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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Near Spring Branch in Comal County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
 

Smithson Valley Cemetery

 
 
Smithson Valley Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, April 12, 2019
1. Smithson Valley Cemetery Marker
Inscription.  

Located off State Highway 46 on Farm to Market road 311 in the Texas Hill Country, the Smithson Valley Cemetery is the final resting place for German immigrants who settled the Smithson Valley community area at one time. The community had a store, post office, blacksmith shop, one-room schoolhouse, dancehall, bowling alley and saloon. Many descendants of Johann Startz, one of the first 240 founders of New Braunfels and citizen of the Republic of Texas, are buried here. In 1876 the cemetery began as a family ranch cemetery for the burial of baby Karl Ohlrich, Jr., the young son of Heinrich Pantermuehl's sister, Louise Pantermuehl Ohlrich. Heinrich Pantermuehl (1842-1921) husband to Johann Startz's granddaughter, Pauline (1856-1933) formally deeded this land for a cemetery in 1898.

The landscape of the Smithson Valley Cemetery is representative of other German family cemeteries found throughout central Texas. Graves face east to west arranged in uniform rows with curbing. Perpetuating a custom widely used in Germany, granite, marble and limestone gravestones are present, along with several unmarked graves thought to belong to children.
The area directly behind the Smithson Valley Cemetery Marker image. Click for full size.
By James Hulse, April 12, 2019
2. The area directly behind the Smithson Valley Cemetery Marker
Many inscriptions are in German. The grave of a young soldier, Herbert Startz (1893-1918), is decorated with a blanket of shells believed to be the signature of German cement finisher Henry Theodore Mordhorst. The Smithson Valley Cemetery Association, organized in 1970, maintains this historic cemetery, a reminder of German immigration and settlement in the Hill Country.
Historic Texas cemetery - 2008
Marker is property of the State of Texas

 
Erected 2008 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 17571.)
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Cemeteries & Burial SitesSettlements & Settlers.
 
Location. 29° 48.329′ N, 98° 20.097′ W. Marker is near Spring Branch, Texas, in Comal County. Marker is at the intersection of Farm to Market Road 311 and Farm to Market Road 3159, on the right when traveling north on Highway 311. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Spring Branch TX 78070, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 14 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Natural Bridge Caverns (approx. 7.8 miles away); Specht's Crossing (approx. 8.7 miles away); Zions Kirche (approx. 12.6 miles away); Comal Community (approx. 12.9 miles away); Schertz Historic Site
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(approx. 12.9 miles away); a different marker also named Schertz Historic Site (approx. 13 miles away); Comal Springs (approx. 13˝ miles away); Landa Park (approx. 13.6 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  Historic cemetery. (Submitted on September 19, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.)
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on September 19, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 19, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 37 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on September 19, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.
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Oct. 20, 2020