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In February 1855 sixteen Polish families arrived in
Bandera to work in James and DeMontel's sawmill, and in August of
the same year August Klappenbach opened the first store and post
office. On January 25, 1856, the legislature marked off Bandera
County from portions of Bexar County; the new county was formally
organized on March 10, 1856.
Because of its distance from the battlefields
and the fact that there were so few slaves in the county, Bandera
County was spared much of the trauma of the war and Reconstruction.
The population continued to grow slowly, and by 1870 the number of
residents in the county was still only 649, most of whom lived in or
near the settlement of Bandera. The decade of the 1870s, however,
brought signs that Bandera County was slowly losing its frontier
character. Indian attacks became less and less frequent, new stores
opened, and stone increasingly replaced cedar logs as a building
The lack of good roads, however, kept the
county relatively isolated. Because of the county's hilly terrain,
the railroads bypassed it to the north or south, and ranchers were
forced to use the arduous overland road to ship their products to
market in San Antonio.
Despite the relative hardships, numerous new
settlers arrived during the 1870s. In 1880 the population had grown
to 2,158, and by 1890 the number of residents stood at 3,795. As
before, the great majority of new settlers came from the South,
though recent immigrants, especially Germans, formed an increasingly
larger portion of the county's residents.
[Excerpted from Christopher Long, "BANDERA
COUNTY," Handbook of Texas Online. Published by the Texas
State Historical Association]
Towns and Populated Areas
Bandera * Bandera
Falls * Pipe Creek * Tarpley * Lakehills * Vanderpool *
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Bandera County Online Data
Church Histories /
Family Bibles and
2015: Book: History of Bandera County
(partial) - Transcribed by Camilla Jackson and
proofed by Rebekah Matzke
2014: 1903 Births; Bio:
2014: 1914 County History
2014: Bios: BUCK, DE MONTEL, DOWNS,
HODGES, LAXSON, MAZUREK, PUE, RICE, SCHMIDTKE, WALKER,
WRIGHT; Legal News: MONTAGUE, SMITH; Crime News: MOORE
killed by Indians; Gossip News: LOYD, MILLER, FLICK;
WW1 News: MONTAGUE; Obit: STEVENS, NASH, ELLIS,
2014: Census: 1860 Slave Schedule;
Military: WW2 Honor List; Military: Korean War
Military: Vietnam War Casualties; 1890 Veterans
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