of Orange Grove
by Ida Duevel Boehm
Jim Wells County, TX
article was written by my paternal grandmother, Ida Duevel Boehm,
for the Bicentennial in 1976, about the beginnings of Orange Grove
TX in Jim Wells County." - Marva Mason, grand-daughter of Ida
Heinrich (Henry) Duevel, Sr., was born in Germany and grew up around
Hanover, Germany. As a young man, he learned the trade of a shoemaker.
In 1877, he married Doris Koch, also of Germany. Henry Duevel worked
as a shoemaker as long as he was in Germany. His wife, Doris Koch,
had an uncle and aunt in America who always wrote to the Duevels to
come to America. They had a nice farm there and were getting old and
wanted to retire and wanted the Duevels to come and work the farm
and they could help them get started. After much thinking and talking,
the Duevels decided to come to America. In the fall of 1882, Henry
Duevel, Sr., his wife, Doris Koch Duevel, her mother, Sophia Koch,
who was a widow, and their two daughters, Dora Duevel (Mueller), Anna
Duevel (Heider) and one son, Heinrich (Henry) Duevel, Jr., came by
ship to America and landed in Galveston.
Then they came by train to Shiner,
Lavaca County, Texas, and settled on Mr. and Mrs. Koch’s farm.
|Ida Boehm at
Photo courtesy Marva Mason
| After a few
years, they were thinking of buying a farm of their own. Another daughter,
Ida Duevel (Boehm) was born to them on February 1, 1897. After looking
around for a place of their own to buy, he couldn’t find anything
that suited them. Then he met a man who told him that he knew a man
in DeWitt County, Texas, who had a nice farm for sale. “Yes” they
said, “that’s in the little community of Lindenau,
Texas.” They told him how to get there and he found it. He liked
it and bought it. In the fall of 1897, they moved to Lindenau
and lived there for seven years. Then he said to his family, “I would
like to have a larger farm so you children don’t always have to go
and help the neighbors finish chopping and picking cotton.” All the
family was satisfied with that.
Some time later, he met Mr. Wild who lived just a few farms away from
his. He said, “Henry, I heard you would like to buy a larger farm.
I’ll sell you mine. My wife and I want to sell our farm and move to
Austin and retire.” “Alright,
if I can sell mine, I want to buy yours.” In just a few days, Henry
Duevel had his farm sold. He and his wife went over to the Wilds to
look at the place, they liked it and bought it. After the Wilds were
ready and had moved out, the Duevels moved in and they were happy.
After a few years, Henry Duevel bought another track of unimproved
land. He sold half of it to his oldest daughter, Dora, and son-in-law,
Adolph Mueller. They built a house and made other improvements and
put land into cultivation. Henry and his son, Henry, Jr., improved
their land, built a house and put land into cultivation too. Mr. Duevel’s
second daughter and husband, Anna and Emil Heider, moved on the place
and farmed it for two years. Then the big excitement of the new community
of Orange Grove
in South Texas came along.
The newspapers in Cuero,
Texas, were full of ads. Mr. Charles Schwab, a real estate man
and a friend of Mr. Duevel’s, talked to him about this big excitement
of selling land in South
Texas. He said “It is a real paradise. Let me take you and several
other men down there and show you what I have there.” So, they went
to Orange Grove.
Mr. Duevel, Sr., his son-in-law, Adolph Mueller, Mr. Joe Boehm, and
Mr. V. Schenk each bought a track of land northwest of Orange
Grove. Only Mr. Charles Skarke’s land is north of Orange
When the men came back home, they had lots to talk about and plan.
They needed a carpenter to build the houses and barns. They needed
men to cut the brush down and burn it. They got big steam plows to
plow the land and then had all the roots and prickly pears off and
made fences. They decided to take their mules and wagon and load up
what they needed and drive overland. Adolph and Dora Duevel Mueller
thought it would be too much for them to improve the land he bought
as they still had lots of work to do with their new farm in Lindenau.
So, he asked Henry Duevel, Sr., his father-in-law, if it would be
possible if he would give him the land he bought up there in Lindenau
for the place he had there beside his place in Orange
Grove. Then Henry, Jr., said “Yes, Dad, let’s do that. I want
that place.” So he came along with the wagon train. When they arrived
in Orange Grove
they put up a big camp on the west end of which is now Emil Klaveman’s
place. His father bought that place a year or so later and moved there.
The last day of December, 1912, the train cars were loaded in Cuero
with household things, cattle, hogs, chickens, corn, etc. The train
left at night and was in Orange
Grove the next morning. Mrs. Emil Heider’s mother (Mrs. Doris
Duevel) came along with her to help take care of the Heider’s little
son, Arthur. Arthur was ten months old at the time. (Arthur Heider
now lives in Alice,
Texas, and is an insurance agent at the Farm Bureau office). They
both came on the train and arrived on New Year’s morning, 1913. They
stayed with old-time friends, Mrs. Frieda Brand and her in-laws, Mr.
and Mrs. Gerhard Brand. They stayed there until their household things
were hauled from the train car, and set up in their new home which
was only partly finished. Mr. Joe Boehm had the barn built first so
the Fred Bartosch family, who also came from Lindenau, could move
in. They rented the farm. The house was built later. The Charlie Skarke
family first moved in the barn until the house was finished. The Shenks’
house was finished and they could move in.
Mr. John Pump and Son of Cuero
were the carpenters. When everybody was pretty well settled, they
started to work on their land. Henry Duevel, Jr., became sort of lonesome.
He went by train to Cuero
to see his girlfriend, Miss Selma Roggenkamp. They decided to get
married on February 20, 1913. Then, after the wedding, he brought
her to their new home in Orange
Grove. In 1915, the Duevel’s youngest daughter, Ida, married Erwin
Boehm, son of Joe and Emelia Boehm. They came to Orange
Grove to live on his father’s farm. In 1916, Henry Duevel, Sr.,
sold his farm in Lindenau
to Mr. and Mrs. Joe Grossman.
Several years later, they sold it again and bought a nice farm east
of Orange Grove.
Here they build a nice home and lived until they passed away. Some
of their children are still living there. Henry and Doris Koch Duevel,
Sr. moved to Orange
Grove after selling their farm and bought five acres of land from
Emil Heider. They built a nice home on it and retired. They were happy
to have three of their married children living close around them.
They also enjoyed their grandchildren. They lived there until they
passed away -- Doris Koch Duevel died on May 29, 1940, and Henry Duevel,
Sr., died on June 18, 1940, just 20 days apart from each other. They
are buried in Orange
Grove at the Sons of Hermann Cemetery, south of the city.
- The above was written by Ida Duevel Boehm on June
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