Talk of Wilson County TX Historic Towns

by Barbara J. Wood
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Mid-1990s Peanut Festival Parade

Floresville, Wilson County, Texas .... Hank White shares one of his impressive photos recorded from the bell tower of the Wilson County Courthouse. Attendees of the  mid 1990's Floresville Peanut Festival & Parade were taking in all the entertainment features. (Sharing your photo is appreciated Hank!)
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Peanut Festival 1939

Floresville Peanut Festival Parade 1939. No other details available.

Peanut Festival Time in Floresville, as evidenced in 1939, by the above picture that was brought to our office last week by Louis Ziegler of Rt. 4, Floresville.  The covered wagon depicted the Camp Ranch School.  The wagon in the picture belonged to August Karnei, the team of horses belonged to Louis Ziegler and the barrel (most important) belonged to Henry Boening.  Emil Lohse originated the idea of a Home and School Circle Club, which started with 12 members, each paying dues of 10 cents per month.  This group grew to 125 members, who later paid 25 cents per month in dues.  Our readers will note the heavy and prominent display of peanuts, both, on the wagon and in the background on the store fronts. [Photo caption courtesy of TWCTHT researcher]


2022 Court of Exotic Destinations
Tevah Pfeil and Weldon Azevedo
2021 Court of Ancestral Remembrance 
Abby Saenz and Jacob Trevino
2020 Court of Avian Artistry
Mary Pierce and Ty Hartmann
2019 Court of Bejeweled Brilliance
Trinity Carvajal and Roman Andrew Hernandez
2018 Court of European Elegance
Madelynn Castro and Josiah Guadalupe Cantu Hernandez
2017 Court of Fluttering Enchantment
Caroline Rose Burkett and Felipe Carlos "Tres" Hinojosa
2016 Court of Bohemian Blooms
Alexandria Rene Palacios and Christopher James Marrero
2015 Court of Christmas Magic
Shae Lynn Shodrock and Brock Michael Dugi
2014 Court of Nature's Nautical Wonders
Francesca Dominique Carvajal and Luke Daniel Rocha
2013 Court of Broadway Lights
Corinne Morkovsky and Mason Ray
2012 Court of America's Majestic Beauty
Caitlyn May and Blake Popham
2011 Court of Mystical Magical Universe
Alexa Carvajal and Garrett Pollock
2009 Court of Enchanted Gardens
Queen Brooke Juanita Alumbaugh
2010 Court of Celebrations of Texas
Kalyn Sisti and Barrett Raabe
2009 Court of Enchanted Gardens
Queen Brooke Juanita Alumbaugh
2008 Court of Once Upon A Time
Sarah Nina Trevino and Jordan Michael Leal
2007 Court of Romantic Moments
Allison Marie Woelfler and Landon Tyler Pawlik
2006 The Court of Nature's Grandeur
Caitlin Allana Abbott and Andrew Ross Shoemaker
2005 Court of Coronations' Past
Desiree Shanae Trevino and Justin Ray Leal
2004 Court of Texas Myths and Legends
Madeline Marie Popham and Joseph Edward Woelfler
2003 Court of American Spirit
Ryann Elizabeth Rocha and Trey Dustin Pfeil
2002 Court of Texas Treasures
Tamara Lynn Jung and Matthew David Cummings
2001 Court of Majestic Radiance
Brittani Laine Pruski and Russell Wade Pelech
2000 Court of New Horizons
Ashley Nicole Ortmann and Blake Russell Helmke
1999 Court of Autumn Beauty
Crystal Saenz and Michael Anthony Pena
1998 Court of Enchanted Peanut Harvest
Julee Frances Bingham and Rex Wilhelm Koenig
1997 Court of Victorian Grace and Elegance
Sarah Jean Hughes and Craig Allen Gupton
1996 Court of Timeless Treasures
Lacey Nicole Farris and Jerrett Wayne Pfeil
1995 Court of Majestic Future
Christine Ann Williams and Kevin Thomas Gupton
1994 Court of Golden Memories
Jennifer Anne Hrna and Andrew Thomas Hughes
1993 Court of Ancestral Culture
Sarah Elizabeth Roemer and Ross Louis Koenig
1992 Court of Enchantment of the Seas
Carolyn Marie Gaona and Timothy Jay Trevino
1991 Court of Texas' Natural Artistry
Jennifer Ann Barber and John Madison Davidson
1990 Court of Centennial Celebration
Nicole Regina Pruski and Jeffery James Vajdos
1989 Court of Childhood Fantasies
Catherine Louise Drozd and Karl Wayne Shultz
1988 Court of Splendid Wildflowers
Paige Susan Pullin and Steven Ray Witten
1987Court of Festive Fabrics
Katherine Sue Gibbs and Carl Edward Braun
1986 Court of Golden Twilight Harvest
Olga Alvarez and Alfonso Flores, III
1985 Court of Future Horizons
Debra Sue Palitza and Kevin Dwayne Chilek
1984 Court of Our Fortieth Festivals
Jacqueline Karen Johns and William Edwin Atkins
1983 Court of Majestic Melodies
Clarice Ann Bludau and John Joseph Ploch
1982 Court of the Southern Traditions
Lori Ann Rakowitz and Monte Scott Fuller
1981 Court of the Traditional Peanut Festivals
Donna Lynn Cordes and Stephen Wayne Shodrock
1980 Court of Our Four Seasons
Cheryl Ann Janek and Scott Earl Westmoreland
1979 Court of Agriculture Frontier
Denyse LaNell Heritage and Dale Wayne Pfeil
1978 Court of the Old South
Beverly Sue Bayer and Steven Charles Richardson
1977 Court of the Glorious Lone Star State
Peggy Sue Gordon and Richard Edwin Ullmann, Jr.
1976 Court of the Enchanted Beauties of Nature
Beverly Jasik and Cary Joseph Carnes
1975 Court of Our Forefather's Land
Jeri Ann Thomason and Michael Stuart Perry
1974 Court of Our Farming Heritage
Catherine Pearl Maples and John Berdines Lackness
1973 Court of Enchanted Travels
Katherine Haverlah and John Michael Pavliska
1972 Court of Celestial Jewels
Carole Ann Flieller and Thomas Randy Fleming
1971 Court of Flowers
Monica Kay Flores and Edwin Paul Flieller
1970 Court of the Mystic Zodiac
Mary Anne Woolsey and Gerald Eugene Masters
1969 Court of Silver Memories
Courtney Kay Mayes and Frederick Alan Maples
1968 Court of All Seasons
Barbara Jean Lawhon and Joseph Richard Sheehy
1967 Court of Harvest Treasures
Susan Spruce and Ken Lloyd Barber
1966 Court of Autumn Splendor
Mildred Anais Hill and Thomas Alva Johnson
1965 Court of Spanish Gold
Margie May Roemer and James Clinton Lawhon
1964 Court of the Autumn Nocturne 
Ethelyn Ann Ehlers and James Lee Millikin
1963 Court of the Golden Harvest
Jeanette Florence Flieller and James Leroy Vontur
1962 Court of Autumn Beauty
Karen Sue Russell and John Larry Lowman
1961 Court of Harvest Festival
Judith Ann Sheehy and Jack Robert Orts
1960 The Peanut Festival was postponed
1959 Court of Northern Lights
Mary Elaine Adams and Charlie Ray Kellner
1958 Night of Regal Splendor
Jo Ann Youngblood and James Allen Sheehy
1957 Court of Enchanted Stardust
Mary Lou Johnson and John Billimek
1956 Court of Music
Martha Jane Eschenburg and Eugene Holloman Koch, Jr.
1955 The Peanut Festival was postponed
1954 Court of Indian Summer
Jo Carolyn Donaho and Otto Julius Hierholzer, Jr.
1953 Court of Jeweled Splendor
Berta Jean Blake and William Wylie Wright
1952 Court of Paradise
Bettye Joanne Barnes and Chester Parnell Russell
1951 The Peanut Festival was postponed
1950 Nell Frances Baker and Richard E. Ullmann
1949 Court of Castilian Romance
Marcylee Adams and Richard Hill Wright
1948 Court of Enchantment
Rose Marie Raska and Erwin Rabke, Jr.
1947 Court of Harvest Twilight
Minifred Teltschik and Roland Ermler
1946 Court of Golden Sand
Jo Ann Irwin and Ralph Gillig
1945 The Peanut Festival was postponed
1944 The Peanut Festival was postponed
1943 The Peanut Festival was postponed
1942 The Peanut Festival was postponed
1941Court of the Golden Harvest
Gwendolyn Chamberlain and Robert Lynn Mitchell
1940 Court of the Americas
Marjorie Spruce and Hudson Matlock
1939 Marilyn Reese and William Allen Smith
1938 Elizabeth Sheehy and John Bowden Connally, Jr.

Peanuts leave their mark on Wilson County

Wilson County News | Oct. 2, 2019
By Linda Sue Niestemski

In a nod to the origins of the Floresville Peanut Festival,    ... the grand marshal of the 2019 parade Oct. 12 will be "Peanut Farmers Past and Present."
"We want to bring back the celebration of Wilson County's roots and honor our farmers," said Betty Freasier, president of the Floresville Peanut Festival Association.
This is how it came to be that five local farmers were sitting around a table at F&W Electrical Sept. 20, "talking peanuts!" Each one has extensive time and knowledge growing peanuts to make a living.
"I've been in peanuts as far back as I can remember, but we really got started in 1955; and then in 1984 I got so much money I retired," said Clarence Roemer.
Also in attendance were peanut-farming retirees Terrell Schellhase and second-generation peanut farmer David Pfeil and his wife, Annette. Two current Wilson County peanut farmers also attended — Jason Pfeil and Jeffrey Lothringer. The farmers, despite being busy, were keen to visit.
"We don't want to highlight any one family," said Jason Pfeil. "We just want this to be an educational gift to the community of Wilson County."
They want other Wilson County residents to understand why the festival is held. "Back in the day, there was a lot of farmers farmwhose and it was celebrating the harvest," said Lothringer, regarding the annual festivities. "Now it's more just a festival or party for fun." Peanuts were essentially the main income of Wilson County for decades, said Jason Pfeil, whose father and grandfather also farmed the commodity. Back in the early 1900s, farmers searched for a crop that would produce an income for their families. Due to the sandy nature of Wilson County's soil, the Spanish peanut appeared to be a natural choice to Joe T. Sheehy. He introduced the crop, and peanut farming took over much of the county.
The farmers said that in current times, peanut seed is actually planted, but back when this all started, the entire peanut in its shell was used as seed. The shell would decay and provide nutrients for the plant.
"We spent about five months working in the peanut fields from at least sunrise to sunset," Roemer said. The fields required a large amount of work. This included prevention of root rot, caused by moisture, and erosion by the wind.
"The equipment we started out with had wooden wheels, not even iron ones yet. Then we got more mechanical things like combines," said Schellhase, a local honey producer who retired from peanuts in the 2000s.
Farming these so-called "worry nuts" paid off, however, as they became a money crop. There were 152 farmers in Wilson County in the 1930s, making a living growing peanuts, according to Schellhase and Roemer. Farmers weren't the only ones earning from the crop — ancillary businesses such as Birdsong Peanuts, where the product was dried and sorted, also flourished. Wilco, established in 1951, is the only peanut vendor still available in the area.
Texas became one of the top peanut producers in the nation. To celebrate this success and the hard work of local farmers, Floresville held the first Peanut Festival, known originally as the "Floresville Peanut Pow Wow," in 1938.
Peanuts proved fruitful until government policy changes starting in the 1980s decreased the profit margin. By the 2000s, most area farmers had left the peanut business. Currently, only two peanut farmers remain active in Wilson County.
"It's hard to see that there's no more peanuts being reaped in Wilson County," said David Pfeil.
The main reason for the decline, according to the farmers, is financial.
"We had a government price. But once the government went to the world market, we didn't make enough," Roemer said.
Although the crop value decreased, production increased, due to modern farming methods. The technology used today is far from what peanut farming looked like at the turn of the 20th century. The two remaining farmers are actually able to farm much more acreage than in prior decades, thanks to technology.
"Peanut farming started with mules and wagons in the fields," Lothringer explained. "Today, there are tractors that turn three trips in the field down to one, and use GPS."
These peanut farmers past and present agree that the crop is still hard work. The cost of supplies and equipment is still steep. While planting and harvesting aren't physically as demanding as they once were, it's still a stressful undertaking.
"It's not easier. The difficulty is different," said Jason Pfeil. "You have GPS but you still have to be on the tractor, because things can happen and you can lose a lot of crop."
It hasn't been just technology and profit margin that have changed over the years. The older farmers recall a time when pesticides weren't used and the peanut crop itself is different. Wilson County started with Spanish peanuts, but the Florunner has taken the spotlight as the main crop.
There have also been changes in the Floresville Peanut Festival itself that the farmers have seen. The festival originated at the end of the harvest, but that's no longer the case.
"The grow period is around 90 to 120 days, compared to about five months in the past," said Shellhase. This moved the harvest time up, but the festival remains in October.
Family involvement is one thing that has not been left in the past. Annette Pfeil has lived her life surrounded by peanuts, helping her husband grow with the times, while her son, Jason, is teaching his children how to make a living off the land.

The Floresville Peanut Festival is more than just a party to these farmers and families. It is a celebration of their way of life.
COURTESY / Wilson County News
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I.D. Flores Drug Co.

Kevin Wagenfuehr found this was in one of his Mother's cookbooks. It is a label from I.D. Flores Drug Co. It would have been stapled to a bag of raw, shelled peanuts for sale. 3 1/4 pounds for 98 cents.  Say whaaaat???  Kevin wonders if this is his  Mother's or Grandma's. They both made peanut brittle.
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Floresville Peanut Festival Parade 1939

Published in the Floresville Chronicle-Journal
"Peanut Festival Time in Floresville, as evidenced in 1939, by the above picture that was brought to our office last week by Louis Ziegler of Rt. 4, Floresville.  The covered wagon depicted the Camp Ranch School.  The wagon in the picture belonged to August Karnei, the team of horses belonged to Louis Ziegler and the barrel (most important) belonged to Henry Boening.  Emil Lohse originated the idea of a Home and School Circle Club, which started with 12 members, each paying dues of 10 cents per month.  This group grew to 125 members, who later paid 25 cents per month in dues.  Our readers will note the heavy and prominent display of peanuts, both, on the wagon and in the background on the store fronts."
[Photo caption courtesy of TWCTHT researcher]
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(Werland) Irene Fahrenthold

(Werland) Irene Fahrenthold is resplendent in her queen's attire with her attendants, in this photo from 1929, shared by Irene's son, Jerry Fahrenthold, who said his mother was Floresville Peanut Festival Queen Tunaep. The original image is in storage, Jerry explained, and may have information written on the back; he doesn't know the names of the attendants, or who was King Reboog to Irene's Queen Tunaep — the king's last name was Billimek, Jerry thinks. He said the two appeared together in a Peanut Festival Parade years later, perhaps for the 50th annual festival. Irene passed away in 1992. The Floresville Peanut Festival, according to the association archives, began in 1938. If you can shed more light on this great photo, contact Editor Nannette Kilbey- Smith at 830-216-4519 or nkilbey-smith@wcnonline. com. COURTESY/ Wilson County News March 2022

Gilded peanuts and golden memories — recalling past Floresville Peanut Festivals 

By Rachel Howe | Wilson County News | 2016
The Wilson County News recently visited with past Peanut Festival royalty Nell Frances and Richard Ullmann, and Margie Pruski and Jim Lawhon to reminisce about past festivals, and how they have changed throughout the years.
"It was absolutely a surprise for me," Nell Frances Baker Ullmann said, remembering the day the Peanut Festival Association called her family to say she had been nominated as the festival queen in 1950. "It was quite an honor."
It remains an honor to be selected Peanut Festival queen. In the early years, queens were selected by the board from the Floresville graduating senior class. Now, young ladies apply and audition for the Peanut Festival Association board.
There was no royal coronation for Queen Tunaep IX and King Reboog IX in 1950. The Korean Conflict, following World War II, had put a strain on communities across the nation. That didn't stop the parade, however. The festival association did its best to make it special, even without an official coronation.
The Peanut Festival board chose Nell Frances unanimously. She asked her then-boyfriend, now-husband of 65 years, Richard Ullmann, to escort her as king. For her court, Nell Frances chose a representative each from Poth, Stockdale, La Vernia, Sutherland Springs, and San Antonio to attend her.
Although there was only a parade that year, Nell Frances said it was a grand event. "Everybody made it really special for us," she said. "They worked for hours and hours on the float. My train had golden gilded peanuts on it. It was made of purple velvet."
"The parade had real floats in it," King Reboog IX Richard Ullmann added. "Ones that really took a big effort to make."
That year, Texas Gov. Allan Shivers attended the parade, and crowned Nell Frances at the end.
"It was at the reviewing stand. He crowned me queen, and it was announced on the loudspeaker," she said. "It was the only governor that has crowned anyone, as far as I know. I guess they were trying to make it really special. And it was the biggest deal for us, really incredible."
Margie Roemer Pruski remembers feeling similarly honored. As Queen Tunaep in 1965, Margie remembers the weight of everyone's eyes on her during the coronation.
"To get all dressed up and formal — it was spectacular," Margie said. "You walk down the aisle, and everyone is oohing and ahhing — it was just a thrill to be queen."
Margie quickly chose Jim Lawhon as her king.
"Go back 50 years, everybody knew everybody," Margie said. "We were all good friends. We asked the ones we were friends with who would enjoy doing it, but it was very different then than it is today."
One of the differences, Margie said, was her dress. "The dresses were plain in comparison to today, but they were still elegant," Margie recalls. "Mine was made out of fabric that had these silver threads going through it so it shone and sparkled as you saw it, and then these little turquoise stones were sewn on. The train was even lined with fur."
It was no less elegant and beautiful than the elaborate gowns crafted today.
The dress Nell Frances wore in 1950 was different, as well. It was a simple, but beautiful, formal; this was due to the austerity following World War II. Nell Frances looked like royalty, all the same.
"She was the most beautiful girl in the county," Richard asserted, looking lovingly at his wife.
The festival and parade were tied closely to the county's rural roots.
"It was different back then," Nell Frances continued. "The Peanut Festival at that time was part of our economy, our commodity."
Jim Lawhon recalled the prominence of peanuts in the community.
"Every storefront in downtown Floresville had peanuts hanging from them," Jim said. "Fresh peanut plants with fresh peanuts hung all along the streets."
The air even smelled like peanuts. Jim recalls walking down the streets and smelling them drying in the big silos in town.
"The day after the parade, when you walked down the street, there were peanut hulls everywhere," Margie said. "People would eat the green peanuts off of the bushes that were hanging as they were watching the parade go by."
Throughout all the memories, one thing was abundantly clear: The Peanut Festival has been a major and memorable part of the history of Floresville.
"My whole family would gather from the time I was a little kid," said Jim, who was in the royal court three times before being crowned king. "We would set chairs up and watch the parade at my dad's office. It was always a big deal."
The role of queen was not quite as busy in 1950 or 1965 as it is now. Nell Frances and Margie still acted as ambassadors of the city, but did not participate in the number of parades and events today's court does. The attention and importance have not diminished, however.
"I had stacks of newspapers with my picture in it from everywhere," Nell Frances said. "From all over the state of Texas."
The honor of being queen remains, decades after. Just ask Margie.
"It's just such a unique feeling," Margie said, with a big smile. "One that not very many people have. To think they had chosen you out of everyone. It was such an honor."
Nell Frances and Richard are returning to the parade this year, serving as grand marshals. Margie and Jim are this year's honorary grand marshals. After all these years, they have come full circle — to be honored once again by the city of Floresville.
It's all relative:
Richard and Nell Frances Ullmann's daughter, Louceyette, was a duchess in 1974, in the Court of Our Farming Heritage. In 1977, Dick Ullmann, their son, was King Reboog in the Court of the Glorious Lone Star State. This year, their great-granddaughter, Gigi Soleil Hill, is the scepter bearer in the Court of Bohemian Blooms. Margie Pruski's daughter, Nicole, served in the royal court as well — as Queen Tunaep in the 1990 Court of Centennial Celebration.
Peanut Festival Fun Facts
•The Floresville Peanut Festival began in 1938.
•John Connally, who served as Texas governor from 1962-69, was the first King Reboog, in 1938.
•The royal titles are Queen Tunaep — peanut spelled backwards — and King Reboog — goober spelled backwards.
•What's a "goober"? — The word goober is from the African Bantu language. It means peanut!

Recalling past Floresville Peanut Festivals 

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Floresville buildings

What buildings in Floresville Wilson County Texas  do you recognize  along with the business name back in the 1940's?
The Karnes City High School Band takes to the dirt streets, passing the Teltschik Dry Goods Co. and the White House Cafe, during a Floresville Peanut Festival parade in the early 1940s. June (Graf) Jones, Mary Forister's aunt, is the fourth on the last row, right side.
COURTESY / Wilson County News
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Denhawken Community Farm Bureau

Denhawken Community Farm Bureau .....  represents the peanut industry in an undated Peanut Festival Parade photograph provided by the Wilson County Farm Bureau.  Can you identify the young lady pictured?

Courtesy/Wilson County Farm Bureau 
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Downtown Floresville

Downtown Floresville Wilson County Texas, Barbara Williams stands in front of the Franklin Store, far right, on C Street. The cutie has her wagon float all decorated with peanuts  getting ready for the Floresville Peanut Festival parade during the 1950s.

Courtesy/Barbara Williams
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Parade 1948

Floresville Peanut Festival Parade 1948...   Steven Raabe  shares, "That is the Kasper School float with a model of the Kasper School in the middle of the float. David Raabe is in the rear looking away from the camera." Look at the peanuts hanging off the wagon sides! When peanuts were plentiful, they decorated most parade entries as well as outside all the businesses. Even for years, invitations were sent out in the form of small bags of peanuts. Sent many of those!

The peanut

WILSON COUNTY TEXAS ... The peanut used to be Wilson County's main crop thus the Peanut Festival. The history of the peanut festival dates back to 1938 when the "Floresville Peanut Pow Wow" began. Intended as a method for promoting the region's farming community, the festival was designed to celebrate the impact that the peanut has had on the agriculture of Southwestern Texas. Organizers changed the name to "Floresville Peanut Festival" during planning sessions for the first festival. 
Most Wilson County citizens have seen the "Big Peanut" on the lawn of the Wilson County Courthouse in Floresville Texas. The Texas size peanut was the brain child of Liz Bayer and she worked earnestly to see that it was erected as a symbol for an agricultural past, a past that brought abundance to the local economy.
 Men who worked on the Peanut were Louis Martinez, Jose Martinez,  Ponch Martinez and Richard Ullmann. Bruce Woelfler says, " My dad worked on the peanut & helped build it. I believe he worked for C.B. Christians and Sons lath and plastering out of San Antonio. I don't remember what year was when they built it they did the pecan in Seguin also."  Ralph Boeing did the welding.
The Floresville Jaycees and Jaycee-ettes held the dedication service for the "Peanut"  on October 10,1970.  The sign to the right of the statue states: "In loving memory of 'The Peanut King' Joe T. Sheehy who in 1916 experimented with peanut farming and introduced it as a viable crop to the farmers of Wilson County." The sign was placed by the descendants of Joe T. Sheehy. Mr. Sheehy resided in Sutherland Springs Texas near his peanut fields. 
This year is the Silver Anniversary of the Floresville Peanut Festival October 12, 2019. While there, it is traditional to have your photo made with the giant peanut.

Information provided by the Floresville Peanut Festival
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Woldert Peanut Company float

Woldert Peanut Company float in parade, Peanut Festival, Floresville, Texas, 1949.  ''Spectators of the eighth annual peanut festival had all the peanuts they could eat after this youngster atop the sacks of peanuts finished tossing them to the throng.'' (Courtesy of UTSA Libraries)
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Mary Forister originally shared this photo of John Connally and Miss Elizabeth Sheehy in October of 1962. John and Elizabeth were first Peanut Festival King and Queen in Floresville Texas back in 1938. Remember John Connally was our beloved Texas Governor as well being in the vehicle when President Kennedy was assassinated.

John Connally and Miss Elizabeth Sheehy

Elizabeth Sheehy John... was the first Queen Tunaep of the Floresville Peanut Festival in Wilson County Texas. Elizabeth, "Liz" or "Lizzo" to her family and friends, was crowned the first Queen Tunaep — peanut spelled backward — in 1938. Her king was John B. Connally Jr., who would later become governor of Texas.
Her father, John Thomas Sheehy,  experimented with peanuts as a crop in 1915 in Sutherland Springs and introduced them to the community . Peanuts became a mainstay of local crops, and Wilson County began celebrating the successful crop with an annual peanut festival in 1938.
She never forgot her Floresville roots, traveling to Wilson County for Peanut Festivals throughout the years, until her health prevented it. Elizabeth passed in March 2009 at the age of 91 years.
Generations of Floresville Peanut Festival queens continue Elizabeth's legacy to this day.

Caption: Mary Forister originally shared this photo of John Connally and Miss Elizabeth Sheehy in October of 1962. John and Elizabeth were first Peanut Festival King and Queen in Floresville Texas back in 1938.  Remember John Connally was  our beloved Texas Governor as well being in the vehicle when President Kennedy was assassinated.

COURTESY/ Wilson County News  Excerpts taken from obituary written by Nannette Kilbey-Smith
FLORESVILLE TEXAS PEANUT PEOPLE ... These vintage Peanut People Shakers are so cute! Wonder if any of these still exist in Wilson County Texas homes?
(Photos from Ebay)

"What are your favorite memories of the Floresville Peanut Festival?"

Lois Wauson for years wrote a column,
"Rainy Days and Starry Nights" in the Wilson County News. Lois is taking us on a side trip to the Floresville Peanut Festival when times were better & safer for the kids to run freely & all the family attended making it full day affair. 
Peanut Festival Time 
 It was Peanut Festival Time in Wilson County. The year was 1947. It was the time our family looked forward to all year long. It was Saturday. The weather turned out cool, late in September. Mother and Daddy and all of us kids had been up since daybreak. All of chores done, we ate our breakfast, hurriedly getting dressed, and all piled into the Ford Pickup to head for town. We had to be there before the parade started. Besides, we needed to get a good parking place in the parking lot, near Merchants Feed Store. We wanted to park beneath one of the big shade trees in the sandy lot. The pickup would be our contact point for the day. It was a place to meet, and a place to rest, or bring our friends to talk. 
We were excited. We were early enough to get under one of the big trees. We kids all took off running to get a good place to watch the parade. My sister Margaret and I tried not to run. We were "too old" to hang out with the younger kids, and tried to lose them, so we hung back a little. Gerry and Donny, who were the youngest, eight and six, decided to wait for Mother and Daddy.
Bubber and Jr., 12 and 10, took off running to get lost in the crowd. We decided to wait for Sister (Elizabeth), who was 11, and didn't have a sister her age to hang out with. The three of us walked fast down the sidewalk, talking excitedly; we had to dodge bunches of peanut bushes hanging from the edges of eaves of the sidewalk overhang. Both sides of the main street were decorated with peanuts. The sidewalk was bustling with people. We could hear the sounds of the bands warming up across town, and soon the streets were lined with people.
 Soon we could see the bands coming, their instruments flashing in the sun. Then came all the honorary chairmen, and dignitaries, from across Texas. Then the most glamorous part of the parade, the floats with the Queen of the Peanut Festival, and the Princesses, plus all the other floats in the parade. By the time the last band marched by, the sun was climbing higher in the sky, and the smell of hamburger coming from the sidewalk café down the street, was pulling us to that area. Grabbing a hamburger and a Coca Cola, we started toward the next fun thing, which was the carnival.
After riding the rides and checking out all the booths at the carnival, in the middle of the afternoon, we walked back to the dusty parking lot where our truck was, to see if anyone was there. We found Mother sitting in the truck, visiting with one of our neighbor women, who had also come to town for the event. Daddy was off somewhere having a non-stop conversation with some of his old cronies, or maybe over at the beer joint having a beer. 
Peanut Festival time was one of the few times he splurged and bought a bottle of Pearl or Lone Star. Asking Mother if we could go back to the carnival, she said,  "Okay, but when it gets dark we will be heading toward home". There was someone I knew who was working on one of my favorite rides. His name was Frank and he went to Poth High School with me.  I could tell he was sweet on me, and I sort of liked his looks, in his cap, pushed back off his forehead, and his wide grin. I spent the next two hours, riding on that ride.
 It began to get dark, and many people were heading home, but I stayed there and kept riding and riding. He would let me ride for free over and over again. I never got off. As I spun round and round high up in the sky, with the lights of the carnival and the town swirling around me, I felt as if I were in another place. I didn't feel like a 14 year old farm girl, who lived in an old gray- weathered farm house, with a few broken windows covered over with cardboard, and no running water in the house. I felt like Cinderella, flying off in my fancy coach, with Prince Charming watching me go. As the world spun round and round, I never wanted the night to end.
 Suddenly my brother and sisters came running out of the dark shouting, "Lois, you better get to the truck. We've been looking for you. Daddy is mad. We need to go home!"  Frank stopped the ride, and I got off, smiling shyly at him, and waved my hand. As I turned the corner, I looked back at him standing there is the soft glow of the carnival lights, waving, and the carnival area, with it's twinkling lights looked like a different world. It was stepping out of a dream.
When I got back to the truck, the rest of the family was there, waiting for me. By then Daddy had found someone else to talk to, and forgot to yell at me. I chose to ride in the back, since I didn't want to be fussed at, and leaned back against the cab, along with Margaret and Sister, as the others laid down on a quilt on the bed of the truck, along with all the groceries, and chicken feed. Everyone was chattering and talking about their day. My brothers and sisters teased me awhile about Frank, but finally everyone was quiet. By the time we got home, most of the younger ones were asleep. While we were riding down the highway toward our farm, then turned off onto the dirt road to our farm, I stared up at the sky with all the stars blazing in the night and day dreamed about the swirling, twirling ride at the carnival.
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POTH TEXAS ... The 1946 P.T.A. Float in the Floresville Peanut Festival. "United for Peace" was awarded "First Place". Names of those on the float is below the photo. (Photo from the Poth Pirate Annual)
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"Peanut Band" 1939

Floresville Wilson County Texas ...... The "Peanut Band" marching & playing in the 1939 Peanut Festival Parade. The uniforms is right on spot! Reading the names you see where the family involvement meandered through generations in same family. I love living in the rural area. The photo was clipped from the  September 27, 1979 issue of the  Floresville Chronicle Journal newspaper. [Photo Caption: Pictured above are:  Sign Carrier – Otto Johns; Drum Major – Dick Niemeyer; Trombones – Alfred Teltschik, someone Clesel and Wilbert Teltschik; Bass – C. A. Moehrig; Trumpets – Victor Miculka, Emil Miculka and someone; French Horn – E. J. Steinbert; Clarinets – Willie Teltschik, Wilfred Teltschik and Fritz Nitschmann; Drums – someone Teltschik, John Schroeder; and Symbols – Elo Nitschmann. Photo Courtesy of Alfred Teltschik ]

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8th Floresville Peanut Festival 1949 parade

Photograph from UTSA Library shows cowboys riding mules pulling a covered wagon in the 8th Floresville Peanut Festival 1949 parade in downtown streets near Wilson County courthouse.

Pioneer Day and Homecoming — 1953 Floresville Peanut Festival

A highlight of Pioneer Day and Homecoming at the 1953 Floresville Peanut Festival  was the presence of twenty-four couples who had been married 50 years or longer. (Courtesy of Laura Swiess)
L - R: Mr & Mrs. W. W. Spear (Pandora), Mr & Mrs. W. A. Reed (Sunnyside), Mr & Mrs. J.B. Poe (Stockdale), Mr & Mrs. A.R. Becker (Poth), Rev & Mrs. J.R. Kidwell (Stockdale), Mr & Mrs. Sam T. Moore (Fairview), Mr & Mrs. W.F. Smith (Floresville), Mr & Mrs.  Robert L. Lothringer (Fairview), Mr & Mrs. Albert Zunker (Poth), Mr & Mrs. J.P. Lorenz (Stockdale), Mr & Mrs. John Ivy (Nixon), Mr & Mrs. J.B. Polon (Nixon), Mr & Mrs. T.M. Dennis (San Antonio), Mr & Mrs. Fred Haese ( San Antonio), Mr & Mrs. R.E. Michens ( San Antonio), Mr & Mrs. John B. Scheffler (Kosciusko), Mr & Mrs. R.C. Talley (San Antonio), Mr & Mrs. J.J. Morhand (Nixon), Mr & Mrs. George E. Korges (San Antonio), Mr. & Mrs. John L. Chesser (San Antonio), Mr & Mrs.  F.A. Garner (San Antonio), Mr & Mrs.  John W. Wiseman ( Floresville), Mr & Mrs.  W.D. Dennis (San Antonio), Mr & Mrs.  William Freeman (San Antonio)