Williamson County
Historical Commission

 

Granger, Texas
Historical Markers
and photo images of today

 

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New Bern/St. John Lutheran Church and Cemetery

 
  Marker Text
Swiss and German immigrants who settled here in the early 1890s named their settlement for Bern, Switzerland. In 1892 the newly organized St. John Lutheran Church built a sanctuary which also housed the New Bern School here on 2.5 acres donated by Daniel Murphy. The New Bern Cemetery (0.1 mi.E of this site) was established in 1895 on 3 acres acquired from Friedrich and Anna Stauffer. Though a new church building (1912) and schoolhouse (1920) were moved to the nearby community of Wuthrich Hill in 1949 the cemetery continues to serve the community.
 

 


 

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school 1902-08

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Historical Marker text
Site of Moravia School In the mid-nineteenth century, Moravian immigrants began moving into Central Texas, attracted by fertile soils and the hope for better lives. One who settled here was Pavel Machu (1834-1907), a native of the Vsetin Valley in what is now the Czech republic. Machu came to Texas in 1870 with his wife, Rozina (Trlica), and their three children, settling first in Austin County. By 1880, the family resided in Williamson County and, in 1884, Machu donated three acres of his farm for a community school that was named for his native land. S.E. Montgomery donated funds for lumber and built the one-room schoolhouse, which also provided meeting space for church services and community activities. Moravia School opened in 1884, replacing the earlier Dykes School (1 mi. S). Charles Lord served as the first headmaster. Moravia became Common School District No. 83 in 1903. It continued to serve the dispersed farming settlement and was a focal point for social and religious gatherings. In 1922, trustees enlarged the schoolhouse to two rooms, providing space for grades one through eight. Older students attended high school in Granger. By the 1930s, the declining agricultural population resulted in the closing of several area schools, and Moravia closed in 1945. The district formally merged with Granger Independent School District in 1949, and the Moravia schoolhouse was soon moved to Granger to the site of Crispus Attucks High School. There it remained until 1964, when the African American Attucks school integrated with other Granger schools. The site of the pioneer schoolhouse now serves as an important reminder of the area's rich cultural history. (2003)

 



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Macedonia Cemetery - Historical Marker text


According to local tradition a congregation known as the O'Possum Creek Church built an all-faiths sanctuary in this area as early as 1858. During the 1860s the Macedonia community began to develop as English and German immigrants settled in the area. During the 1870s Macedonia developed into a thriving community consisting of the Macedonia Baptist Church, a Masonic lodge, a gin, a granary, and a general store. A parcel of land which later included this cemetery was donated to the community by the S. A. Spiars family sometime prior to the first recorded burial here, that of J. C. Witt on April 22, 1874. Macedonia residents and businesses began to disperse after the town of Granger was established about two miles east of here in the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad in the early 1880s. Eventually, the last remaining physical evidence of the once-thriving community of Macedonia was this graveyard. Macedonia Cemetery was abandoned until 1971, when descendants of people buried here formed a cemetery association to restore and preserve the graveyard. The cemetery remains in use and includes the burials of pioneers of this area and their descendants and veterans of the Civil War.

 


 

Czech Brethren Church, Granger, Texas

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ca. 1938


ca. 2007

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Czech Protestant immigrants began settling in this area in the early 1880s. Many of them established family farms in the rich farmland surrounding Granger. The Czechs' first organized worship service was held in a schoolhouse east of town in the early 1880s. Services were held sporadically whenever a traveling minister was available to preach. The Rev. Adolph Chlumsky, a Czech Brethren minister from Brenham, encouraged the people here to organize a church. On July 10, 1892, the officially founded a congregation and elected Chlumsky pastor. He commuted from Brenham to serve the congregation for the next 18 years. The congregation built its first church structure in 1901. On December 29, 1903, under the leadership of the Rev. Mr. Chlumsky, the Evangelical Unity of the Czech-Moravian Brethren in North America (Unity of the Brethren) denomination officially was organized at Granger Brethren Church. In 1910 Chlumsky was succeeded by the Rev. Josef Barton, Sr., who became the first resident pastor. the church continued to thrive over the years, serving the community with a variety of programs. It remains an important part of Williamson County history.

 


Saints Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church

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ca. 1920's
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building of the church


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  today

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Saints Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church - Historical Marker text
Granger Texas
The Czechs/Moravians who settled here in the early 1880s initially worshiped in each others' homes or traveled 12 miles to Taylor, site of the nearest Catholic Church.  As their informal congregation grew so did the community of Granger.  In 1891 they erected a wood frame sanctuary here on land donated by Austinite W. H. Walton, and named their church after the Czech Patron Saints, Cyril and Methodius.
 
During the Rev. Frantisek Machan's brief tenure as Pastor the church formed several fraternal organizations and established a school.  His successor, the Rev. Frantisek Pridal, helped the congregation build a new school building/parish hall in 1912 and replace the original church building with a brick structure in 1916. Following the death of the beloved Father Pridal in 1927, the Rev. John Vanicek became Pastor.  He helped many young parishioners enter the Priesthood and Sisterhood and guided several Parishioners into leadership roles in statewide Catholic Fraternal Organizations.
 
In 1948 this church became a part of the newly formed Austin Diocese. A 2-story brick school building was added in 1947.  A recreation center in 1959, and a brick convention in 1960.  The Church continues to play an integral role in church and community affairs.  (1993) 

  



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ca. 1920's

Saints Cyril and Methodius School -

Historical Marker text
In 1899, eight years after the founding of Saints Cyril and Methodius Church, its Czech/Moravian parishioners established a school for their children. In 1901 the Sisters of Divine Providence began their long affiliation of providing teachers for the school. Educational facilities grew from a small frame schoolhouse to larger brick buildings as student enrollment increased over time. Although classes no longer are conducted in Czech and the students no longer are exclusively from the parish, SS. Cyril and Methodius School continues to reflect its early heritage in its commitment to a sound education for its students. (2001)

 



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United Methodist Church Historical Marker

Congregation organized in 1883 erected this gothic revival building about 1904.
Its earlier sanctuary had been constructed under the leadership of the rev. H.A. Boaz, who served his first charge here (1889-90).he was elevated to bishop in 1922.

 


 
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Brick Streets in Granger - Historical Marker text
Area landowners A. S. Fischer and W. C. Belcher platted the town site of Granger in 1884, in anticipation of its potential to develop along the rail line that had been laid two years previously. The town plan called for a 100-foot-wide main street, named Davilla, along which businesses and dwellings soon appeared. By 1910 Granger's economy was booming. It was an important cotton marketing and shipping point for the region, with a combined cotton compress and cottonseed oil mill, an ice factory, a waterworks, churches, banks and schools. The vast expanse of Davilla Street proved to be a problem, however, especially after rainstorms when the street became a colossal mud puddle. With the increasing popularity of the automobile, the issue of Davilla Street was even more pronounced, and the decision was made to pave it with bricks. The job of paving Davilla Street took place in the summer of 1912. The weekly Granger News proclaimed, "Granger is said to boast the distinction of being the only city in the state of less than 5000 inhabitants that has paved streets, or that is paving them." The Business League of Granger held annual "good roads and pavement celebrations" to continue its promotion of Granger as a progressive community. Ironically, the proliferation of the automobile diminished the importance of the railroad, upon which Granger had based its prosperity, and the community began to lose its population to larger cities and towns. The remaining brick streets continue as a reminder of Granger's early prosperity and its role as a center of commerce. (2001)

 

 


 

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Granger Texas City Hall

 

Granger City Hall (Farmers State Bank) - Historical Marker  text
Erected in 1908-09, this building originally housed Farmers State Bank, the second banking institution founded in Granger. The bank closed in 1926 and the building became the Granger City Hall in 1929. An architectural hybrid of the late 19th century Victorian era, it exhibits influences of Italianate, Moorish, and Romanesque design styles. It is one of the few remaining buildings that reflect Granger's prosperous economy during the early 20th century. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1994

 


 

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Granger High School

 

Granger High School - Historical Marker text
Established in 1887, the Granger Common School District built three earlier school buildings (1887, 1906 and 1914) on this site before this structure was erected in 1924-25. A good example of institutional design of the period, the building features ornamentation of the Spanish Colonial Revival style, as exhibited in its "Alamotif" parapet, tile panels, cast-stone detailing at the parapet and entries, and an arched, ornamented main entry. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1991

 


 

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Young House - Historical Marker text
Constructed in 1901 for the A. A. Young family, this residence exhibits elements of the Classical Revival and Beaux Arts styles of architecture. Its eclectic details and architectural features include large dormers, decorative balustrades and two-story columns with Corinthian capitals. The house served as a center for civic and social activity and remained in the Young family until 1951. It is a rare survivor of its type in Granger. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1991

 


 

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A. A. & Mary Spacek House - Historical Marker text
Designed by architect William Flick, this house was built between 1921 and 1923 for Arnold Adolph (A. A.) Spacek and his wife Mary Julia (Cervenka). A. A. Spacek (1896-1952) was a locally prominent grocer, banker and merchant who also served as postmaster and mayor of Granger. He was closely associated with Governor Dan Moody and a friend of future President Lyndon B. Johnson, who gave him the nickname "Double A." The house is a modest bungalow with typical craftsman and prairie school characteristics, such as the low pitched gable roof and widely overhanging eaves. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1999

 



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  Machu Cemetery Marker
Pavel and Rozina (Trlica) Machu settled in Williamson county in 1878 and contributed to the agricultural development of the community. the cemetery began in 1883 when Machu helped a woman bury her husband who died during their journey. Machu offered to bury him on a two-acre section of the Machu farm located about five miles southeast of granger. the first recorded burial was that of Katarina Safarik in 1892. burials include descendants of Pavel and Rozina, veterans and other citizens of the community. the cemetery was relocated to this site in 1976 before construction of the Laneport dam. members of the Machu family continue to maintain this historic cemetery.

Historic Texas Cemetery - 2011
marker is property of the state of Texas
 




Granger Texas today - click on images for an enlarged view


Granger Texas
City Hall


Granger Texas
City Hall Plaque


Granger Texas
Bldg at 107 Davilla St
"Eagle Saloon"
2007


SPJST Lodge No. 20, organized in 1897, Granger, Texas. ca. 1946, 2006 Photo
 


Mark Jones
bldg 1899

bldg. 113 E. Davilla

This building was used to make ice in the days prior to refrigerators. Hank Naizer said "when I was a kid we bought block ice at this building for our old fashion ice box and to make home made ice cream."

V.V. Elick bldg
1924

Bldg at Davilla and
Rio-Grande St
2007

Bldg at 102 Davilla St
2007

the Orbartosh Bldg
at 115 Davilla St  
 2007

Cotton Club
212 E. Davilla

Mary Spacek House


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image 3070
East Side Main St. in Granger, Texas, by Trlica 12/7/1937


view today 2007

Granger Brethren church
2007


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Saints Cyril & Methodius Catholic Church
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for more info click on

Granger, Texas  by The Handbook of Texas Online

also view www.texasescapes.com

 

 

Granger Through The Years by Clay Coppedge

 

The Granger Chronicles

According to Dan Martinets, The Lone Granger:

The Tailor and the Hideaway Bride

The Double Murder in Granger, 1934

"Rip" Torn and "Sissy" Spacek Cousins from Granger

Polly want a Galleta?

The Tailor and the Hideaway Bride

John Trlica by Clay Coppedge

 

Granger Images

Ghost signs in Granger

 




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