Topics (click on a topic to jump to that section).
Cascade Cavern | Comfort Historical Society | Freidenker (Nineteenth Century Freethinkers) | Kendall County | Kendall County Courthouse | Potter, Andrew Jackson | Treue Der Union (Loyalty to the Union)
Uncommemorated and Unmapped Sites
Killing of Goodhart | Killing of Kendall's Sheepmen | Kendall County Citizens on Curry Creek | Capture on Currey's Creek | F.C. Kaiser Shoots Indian | Smith Brothers
Marker Title: Cascade Cavern
Year Marker Erected: 1984
Marker Location: At main building at Cavern on Cascade Cavern Road, off I-10 exit 543, south of Boerne.
Marker Text: Probably formed during the Pleistocene epoch by the underground passage of the Cibolo River, Cascade Cavern presents an interesting mix of geological, archeological, and historical features. It exhibits a combination of the joint and the dip and strike types of caverns, and is the home of a number of unusual animals, including cliff and leopard frogs, Mexican brown bats, and Cascade Cavern salamanders. Archeological evidence uncovered near the cave indicates the presence of two Indian sites. It is probable that the Indians used the cave for shelter, and soot found on the sides of a natural chimney suggests that they had fires. Commercial development of the cave, known earlier as Hester's Cave, began in the 1930s. The current name, taken from the seven waterfalls at the entrance to the cathedral room, officially was adopted in a 1932 ceremony led by State Attorney General, and later Governor of Texas, James V. Allred. Over the years, Cascade Cavern has provided visitors and Boerne area residents with many opportunities for recreation and exploration, and it remains one of the state's important geological sites. (1984)
Museum Name: Comfort Historical Society
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 244
Zip Code: 78013
Street Address: High and 8th Street
Area Code: 210
Marker Title: Freidenker (Nineteenth Century Freethinkers)
Address: 301 SH 27
Year Marker Erected: 2000
Marker Location: 301 SH 27, Comfort
Marker Text: From 1845 to 1861, a number of German Freidenker ("Freethinkers") immigrated to the Texas hill country. Freethinkers were German intellectuals who advocated reason and democracy over religious and political authoritarianism. Many had participated in the 1848 German revolution and sought freedom in America. The Freidenker helped establish Bettina, Castell, Cypress Mill, Luckenbach, Sisterdale ,Tusculum (Boerne) and Comfort. Laid out in 1854, Comfort soon was home to about half the population of hill country Freethinkers. Freethinkers valued their newfound freedoms of speech, assembly and religion. Their settlements, where a knowledge of Latin was considered essential for a cultured intellectual society, became known as "Latin Colonies." They strongly supported secular education and generally did not adhere to any formal religious doctrines. They applied themselves to the crafts of physical labor and divided their time between farming and intellectual pursuits. Freethinkers advocated universal equal rights, and their moral values were dominated by their respect for life. They actively supported such social issues as the abolition of slavery and the rejection of secession. Their loyalty to the Union during the Civil War cost many their freedoms and their lives. Following the war, many Freethinkers relocated to nearby urban areas, while others returned to Germany. (2000)
Marker Title: Kendall County
Year Marker Erected: 1936
Marker Location: San Antonio and Watts, east of Main Street
Marker Text: Kendall County; created January 10, 1862; organized February 18, 1862. Named in honor of George Wilkins Kendall, 1809-1867; poet, journalist, author and farmer. One of the founders of the New Orleans Picayune; member of the Santa Fe Expedition; most successful sheep raiser in the Southwest, Boerne, the county seat
Marker Title: Kendall County Courthouse
Year Marker Erected: 1970
Marker Location: San Antonio and Watts Streets, east of Main Street, Boerne.
Marker Text: First and only courthouse in county. Erected 1869-1870, seven years after county organization. Many locally prominent men were associated with the structure. The first county judge, Joseph Graham, was appointed U.S. Consul to Argentina. The first sheriff, Capt. John Sansom, was a member of the U.S. Army, a Texas Ranger and Indian fighter. S.B. Patton, former Alabama legislator, was elected second county judge. Early records reveal cases for horse theft, cattle rustling, illegal sale of liquor, assault. An addition was built in 1909, and structure was remodeled, 1954. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark -- 1970
Marker Title: Andrew Jackson Potter
Year Marker Erected: 1965
Marker Location: 2.6 mile northeast Boerne at Statron 142 plus 40 Hwy. 87.
Marker Text: (1830 - 1895) Born in Missouri. Orphaned at age 10, was a jockey, gambler, ruffian. Fought in Mexican War, 1846-47. Was a Texas Ranger later. Converted in a camp meeting, he learned to write and became a Methodist minister. Served 4 years in the Confederate Army. Like any chaplain, had pay and rations of a private. In camp he conducted regular religious services, counseled, taught men to read and write, handled mail, visited the sick. Once whipped an editor for libeling the Army. In battle line, until firing order came he had Bible in hand, preaching to his men "on the brink of eternity". Fought to end of battle, then took down from lips of dying men words to family or friends; prayed for the passing soul; aided the wounded. After war, with Bible in left hand, pistol in right, preached 30 years on Texas frontiers. Gave many a wild town its first sermon, sometimes preaching in a settlement's only public building-- a saloon. Founded several churches. From enforcing respect for his work with fists and guns, was called "The Fighting Parson". At home he owned on this site, 1868-83, several of his 15 children were born. He died in his pulpit, and was buried in Caldwell County. (1965)
Marker Title: Treue Der Union (Loyalty to the Union)
Year Marker Erected: 1968
Marker Location: Between 2nd and 3rd Streets, High Street, between 2nd and 3rd, Comfort.
Marker Text: This German language monument, erected 1866, honors the memory of 68 men (mostly Germans) from this region who were loyal to the Union during the Civil War. Trying desperately to reach U.S. Federal troops by way of Mexico, about 40 of the men were killed by vengeful Confederates bent on annihilating them, in the Battle of the Nueces (on Aug. 10, 1862) and a later fight (Oct. 18). The bodies of the slain and those who drowned swimming the Rio Grande were left unburied. A group of Germans gathered the bones of their friends and buried them at this site in 1865. (1968)
It was shortly after the close of the Civil War, and about 1866, that Mr. Goodhart was killed by the Indians while working in the cedarbreaks, about eight miles east of Boerne. Goodhart had stopped for dinner, and had led his horses about four hundred yards to water. Here he was killed and scalped by wild men.
During 1867, about four miles east of Boerne, Major Kendall had five Mexicans and a white man herding about fifteen thousand sheep. The Indians killed the six sheepmen, and none were left to relate the story.
Note: Author interviewed: F.C. Kaiser, who lived in that section at the time.
The above story is from the book, The West Texas Frontier, by Joseph Carroll McConnell.