“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Bandera in Bandera County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

Polly's Chapel 1882

J.P. Rodriguez Settlement 1858-1935

Polly's Chapel 1882 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, January 3, 2022
1. Polly's Chapel 1882 Marker
An official Texas Historical Landmark

In 1880, the Rev. Jose Policarpio "Polly" Rodriguez (1829-1914) completed this chapel on his ranch. Plans began when he selected this gentle rise west of nearby Privilege Creek. Then, he faced the building east and placed it between existing oak trees. The plan accommodates 120 people, and features tall Romanesque windows and a high, 14 foot ceiling. A raised, wooden pulpit was also constructed to complement the chapel.

The stone for the chapel was hand quarried from the creek and the wood framing was made from native cypress trees. The original floor was made from pine wood and the original roofing material was constructed of cedar shakes. It took three years for Polly and his neighbors to construct this community chapel.

Polly Rodriguez was a founding father and legend of Bandera County and Texas. As a surveyor, army scout, Texas Ranger, judge, rancher and minister, Polly's contributions and accomplishments impacted the early development of Texas.

For over 130 years, Polly's Chapel has served the community and surrounding area. Polly's descendants,
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community residents and friends continue to preserve the chapel. Currently, the chapel is under the administration and operation of the Polly Texas Pioneers Association, a non-profit organization.

For more information on the chapel and its use or to contribute to its preservation, please contact Ms. Anna Lunoff at (210)364-7096. Or, please visit
Erected by Polly Texas Pioneer Association.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & ReligionHispanic AmericansSettlements & Settlers. A significant historical year for this entry is 1880.
Location. 29° 46.427′ N, 98° 59.417′ W. Marker is near Bandera, Texas, in Bandera County. Marker is on Polly's Chapel Road, 0.1 miles north of Old School Road, on the left when traveling north. The marker is located on the east side of the entrance to the Chapel. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 359 Polly’s Chapel Road, Bandera TX 78003, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 6 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Polly's Chapel (a few steps from this marker); Polly Cemetery - 1890 (approx. ¼ mile away); Welcome to Polly, Tx (approx. 0.3 miles away); Polly's Schoolhouse, 1892, (approx. 1.3 miles away); Pilots' Lounge at Bandera Airpark
Polly's Chapel 1882 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, January 3, 2022
2. Polly's Chapel 1882 Marker
(approx. 5.3 miles away); Bandera County (approx. 5½ miles away); Stegosaurus (approx. 5½ miles away); Dilophosaurus (approx. 5½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Bandera.
Also see . . .  Polly's Chapel.
Surrounded by acres of pristine wilderness that includes hundreds of grand oak trees and hill country cedar, approximately 8.5 miles northeast of Bandera, Texas, stands the humble and beloved structure known as Polly’s Chapel. Jose Policarpio ”Polly” Rodriguez, who was one of the first settlers of San Antonio and Bandera, was the builder of the chapel.

Polly Rodriguez was quite well known in the San Antonio and Bandera area in the mid 1800s, because he had served for many years as scout and guide to numerous U.S. generals helping develop the roads and towns that would help cultivate travel and commerce in early Texas. He had served his community as a Texas Ranger, Justice of the Peace and had become a successful rancher.

His success allowed him to sell homesteading land to relatives and other settlers, which eventually enabled him to develop a small township known as Polly, Texas along the banks of the Privilege and Bear Creeks. At the time, about 30 families lived in the community and
Polly's Chapel image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, January 3, 2022
3. Polly's Chapel
local amenities included a post office, school and general store.

Although Polly had the support of family members, friends and community leaders, it is believed that the construction of the chapel, which began in 1879, was planned, handcrafted and built primarily by Polly. He began his task by choosing a location on his ranch less than 200 feet from Privilege Creek and adjacent to the community crossroads. He situated the building on a small rise with a northeast to southwest axis in order to take advantage of the prevailing southwestern breezes.

The completed chapel is a simple rectangular, one-story plan, measuring 23 feet by 43 feet, which equals 1,024 square feet. There are no interior columns and the layout was constructed to seat up to 100 worshipers during services. The entrance faces the Southeast and features double doors in its center. Source: Polly Texas Pioneer Association
(Submitted on January 4, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
The view of Polly's Chapel and Marker from the parking area image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, January 3, 2022
4. The view of Polly's Chapel and Marker from the parking area
Credits. This page was last revised on January 4, 2022. It was originally submitted on January 4, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 319 times since then and 21 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 4, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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Feb. 23, 2024