a Pecan Shell
dates from the late 1850s when José Policarpo (Polly) Rodríguez started
ranching here. There were enough school-age children just after the
Civil War for it to qualify as one of Bandera
County's school districts. In 1991 the state granted its first
free school. 1888 saw the opening of a post office.
The population peaked in the mid-1890s when 300 residents called the
place home. Shortly thereafter, residents started moving away and
the post office closed its doors in 1912, two years prior to the death
of the town's namesake.
A historical marker 8 miles NE of Bandera
on SH 16 commemorates "Polly's Chapel." Built of native stone by Mr.
Rodriquez himself in 1882.
SH 16 about 8 miles NE to Privilege Creek Bridge.
North on County Road about 3 miles to Polly's Chapel.
Named for Policarpo
Rodriguez (1829-1914), Texas Ranger, Army Scout and Guide; 1858 Privilege
Creek settler. Converted here to Methodist faith, built with his own
hands, in 1882, chapel of native stone, where he and others have preached.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1965.
Privilege Creek Cemetery,
Jose Policarpo "Polly" Rodriguez Cemetery,
NE of Bandera on Privilege
west of Privilege Creek
of Jose Policarpo "Polly" Rodriguez, Founder of Polly, Texas
"I stumbled upon a bygone community in the hill country of Bandera
County - Polly. Except it's not completely bygone, thanks to the
efforts of a small group of very proud and history-conscious locals
who formed the Polly Texas Pioneer Association. They have done quite
a bit of restoration already to begin bringing the originally Tejano
town back to life. And they hope to do more, with increased volunteers
and donations (see www.pollytexaspioneerassociation.org)." -
John J. Germann, June 03, 2018
A Trip to Polly's
Texas by Byron
"... Our final stop that day was to ‘Polly’s Chapel’. This small
sanctuary was built, by hand, by José Policarpo Rodriguez, a Mexican
immigrant turned army scout turned Methodist preacher who determined,
in 1882, that the town of Polly, Texas, then around 300 people, needed
this church. Located off highway 16 about six miles east of town we
had to double back since I missed the turn the first time. The road
to the chapel is called “Privilege Creek” and runs off of a street
named ‘Bear Creek Road’ according to the Bandera
county map we acquired from the visitor’s bureau. If you come
in from the east you will see a large white marker indicating the
road and chapel. If you, like us, are leaving town, all you can make
out is the blank, back of the sign. (That’s my excuse.)
If you’re making the journey (it should be described as nothing short
of that) just remember that you are probably going the right direction
and keep following the small, hand-made signs for a few miles. The
one lane paved road crosses a couple of draws before it becomes dirt
and rock and stays this way until you reach the church. As with so
many Texas destinations, the chapel really is “just around the bend.”
Polly’s Chapel is such a unique spot that I’ll resist trying to describe
it. I could never do it justice. The chapel is open most days and
in fact, there is a flyer in doors describing who to call for events
Like the town of Bandera,
this little church in the woods is best described by each individual
who visits..." Read
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