Serbin in the News by Weldon Mersiovsky

Using the Portal to Texas history I searched for every newspaper between 1855 and 1920, also 1936 that used the terms Wendish or Serbin and put them into a Word document.

Serbin in the News



Weekly Democratic Statesman. (Austin, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 6, Ed. 1 Thursday, September 7, 1871

Hon. John Hancock

Will speak during the present month at the following points, at the date set.

Serbin……….Saturday………..September 9

The barbeque and Democratic speaking at Serbin, Bastrop county, comes off on Saturday, the 9th of September. German speakers from New Braunfels and San Antonio will be present.

Houston Daily Mercury (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 6, No. 113, Ed. 1 Tuesday, January 20, 1874

United States Mail


Postoffice Department

Washington, Dec 1, 1873

PROPOSALS will be received at the Contract Office of this Department until 3 o’clock p.m. of March 2, 1874 (to be decided by the 20th), for carrying the mails of the United States from July 1, 1874, to June 30, 1875, on the following routes in the State of Texas, and by schedule of departures and arrivals herein specified, viz.:

8758 From Giddings by Serbin, to Winchester, 19 miles and back, three times a week.

Leave Giddings Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6 a m;

Arrive at Winchester by 12 m;

Leave Winchester Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1 p m;

Arrive at Giddings by 7 p m.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 34, No. 211, Ed. 1 Wednesday, September 9, 1874

Postal Matters

The Postmaster General has ordered the appointment of August W. Schubert as postmaster at Serbin, in the county of Lee, and State of Texas, in the place of S. Fehr, resigned.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 34, No. 290, Ed. 1 Thursday, December 10, 1874


Difficulty With Bowie Knives

[Special to the Galveston News.]

Giddings, Dec 9, 1874.

A difficulty occurred at Serbin, six miles from this place, on Tuesday evening, between Doctors Mallette and Manning, in which both were wounded, Manning dangerously, the weapons being bowie knives.

 The Daily Arizona Miner, January 28, 1875, later reprinted in The New York Sun. The following article was taken from A History of Lee County, Texas, pgd 84-85.

Giddings Doctors Duel In 1875

A TEXAS DUEL – Manning and Molett , rival physicians, in Giddings, Texas, quarreled as most rival physicians do. They agreed to settle their difficulty with knives in a quiet place in the woods just out of town. There were no seconds or spectators, and each of the physicians took along lint and bandages to dress his wounds.

The accounts of the fight are alike, and are as follows: The weapons were long bowie knives. They stripped to the waist, and at the first onslaught got such a firm hold of each other that the weapons could not he used. After a long struggle they separated and stood warily watching for a chance. As they at length rushed together, Manning received a slight stab in the neck , and Molett a more serious cut across the arm. They stopped long enough for each to dress his wound, and then faced for another round.

With great caution and many feints and dodges they spent what they say seemed like half an hour without coming together. Finally Molett caught Manning’s head under his arm, and while for an instant he was able to hold him in that position , stabbed him deeply twice in the breast; but, Manning, with his arm free, was able at the same time to plunge his knife in Molett’s back. These serious stabs ended the fight.

Molett was able to reach his surgical appliances and attended to his wound. Manning fainted and fell insensible and bleeding. After attending to his own hurt, Molett says he was about to go away and leave his adversary to bleed to death, but his better nature dominated, and with considerable effort he saved Manning’s life.

Assistance soon came and they were taken to their homes, where they will be confined a long time by their injuries.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 35, No. 148, Ed. 1 Wednesday, June 30, 1875


Fatal Encounter – Crops, Etc.

[Special to the Galveston News.)

Giddings, June 29, 1875

Dr. Molette was shot and instantly killed last evening at Serbin, by Dr. G. F. Manning, of the same place.

Crops are promising, and a fair yield of corn is assured. We have had some late showers.

Our city is steadily and rapidly improving. Several brick buildings and a steam grist, saw and plaining mill are being erected.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 35, No. 215, Ed. 1 Thursday, November 30, 1876

Local Personals

Visited the cotton Exchange yesterday: … Paul Jenzen, Serbin…

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 37, No. 85, Ed. 1 Sunday, June 30, 1878

Letters from LaGrange


The population of Fayette county is a singular piece of filigree work. The Germans and Bohemians are more than half of the people; there is also a considerable colony of Servians [sic], while the Americans and negroes make up the rest. The Germans, Bohemians and Servians, or Wendish, as they call them here, affect the highlands and shun the bottoms, leaving them to the Americans and negroes. Thus they are making the post oak ridges and the prairies blossom like the rose. They are fine farmers, and the Americans tell me they are all getting rich. They are a distinct race from the Germans, being Slavonic. They are nearly all light-haired, and their young women are as plump as partridges, and many are very pretty.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 38, No. 61, Ed. 1 Tuesday, June 3, 1879


Lone Star: Serbin crops are not so promising as last year, though, perhaps, a full average for a series of years. Cotton, as a general thing, is very fine on rolling land, where it has been cultivated. On low or flat lands it was damaged by the heavy rains in April, and is now only now beginning to grow well.

Brenham Weekly Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 14, No. 23, Ed. 1, Friday, June 6, 1879

– In the neighborhood of Serbin, Lee county, wheat is under an average, but some fields are very fine. The oat crop is described as simply splendid.

The Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 5, No. 250, Ed. 1 Sunday, October 10, 1880

State News

-About sixty of the German immigrants that lately arrived have settled in the vicinity of Serbin and Evergreen, Lee county.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 40, No. 58, Ed. 1 Sunday, May 29, 1881

The NEWS is in receipt of a letter stating that Colonel J. T. Griffin of Hempstead, died at Serbin, Lee county, on the 16th instant, after a long illness. Colonel Griffin was born in Macon, Ga., September 12, 1830, was a resident of new Orleans at one time, and for several years has practiced his profession, that of law, in Texas.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 40, No. 77, Ed. 1 Tuesday, June 21, 1881



Giddings Lone Star: Mr. Aug. Miertschin informs us that the crops in the vicinity of Serbin are good, but badly in need of rain. A similar report comes from all sections of the county. Mr. R. L. Robinson, who lives not far from Giddings informs us that the web worm is doing great damage to the cotton on his and other farms in the neighborhood.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 40, No. 162, Ed. 1 Wednesday, September 28, 1881

Letter from Paige

[To the News]

Trade is brisk, and our merchants seem to be doing a thriving business. Our town is within two miles of the Lee county line, and many of the most substantial farmers in that county are now doing their trading at this point. Especially is this so with most of the farmers in the west portion of the Serbin colony.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 41, No. 13, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 6, 1882


Advertiser: A fatal difficulty occurred between two colored youths, Thos. Jefferson and Pierce Oliver, aged 16 years in the southeastern portion of the county on Sunday last in which the latter was stabbed to death by being cut in the head and right breast. The killing was instantaneous. The difficulty grew out of a stolen pair of shoes which Pierce Oliver was charged with stealing from a German at Serbin, and began at church, breaking up the services. Thomas Jefferson was arrested and lodged in jail at Bastrop.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 41, No. 57, Ed. 1 Saturday, May 27, 1882

Palestine, May 26. – Special Agent Crawford, of the United States postoffice department, who hails from way up in Maine, was went down here to Texas a few weeks since by the postmaster-general to look after a portion of the State which had heretofore been under lax supervision. Taking a trip along the postal route from LaGrange to Ledbetter, he found the postmasters at Winchester and Serbin supplementing their postal duties by selling whiskey in the same room where Uncle Sam’s mail was kept, and passing out stamps and cocktails over the same counter.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 41, No. 71, Ed. 1 Tuesday, June 13, 1882

Texas News Items


Giddings Plaindealer: Two installments of emigrants from Saxony arrived this week and will make their home at or near Serbin, in this county. Large numbers from the same country are looked for during the fall months.

Brenham Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 8, No. 221, Ed. 1 Saturday, September 15, 1883

State News

– Julius Noak, a German, was attacked by Isam Vick, a negro, on the road between Giddings and Serbin, and beaten nearly to death. Isam was jailed.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 43, No. 147, Ed. 1 Wednesday, September 17, 1884

(Special to the News)

GIDDINGS, September 16. – Still dry and hot. Water for man and beast is becoming as serious question. If we do not have rain in the course of a week or two, we of Giddings will have to hunt living water courses.

Rev. J. A. Kilian, of this county, died at his residence on the 12th instant, at 8 o’clock a.m. His death is much lamented by all, who knew him, and he was known by many, for he was a pioneer from Germany, in 1854, and settled a colony eight miles southwest from Giddings. He was seventy-five years old at the time of his death.

The jail is nearing completion, the brickwork having been finished; the wood workmen and iron men are fast finishing off their parts of the building.

Moris Gains, of Austin, is building a one story brick business house in town. Other improvements of various kinds are going on.

There is no abatement in the cotton business. Farmers are bringing the staple to market as fast as it can be gathered and baled.

Brenham Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 9, No. 235, Ed. 1 Thursday, September 18, 1884

– Rev. J. A. Kilian, of Lee county, died on the 12th inst., aged 75. He was one of the pioneers from Germany, in 1854, and settled eight miles southwest of Giddings.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 47, No. 36, Ed. 1 Friday, June 1, 1888



GIDDINGS, Tex., May 31. – Estrayed or stolen from E. A. Lingnaw, near Serbin, on January 26 one iron-gray mare, 14 ½ hands high, 5 years old, branded GW with bar under it. Will pay $20 for her delivery to me at Serbin or $10 for any information leading to her recovery. Wm. M. Brown, sheriff of Lee county; by C. F. Brown, deputy.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 48, No. 332, Ed. 1 Tuesday, March 25, 1890

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 48, No. 335, Ed. 1 Friday, March 28, 1890


WANTED – A good German physician, desiring to locate in a thickly settled, thriving community, at present without a doctor, to communicate with P. A. Pampell, Serbin, Tex.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 50, No. 350, Ed. 1 Tuesday, March 8, 1892

Stricken in the Pulpit

GIDDINGS, Tex., March 7. – Rev. Geyer, the venerable pastor of one of the Lutheran churches at Serbin, was suddenly taken ill while in the pulpit, and died before he left the church. He was nearly 81 years old, and had been pastor f this church for seventeen years or more. He was much beloved by his congregation. He was a member of the Missouri Synod.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 51, No. 187, Ed. 1 Tuesday, September 27, 1892


WANTED – Situation by a German of 22 as bookkeeper or assistant. Speaks and writes Engloish and German. Will work two months for a small salary; best ref’s. G. Peschke, Serbin, Tex.

Brenham Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 17, No. 165, Ed. 1 Tuesday, October 11, 1892


The nights are cool and pleasant.

Personal Mention

Mr P. A. Pampell, who was burned out at Serbin, Lee county a few days ago, was in the city Monday.

Brenham Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 17, No. 169, Ed. 1 Saturday, October 15, 1892

Dr. Henninger, of Serbin, accompanied by his wife, left for Salem, Oregon, yesterday.

Brenham Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 18, No. 161, Ed. 1 Sunday, June 25, 1893


Giddings News

Miss Esther Pampell returned last week from the University to her home at Serbin.

The crops on West Yegua this year cannot be excelled; we are sure of making from fifty to sixty bushels of corn per acre. cotton is looking well, but we are having too much rain. This part of Lee county is surely coming to the front; there is no better land found in the state than on the Yegua. The Dime Box prairie country is excellent and scarcely fails in making an overwhelming crop.

Brenham Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 18, No. 167, Ed. 1 Sunday, July 2, 1893


P. A. Pampell and daughter, Miss Esther, of Serbin, are in Chicago at the World’s fair.

Shiner Gazette. (Shiner, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 25, Ed. 1, Thursday, December 21, 1893

The Waco Express Wrecked

The southbound Express from Waco was wrecked Tuesday morning between Winchester and Serbin. The train was running down a steep grade and when nearing a bridge at Prairie Creek the tender left the rails, throwing the baggage, smoker and rear coach from the track. News agent Clark Dryer was almost instantly killed, his neck being broken. One passenger had his skull fractured and another his arm broken. Conductor Niles was considerably bruised, a number of passengers were slightly hurt. The engineer pulling the train was Johny Hall. The wreck was speedily cleared and the south bound train arrived at Shiner about ten o’clock Tuesday night. The local got in an hour later. A special bearing superintendent of transportation, Ennis, passed through going to the scene Tuesday night. Baggage master Damon said: “When I saw the train was going in the ditch I ran to the door of my car and jumped out, and got off with a few scratches. When a man has been in one wreck, he never wants to be in another. If I have to be killed I want to be killed outside of my car.” Mail agent Charlie Alstott said: “The first thing I knew about the smash up was when I found myself covered up by about forty mail sacks and my car turned upside down. I was only a little bruised.” It was reported Wednesday that there were four negro preachers on the train and that they everyone had a leg broken.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 53, No. 105, Ed. 1 Friday, July 6, 1894


Serbin, Tex., July 4. – Mr. Sam Simmank has just completed a large tank, to be used in connection with an extensive gin and sawmill plant soon to be erected here. The tank will be stocked with German carp in proper season.

Brenham Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 19, No. 212, Ed. 1 Tuesday, September 25, 1894


Mr. Ben Kessell, formerly of this city, but now a merchant of Serbin, was in the city yesterday and added his name to the innumerable list of BANNER subscribers.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 53, No. 268, Ed. 1 Sunday, December 16, 1894


Serbin, Lee Co., Tex., Dec. 13. – This evening at 4:20 Aransas Pass light engine No. 60, Conductor Garrison, backed through an open switch at this place, causing considerable damage to the track. No one was hurt. It took another engine six hours to get the derailed engine on the track.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 53, No. 278, Ed. 1 Wednesday, December 26, 1894


Serbin, Lee Co., Tex., Dec.24 – Circumstances have just come to light of a supposed suicide of a German on the bank of Rabb’s Creek, near Giddings, last Friday morning. On Thursday evening he man passed Section Foreman Harry Thompson near the creek and in conversation said he was from Taylor and in search of work. Next morning about 10o’clock a traveling footman found him on the creek bank, lying face down, in the last throes of death. Upon inquiry in Giddings it was learned he had purchased morphine of Williams & Johnson, hence the supposition of suicide by morphine. There was found in his pockets $21, but nothing to identify him.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 73, Ed. 1 Wednesday, June 5, 1895


Serbin – The present outlook for crops of every kind is very gloomy; entirely too much rain. Unless things are very favorable from now on, crops will be short. The acreage is the same as last year, with but little new land put in.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 103, Ed. 1 Friday, July 5, 1895


Serbin, Tex., July 4. – About 4 o’clock this afternoon, while Prof. W. A. Herter, principal of the German school here, was attempting to light his gasoline stove it exploded, burning himself and his little daughter seriously. The father’s recovery is very doubtful.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 168, Ed. 1 Sunday, September 8, 1895


Washington, Sept. 7. – Star schedule established – Texas: Serbin to Northrup, two and three-fourths miles, and back, six times a week, by a schedule not to exceed one hour running time each way. From October 1, 1895, to June 30, 1898.

The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 39, No. 42, Ed. 1 Saturday, October 19, 1895

Purely Personal

Ex-county commissioner John Preuss, of Serbin, spent last week in Bastrop, to the great pleasure of his many friends here.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 273, Ed. 1 Sunday, December 22, 1895


Serbin, Lee Co. – This section was visited by an exceedingly hard rain, which was but little needed. Christmas money seems to be plentiful.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 297, Ed. 1 Wednesday, January 15, 1896


Fritche – Lawrence

Serbin, Lee Co., Tex., Jan.12 – Married, at the bride’s residence, Miss Mary Lawrence to August Fritche.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 315, Ed. 1 Sunday, February 2, 1896



Serbin, Lee Co., Tex., Jan 30. – Married, at the Lutheran church to-day, Miss Mary Mitchke to Aug. Matting.

From Various Sections.

Serbin, Lee Co., Tex., Jan. 30. – Hard rains have fallen here.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 328, Ed. 1 Saturday, February 15, 1896


Serbin, Lee Co. – Exceedingly heavy rains in this section have left the ground so wet that farmers are unable to do anything in their fields. Indications now are that it will clear up.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 350, Ed. 1 Sunday, March 8, 1896


Serbin, Lee Co. – Despite the continued showers for the last week farmers are busy planting their crops. There will be quite an increase in acreage of cotton and corn in this section this year. For the last three years the raising of hogs has been pursued here and found to be very profitable. Tobacco is also quite an industry, some making as much off their hogs and tobacco as on their cotton.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 55, No. 1, Ed. 1 Wednesday, March 25, 1896

Store Robbed

Serbin, Lee Co., Tex., March 24. – Last night the store of M. Tschatschula, also the postoffice in the same building, was robbed of money and goods to the extent of about $30. Officers have a clew [sic].

Austin Weekly Statesman. (Austin, Tex.), Ed. 1 Thursday, July 16, 1896


Serbin, Tex., July 12. – (Special.) – At Warda, in Fayette county, today John Kasper, who is a son of the ginner there, was in some way killed. Particulars are unobtainable tonight.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 55, No. 159, Ed. 1 Sunday, August 30, 1896

Buyers in the City

The following interior merchants or their representatives were in the city during the past week:

… M. Tschatschula, Serbin …

Brenham Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 266, Ed. 1 Saturday, October 30, 1897

Brenham Weekly Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 31, No. 48, Ed. 1, Thursday, November 4, 1897


Assassination in Lee County

Word was brought to Giddings Thursday morning that August Pampell, a farmer living near Serbin, had been waylaid and killed as he was returning home from Serbin Wednesday morning. Pampell had been to the town of Serbin attending to business early in the morning, and as he was passing through John Hendricks’ pasture on his way home someone concealed behind a fallen treetop by the roadside fired a load of buckshot, twenty-four of which went into his body, producing instant death. There is no clue as to who perpetrated the foul deed, as Pampell was a quiet, peaceable man, and no one knows of his having an enemy. The grand jury is now in session, and an investigation has been instituted.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 47, No. 150, Ed. 1 Sunday, September 23, 1888


Texas Postmasters’ Salaries

Washington, September 22. – Salaries of Postmasters

Under the law authorizing the readjustment of the salaries of postmasters the officials of the postoffice department have found the following amounts to be due to Texas postmasters:

Solomon Fehr, Serbin, $132.08.

Shiner Gazette. (Shiner, Tex.), Vol. 5, No. 43, Ed. 1, Wednesday, March 23, 1898


Mrs. Mary Kubitz left Friday to visit at Serbin.


The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 46, No. 47, Ed. 1 Saturday, January 28, 1899


H. W. Dunk, of Serbin, was a welcome dropper-in at the ADVERTISER’S new quarters, Monday.

The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 47, No. 21, Ed. 1 Saturday, July 22, 1899


Ex-commissioner H. W. Dunk, of the Serbin neighborhood, was a pleasant caller at the ADVERTISER office Thursday, where a hearty welcome always awaits him.

The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 48, No. 35, Ed. 1 Saturday, September 8, 1900


Our old friend and longtime patron John Preuss, of Serbin neighborhood, was a pleasant caller at the ADVERTIZER office Wednesday. Mr. Preuss was commissioner of the county for a number of years and made a most excellent commissioner. His Bastrop friends are legion and always extend to him a hearty welcome to the old town.

Hereford Reporter (Hereford, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 15, Ed. 1 Friday, May 31, 1901; The Schulenburg Sticker (Schulenburg, Tex.), Vol. 7, No. 44, Ed. 1 Thursday, June 6, 1901

List of Patents

Granted to Texas inventors this week, reported by C. A. Shaw & Co., patent attorneys, Washington, D.C:

… J. H. Dunk, Serbin, wire fastening clip…

The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 48, No. 29, Ed. 1 Saturday, July 27, 1901

Purely Personal

George Schaefer, sr., and family, and all the Schaefers, in and around Bastrop, some fifty in number, leave today for the home of John Preuss, near Serbin, to be present Sunday at the celebration of the 85th birthday of Mr. Schaefer’s mother, Mrs. C. V. Schaefer. The old lady is still hale and hearty, and as active as some of her children. Mrs. John Preuss is Mrs. Schaefer’s oldest daughter, now 62 years of age.

The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 49, No. 14, Ed. 1 Saturday, April 5, 1902

– A hungry wolf attacked a man near Serbin, 20 miles east of Bastrop, giving him a hard tussel for his life.

The Houston Daily Post (Houston, Tex.), Vol. XVIITH YEAR, No. 367, Ed. 1, Sunday, April 6, 1902


Washington, April 5. – Texas postmasters appointed: Serbin, Lee County, Andrew Moerbe.

The Democrat. (McKinney, Tex.), Vol. 19, No. 13, Ed. 1 Thursday, May 1, 1902


Wolf’s Bite Proves Fatal to a Farmer Near Giddings.

Giddings, Texas, April 30.

Mathis Mertink of Serbin died this morning of hydrophobia, the result of a bite from a wolf about three weeks ago in his yard. Some wolves chased a dog through his house and Mr. Mertink shot at it with a rifle, when another one sprang on him, biting him.

The Schulenburg Sticker (Schulenburg, Tex.), Vol. 10, No. 16, Ed. 1 Thursday, November 12, 1903


August Liberty, a Wendish farmer living between here and Green creek, committed suicide last Tuesday Morning by shooting off the top of his head with a load of buckshot. Although he owned a 100 acre farm free of all encumbrances, he complained of not being able to make a living, and, having been somewhat inclined to melancholy during the past few years, this preyed upon his mind so much that it drove him to commit the desperate deed. He was forty-four years old and leaves a wife and six children to mourn his untimely and tragic death.

The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 53, No. 16, Ed. 1 Saturday, July 8, 1905

Purely Personals

Our long-time friend, John Preuss of the Serbin neighborhood, spent several days at the county seat this week guest of relatives and welcomed by his many friends.

1906 Soil survey of Lee County, Texas


By James L. Burgess and W. S. Lyman

Location and Boundaries of the Area

Lee County is situated in the Coastal Plain region of southeastern Texas and is approximately 150 miles from the coast. Meridian 30° west longitude and parallel 29° 20′ north latitude intersect a few miles south of Lexington. The boundaries of the county are irregular, owing to its having been taken piecemeal from the counties surrounding it. On the northwest and north it is bounded by Williamson and Milam counties, on the north and east by Burleson county, on the east and south by Washington and Fayette counties, and on the west by Bastrop County.


The present county of Lee was form in 1874 from portions of Burleson, Bastrop, Fayette, Washington, Williamson, and Milam counties. The first American settlers came to this section of Texas some thirty-five years earlier, when trading posts were established on the present sites of Lexington and Lincoln. These were followed thirteen years later by a colony of Germans, who located at Serbin. The population of the country grew slowly till after the civil war, when a number of Bohemians and Germans came in as settlers. Some located near the old German settlement at Serbin, while others selected land at various points in the southern and southeastern part of the county. In 1870 a colony of Danes attempted a settlement in the northern part of the county, but climatic conditions were unfavorable and the colony was broken up. A colony of Bohemians located in Dime Box in 1880, and is in a prosperous condition. Most of the German and Bohemian immigrants make thrifty, prosperous citizens. Practically all of the American element of the population came from the Southern States.

When American settlers first came to this part of Texas most of the land was open prairie and was devoted largely to cattle raising, other forms of agricultural pursuits receiving little or no attention. Practically no cotton was produced and very little corn was grown. The prairies were covered with tall grass, on which cattle lived the year round, no other forage being necessary. The growth of chaparral was kept down by the custom of burning the dry grass in the fall and spring. In 1859 there occurred one of the abnormal changes in climate which must always be reckoned with in the southwest. The land became so parched during this dry year that only a small amount of grass grew on the prairies, and from this time on, the older settlers say, the chaparral gained an ascendancy over the cattle ranges, and the once rich pasture lands became covered with a dense growth of post oak and black jack bushes. The number of cattle that could subsist in the open pastures was greatly reduced, and many of the cattlemen were compelled to leave the country in quest of new grazing lands. Those who were so situated as to be unable to move away began to grown cotton and corn. About this time the war came on and much diversification became necessary. Not only cotton and corn, but wheat, oats, and other crops were produced with remarkable success. On the heavy prairie lands it was not unusual to get a yield of 30 bushels of wheat and 80 bushels of oats to the acre, while corn always gave good yields on these soils. After the war the price of cotton rose so high that, in comparison, the production of the grain crops became unprofitable and was abandoned. Besides, the farmers were located so far from markets that the cost of hauling a product of low value scarcely justified the effort.

Prior to 1871 most of the cotton was marketed at Brenham, in Washington County, but during that year the Houston and Texas Central Railroad was completed through this part of the State, and Giddings became the shipping point for many of the farmers. In 1889 the main line of the San Antonio and Aransas pass Railway, connecting Waco and San Antonio, was built through this county, this giving the farmers an outlet to the north.

The boll weevil has been the only severe pest eh farmers have had in this area. The last good crop of cotton was produced in 1899. Since then the crop has been reduced from 22,804 bales in 1899 to 8,000 bales in 1904. At present the ravages of the weevil are not so severe as heretofore.

[Other matters of interest, ie: climate, distribution of soils, and geography are further discussed.]

(Burgess, James L., W. S. Lyman, and United States. Bureau of Soils. Soil survey of Lee County, Texas, Book, 1906; ( accessed February 05, 2015), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department, Denton, Texas.)

The Houston Post. (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 21, No. 300, Ed. 1 Tuesday, January 9, 1906

A Bank for Giddings

(Houston Post Special)

AUSTIN, Texas, January 8. – The charter of the Citizens’ State bank of Giddings, with a capital stock of $50,000, was filed today in the office of the secretary of state. the directors are W. A. Knox, A. E. Falke, Joseph Durrenburger, I. J. Fariss, W. E. Williams and William O. Bowers, all of Giddings, and August Miestschuss of Serbin, Texas.

Palestine Daily Herald (Palestine, Tex), Vol. 5, No. 175, Ed. 1, Thursday, February 7, 1907


Two Persons Killed and three Injured in Wreck at Alvarado

Denison, Texas, Feb. 6. – Two persons were killed and three were seriously injured in a rear-end collision of two Missouri, Kansas & Texas stock trains at Alvarado, Texas, early this morning. The dead are:

John Wright of Denison.

E. A. Folke, stockman, of Serbin, Texas.

The injured:

W. T. Coon, stockman; J. F. Simmons, stockman; d. Browning, stockman.

The killed and injured were all in the caboose of the train, which was standing at Alvarado. No member of the other train crew was injured.

The collision occurred at 1:45 o’clock this morning. a stock train in charge of conductor George Wright and engineer Muncie was taking water at Alvarado. The caboose was south of the station. Conductor Wright was at the station getting orders and the brakemen were also off the train. The second train in charge of conductor Joe Cain and Engineer J. N. Cowen, came into Alvarado while the first stock train was standing still and struck the caboose. the caboose was demolished and one car preceding it was derailed, but not badly damaged. engine No. 540, which was pulling the second train was derailed and damaged by the collision.

E. A. Folke, the stockman who was killed, was in charge of a shipment of cattle from Giddings. John Wright was a young man and was a nephew of conductor George Wright, on whose train he was riding. Both were instantly killed.

The body of John Wright was brought to Denison this afternoon for burial. Wright was traveling on the freight train for the purpose of learning the trade in order that he might take a position as brakeman. He was about 18 years of age.

Brenham Evening Press. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 16, No. 146, Ed. 1 Friday, November 12, 1909


Mrs. Ben Kessell and children, of William Penn left Wednesday for Serbin, Lee county, to attend the wedding of Mrs. Kessel’s brother there, Wednesday.

The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 57, No. 32, Ed. 1 Saturday, November 20, 1909


On the third day the prizes were awarded as follows: On horse colts, A. Moerbe, Serbin, 1st; J. Lehmann, Lincoln, 2nd; F. Hamff, Paige, 3rd; best mule colt, H. Raclure, Paige; best span mule, John Claiborne, Smithville; best saddle horse, Sheriff Scarborough, Giddings; best homemade quilt, Mrs. A. B. Danigan, Paige; best chickens, John Barr, Smithville; best turkey, O. Schultz, Paige; best butter, Mrs C. E. Lindner, Paige; best hog, Alfred Fuchs, Paige.

The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 57, No. 50, Ed. 1 Saturday, April 2, 1910

Events in Bastrop

Occurring Week Ending Saturday, April 2, 1882.

Twenty Eight Years Ago.

The following local items are taken from the Advertiser of April 2, 1882:

“A fatal difficulty occurred between two colored youths, Thos. Jefferson and Pierce Oliver, aged 16 years in the southeastern portion of the county on Sunday last in which the latter was stabbed to death by being cut in the head and right breast. The killing was instantaneous. The difficulty grew out of a stolen pair of shoes which Pierce Oliver was charged with stealing from a German at Serbin, and began at church, breaking up the services. Thos. Jefferson was arrested and lodged in jail at Bastrop.”

Shiner Gazette. (Shiner, Tex.), Vol. 17, No. 41, Ed. 1, Thursday, May 26, 1910


The Gazette is requested to announce that Rev. Kilian of Serbin will preach at the Northside Lutheran church next Sunday, May 29 at 10 o’clock a.m. Everybody invited.

The Daily Express. (San Antonio, Tex.), Vol. 46, No. 19, Ed. 1 Thursday, January 19, 1911


MUTSCHER – Giddings, Tex., Jan 18. – Reinhold Mutscher, whose home is in William Penn, but who was visiting his father Gustav Mutscher, near here, died last night. He leaves a wife and three children, besides his father and mother and two brothers here and one sister, Mrs. Ben Kessel, of William Penn. Mr. Mutcher was in business at William Penn with Ben Kessel. He was buried at Serbin today.

San Antonio Express. (San Antonio, Tex.), Vol. 47, No. 104, Ed. 1 Saturday, April 13, 1912


GERSCH – Giddings, Tex., April 12. – Mrs. Christianne Gersch died yesterday at the home of her son-in-law, E. A. Domaschk. Mrs. Gersch was born in Germany but had been living in this country many years. Her home was in Serbin until a few months ago, when she moved here. She was 79 years old. She was buried here Thursday evening.

The Houston Post. (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 29, No. 363, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 1, 1915


War Has Caused Changes and Many New Lines Have Been

Drawn but Plans Are Yet Unsettled

… The Wends for a little group of Slavs which has had a history as gloomy as that of the Poles, though it has not been so picturesque. their little colonies in Saxony and Prussia still persist, though many thousands fled to Russia or the Unites States. (Giddings, Wenden, Warden, Burleson and Serbin, in Texas were originally Wend Colonies.) …

The Schulenburg Sticker (Schulenburg, Tex.), Vol. 42, No. 34, Ed. 1 Friday, June 26, 1936

… the Texas District Synodical convention, now in session at Serbin, Texas, the original homesite of the first Wendish settlement to be made in Texas, about the year 1850. When these hardy pioneers first landed on the hospitable shore of the U. S. they were directed inland from Galveston and chose a tract of land on the Rabbs Creek of Lee and Fayette County, building their homes in seclusion and under primitive conditions. They at one set about building a place of worship. When the building was completed they yet lacked a bell to call the worshipers to meeting, so the good ladies of the colony gave whatever trinkets they possessed and whatever brass could be found among the colonists, and had a bell cast.

This bell, like the Liberty Bell, was in later years sprung and rendered useless for the purpose for which it was intended. When the Texas Concordia College was opened and dedicated in 1926, the Serbin people donated their old bell to the museum of the college. This year it was taken to Dallas and is now on display at the booth of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church on the Exposition Grounds.

When the first church of the Serbin congregation was dedicated, the pastor, the Rev. Jpohn Kilian, preached a sermon in three languages, the Wendish, the German and the English. Pastor Herman Schmidt, a native son of Serbin, is now pastor of this large congregation, …

Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 83, No. 42, Ed. 1 Thursday, January 7, 1937


Way back in 1870 Jim Walker, a pioneer settler in Bastrop county a few mileseast of where Paige is now located, the settlement being known as Ridgeway prairie, set aside five acres of land to be used for church and school purposes.

Mr. Walker was by faith, a Presbyterian. One of his neighbors, Wylie Fore, was also a Presbyterian and another Grandpa Granberry, was a Baptist and they were appointed trustees and a church building was erected on the Jim Walker five acres in the spring of 1870.

The sum of $500.00 was raised by the community and the contract was let to a carpenter named John Moxley. The lumber was hauled from Serbin by ox teams.


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