Contact Information

Phone: (210) 688-3090


Office Hours: Monday-Thursday, 8:30-5:00 and Friday 8:30-3:00.

Mailing Address: 9944 Leslie Road San Antonio, TX 78254

We are located at loop 1604 and Braun Rd

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Zion Lutheran Cemetery incorporates the first officially named cemetery in northwest Bexar county.  The people buried in the cemetery in the early days were important to this community because they were the pioneers that settled the area which includes Helotes and Leon Valley.

One of these pioneers was a farmer, Anton Gugger.  Anton came from Germany and his wife Marie came from Switzerland.  When Anton died in 1881, he was buried on property he owned on Leslie Road near Helotes Creek.  Their daughter Augusta and her husband Julius Balsheidt owned much of the land near present day Zion Lutheran Church and Cemetery.  The land surrounding Anton Gugger's grave was donated to Zion Lutheran Church in 1906 by his descendants.  The original Zion Lutheran Cemetery, known informally as cemetery number one, was established on a portion of this land.  The oldest grave in the area, that of Anton Gugger buried in 1881 is now located in Zion Lutheran Cemetery.  His wife Marie was buried next to him upon her death in 1911.

Some of the early pioneers buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery are Amalie Mueller Boegel, who operated an early stage-coach stop and established the first post office; Henry J. Brauchle, a prominent early school teacher in the area;  Heinrich Steubing, Sr., one of the first farmers in what is now Leon Valley;  Heinrich Steubing, Jr., a well known musician in the community who helped build Zion Lutheran Church and also was instrumental in establishing the Leon Valley School;  Fritz Borman and his wife Katherine, early farmers in the area now known as Grass Valley.

The grave markers in Zion Lutheran Cemetery include some artistically interesting gravestones featuring sea shells.  Dr. Jean Andrews, who conducted a field study of Texas cemeteries, viewed the graves and found them to be slightly different in shape from the usual sea shell graves.  While the shell graves are usually rounded or completely square, those in Zion Lutheran Cemetery are trapezoid in shape.  It is believed that the shell motif was used as a symbol of eternal life.  The idea was not brought from Germany but possibly the German immigrants got the idea of using sea shells when the stayed on the Texas coast upon arriving from Europe.  At least some of the shell graves at Zion Lutheran Cemetery were built by Arthur Kleypas Memorial of San Antonio.

Some of the stone markers in the cemetery are memorials in honor of people who were buried at their farms or place of death before the cemetery was established.  Other remains were disinterred from their original graves and reburied at Zion Lutheran Cemetery.  Some gravestones are engraved in the German language while others feature a photograph of the deceased imbedded in the stone.

When the grave sites in the original cemetery were all sold a second cemetery, Zion Lutheran Cemetery number two, was established across Leslie Road from the original cemetery.  More about cemetery number two will be added here at a future date.

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