Walburg

Walburg H.Y. Doering CompanyWalburg, thriving German-Wendish settlement northeast of Georgetown where early Opossum School stood, the village known briefly as Concordia. The Zion Lutheran Church was organized in 1882 "at Concordia, Williamson County, Texas." Charter members were John Neitsch, John Schultz, Carl Streich, August Doehre, Albert Ramm, Albert Krause, Andreas Schneider, Wilhelm Andres and Jacob Schoemberg. Henry Doering, immigrant from Walburg, Germany, moved to Concordia in 1881 after farming for a year on Berry's Creek. He suffered a heat stroke, was advised to quit farming, so moved to the little church community and established a number of businesses, including a general store in 1882. When Doering applied for a post office, the name Walburg was submitted honoring his birthplace in Germany, was approved July 10, 1886, with Doering as postmaster. "A devastating storm swept through the community damaging the homes of the people, and the accompanying hail destroyed the crops.

The church, too, was moved from its foundation by the destructive winds" on June 19, 1886, when the little church building was only four years old. A thirteen-month drouth followed the tornado, severely straining finances and the church had no pastor from 1888 to 1890. About this time, another Lutheran group affiliated with the Texas Synod became active, considered joining the Zion Church (Missouri Synod) congregation, but two points regarding a parochial school and a lodge could not be agreed upon. On March 31, 1889, St. Peter Lutheran Church was organized at Walburg with W H. Homeyer, C. Jungmichel, A. C. Braun, F. Bredthauer, Theo Granzin, John Granzin, H. T. Behrens, Carl Mueller, T. Kraus, Emil Vogler, officers and building committee. The church was built about half a mile from the Zion Church and both congregations have remained active to the present time.

Zion Lutheran parochial school adjacent to the church established in 1882, has a longtime history, with W G. Bleeke teaching there from 1930 almost until his death in 1968. Businesses and professional people at Walburg have included Henry Doering general store (run by descendants in 1973) and post office; John Schwausch blacksmith shop from 1884 to 1930 and Henry Jacob blacksmith shop opened in 1901, descendants of Schwausch and Jacob still running a smithy business; Adolph C. Braun (who moved to the area with his wife, Annie Mueller Braun and family in 1877), an early hardware store; Gus Braun store later enlarged by Gerhardt Cassens, also owned in later years by Carl Liese and A. C. A. Braun; Miss Frieda Schwausch, millinery shop; gins operated by E E Jungmichel, Sam Reynolds, J.C. Poppelz, Sr., F. E Edrington, Gus Doering, C. G. Doering, J. W McCann, John Kasperik, H. C. Doering, Martin R. Teinert and Carl J. Doering; Drs. White, Masterson, E M. Thomas, August Kuhn, Hague, Randolph, J. H. Whigham and W C. Wedemeyer. Soon after the turn of the century a beef club was organized; Hermann Sons Lodge sponsored dances, and today the community has a large recreational building where social, political and other gatherings are held. C. A. Peters put in a drug store in the early 1890s, succeeded in turn by the elder Mr. Jungmichel, Albert and Walter Werner and I. G. "Mac" McGinnis, an Irishman, popular among many Germans. John Schwausch ran a woodworking shop, repairing wagon wheels and other wooden articles along with his blacksmithing duties. The first postmaster, Henry Doering, held that post until 1900, succeeded by Adolf C. A. Braun (1900), Selma A. Kuehne (1911), John Kasperik (1912), Albert C. Werner (1914), Walter A. Werner (1924), Isaac G. McGinnis (1930), Carroll C. Wedemeyer (1948), Gilbert C. Kurio (1949). Walburg State Bank opened October 1, 1913, with Henry Doering president. It is still active. Garages have been run by Paul Andres, Bennie Draeger and Walter Domel. Walburg Public School was declared consolidated with Georgetown by the County Board of Trustees on May 16, 1950, after an election in which there was no voting box provided in Walburg-the first time the community did not have its own election box, according to County Auditor Ben Kurio.

The population of Walburg in 1998 was 250. Walburg is a small community, but it is much more active than most places its size. Since 1970 Walburg has built a large Community Center, where dinners are held and where community groups meet for various kinds of activities. A manufacturing plant builds aerial lifts for utility equipment and has 42 employees; the Cunningham Construction Company builds water and waste water equipment, and employs 35. A dry goods store was changed into a restaurant recently, and Joe's Restaurant was changed to Dale Esenhaus Restaurant. The Post Office has been there for many years, but now has a new building. A gin which had operated in Walburg for years, was closed in 1981. Walburg has a private school which is not new, but a new pre-school class has been added so that it now offers grades from pre-school through eighth grade. In 1999 it had 165 students and 12 teachers.

Bibliography

Clara Stearns Scarbrough, Land of Good Water: A Williamson County History (Georgetown, Texas: Williamson County Sunday Publishers, 1973, Fifth printing, 1998).

Photo caption: Walburg H.Y. Doering Company Photo Courtesy Williamson Museum