by Barbara J. Wood
St. John's Lutheran Church in Poth, 1949-1950
POTH TEXAS ... A UTSA Library photograph shows men, women, and children of St. John's Lutheran Church, Poth, Texas, 1949-1950
standing on the lawn next to shrubs on a winter day. [Would anyone know if the first lady on the back row is Mrs. Nell Sunday?]
Guarantee Furniture & Hardware Co.
Guarantee Furniture & Hardware Co. is centered in the 1919 photograph of store fronts in Poth, Wilson County Texas. Centered in the photo to the left is Wm Eckel Store and to the right is Paul Braden Meat Market. Three men are standing on the porch of the hardware store. A white horse hook to wagon is in front of the Eckel store and the back of a wagon is in front of the meat market. A great photo! COURTESY/ The Portal to Texas History Wilson County Public Library
1920 Poth, Texas
POTH TEXAS .. Love these 1920 Poth Texas school children's grins... they are pleased with their costumes. See the old water cistern on the right ....
Who was Edward W. Schneider?
Wilson County News, 2004
Compiled by Gene Maeckel, Wilson County Historical Society
Compiled by Gene Maeckel, Wilson County Historical Society
His parents moved to the Poth area in 1901, to a 1,200-acre ranch on the west side of the San Antonio River, about six miles south of Poth. On June 7, 1906, he married Marie Koether in Floresville. They had three girls, Marie, Lillie, and Edna, and one son who died in childhood.
Mr. E.W. Schneider passed away in the Wilson Memorial Hospital on Nov. 17, 1972, at the age of 87, and is buried in St. John's Lutheran Cemetery, Poth.
Mr. Schneider was very successful in developing diversified farming on his 400-acre farm. His activities included sheep and beef production, vegetable farming, and commercial pecan nut harvesting. He combined ranching and farming activities with the aid of irrigation water from the San Antonio River during low rainfall periods. The river water was used to flood-irrigate the pastureland and row-irrigate the cultivated land. This river water was also used to supplement the moisture needs for the pecan trees.
Year-round grazing for the livestock was provided by the use of Bermuda grass in the warm seasons. In the winter, Schneider was very successful in planting a Wimmera rye from Australia because of its drought-resistant characteristics. Sel-dom was it ever necessary to purchase any feed during the winter months. Year-round grazing was his goal, and it was achieved through careful planning and most importantly, not overstocking the ranch land.
The farming activity concentrated on vegetable crops, with a major crop being sweet corn. Other crops included black-eyed peas, carrots, turnips, mustard and collard greens, broccoli, cabbage, onions, and radishes. Each year, hundreds of truck- and railcar-loads of this fresh produce were shipped to national markets.
Pecan trees were located along the river, and many were grafted with improved varieties of pecans. These trees produced annually a cash crop of nuts, plus providing grazing for cattle on the cleared area under the trees.
In addition to all his agricultural activities, Mr. Schneider was very active in Poth's business community. He operated the local Texaco Gas and Oil agency, and the Goodyear Tire dealership. He established Schneider's Café and Service Station on the major road through Poth, operating it on a 24-hour, seven-day basis. For many years, he was on the board of directors of the First National Bank of Poth, being chairman of the board at the time of his death.
His political involvement included being mayor of Poth from 1938 to 1948, a board member of the San Antonio River Authority, and a trustee of the Floresville Electric Light & Power System.
Wilson County Texas .... Date Unknown but prior to the 1921 fire. The A. F. Manak photograph shows the Poth Bank, Drug Store, and Plaza Hotel. A man and horse are standing in the street. COURTESY/ The Portal to Texas History Wilson County Historical Society Mark Cameron adds that the time must be prior to 1915 as brick buildings were built in 1914-15.
The Poth Family
The first Poths moved into the area served by the San Antonio & Aransas Pass Railroad that had a switch track called Marcelina Switch. The post office decided a town could not have two names in its name (Kennon City) so on August 26, 1901, a letter from Washington, D.C., was delivered to Arnold H. Poth announcing a post office would be established. The town site had been named "Poth, after the newcomer, Arnold Poth" appointing him the first postmaster. This day held a number of firsts for the town of Poth. The first baby, a boy named Jacob, was born to Arnold and Lena Poth.
Poth also got its first telephone that same day. Arnold married Lena Mahler in 1899. They ventured to Poth by covered wagon with the promise of free land if he would build a gin. All that remained of the gin was a smokestack in the 1980's. Arnold and Lena had six children.
The family's journey began in 1848 when Richard Jacob Poth left Budenheim on the Rhine, Germany, for Texas. He was accompanied by his wife Anna Maria Braden (Wink) and three children. Arnold's father Jacob, Sr. was 5 at the time. The family moved several times, building cotton gins and grist mills and farming, before settling in Hochheim Prairie where they bought land and built a home.
Jacob Poth, Sr. and Anna Laake were Arnold's parents. They lived near Yoakum. Jacob served in the Confederate Army with Welhausen's Company of Artillery. They had fourteen children; thirteen lived to adulthood. Edmund Bernard was the fourth child of Jacob and Anna Poth.
Edmund Bernard ("E.B.") and Lillie Leissner were married in 1897 in DeWitt County. In 1914, E.B. left Elgin where he had founded Poth Dry Goods Co. (1897-1914) in partnership with his brother.
E.B. joined his brother Arnold in Poth to work in a two-story general mercantile store located on the southwest corner of the plaza. Lillie and their six children joined him in Poth. In 1924, he decided to build his own two-story building on the north side of the plaza. This building housed a grocery
and dry goods on the first floor with living quarters and storage areas on the second floor. Lillie died in 1948. The living quarters were moved to a new home built on 181 South in the early 1950's.
E.B would sit by the front door of the store and give candy to children as they entered. His grandchildren were special; each got a "bag full". Lillie would sit by the door, greeting customers. "Papa" was very family-oriented. Every holiday was time for a family gathering. He loved to have his
family around him and there were always special treats for the children.
E.B. owned a horse-drawn hearse with beautiful plumes and large viewing windows. What a wonderful place to play! It was many "different types of carriages" during our play. It is now on loan to the Transportation Museum in San Antonio.
"Miss Lillie B." took over the ownership of the store when E.B. died in 1962. She always knew the price of every item without "looking it up". Her brother Howard was there ready to help customers or tell a joke.
As children, if any items were needed for costumes, we knew where to go-Aunt "Little B". She was ready to search the store to help find whatever we needed, be it button-up shoes, hats, vest, etc. It was a treasure trove!
The store is now sold; it has moved to a different lifestyle. Papa's home is under new management. A cousin bought it and restored it with love. We still are able to gather there from time to time as we did years ago. Arnold's home is no more. Life changes, memories linger. The family continues with 19 grandchildren, 45 great-grandchildren, and 66 great-great-grandchildren; because of our past we hope to build a better future.
E.B.'s Children: Lillie B., Edmund Bernard Jr. (Katherine Florence/Emily Black), Leissner F. (Alfreda Carnes), Jay L. (Alice Flach/Hilda Elstner), Robert B. ("Bay" Demalin/Ruth Matejek), Howard A. (Fay Mansfield).
COURTESY / Wilson County Sesquicentennial 1860-2010
Poth, Wilson County TX - $20 1929 The First National Bank
..... This great note is from an excessively rare south Texas bank that was the only issuer in this hardscrabble location south of San Antonio.
Poth High School Building, 1940
POTH Wilson County Texas ..... High School building where 82 years ago the 1940 Senior Class was the first Senior Class to complete a year in the new building. Names of some of the Seniors: Elmo Meyer, Frank Repka, Gertrude Scwertlech, Elwood Zunker, Alfred Eckel, Jr., Celinka Manka, Paul Artus, Conrad Coldewey, Dorothy Conn, Albert Grier, Elsie Grier, Lucy Mae Grier, Lorene Jiral, Genevieve Reinhard, Alice Ulbricht, Clarence Vetter, Isabel Orts, Doris Billimek, Lawrence Hacay, and Pete Kozelski. (COURTESY/1940 THE LOG ANNUAL)
Herman Sons' Hall 1950
.... and Gymnasium.... Poth Wilson County Texas. (COURTESY/1950 THE LOG Annual) Jerome Weinstrom adds that the wing on the right side where the two windows are is the area where beer, soda water, candy and gum were sold. Most of us youngsters picked up beer and soda water bottles and were paid 10 cents per a case of 24 so we could buy our sodas candy and juicy fruit gum.
Poth, Wilson County, Texas
Written By Wilson County Historian, Gene Maeckel
Wilson County Sesquicentennial 1860-2010
[Read to gain knowledge about Poth receiving the name "Poth"; major damages caused by the great fires; the building of the plaza ... along with more intriguing history... a written journey by Gene Maeckel. Please read replies as Clay Maeckel has posted a awesome video of 1948 Poth]
POTH WILSON COUNTY TEXAS... The city of Poth is situated in the south-central part of Wilson County on U. S. Highway 181, approximately 35 miles southeast of San Antonio, Texas. The town site lies within the central portion of what was considered the best ranching area in the world by the early Spanish settlers. Poth is located within the boundaries of one of the early ranches owned by Luis Antonio Menchaca, an early Texas patriot and called Rancho de San Francisco.
The Poth Community itself did not develop until after the railroad route of the San Antonio Aransas Pass Railroad was established. Construction of the railroad started in San Antonio in 1884 and initially paralleled the Alamo – La Bahia Road through Bexar and portions of Wilson County. South of Floresville, the route changed to a more southerly route passing through open ranch areas. The railroad construction passed through the future site of Poth in 1886. In addition to the main line, a switch point on the track was constructed in the Poth area named "Marcelina" by the railroad. Its first use was as a location where the train could be flagged to stop to receive or discharge passengers as it was located near the road crossings of the Stockdale – McCoy and Floresville – Falls City roads. This flag stop began to take on new growth with the construction of cattle loading pens. At times cattle would back up over a mile on the road leading to the pens waiting to be loaded. Cattle from the local ranches could now be transported by rail to northern markets rather than being trailed overland, particularly now since much of the range land was being fenced. As a result the name "Marcelina Switch" was given to this flag stop and the cattle loading pens.
This portion of the railroad and the switch was located on the 2500 acre ranch owned by Dr. J. C. Jones of Gonzales, Texas. He, wishing to take advantage of this switch location, had a town site platted in this area by the county surveyor, W. T. Sutherland. To encourage further development in the area he proposed offering 7 ½ acres to any individual or entity to construct and operate a cotton gin within seven months. In addition, Dr. Jones placed other conditions with this offer. He required that such a gin be operated and maintained to at least January 1, 1903 and that a residence be constructed on the site as a home for the operator. A. H. Poth of Hochheim, Texas, the son of a cotton ginner and an expert gin operator, became aware of this offer and decided to take advantage of it. Mr. Poth had recently married. He and his wife loaded all of their possessions into a wagon and a buggy and traveled to Poth with their two dogs.
On their arrival in Poth, there wasn't a house in sight. They pitched a tent under a large oak tree near the local creek for living quarters. Mr. Poth and Dr. Jones agreed on the offer of the free land and its associated conditions. A property deed was transferred on March 18, 1901. The Poths lived in the tent until Mr. Poth completed the construction of a three-room residence. Erection of a gin was immediately started after that and it was completed in time for the 1910 cotton crop. The first bale was ginned on August 10, 1901. A total of 242 bales of cotton were ginned that season.
To encourage further development of the town, Dr. Jones also offered to any individual who would establish a general mercantile store on a block of land adjacent to the central plaza. With this offer was a condition that the store be established and in operation within four months, and remain in business for a minimum of 12 months. July 16, 1901, Dr. J. J. Jones deeded to J. F. Stortz of Karnes County the property on which this enterprise was to be located.
Apparently, J. F. Stortz could not fulfill his obligation to build and operate the store and instead conveyed his property rights to J. V. Marr and Richard Voges for a sum of $200.00. Simultaneously, Dr. Jones conveyed to Richard Voges and J. V. Marr a lot on the other side of the plaza and his reversion interest in the previous sale to Mr. Stortz. By 1902, J. V. Marr and Richard Voges had constructed a wood building at the corner of Stortz and Dilworth Plaza and the first general mercantile business became available to the area residents. Two years later, the store was sold to William Eckel who operated this store until 1915 when it was torn down and replaced with a modern brick structure. During this period other businesses developed around the plaza including a drug store, a grocery store, a meat market and a hardware store.
In 1911, a second gin was built in Poth named Farmer's Cotton Gin. Joe Reznicek and J. W. Manak, both natives of Czechoslovakia, were partners in this operation. This gin was powered by a small two-cylinder internal combustion engine. The partnership was dissolved in 1915 and the assets were acquired by H. W. Hillman and Company. They in turn sold the gin to A. D. Warnken and his sons made several improvements to the plant and had everything in running order prior to the beginning of the ginning season.
In 1914, the Poth Gin was replaced by a new and larger gin erected by C. S. Reynolds who moved to Poth from San Benito. This gin was one of the largest in South Texas and capable of ginning two bales simultaneously with the ability of ginning 140 bales in 12 hours. The gin was powered by a 250 hp steam engine and its brick boiler chimney was a local landmark for many years. In the first years of operation, it turned out over 2700 bales of cotton.
In June 1921 a third ginning plant was preparing for the upcoming cotton season in Poth. It was a large and strictly up – to – date gin plant being constructed by the Farmer's Gin Company, a corporation of 67 stockholders who were all farmers. It was being built across the road from the Reynolds double stand gin and across the railroad tracks from the A. D. Warnken gin. Behind this gin a large cotton storage warehouse was built. This building was available for the storage of cotton bales owned by individual farmers. A practice prevailed at that time for farmers to store their ginned cotton until the price of cotton increased after the peak of the ginning season before it was marketed.
On April 30, 1901, a request was made to the post office department in Washington, D.C., to establish a post office at Kennon City, which was the name suggested for the Marcelina Switch location. Kennon was the maiden name of Dr. Jones' wife. This request was made by R. L. Dilworth, postmaster of Gonzales, in which he also recommended that Arnold H. Poth be named postmaster. New postal regulations at that time required that short names and names of one word be accepted for new post office designations. A copy of the application clearly shows the post office name of Kennon City scratched out and the name of Poth handwritten in its place, thus establishing it as the new name for the post office with A. H. Poth the first assigned postmaster. The location of this new post office was in the front room of the A. H. Poth newly built residence.
August 26, 1901, was a momentous day in the life of Mr. A. H. Poth. On that day a son was born into his family. He was the first child to be born in Poth. On the same day a Mr. A. J. Moore, of the Eureka Telephone Company of San Antonio, came down from San Antonio in the morning to install the first telephone in the community. It was located in the home of A. H. Poth. On the same afternoon, Mr. G. A. Monkhouse, a prominent Wilson County citizen, brought a letter from Washington stating that the postal department had agreed to the establishment of a post office in town to be called Poth and naming Mr. A. H. Poth as postmaster.
The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway Company soon realized that the business being generated in the area warranted the need for a depot. A wooden structure was built in 1906 to serve the passenger and freight requirements. As the town began to boom a surprising amount of business was done at the station with it becoming one of the busiest depots on the line. In 1920, the structure was destroyed by a disastrous fire, but the depot was quickly rebuilt. The new one was built of masonry construction and it still exists today.
State legislation required recorded town plats to have a public water supply available for the citizens. In order to satisfy this commitment a water well was dug in the plaza, fitted with a windmill and a large water trough. The quality of the water was so poor that it wasn't suitable for human consumption. The water in the trough did prove to be suitable for horses and mules and served as the watering place for these animals when they were in town. For domestic water, cisterns and gutters were used to capture the rainwater runoff from building roofs. If the rainwater would ever be inadequate during dry times, as happened in the drought of 1917, water would have to be hauled by wagon in barrels filled with water from the San Antonio River west of town.
On January 25, 1904, Dr. Jones died and his will designated his wife, Mary Kennon Jones, as the sole heir. She continued on with the development of Poth. She hired the surveyor W. T. Sutherland to subdivide the town of Poth into blocks and lots and dedicate certain streets and plazas to the public. This plat and dedication of the town of Poth was officially f iled in the Wilson County Deed Records in October 1905.
In 1907, Mary Kennon Jones deeded a portion of Block number 2 to the German Amusement Club conditioned on the following restrictions. First, a hall was to be erected for public gatherings within two years on the site. Second, the operation of the building would be under the control of the German Amusement Club. Third, if a structure was not erected within two years, the property would revert back to Mary Kennon Jones. In 1911 this group of men reorganized the club and became affiliated with the Grand Order of the Hermann Sons of Texas.
In 1907 the first public school was started in Poth in a one room building located near the corner of Stortz and Westmeyer Streets. Sammie Swift was the first schoolteacher whose father Ed Swift was the first Wilson County School Superintendent. She received thirty-five dollars a month for her teaching service, of which seven dollars was used to pay for her room and board at a local residence.
In 1913, the school was relocated to a new and larger facility. This new frame building provided much better lighting and ventilation with additional space to accommodate the growing number of children in the community. It was located on Sutherland Avenue between Titcomb and Dickson Streets. Miss Agnes Striebeck of Floresville was the superintendent when the school opened September 27 with a gratifying number of students.
In 1910 a movement to start a Catholic Parish in Poth was initiated. Catholic men in the area of Poth held a meeting for this purpose and asked the individuals to contribute a subscription for a church. As a result $1400.00 was subscribed. Encouraged by this, several of the men consulted with the Right Reverend Bishop of the Catholic Church in San Antonio concerning the potential of building a Catholic church in Poth. Permission was obtained from the Bishop and land was donated by A. H. Poth for the building of a church and a new church was dedicated in 1912.
In 1913 the first of two banks was established in Poth. The first was organized in February 1913 with a capital stock of $25,000. The first official statement was made to the government on April 4, 1913, with deposits at that time of $10,878.85. By September 1915, deposits were up to $89,903.23. Few banks in towns the size of Poth at this time were able to show better growth.
In 1925 a second bank called the Farmers and Merchants State Bond Bank was established with a capital stock of $30,000. The bank was dissolved in the 1930's due to the poor economic conditions.
In 1914, A. H. Poth constructed a large two-story brick structure adjacent to the central plaza. This building was a real credit to the town and the largest brick structure at that time in the entire county. The building was occupied by the Poth Mercantile Company. The owners of the enterprise were A. H. Poth and his brothers, E. B. Poth and Charlie Poth. The buildinghad a freight elevator to the second floor which was the storeroom and warehouse for the merchandise. In addition, the building had its own electric power plant and water system. The general manager of the operation was E. B. Poth.
In 1916, the Hermann Sons Lodge relocated to a larger site and constructed a much larger hall better adapted for community functions and dances for the increasing area population's use and entertainment. The new hall was regularly scheduled for public dances, occasional political rallies and festivals. The public dances were family affairs with people coming from miles away to dance, meet friends and discuss current affairs, play cards and dominoes. As the evenings passed on, young children would sleep on pallets placed on the floor outside the dancing area.
In 1921, Lutheran services were first held in the public school by the pastor of the Floresville Lutheran Church. Encouraged by the attendance at these services, a temporary organization was created to consider plans for a separate house of worship. In the plat of the town of Poth, Mary Kennon Jones had directed the surveyor, W. T. Sutherland, to set aside a lot near the center of town to be given to the first Protestant denomination that would erect a church on it. The Lutheran group accepted this offer from Mary Kennon Jones and constructed a small chapel on this site in 1922.
Poth is located in an area where the soil is mainly rich and mellow sandy loam, free from alkali and easily worked. With its mild climate and drought-resisting qualities, it is well-suited for diversified farming. In addition irrigated farming from the San Antonio River and deep wells into the Carrizo Aquifer is practiced to supplement the natural rainfall. In the late 1800's and early 1900's cotton and corn were the leading staple crops. The demise of cotton because of the boll weevil caused farming to change to other crops, such as onions, black-eyed peas, sweet corn, flax, peanuts and grains. These crops were harvested and shipped by rail to different parts of the United States. To accommodate the preparation and packaging of these crops, large shipping sheds were constructed near the depot along the railroad sidings.
The central plaza in Poth was dedicated to the town in 1904 by Mary Kennon Jones for the development of the community. The deed specified that the plaza be called Dilworth Plaza and be for the use of the public as well as the purchasers of the town lots and blocks.
Initially, the plaza area was only an open space used by local citizens and merchants as a place to leave their horses and wagons while conducting business in town.
In the 1930's during the WPA era the plaza was developed into a city park. The central area was separated from the streets by a rock-lined moat on each side and in the front. Water from the new city water supply system was directed down each side and exited in the front into the local creek. The central area was planted in grass with a border of crape myrtle shrubbery along the edges. In the center was a flagpole for the national flag.
In the 1950's the plaza was reconstructed into a large paved parking area. Commercial activity in the central business area had grown so much since the end of World War II, plus the large growth in the numbers of individual automotive vehicles, that adequate parking space in town was not available. To separate the plaza into two large parking areas, it was divided down the center with a pipe and chain barrier. The f lagpole from the earlier plaza was retained and a pipe structure for supporting the city fire alarm was constructed at the east end of the plaza. This pipe support structure was also used for drying fire hoses after each use by the volunteer fire department.
In the 1980's the plaza was again rebuilt. This time a brick walkway was created down the central part of the plaza. The walkway is bordered by landscaping and parking on each side with a gazebo in the center. At the eastern end of the plaza are six different flags which have flown over Texas. The plaza today is a very attractive site resulting in many positive comments from the visitors who pass through the area.
In 1920, three weeks after the depot fire, another large fire destroyed many of the business establishments facing the central plaza. Businesses destroyed by this fire included a grocery store, a drug store, the bank, a hardware store and a meat market. Fire struck again in 1921 when a two story hotel on the San Antonio A. H. Poth roadway was completely destroyed in addition to claiming the life of one individual.
In 1920, after the several disastrous fires in the business area, the young men of the community organized a volunteer f ire department. Their first piece of firefighting equipment was a twowheel cart with a hand pump and hoses, which were handdrawn by the volunteers.
During the early 1930's the town continued to grow and business flourished. The U. S. Government was granting funds to incorporated cities to assist in developing the city infrastructure such as sewer, water and streets. To take advantage of these funds the town had to become incorporated. The citizens began discussing the merits of incorporation and requested an election to be held. The desire to incorporate passed and on October 18, 1933, the town officially became an incorporated city. With the help of the U. S. Government assistance, a number of modern civic improvements were completed. This included a public sewage system, a city waterworks plant, an artesian water well and water distribution system. The water from the new well was of good quality and suitable for human consumption even though it was very warm and had a strong sulfur smell.
In January of 1940, another major fire in Poth destroyed the Hermann Sons Lodge Hall. By November of that year another new and larger structure was built. It was built to be a multifunctional facility. In cooperation with the public schools it served as a gymnasium for their athletic programs. The large floor area also served as a dance area for regularly scheduled dances. People from miles around would attend to hear and dance to well-known musical groups. It was also the scene each year of all-day church and community picnics and barbeques. These events served noon and evening meals with meats barbequed over large open pits under nearby oak trees. Entertainment such as bingo, auctions, music, children's games and general socializing was provided throughout the day.
The town has continued to grow during the ensuing years adapting to changing economic conditions. With adequate, locally grown grains available for feeding poultry and cattle, a turkey dressing plant and two meat processing plants were established during the years. Today, a large feed plant exists which custom mixes feed for cattle, horses, poultry and other farm animals. In addition it custom mixes specialty feeds for certain wild game animals on private hunting ranges.
The growth in the area today is in the building of new residential housing. This new housing is being built to satisfy the housing needs of the increasing number of individuals living in the Poth area who commute daily to San Antonio for employment.
Texas Farm & Ranch History
Texas Farm & Ranch History ..... posted Poth is at the junction of U.S. Highway 181 and Farm roads 427 and 541, seven miles southeast of Floresville in southeastern Wilson County. It was established in 1886 as a switch on the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway. The community was first called Marcelina but was renamed Poth in 1901, when A. H. Poth established a gin there. John Francis Stortz opened a store at the community in 1900. A depot was built at Poth in 1906, and by 1914 the town had a lumberyard, a cotton gin, a bank, a furniture and hardware store, a blacksmith, three general stores, and a population of 250. The community's population was 300 in 1920 and 600 in 1947, when it also reported twenty-three businesses. By 1965 the population of Poth was 1,119, and in 1990 it was 1,642. The number of businesses reported there had declined, however, falling from thirty-five in the mid-1960s to thirteen in 1990. In 2000 the population was 1,850 with fifty businesses.
By Claudia Hazelwood
Copied from Les Walker
Posted by Tim Kolbe
1949 football team
POTH WILSON COUNTY TEXAS 1949 FOOTBALL TEAM
Poth Pride: 1949ers still champions
Wilson County News | 2006
By Fred Owens
By Fred Owens
POTH WILSON COUNTY TEXAS— "I played all positions, and both ways," Glenn Hellums said, referring to the 1949 Poth football team, which won the bidistrict six-man team championship that year.
Hellums still looks a defensive tackle after all these years: He is a big, beefy man.
He was sharing memories with Richard Krawietz, a fellow Pirate of that season.
The occasion was the presentation of a framed photograph to the Poth City Council at its meeting March 20.
Unbeknownst to these three gentlemen, the council meeting had been canceled because of the lack of a quorum.
But not to be denied their moment of glory, the Poth '49ers were glad to tell the story of their glory days.
"I was kind of big for my age that year. I was actually in the eighth grade, but the coach came up to me and asked did I want to play football," Krawietz said. "I answered yes, so they put me into the ninth grade and I got on the team."
Krawietz is still big for his age, being a tall and rangy fellow, although now he has silver hair and grandchildren.
Gene Maeckel joined the conversation but quickly disqualified himself, "I was in the class of '48," he said. But as a lifelong Poth resident, he remembers the 1949 team as one of the all-time bests.
Maeckel and Hellums still live in Poth. Krawietz came from his home in north San Antonio.
Hellums has kept newspaper clippings from the San Antonio Light and the San Antonio Express from 1949, giving details of the season.
The starting lineup for Poth that year included:
•Glenn Hellums — left end
•Benedict Wiatrek — center
•John Yosko — right end
•Marvin Seifert — left halfback
•Paul Winkler — quarterback
•Eugene Kosarek — right halfback
The Poth bench contained:
•Gervase Moczygemba — left end
•Albert Moczygemba — left end
•Raymond Ramirez — center
•Lawrence Zook — center
•Alvin Pruski — right end
•Richard Krawietz — right end
•Leroy Bienek — back
•Henry Fisbeck — back
•Armin Alberts — back
One newspaper clipping does not list Benjamin Kotara, but both Hellums and Krawietz asserted that Kotara was on the team that year.
Gilbert "Sully" Reinhard was the Poth coach. "He was a big barrel of a man. You either loved him or hated him," Gervase Moczygemba said.
The Pirates were undefeated that year, winning five conference games, two non-conference games, and the final bi-district playoff.
Here is the schedule according to Hellums' clippings.
•Sept. 9 Smiley 12 0
•Oct. 1 Pawnee 12 0
•Oct. 7 Smiley 12 7
•Oct. 15 Skidmore 26 0
•Oct. 21 Pawnee 55 6
•Oct. 28 La Vernia 39 6
•Nov. 5 Nordheim 34 20
The '49ers recall playing and defeating Falls City that year, but the schedule does not show this — a historical anomaly.
The big game for the bidistrict championship was played against San Perlita in Floresville before a crowd of over 1,200 people.
Left halfback Marvin Seifert was the star of the game, scoring three touchdowns. Poth won it 25-12.
The game statistics were:
San Perlita Poth
First downs 3 5
Passes tried 16 9
Passes completed 8 5
Fumbles 8 3
The last number says it all — eight fumbles by San Perlita, indicating a smashing Pirate defense.
Six-man football teams did not go on to a state tournament in those years, so the bidistrict game was the last one.
Moczygemba played left end that year. His brother, Albert, was on the team as well. "Albert has passed away," Moczygemba said, but the other players are alive and well.
Even from a distance, the '49ers stay in touch. Raymond Ramirez lives in Florida, although he has come to several reunions, while Leroy Bienek lives in New Mexico, and Henry Fisbeck is out-of-state somewhere, according to Moczygemba.
The rest of the team lives in Wilson County or in San Antonio.
After graduation, the '49ers found jobs, married and had children, bought houses and built their lives. Moczygemba tells a story that applies to many people who came of age in the early 1950s. "Those drought years changed everything. I couldn't make a living burning pears on our farm, so I got a job in San Antonio," Moczygemba said. "It used to be a lot more agricultural around here."
In earlier years, the team had reunions over a keg of beer at Commanche Park in San Antonio. Now they meet for a sit-down dinner at Shorty's Place in Falls City.
The undefeated '49ers may have been the best Pirate team ever. Of course, that depends on whom you ask.
Photos from Poth 1949 yearbook
Sons of Hermann Hall
The Sons of Hermann Hall in Poth Wilson County, Texas, goes up in flames, 1940. Note the snow on the roof and ground. Fortunately, it was rebuilt.
COURTESY / Texas Civic Clubs, Fraternal Orders, and Lodge History
The Blue Moon
Mark Salas posted a photo on Remember Floresville When ... the photo of "Blue Moon" in Poth, Wilson County Texas was undated. "The Blue Moon" was located somewhere somewhere around CR 541 East of Highway 181 and said to have the most flavorful snow cones. Owners Lydia & Pablo Reyes also had tacos, hot dogs, & hamburgers. ( One of those grape-flavored snow cones would sure taste good tight now!)
Poth Mercantile Company
*The first person to identify the building below was John Bayer .
In 1914, A. H. Poth constructed a large two-story brick structure adjacent to the central plaza. This building was a real credit to the town and the largest brick structure at that time in the entire county. The building was occupied by the
Poth Mercantile Company. The owners of the enterprise were A. H. Poth and his brothers, E. B. Poth and Charlie Poth. The building had a freight elevator to the second floor which was the storeroom and warehouse for the merchandise. In
addition, the building had its own electric power plant and water system. The general manager of the operation was E. B. Poth.
COURTESY/Wilson County Sesquicentennial 1860-2010
Fire of 1920
Two photographs of Poth Wilson County Texas showing the destruction of the fire in 1920 that destroyed the hardware store, meat market, bank, and drug store.
The photo created by A. F. Manak is part of the collection entitled: Rescuing Texas History, 2010 and was provided by the Wilson County Historical Society to The Portal to Texas History, a digital repository.