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Johann Scherz Homestead and Grave Site Project, September 2018

Author: John Benedict

Johann Scherz arrived on the Texas coast near Indianola with his parents and 5 siblings in 1844 at the age of 20. Johann was also used the name John and Jean Schertz. The family members were immigrants from Alsace, France and likely spoke a unique German dialect similar to Swiss German. They settled in New Braunfels as first families. In 1849 Johann and his brother Sebastian purchased property in what is now Schertz, Texas, a town named after the family. In about 1851 Johann married Segunda Rude and in 1852 they moved to Boerne as first founders there.

They bought two large lots on Main Street and lived there for several years until 1855 when Johann Patented (a type of homesteading) 160 ac on Spring Creek Road about 3 miles north of Boerne. The family has the distinction of have one of the first European children born in Boerne and being one of the very first German families in Boerne—more firsts for the Schertz family! In 1855 the family moved to the 160 acres, built a cabin, and began farming and ranching. Sadly in 1860, at the age of 36, Johann died suddenly of appendicitis. His wife and children moved back into Boerne and became active in Boerne and elsewhere in Texas for the rest of their lives. Some of their family descendants still live in Boerne, New Braunfels, and Schertz Texas area.

Last summer the current landowner of the original Schertz 160 ac asked HCAA to record the site with the Texas Historical Commission. In the fall of 2018, a team of HCAA members visited, surveyed, recorded the old Johann Schertz homestead.

We found a well-marked grave for Johann Scherz, a water well lined with limestone, and the log cabin that Johann had built and in with his family. See the attached photos. His grave site has been nominated as a Texas Historic Cemetery and is awaiting approval by Texas Historical Commission.