FAYETTE COUNTY, TEXAS
From Fayette County, Her History and Her People by F. Lotto, 1902:
Warda lies about twelve miles north of La Grange on the La Grange-Giddings road, not far from the banks of Rabb's Creek. The bottom lands of this creek are very fertile. The balance of the land is postoak and pinewood. In the early days there was a sawmill on the banks of Rabb's Creek that furnished lumber to a great scope of surrounding country. These lands were settled very early, about the year 1840. In the early thirties a Mr. Earthman of that place was killed near the present Nechanitz by marauding Indians. The population is mostly Wendish, a Slavic tribe that has become almost completely Germanized under the rule of the German government. They are a very religious people. A fine German Lutheran Church under the pastorate of Rev. Buchschacher is the center of religious life of that neighborhood. Said congregation supports also entirely by private means a school under the management of Prof. G. M. Schleyer, where the children are taught to walk in ways pleasing to God.
The public school of that place is under the able management of a thorough and conscientious teacher, Prof. J. H. Merz. There are few teachers in the county who are his equal in scholarship and there is none who take a greater interest and devotes more care to the progress of his pupils than he. He is a born educator,, a gentleman of unassuming manners, of broad views and of high moral character.
Warda is situated twelve miles from La Grange and ten miles from Giddings. The whole surrounding country is tributary to its business. Falke Bros. are the leading merchants of Warda. They are the proprietors of a large department store hardly equaled anywhere in the county. Their store contains anything you may call for from a six-penny nail to a mowing machine, from a spool of thread to an elegant suit, from a shoe-peg to a fashionable set of furniture. They are wide-awake, liberal and sell cheap, with very small profits. They take a friendly interest in their customers and are, on that account, exceedingly popular. In fact, the writer would like to be shown better merchants than they are. He has not found them. They have money they have strong financial backing, they have success and they deserve it. Sometimes merchants are called in newspapers in a kind of flattery, merchant princes. If any merchants in Fayette county deserve this title, they are the men. The writer has found so seldom wealth coupled with liberality and the feeling of obligation which wealth and high station impose on a man; here they are. Thus, the writer considers that the title of merchant princes of Fayette county is one to which they have a just and right claim. They are worthy of their wealth. [Note that C. A. Falke & Bro. bought a full page ad in Mr. Lotto's book.]
Gus Matejowski is the other merchant of Warda, jovial, jolly and popular. He does a large business, and to be a competitor with the Falkes and to do good business in competition with them is a credit to any man.
G. Rothmann is a fine blacksmith, a very skillful workman who would be a credit to any city.
C. Froehlich & Son are first-class ginners. Their gin is as well equipped as any in the county. They pay close attention to business and turn out a fine staple. They do the best work in that whole section of the country.
Last, but not least, may be mentioned Dr. Paul Beckmann, one of the finest physicians and surgeons in the county. He is a graduate of Tulane University, the finest medical school in the South, excels in his profession and has effected wonderful cures. [Other advertisements were bought by G. Rothman, C. Froehlich & Son, Dr. P. Beckmann, and Gus Matejowski.]
Warda has daily mail and telephone connection. The oldest settlers now living are the Falke family, Carl Teinert, the Herbig family, J. G. Neitsch, Mr. M. Moerbe, John Lorenz, M. Domasch, G. Krakoski, Ernst Kunze.
Footprints of Fayette article by Lillie Mae Brightwell:
Warda Post Office
The Post Office was established at the Wendish community of Warda in 1877. The town was named after a town in Germany and William W. Gunn was appointed the first Postmaster. During this time, the Warda mail was picked up in Northrup, a railroad station about five miles northwest. In 1889, Robert S. Foster became Warda's second Postmaster followed by Andras E. Falke in 1891. Falke, having accumulated about $2,000, established the Falke Store in 1874. The two-story building carried everything from groceries to furniture, from clothes to farming implements and buggies. There was also a Post Office, a dentist/doctor's office and a bowling alley.
In 1898, during McKinley's administration, Gustav Matejowsky was appointed Postmaster and the Post Office was moved south about one mile. Warda's fifth Postmaster, Charley A. Falke, the son of Andras Falke, succeeded Matejowsky. Charley, Postmaster for forty-six years, had the Post Office moved back into town.
The original store was dismantled and replaced across the highway by a new 40'x70' stucco structure. The only thing left at the old site is an old gas pump. Kasper's Store opened July 1, 1946, and carried a full line of groceries, feed, hardware and cold drinks.
During Charley Falke's tenure as Postmaster, the Model T Ford revolutionized rural mail delivery, especially for the carrier who delivered the mail from Giddings, about ten miles north. The young rural carrier was scheduled to arrive at the Warda Post Office about ten in the morning. One day he was late and everybody was waiting for their mail. It was early afternoon when he finally arrived, and everyone was anxious to know why he was late. Someone looked into the Model T Ford and there they noticed two squirrels &endash; a hunting he had gone!
The first few years Fred Kasper served as Postmaster (May 1, 1946 to October 2, 1992); the mail still arrived by rural route carrier from Giddings. In the early 1950's, however, truck service took over and a star route carrier brought the mail seven days a week from the La Grange. Finally Austin became the sectional center and star routes were discontinued. Warda now receives its mail from a contractor via truck from Austin.
The Warda Post Office is proof that the zip code has helped mail service. A local boy entered high school in La Grange and joined the F.F.A. His teacher asked him where he got his mail and he replied, "At Kasper's Store". Believe it or not, his F.F.A. magazine came addressed to him at Kasper's Store Texas 78960.
Fred Kasper kept abreast of the times by updating when necessary. For example, he put in air conditioning. When the oil boom hit the Warda area, he began serving short order lunches. The coffeepot was always on, and the sun tea was brewing.
Fred R. Kasper retired in 1992 after serving for forty-six years (the same amount of years that Mr. Falke had served!). Upon his retirement, the Post Office had to be renovated because everything in it belonged to Kasper.
The store was sold to Gene Vinson and his wife Sylvia. It was now known as the Warda Store.
Laura Davis was appointed O.I.C. (officer in charge) on October 2, 1992 and appointed Postmaster May 14, 1994 serving until 1999. Delton Wessels has served as Postmaster Relief since December 1, 1985.
The Vinson's added a kitchen and expanded the menu. They added a patio, later closed in for a game room. When Gene Vinson died, Sylvia found the store too much to handle and decided to sell.
The residents of Warda feared they would lose the store and Post Office. On June 1, 1993, 34 families pooled their savings to purchase the store. A grand re-opening was held on October 3, 1993.
A room was added and volunteers did the cooking on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. The post office/store/restaurant was the center of social activities and community news, serving as the "weigh-in-station" for local deer hunting contests each fall, and hosting some of the best domino games played in this part of the world.
Approximately a year and half-ago (2001), Rose Stewart purchased the Warda Store from the local investors. Today, the Post Office is in the same place and leases space from Stewart.
Immediately after a new Post Office in Lexington, Lee County was approved, the postal service went into an economical mode. At that time the Warda Post Office was at the top of the list for a new facility. This is on hold for the time being.
Lynda Kossa became Postmaster in 1999 and still serves in that capacity.
Photo of the Warda Store contributed by Gary E. McKee
Sons of Christian Schulz & Magdalena Schoppa
Herman Timotheus Schulz, Paul Oswald Schulz, Alvin "Gerhard" Schulz
The brothers later moved to Wilbarger County. Contributed by Tony Zoch Hettler
Anna Theresia Schoppa & Traugott Michael Zoch, Jr.
married October 20, 1897
Warda natives, this couple moved to Vernon, Texas soon after their marriage. (Photographer C. Petersen, La Grange) Contributed by Tony Zoch Hettler
Anna and Ernst Graf
Contributed by Angie Collier
See wedding photo of Emma Jurk and Bernhard Joseph Schmidt, Warda, 1907 as well as their wedding reception
at the Institute of Texan Cultures website.
Contact Rox Ann Johnson if you have old photographs you would like to contribute.
Related articles at the Handbook of Texas Online:Warda, Texas