Panna Maria in Karnes County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Panna Maria, Texas
Oldest Permanent Polish Colony in America
Settled by 100 Polish families who came to Texas to gain economic, political and religious freedom.
Led by Father Leopold Moczygemba, O.F.M., Conv., they made a contract in 1854 with John Twohig, a San Antonio banker and merchant, for land at this site.
The colonists, natives of Upper Silesia and Krakow, landed at Galveston after a hard voyage of nine weeks on a sailing ship. They hired Mexican carts to haul their farm implements, featherbeds, and the cross from their parish church in Poland. The 800 men, women, and children walked - some in boots, others barefoot - the 200 miles inland to their new home. Babies were born on the way, and some of the people died. All suffered from hunger and exposure.
On Dec. 24, 1854, they reached this site. They named it Panna Maria (Virgin Mary), placing it under the patronage of the Immaculate Conception. Beneath a large oak they offered their first Midnight Mass of Thanksgiving and petition for strength and courage.
They camped out until they could put up huts of mud, straw or wood, later building in stone. In spite of hardships, they founded a stable community,
Erected 1966 by State Historical Survey Committee. (Marker Number 6074.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical date for this entry is December 24, 1854.
Location. 28° 57.447′ N, 97° 53.896′ W. Marker is in Panna Maria, Texas, in Karnes County. Marker is on Farm to Market Road 81, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 13879 FM 81, Panna Maria TX 78144, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 5 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Town of Panna Maria (a few steps from this marker); Immaculate Conception Church (within shouting distance of this marker); Pilarczyk Store (within shouting distance of this marker); First Store in Panna Maria (within shouting distance of this marker); St. Joseph's School (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Cemetery (approx. 4.1 miles away); Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church (approx. 4.3 miles away); El Fuerte del Cibolo (approx. 4.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Panna Maria.
Also see . . .
1. Panna Maria, TX - The Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) (Submitted on April 9, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Atascocita, Texas.)
2. Panna Maria, Texas Official Website. (Submitted on April 9, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Atascocita, Texas.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 27, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 9, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Atascocita, Texas. This page has been viewed 139 times since then and 9 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on April 9, 2019, by Brian Anderson of Atascocita, Texas.