Contact Information
Location

Phone: (210) 688-3090

Email: zion@zionsa.org

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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Members of Our Early Congregation

Imagine yourself as a pioneer in Texas, settling in northwest Bexar County. Take yourself back to where and when it all started... and remember, too, the events that were occurring elsewhere within our nation and the rest of the world.

The Biering Family

The Biering family was very prominent in the founding membership of Zion Lutheran Church of Helotes.  Friedrich August Biering was born in 1837 in Saxony, and immigrated to Texas.  His farm was on Bandera Road in Helotes, near what is now Loop 1604.  His sons, Fredrich August Biering (1859-1906), Bernhard (Ben) Biering (1863-1929), and Theodor Biering (1868-1943), and Theodor's wife, Augusta Biering (1881-1956) were charter members.  Those listed here are buried at Zion Lutheran Cemetery.  They all were farmers and ranchers in the area.

Amalie Mueller Boegel

Amalie Mueller Boegel (1835-1928) was born in Mergentheim, Wackbacker, Germany, and was an influential charter member of Zion.  She was the daughter of Kasper Stolz (1796-1884) and Margaretha Meinikheim (1798-1887), who were buried in her hometown in Germany.  Amalie's sister, Carolina, married Valentin Galm, the father of Samuel Henry Galm.

Carl Mueller, born in 1832, was Amalie's first husband.  After serving in the U.S. Army in the 1840s, he went to New York and married Amalie on July 3, 1854.  They left New York by boat, landing in Indianola, Texas.  This 19 year old bride and her 22-year old husband arrived in the Helotes hills by oxen team, settling on a homestead of 400 acres.  The home they built from cut limestone in 1854 still stands off FM 1560.  Their home grew into a stagecoach inn with a horse barn and blacksmith shop.  The horses were put into the barn to protect them from the Indians, and the riders slept in the hayloft.

In 1873 Amalie and Carl established the first post office in the area.  But, in 1873, while surveying property, Carl was ambushed and killed.  Although he was buried where he fell, a memorial stone has been erected at Zion Lutheran Cemetery.

Following her husband’s death, Amalie was officially named postmistress.  A year later, on December 29, 1879, she married Adolf Boegel and continued the post office in the same location until 1888.  That year, the post office was relocated to the home of Arnold Gugger on Highway 16 in what would come to be known as Helotes.

Amalie Mueller Boegel continued to run the stagecoach inn, which became known as a favorite guest ranch or country hotel.  Active in the community, she taught Sunday school in her home as well as at the rock school near Highway 16 (Bandera Road). When the weekend arrived she went to San Antonio to deliver eggs and butter, returning with a Lutheran pastor to hold services at the schoolhouse.  The journey, by stagecoach or buggy, was not comfortable; if the muddy flats of Leon Valley didn’t bog them down they might encounter outlaws, and at times unfriendly Indians.

Mrs. Amalie Stolz Mueller Boegel died on May 28, 1928 and is buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery.

The Braendle Family

Twenty-three years after he was born on September 15, 1857 in Auchelberg, Germany, near Stuttgart, Christian H. Braendle settled in 1880 on what is now Evers Road in Leon Valley, near Huebner Creek.  He married a widow, Christina Evers Wehmeyer, who was born in 1850 in Schleswig-Holstein, Germany.

Christina's first marriage had been to Frank Wehmeyer in 1877, but tragedy struck when their second child was but three days old.  Frank split his knee with an axe while chopping wood and died of the wound three months later on January 13, 1882. Christina married Christian the following year.

Christian Braendle farmed 100 acres and built barb wire fences.  Christina served as a midwife and nurse.  Christian died May 31, 1918, and is buried in the Evers Family Cemetery in Leon Valley, Texas.

The Descendants of Christian H. Braendl
Table of Contents:
Descendants of Christian H. Braendl
Surname List
Index of Names



The Brauchle Family

Xavier Brauchle was born in Bad Wurzah, Germany and arrived in the United States in 1863.  He became a bugler in the Union Army.  By 1868 he married a New Braunfels woman, Louisa Weil, set up a home in Guadalupe County, and eventually had nine children.  Their oldest son, Henry Theodor Brauchle , was born in Comal county in a log cabin with one window and a dirt floor, and attended school there.

In 1879 the Brauchles moved to Atascosa County, where Henry was enrolled in a school where everyone spoke English.  Henry learned this "foreign" language, and came to San Antonio to work at Mumme's General Store, where he was paid $10 a month, including room and board.  He kept busy in many other ways, studying book-keeping and penmanship at Alamo Business College and later working at Simon Fest's store for room, board and $25 per month salary

Henry taught penmanship at a school in Oak Island, Texas.  Earning a teacher's certificate, he taught 56 students at the Aqua Negro School in Ditto, Texas, for $40 a month.  1895 saw Henry teaching in Helotes,Texas, where he continued for eight years.  He and his wife, Eleanora Jane Robinson, lived in a room that adjoined the one room school of 48 students where mostly German was spoken.  This rock-faced school house with the tin roof, built around 1878, was located about midpoint of Bandera Road, Leslie Road, Braun Road, and FM 1560, near Helotes Creek and the Sandra Day O'Conner High School.

In 1902 a wood frame school was built on the east side of Leslie Road, about a mile south of Bandera Road.  From that point forward, the old rock school was used for church services and community events. Sadly, neither building exists today.

Mr. Brauchle continued to teach four more years in Los Reyes, about seven miles north of Helotes.  He returned to Helotes to teach one more year and then bought a 200 acre farm for $1400, and sold it five years later for twice the amount.  He then purchased about 175 acres very close to what is now the Helotes City Hall.

Henry and Eleanora farmed, ran a dairy, raised cattle, horses, sheep, hogs and chickens, and in the meantime had six children.

Active at Zion, Mr. Brauchle was also a school trustee, an election judge, owned and operated the telephone system from Helotes to San Antonio, and maintained a colony of over 2 million bees.

On February 22, 1958 he died and was buried in Zion's cemetery.  At 8555 Bowen's Crossing near Loop 1604, within sight of his gravesite, the Northside Independent School District's Henry T. Brauchle Elementary School was named in his honor.

Brother Jakob Bader

In 1900, Brother Jakob Bader, a Methodist minister living in San Antonio, was invited by Henry Brauchle to the Helotes school to baptize the Brauchle children.

As time passed, Brother Bader formed a closer relationship with the congregation, and added Zion (the Helotes area) to his preaching schedule, which included Bellville and Millheim.  He came by horse and buggy on a 40-mile round trip, once a month from 1901 to 1903.  He received no money for his services. He did this until his death in 1903.

The Braun Family

Following the origianl "Mayflower" other ships with the same name came to the New World.  In 1862, Phillip Braun (1810-1887) and his wife, Mara Susan Braun (1812-1903) departed from Bicken, Germany on such a ship.  Several of their children were charter members of Zion Lutheran Church.

Karl "Charles" Braun (1847-1916), a charter member, married Kathrina Steubing (1855-1902).  Their home still stands on Leslie Road.  Their daughter, Hulda Braun (1883-1957), also a charter member, married Albert David Byington and resided in the San Antonio area.

Friedrich Braun (1832-1915) a charter member, married Mathilda Gugger (1847-1915) and his brother, William H. Braun (1844-1907), another charter member, grew up in the New Braunfels area and married Carolina Nickel (1847-1928).

The Galm Family

A charter member and church builder was Samuel Henry Galm (1863-1944).  Born in Castagugua, Pennsylvania, he came to Helotes in 1872, with his parents, Valentin Galm (1818-1880) born in Baskin, Germany, and Caroline Stolz (1823-1893) born in Mergantheim, Wackbacker, Germany.  Both parents are buried on the Galm Farm located on Hwy 1560 at Galm Road near Helotes.  A memorial stone in their honor stands in Zion Cemetery. As a young boy, Samuel frequently stayed with his aunt and uncle, the Ney family, in DeHanis, Texas in order to attend school there.  He married Marie Biering (1865-1946).  Samuel was a prominent farmer, and was very active in the work of Zion Lutheran Church.  His son, Clarence Galm was one of the first public consolidated school board members.  The Northside Independent School District's Clarence Galm Elementary School,located at 1454 Saxonhill Drive in San Antonio was dedicated in his honor.

The Karl Gass Family

Karl Gass (1849-1935), married Susanna Braun (1852-1923).  He was a charter member, and is buried at Zion Cemetery.  His farm was located on what now is Gass Road, off Culebra Road where his home still stands.  He was a rock mason, sawing large blocks of limestone from local creek beds, and he built several area houses.

The Gugger and Balsheidt Families

One of the early Helotes pioneers was the farmer, Anton Gugger.  Born in 1807 in Germany, he moved to Helotes in 1840, purchased 110 acres for $200, and opened a general store.  The old Gugger home, now a bicycle shop, still stands on Highway 16 in Helotes, and bears a Texas State Historical Marker.

Anton's wife, Marie Gugger (1819-1911) was born in Canton Bern, Switzerland.  She was a charter member of Zion Lutheran Church.  Thier son, Arnold Gugger, became the second postmaster of Helotes.  When Anton died in 1881, as was the custom of the time, he was buried on the property he owned on Leslie Road, near Helotes Creek near the intersecton of present day Loop 1604 and Braun Road.  In 1911, his wife, Marie Gugger, was buried beside him.

Their children included Matilda Braun, Augusta Balsheidt, Ida Epp, the afore mentioned Arnold and Emma Katherine Boerner.  Katherine (1849-1935) owned a general store on what is now Leslie Road.

Augusta Gugger was married three times.  Her first husband was John Green, Sr.  The children from this marriage were Willie Green, John Green, Jr. and Mary Green Zelecke Passant.  John Green Sr. was killed by Indians near Helotes.

Augusta then married Robert E. Robinson.  Eleonore Robinson Brauchle was born to his union.  After Robert's death, Augusta married Julius Balsheidt.

Augusta and Julius owned much of the land near were Anton and Marie Gugger were buried;  their home now lies in ruins beside Loop 1604 near Braun Road.  In 1900, the Balsheidt family established a cemetery near the graves of the elder Guggers.  Today, the cemetery is still owned by the Balsheidt family, and is fenced separately from the Zion Cemetery.  In 1906, the descendants of Anton Gugger donated the land surrounding the Gugger's graves to Zion Lutheran Church.  The Zion Lutheran Cemetery was awarded a Texas State Historical Marker in 1986.  The Gugger's gravesite is the oldest in the area.

The Phillip Ruempel Family

Philipp Ruempel (1837-1909), a mason and a farmer, was born in Offenbeck, Germany, the son of Johannes Ruempel (1801-) and Christina Sinnborn Lex (1802-1864).  When he was 18-years old, Phillip emigrated to Texas, arriving in Galveston in 1855, accompanied by families from his hometown as well as from Bicken, Germany.  Phillip married Carolina Braun (1849-1935), and they established their farm just east of Zion Lutheran Church, at the corner of present Braun Road and Loop 1604.  Their home remains there today.  They had eleven children.  Willie died at age ten from a snake bite and Christian died at age 24, during an influenza epidemic.

Another son,Karl Joseph (Charles) Ruempel (1870-1955) married Helen Zellenwitz (1875-1963).  Their farm was located on present day Highway 1560, south of Braun Road.  Both Phillip Ruempel and his son Charles Ruempel were charter members of Zion Lutheran Church and are buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery.

Heinrich Schmid

There is not any information available concerning the charter member Heinrich Schmid.  If anyone should have information concerning Heinrich and his family, please contact any member of the History Committee of Zion Lutheran Church of Helotes.

The Steubing Family

Some of the German immigrants who were charter members of Zion settled in an area now know as Leon Valley.  During the late 1800s and early 1900s, however, it was considered to be part of Helotes.  Several members of the Steubing family moved there from New Braunfels:  Heinrich Steubing, Sr., his sons Karl Steubing, Sylvester Steubing, and Henry Steubing, Jr.  All but Henry would become charter members of Zion Lutheran Church of Helotes.

Heinrich Steubing, Sr. was born in 1832 in Bicken, Nassau, Germany, located about 100 miles Northwest of Frankfurt Am Main.  Heinrich arrived in Texas with his parents, Johann Heinrich Steubing (1797-1865) and Wilhelmina Bove Steubing (1797-1865), who had a total of six children.

Arriving on the ship "Antoinette" in Galveston, they continued on by schooner to Indianola, Texas, arriving there on June 13, 1848.  They arrived 125 miles inland at New Braunfels, Texas on July 10, 1848.  They subsequently owned property at what is now Bridge and Mill streets.

Heinrich grew up in New Braunfels.  He married Katherine Margarethe Wetz (1841-1872).  They had six children, all born in New Braunfels: Katherine Steubing Reininger, Anna Steubing Reininger, Karl Steubing, Sylvester Steubing, Emma Steubing Reininger, and Henry Steubing, Jr.

Three days after Henry, Jr. was born, his mother, Katherine died.  Later, his father Heinrich married his widowed sister-in-law, Katherine Strackbein Steubing (1831-1898).

By 1885 the family had moved and established one of the first farms in the Leon Valley area on Bandera Road at Leon Creek, next to FM 1517 (Eckert Road).  Heinrich died in 1915, and was buried on his farm, but was later re-interred at Zion Lutheran Cemetery.

Henry Steubing, Jr. (1872-1957), married Frances Borman (1874-1945), whose family was from Mecklenberg, Germany.  He purchased his father's farm, including a sugar cane press and molasses cooking vat which were used by many of the area families. He was a carpenter, and helped to construct the first Zion Lutheran Church (Church #1/the Chapel), as well as several local houses.

He was also a talented, well-known musician who played the violin and several brass instruments.  He was a prominent citizen in the Leon Valley area; helping to establish the private Evers School and, in 1924, Leon Valley Public School.  He was on the school board at the time, and legend has it that he suggested the name for the Leon Valley public school.  From that point on Leon Valley was considered a distinct area, separate from Helotes.  The Northside Independent School District's Henry Steubing Elementary School, on Hausman Road near Bandera Road in San Antonio was named for Henry Steubing, Jr., who died in 1957 and is buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery.

Karl Steubing (1862-1952) married Sabine Reininger (1864-1944).  They owned a farm on State Highway 16 (Bandera Road) across from the intersection with Eckhert Road, where they farmed and raised cattle.  In 1902, Karl bought the home of Mr. Andrews, and added to the original home with stone hauled from the nearby Leon Creek.  Mr. Rosenkrantz helped to build the house.  The builders drilled holes in the large pieces of limestone in the creek and poured hot water into the holes.  This would soften the limestone so it could be sawed.  In 1940 Karl sold the house to Paul McAween, saying that it was about 80 years old.  It still stands today.  Karl is buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery.

Sylvester Steubing (1864-1936) married Schalastica Sauer (1860-1934).  Their farm was located on what now is Eckhert Road near John Marshall School.  Later, they had a farm on Talley Road off Culebra Road.  Sylvester is also buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery.

Katherine Steubing (1858-1934) married George Reininger;  Anna Steubing (1861-1939) married Henry Reininger (1858-1937);  and Emma Steubing (1867-1937) married William Reininger.

Bertha Greeven Wood

Bertha Greeven Wood (1863-1932) was born in Berlin, Germany, and became a charter member of Zion Lutheran Church.  In 1881 she and her husband Charles Wood (1842-1895), who was from Lancashire, England, moved to the Helotes area from Gonzalez county.  They purchased a home (which still stands) and farm located on FM 1560.  The house is believed to have previously belonged to the Stewart and Edwards families.

This concludes our brief look at the early members of Zion Lutheran Lutheran Church and their immediate families.