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HOSTYN, TEXAS

Texas Ghost Town
Fayette County, Central Texas S

FM 2436
6 Miles S of La Grange via Highway 77
About 12 Miles N of Schulenburg
Population: Unincorporated Community

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Hostyn TX
Photo courtesy Carolyn Heinsohn, May 2014

HOSTYN, TEXAS

By Carolyn Heinsohn

Hostyn in Fayette County, Texas, located six miles south of La Grange, sits high on a hill that is the extension of the escarpment that includes the 200 foot bluff on the south side of La Grange, hence its old name of Bluff - the most picturesque area in Fayette County. The Bluff area and the Colorado River Valley, which provided a perfect locale to support the livelihoods of Native Americans, began attracting Anglos in the early 1820s.

In 1831, Father Miguel Muldoon, the priest for Stephen F. Austin's colonists, visited Fayette County, because 8,846 acres of the 48,610 acres of land granted to him by Austin was in the county, including the Bluff area. During his visit, he celebrated the first Mass in the area. Most of the first Anglo settlers were either Protestants or "Muldoon Catholics", because the Mexican government mandated that all colonists become Catholics, even though that religion was not their preference.

Masses were celebrated at various times by several traveling priests in the homes of early settlers. By the mid-1840s, the area was being settled by German families, many of whom attended the Catholic services for lack of any other denominational services. In 1856, Rev. J. Ansteadt of Frelsburg was instrumental in having the first log chapel built on the farm of John Laux, located approximately three miles east of the present-day church. It was dedicated to the Holy Trinity. That same year, a group of Moravians, who were Roman Catholic, arrived in the area. Rev. Victor Gury of Frelsburg offered Mass in some of their homes.

During the Civil War, Joseph Lidiak and his son, John Lidiak, fought in the War Between the States. The irony of this, however, was the fact that they fought on opposite sides. The son happened to be hauling cotton on a wagon to Brownsville, TX. Two stories exist about how he ended up in the Union Arm - one states that he was captured in Brownsville and drafted; the other states that he was convinced by Union soldiers to join their ranks. Meanwhile, his father was a Corporal in Martindale's company of the Confederate Army. After the war, however, both came home to Bluff and lived together on the farm. They are now honored with two military guns placed in opposite directions at the rear of the church.

In 1868 a Czech Catholic school and parish cemetery were established. One year later, the Czech parishioners built the second Catholic Church at the present-day church site and dedicated it to the Queen of the Holy Rosary. A new parish school was built in 1874, and a small frame rectory was erected in 1876. In 1884, the first time since the beginning of the parish, the members were fortunate in procuring a priest, Father Josef Fabian, who spoke their native Czech language. Sadly, he died two years later.

A larger church was built in 1888, and several priests successfully led the parish in the following years. After a new parish was organized in Plum, TX around 1897, one priest supervised both parishes. The 1888 church burned in 1906; the fourth church was built and dedicated in 1908. After multiple priests served the parish, Rev. Paul P. Kaspar arrived in 1923 and stayed for 20 years. During his stay, he was responsible for building the grammar school, the grottos, the Stations of the Cross around the church, the replica of the first log church, outdoor chapels, a dining hall and the renovation of the parish hall. Upon Rev. Kaspar's arrival, he suggested to the Archdiocese that the community, which at that time was known as Moravan, also the name of the local KJT lodge hall, be renamed Hostyn after a special place of pilgrimage in Moravia, Czechoslovakia. With the recommendation of the Archdiocese, the State officially renamed the community.

In 1950, Franklin and Julia Kreische, two children of Heinrich Kreische, the German stonemason who built a brewery on the Bluff, donated 344 acres of land to the Hostyn parish and Archdiocese of San Antonio. The transfer was to take effect upon the death of both of the donors. Julia Kreische was the last to pass away in 1952.

Due to the financial needs of the parish, it was decided to sell the Kreische property to the Frisch Auf Corporation in 1965. With slightly more than half of the proceeds, a new parish church was built, a school bus was purchased and a well was dug. The remaining money was given to the Archdiocese.

The grammar school was razed in the early 1990s, as well as the old parish lodge hall in 1992. A new parish hall and covered pavilion were then constructed.

As more Czechs arrived, many organizations were formed to meet the needs of the community. In October, 1888, the first Lodge of the KJT of Texas was organized at Hostyn (a fraternal insurance company now called the Catholic Union of Texas). Reading and theatrical clubs were also organized. A Sokol society, which is a Czech organization that promotes healthy bodies and minds through competitive gymnastics and dancing, was established in the 1920s-30s.

Although there was never a town at this site, Hostyn is a thriving community where social and religious life still revolves around the church.

Hostyn Church & Cemetery >
Hostyn Vintage Photos >
Hostyn Photos
Hostyn TX Cemetery
Hostyn Cemetery
Photo courtesy Carolyn Heinsohn, May 2014
Hostyn TX Cemetery
Hostyn Cemetery
Photo courtesy Carolyn Heinsohn, May 2014
Hostyn TX Cemetery Union Soldier John Lidiak
Union Soldier John Lidiak
Photo courtesy Carolyn Heinsohn, May 2014
Hostyn TX - Replica of 1856 Log Church
Replica of the 1856 log church built on the John Laux farm three miles east of present-day Hostyn. The entire area was known as Bluff until 1923 when a smaller area around the church, cemetery, KJT hall, school and store was renamed Hostyn in honor of a place of pilgrimage in Moravia, where the first settlers emigrated from. A smaller area closer to present-day Monument Hill State Park retained the name of Bluff.
Photo courtesy Carolyn Heinsohn, May 2014
Hostyn TX - Stations Of the Cross
There are outdoor Stations of the Cross at Hostyn, Moravia, a pilgrimage site with a Catholic Basilica, so the Hostyn, Texas parishioners built outdoor Stations of the Cross around their church in the late 1920s, using locally quarried stone, petrified wood and other unique rocks gathered in the vicinity.
Photo courtesy Carolyn Heinsohn, May 2014
Hostyn TX - Station Of the Cross
Station Of the Cross
Photo courtesy Carolyn Heinsohn, May 2014
Hostyn TX -Station Of the Cross
Station Of the Cross inscription
Photo courtesy Carolyn Heinsohn, May 2014
Hostyn TX Grotto
The grotto is a replica of the grotto at Lourdes, France
Photo courtesy Carolyn Heinsohn, May 2014
Father Miguel Muldoon Marker
Father Miguel Muldoon historical marker was moved from its previous location on Hwy 77 South to the Queen of the Holy Rosary Church property.
Photo courtesy Carolyn Heinsohn, May 2014
Hostyn Vintage Photos
Queen of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church, Hostyn, TX
This church, which was built in 1908, was razed in 1965 and replaced with a modern church that was dedicated on October 9, 1966.

Photo copied from an old book - Submitted by Carolyn Heinsohn
Rev. Charles Kolek's ordination on May 18, 1937 in Holy Rosary Church. (Father Kolek was a native of the parish.)
Submitted by Carolyn Heinsohn
Hostyn TX - Catholic Sokol 1920s
"Members of the Catholic Sokol of Hostyn doing a calisthenics routine in the 1920s".
Photo Submitted by Carolyn Heinsohn
Hostyn TX Crucifixion Group
The Crucifixion Group was built in 1929 at the front of the 1908 church. Photo circa 1929-1931.
Submitted by Carolyn Heinsohn
Hostyn, Texas
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