HOMETOWN hISTORY
August 20, 2014

Hometown History

I grew up in the town of Schertz, growing up the population was 10,000, today it has tripled in population which is amazing considering the towns humble beginnings. In 1843 Joseph and Anna Schertz left France with their six children in tow after hearing of cheap land and higher wages being offered out west in Texas. After a rough few years and loss of family to illness, the family was befriended by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels. He formed the city of New Braunfels and promised farmland to people who helped settle the area. By 1849 the Schertz family settled on 600 acres of land in Guadalupe county and later added another 307 acres creating my hometown of Schertz.

First town bank and hotel, now a restaurant

The land was used to grow wheat, oats, corn, and cotton. The Schertz family created a water plant and later our current Guadalupe Valley Electric Company. In 1876, a railroad was built through the town, seeing an opportunity the family constructed a general store and post office to generate a profit for the town. They saw another unmet need in 1910, and created the Farmers Rural Telephone Company with sixteen other families to create phone lines between three different counties, which was at the time one of the largest privately owned companies. By 1917, the family felt there was a need for a school and donated two acres of land for educating local children up through the tenth grade. The site today still educates children and is known as the Allison Steele Learning Center.

Today these roots still hold strong and the fifth generation of the Schertz family still resides in town (we are on our third). This is where I grew up and is still home to me today. The energy and water consumed, the farmland being harvested, and the education taught here still has ties to the Schertz family and now to mine. I am proud to call this town my own and to share the commonwealth assets with my family and now with all of you.

original phone house used by railroad workers, now a private residence