


Weimar Mercury, October 29, 1892

Oakland Remarks

Died, Wednesday evening, the infant daughter of Mr. and Mrs. August Strunk. The remains were interred at Sublime last Thursday.

Lydia M. Strunk, 21 Apr 1892 - 26 Oct 1892, butied in Geiger Cemetery. Transcribed by Dorothy Albrecht


Weimar Herald, February 8, 1896, pg 2

Oakland cor Citizen: Mrs. E. Strunk, wife of Mr. Ernest Strunk, died at her home near Sublime last Saturday at 5 o’clock a.m. Relatives and friends from here attended the funeral last Sunday at 3. She leaves to mourn her death a husband and three children, two boys and a girl. The Citizen extends condolence to the bereaved ones.

Transcribed by Sharon Sutton


Weimar Mercury, August, 9, 1890s, pg. 2 

A Bad Killing.

Hallettsville, Tex. August 4. W. A. Stubbs, Constable of Precinct No. 1 and a candidate for sheriff, was killed, and James Tucker, his relative shot in four places, in a street fight here this evening, with John Smothers and Bird Kelly, who are double brothers-in-law. The shooting grew out of the killing several years ago, of Bob Kelly by Stubbs. Kelly and Smothers were arrested and placed in jail by Sheriff Houchins. They declined to make statements until they had interviewed their attorney. District court began today and the grand jury was in session not fifteen yards from scene of the shooting. All parties are young men and have families.—Hallettsville cor. Houston Post
According to Dr. J. E. Lay's journal in the Friench Simpson Library, the incident occurred on August 4th. James Tucker's arm had to be amputated and he died the next day. News article transcribed by Sharon Sutton.


Weimar Mercury, 9 Jan 1897, page 8

Yoakum, Texas, January 2.—R. A. Stuckert, a prominent lumber dealer here, committed suicide this afternoon by hanging himself with a small rope. He had been in bad health for some time, and it is thought this was the cause of the rash act. He left no letter or note of any kind in explanation of the act.


Weimar Herald, 18 Jul 1896, pg 2

Shiner, Tex., July 14—Mrs. Marie Stuerke, wife of Paul Stuerke, died this morning, aged 25 years. Mrs. Stuerke leaves a husband and two children, one only a few days old.
Transcribed by Sharon Sutton. From Rebecca Herder: Marie Stuercke was born on July 12, 1872 in Fayette County, the daughter of Charles and Annie Herder Eschenburg. She and Paul had two daughters before her death in 1896. Lillie Elizabeth was born in Aug, 1891 and Elsa Marie was born in July, 1896. Her grandparents were Louis and Marie Eschenburg and George and Minna Wolters Herder.


Shiner Gazette, 20 Feb 1901

We are sorry to chronicle the death of Mrs. John Stulken, which occurred here last Wednesday night at 10 o’clock, after a two weeks’ illness, of la grippe. She was buried at the Charlottenburg cemetery Friday afternoon.

Johanne Amalia Schelling Stulken, 10 Nov 1848 – 13 Feb 1901, was buried in the Charlottenburg Cemetery. Contributed by Matt Cross.


Victoria Advocate, 8 Sep 2001

Edmund Suhr

YOAKUM—Edmund "Ed" Suhr, 78, of Yoakum, died Friday, Sept. 7, 2001.

He was born April 19, 1923, in Yoakum, to the late George and Teresa Brosch Suhr. He was a retired oil worker at Shell Oil Refinery in Deer Park. He was a member of Notre Dame Catholic Church in Kerrville and St. Joseph Catholic Church in Yoakum. He was a U.S. Army veteran serving in World War II and was a member of the American Legion, Knights of Columbus, VFW and Hermann Sons Lodge.

Survivors: wife, Flora Depin Suhr of Kerrville; daughters, Nana Graham of Houston and Judy Bolton of Medina; son, George Suhr of Anchorage, Ala.; sisters, Adeline Hagan and Elenora Ebner, both of Yoakum; one grandchild; and three great-grandchildren.

A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. tonight at Buffington Funeral Home chapel.

Services will be 1:30 p.m. Sunday at St. Joseph Catholic Church, with Deacon Gene Ebner and the Rev. Gary Janak officiating.

Entombment will be at St. Joseph Catholic Mausoleum. Buffington Funeral Home, Yoakum, 361-293-2333.

Memorials: St. Joseph School Endowment Fund.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Victoria Advocate, Fri., 1 Jan 1954, page 2

Yoakum - Funeral services for George J. Suhr will be held at 9:15 a.m. tomorrow morning from Buffington Funeral Chapel at 9:30 a.m. from St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

Mr. Suhr was born in Lavaca County and spent all his life in Yoakum.  For the last 17 years he was a salesman for the Etlinger Beer Agency.

Surviving are his wife, two daughters, Mrs. L.F. Hagan and Mrs. Eugene Ebner of Yoakum, a son Edmund Suhr of Houston, a sister, Mrs. Anna Kupka of Yoakum, a brother, William Suhr of Yoakum and eight grandchildren.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Victoria Advocate, 13 Oct 1988, page 12A


YOAKUM - Theresa K. Suhr, 89, of Yoakum, died at 1:15 p.m. Wednesday in a local nursing home.

She was born Nov. 11, 1898 in Lavaca County, daughter of the late Joseph and Elenora Berckenhoff Brosch. She was a member of Yoakum Catholic Daughters of America and the Legion of Mary.

A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. Thursday at Buffington Funeral Home chapel. A Catholic Daughters of America rosary will be recited at 1:30 p.m. Friday at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Funeral services will be at 2 p.m. Friday at St. Joseph Catholic Church with the Rev. Jerry Caponi officiating.

Burial will follow in the St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery under the direction of Buffington Funeral Home.

Surviving are two daughters, Elenora Ebner and Adeline Hagan, both of Yoakum; a son, Edmund Suhr of Yoakum; three sisters, Isabella Stasny of Houston, and Elizabeth Schroeder and Helen Hairell, both of Yoakum; a brother, Charles Brosch of San Antonio; nine grandchildren; three step-grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, George Suhr who died in 1953; and five sisters.

In lieu of usual remembrances, memorial donations may be made to the St. Joseph School Endowment Fund or the charity of the donor's choice.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Victoria Advocate, 12 Jun 2004

James J. Surman JR.

MOULTON - James John Surman Jr., 77, of Moulton, died Thursday, June 10, 2004.

He was born June 24, 1926, in Praha, to the late James E. and Barbara Stasney Surman. He was an insurance salesman and a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

Survivors: wife, Wilma Vinklarek Surman; daughters, Elizabeth Janecka of Jemes Springs, N.M., JoAnn Gerules of Austin, Theresa Moore of Yoakum, and Elaine Massie of Shiner; sons, Vernon Surman of Giddings, J.C. Surman of Cistern, Rick Surman of Hallettsville, Gilbert Surman of Yoakum, and Timothy Surman of Harleton; sister, Marcella Langhamer of Schulenburg; brothers, Ernest Surman of Schulenburg and Joseph Surman of Houston; 22 grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Preceded in death by: sister, Norma Surman; brothers, Daniel Surman and Herbert Surman; and one grandson.

Visitation will begin 7 a.m. today at Smith Funeral Home chapel.

A rosary will be recited 7 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home.

Services will be 10 a.m. Monday at St. Joseph's Catholic Church, the Rev. Gabriel Maison officiating.

Burial will be at Moulton Catholic Cemetery. Smith Funeral Home, Moulton, 361-596-4631.

Memorials: Hospice of South Texas.

Contributed by Matt Cross


Victoria Advocate, 11 Sep 2006


CEDAR PARK - Wilma Vinklarek Surman, 75, of Shiner, died Saturday, Sept. 9, 2006, in Cedar Park.

She was born July 5, 1931, in Cistern, to the late Charlie and Sofie Mares Vinklarek. She was a rancher and a member of St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Moulton. She was also a member of KJZT, American Legion and Ladies VFW.

Survivors: daughter, Elaine Massie of Shiner, Elizabeth Janecka of Jimez Springs, N.M., Jo Ann Gerules of Cedar Park and Theresa Moore of Yoakum; sons, Vernon Surman of Paige, James C. Surman of Waelder, Richard Surman of Hallettsville, Gilbert Surman of Yoakum and Timothy Surman of Harleton; seven sisters; four brothers; 22 grandchildren; and eight great grandchildren.

Preceded in death by: husband, James Surman.

Visitation will be 11 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. today at Smith Funeral Home.

A rosary will be recited 7 p.m. today at St. Joseph's Catholic Church.

Services will be 10 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2006, at the church with Father Gabriel Maison officiating.

Burial will be at St. Joseph's Catholic Cemetery. Smith Funeral Home, Moulton, 361-596-4631.

Pallbearers: James Clayton Surman, Jon Surman, Kasey Selzer, Cody Selzer, Jeremy Massie, Wesley Janecka, Nick Hinze, Dwight Pesek.

Honorary Pallbearers: David Sawyer.
Contributed by Matt Cross


Lavaca County Tribune, 16 June 1944

Joseph Sustr Is No More

Funeral services were held Tuesday, June 13, 9:30 a.m., for Joseph Sustr, aged 81 years, 8 months, and 28 days, who passed away at his home near Moulton Sunday, June 11, at 3:10 p.m. Rev. Jos. Kopp conducted the services at the Moulton Catholic Church, and interment followed in the Moulton Catholic Cemetery.

The deceased was one of the best known characters in the county as an artist in sausage making for picnics.  Always in good humor, he was well liked by all.  Born in the old country in 1862, married in 1887, he came to this country with his young wife a year later, living in this county practically all his live.  His wife preceded him in death in 1917.  He is survived by his children:  Mrs. Henry (Annie) Peters, Schulenburg:  Miss Jene at home:  Mrs. Joe ( Frances) Andrele, Moulton: Mrs. John (Agnes) Kubicek, Shiner:  sons, John, Joe E. and (Jim). May he rest in peace and sincere sympathy to the survivors. 

Contributed by Regena Williamson.


Texas City Sun, Thursday, Sept. 14, 1995

Ann J. Sutton, 62, of Yoakum died Sept. 10, 1995.

Services were held Sunday at 2 p.m. at First United Methodist Church in Yoakum, the Rev. Rick Sanderford officiating. Burial was at Oak Grove Cemetery in Yoakum.

Survivors include her husband, Joe Sutton, longtime Texas City resident; daughter, Roxanne Feldman and son-in-law, Ronny; son, Bobby Sutton of Houston; granddaughter, Alyssa; mother, Audrey Mikulenka of Yoakum; mother-in-law, Hortense Sutton of Texas City; sister-in-law, Theresa Sutton Smith; brother and sister-in-law, Clyde and Vicki Sutton of Austin; and other relatives including aunts, cousins, and many friends.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Victoria Advocate, Monday, November 23, 1970

HALLETTSVILLE—Funeral services for Mrs. Emilie Svab, 84, of Hallettsville, who died Friday night in a Schulenburg nursing home, were held Sunday afternoon at Sacred Heart Catholic Church with the Rev. Stanley Petru officiating.

Burial was in Sacred Heart Cemetery.

Mrs. Svab, who was born Dec. 12, 1885, in Lavaca County, was a member of the KJZT Society and SPJST Lodge. She was married to John Jansky in 1906, who died in 1918, and to John Svab in 1927, who died in June, 1940.

Survivors include three sons, Adolph Jansky of Hallettsville, Johnny Jansky of Sinton, and Emil Svab of Hallettsville; a daughter, Mrs. Annie Grahmann of Hallettsville; two brothers, John Bollom of Schulenburg and Louis Bollom of Wied; and a sister, Mrs. Annie Sciba of Lane City.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Austin American-Statesman, January 27, 2013

Patrick James Svatek

On January 24, 2013 we lost a beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend.

Born on the 25th of August 1949, he is preceded in death by his parents Joe H. Svatek and Angeline Riha Svatek, brothers Joe Svatek and Ben Svatek, sister Angie Svatek Boone, and daughter JoAnn Heiling.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Kathryn Heiling Svatek of Del Valle TX; son Patrick L. Svatek and his wife Cynthia and son Asher of Hollywood MD; son Michael J. Svatek and his wife Shannon, son Dalton, and daughter Sierra of Liberty Hill TX; son Jason A. Svatek and his wife Dayna of Austin TX; daughter Stephanie M. Reed and her husband Kendall of Dale TX; sister Helen Mizera and her husband Antone of Hallettsville TX; sister Lonnie Kelner and her husband Franklin of Palacios TX; and twin sister Patricia Hargus and her husband David of Port Lavaca TX, and many nieces and nephews.

Born in Shiner TX and a graduate of Calhoun High School in Port Lavaca TX, Patrick joined the Navy and served his country aboard the aircraft carrier USS Oriskany (CVA-34) during the Vietnam War. After his honorable Naval service, Patrick earned his Bachelors of Science in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas in Austin, and joined NASA as an engineer on the space shuttle program. A few years later Patrick moved to Austin to settle down as a Microprocessor Engineer with Motorola, where he retired from in 2004. Patrick enjoyed raising his kids, coaching baseball, fishing, golfing, telling jokes, and gardening (his favorite plant was the Yellow Rose). He was a member of the Knights of Columbus.

His family asks that flowers be sent to Cook-Walden Funeral Home at 6100 North Lamar, Austin TX 78752, or in lieu of flowers, a donation in his memory to the Wounded Warrior Project (

A formal visitation will be held from five o'clock to seven o'clock in the evening on Monday January 28th at Cook-Walden Funeral Home 6100 N. Lamar Blvd., Austin Texas, followed by a reciting of the Rosary at seven o'clock. A Memorial service will be at ten o'clock in the morning on Tuesday January 29th. An additional viewing will be held at Sts Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Shiner, TX at one o'clock in the afternoon on Wednesday January 30th followed by a mass at two o'clock in the afternoon, with a graveside burial at the Shiner Catholic Cemetery. Condolences may be sent to

Contributed by Rosemary Ermis


Weimar Mercury, 12 May 1906, page 3

Yoakum, April 26. — John E. Svoboda, a successful Bohemian farmer, died at his home near here last night, aged 65. Deceased had been in ill health for several months past and his death was not unexpected. Besides a widow, several grown children survive him. The funeral took place this afternoon; interment in the Catholic cemetery.


Victoria Advocate, July 31, 2010


SHINER - Julia Svoboda, longtime resident of Shiner, passed away on July 29, 2010, at the age of 104.

Julia is survived by her nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Peter and Frances Ermis Chilek; her husband, Edward; two brothers and three sisters.

Visitation will be held on Sunday, Aug. 1, 2010, from 2 to 9 p.m. with a rosary being recited at 7 p.m. at Buffington Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held on Monday, Aug. 2, 2010, at Sts. Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church at 10:30 a.m. with Father Bob Knippenberg officiating. Burial will follow at Shiner Catholic Cemetery.

Arrangements are under the care of Buffington Funeral Home, 361-594-3352.

Contributed by Roland Beausoleil


Hallettsville Tribune, Friday, July 5, 1940

7th Body Found Here Thursday

The body of Christina Svrcek, the seventh victim of the flood, was found Thursday morning about 10 a.m., by John Pineda, a Mexican, as he was walking near the washed out railroad bridge. The body was laying in the drift at the bridge. It was buried by the Kubena Funeral Home immediately after it was removed from the creek.

Identification of the body was difficult, but officials indentified it as the body of Miss Christina Svrcek.

Transcribed by Sandra Long Anders


undated newspaper clipping

Pioneer Engineer

Passes on today

J. H. Swank dies at Houston Hospital at 12:30 p.m., burial at Houston Wednesday.

J. H. Swank, 58, one of the oldest engineers of this division in points of continuous service passed away at Houston S. P. ( Southern Pacific) Hospital today at 12:30 p.m. following an illness of almost two months.

Mr. Swank had been an engineer on the S.A. and A.P. and S. P. for thirty years having moved to Yoakum in 1903 and entering the services of the old Sap railway as an engineer. He made a splendid record in this capacity and was well and favorably known on the routes which he piloted trains. Most of his service was on the Yoakum Waco line passing from engineer on the old coal burners to the oil burners and finally to motorman on the motor cars which are now used on this route.

Mr. Swank is survived by his wife and seven children. Funeral services will be held at Houston

Wednesday afternoon at 3 p.m. and internment will be made in the Forest Park Cemetary. Services will be under the direction of the Baptist Church, he being an active member of the Tabernacle Baptist Church of Yoakum.

Houston Post newspaper clipping:

Swank- James H. Swank, 58, of Yoakum died in a local hospital at 12: 15 p.m. Tues. He is survived by his wife Mrs. Cora Belle Swank; four daughters: Mrs. Carl Hillman (Audrey Lee Swank), Miss Gwendolin Swank, Miss Mary Sue Swank, and  Mrs. Rudolph Wukasch (Ruth Swank) of Austin. A stepdaughter Mrs. R. E. Browning of Galveston, a son James Swank of San Francisco, a brother Burt Swank of Louisville, Ky. and a grandchild. Funeral services were held at the chapel of the Fogle-West Company at 5 p.m. Wed.

Contributed by Carla Hillman Ratcliff


Daily Victoria Advocate, Thursday, August 24, 1922

SHINER, Texas, Aug. 24.—Jimmie Swoboda, 6-year-old son of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Swoboda of this place, was smothered to death here Monday beneath a wagonload of freshly picked cotton.

The child was playing around the wagon when he toppled into the downy mass. Funeral services were held for the little fellow Tuesday afternoon at 3. Rev. P. P. Kasper conducted the services and burial was made in the Catholic Cemetery.

Submitted by Rosemary Ermis


Victoria Advocate, August 5, 2011

YOAKUM - Dorothy A. "Dot" Sykora, age 86, passed away on Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2011. She was born on June 28, 1925 in Shiner to Frank and Albina Prince Pulkrabek. She was a loving mother and a member of St. Joseph Catholic Church.

Survivors: daughter, Loretta Shindler of Tacoma, Wash.; sons, Robert Sykora (Sherry) of Conroe, David Sykora (Doris) of Austin and Chris Sykora of Yoakum; five grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.

Preceded in death by: parents; husband, Lawrence B. "Sam" Sykora; grandson, Craig Sykora; and a sister, Rubye Miculka.

A rosary will be recited at 7 p.m. today at St. Joseph Catholic Church. Funeral Mass will be at 1 p.m. on Saturday at the church with Rev. Matthew Huehlefeld officiating. Burial will be at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery.

Pallbearers: Matthew Sykora, Nathan Sykora, Sean Sykora, Troy Sykora, Shea Sykora and Jeannie Hermes.
Memorials may be given to Accolade Hospice or the donor's choice.

Arrangements by Thiele-Cooper Funeral Home in Yoakum, 361-293-5656.

Contributed by Rosemary Ermis


Lavaca County Tribune, 30 Sep 1932


Mrs. R. Szmiderski, aged 84 years, who was born in Kempr, Germany, passed away at her home Tuesday, September 27th, 1932 at 7:45 p.m. after being seriously ill for several weeks. The funeral procession left the home of Mr. and Mrs. Sam Reichman in Hallettsville Wednesday afternoon, September 28, 1932 at 2 o'clock. Interment was in the Jewish Cemetery. The pallbearers were Messrs. Louis Samusch, Sam Samusch, Dave Fink, Ben Krandel, Bruno Cohn and Sam Reichman. Mrs. Szmiderski is survived by Mrs. M. Meyerhoff, Mrs. L. August, Mrs. L. Levey, Mrs. S. Reichman and Mr. Adolph Silber. The Tribune offers its sympathy to those in their bereavement.


Hallettsville Herald, 26 July 1900


S. Szmiderski, aged 66 years, 6 months and 23 days, died at his residence in this city, Sunday, July 23, 1900, of a complication of disease and was interred in the Jewish Cemetery Monday morning, the funeral being conducted under the auspices of the Knights of Honor, of which lodge he was a member. His wife, formerly Rosalie Silber, survives him. S. Szmiderski was born January 1, 1833 in Warsaw, Poland, of noble and rich Israelite parentage. He was educated in the St. Cross Gymnasium of that city and was afterwards graduated from the Noble Cadet Military Academy with honors.

In October 1862, when the Polish Up-rising occured, Mr. Szmiderski was the first to raise a company of volunteers in Warsaw; for which he was imprisoned in the Citadel but released through influential friends. He then served as Lieutenant under General Langewicz until his defeat, when he enlisted in the Noble Polish Cavalry under General Branecki acting as aide-de-camp with the rank of Major. In October 1863 this regiment, then near the city of Leonza, received orders to rescue General Narbut, who was surrounded by Russian Divisions at Wigrie 100 miles distant, and by riding day and night they covered this distance in a day and a half, and, on October 23rd, they defeated the Russians, capturing 20 cannons, 1000 prisoners and 200,000 rubles in cash. For conspicuous bravery in this action, Major Szmiderski was promoted to the rank of Colonel.

When the Polish Army was overpowered and scattered, Col. Szmiderski escaped to Austria through Krakow, thence to Switzerland and to Paris from whence he emigrated to America in 1865.

By his death poor Poland has lost a brave, noble and patriotic son. Peace be to his ashes.

Stanislaus Szmiderski was first married to Cecilie Alexander who died in 1880 and is buried in the Jewish Cemetery in La Grange.



There are over 4,000 obituaries of Central Texans with Czech roots at Steve Alvarez's TXBHS web site. These include many people from Lavaca County and some with German surnames.