Agricultural Society of Fischer’s Store
The Agricultural Society of Fischer’s Store property is located in northwestern Comal County at 701 Fischer Store Road, Fischer, Texas. The property owned by the society includes a dance hall and bowling alley and the society remains an active party of the community of Fischer. Originally called Fischer’s Store, the community is now referred to as Fischer, Texas, the designated name for the post office.
The community of Fischer’s Store as with many other rural communities in Texas, evolved around the economics of agriculture. The areas used for farming were limited but existed. The land was well suited for ranching.
In 1875, a social but cooperative organization was formed for the betterment of the farmer and rancher located in the area. The Agricultural Society of Fischer’s Store fulfilled those needs and provided the members and community with venues for entertainment.
A community, large or small, thrives by its commerce and means of making a living by its citizens. It grows by the ability it provides for social interaction by those citizens. The Agricultural Society addressed both needs of the membership and the community.
The society built Fischer Hall for dances, reunions and even a play. At one time it was used as a movie set. A bowling alley was built for friendly competition involving the game of nine-pin bowling. The society held a fair, barbeques, ice cream socials, an oyster fry and rodeos.
Neighbors were able to exchange ideas and help each other regarding agriculture. The dances provided the means for the members’ families to enjoy a social life and the younger people the chance to meet somewhere other than school.
Today, the Fischer Hall still provides a place for dances, weddings and reunions. Many nearby communities bring their nine-pin teams to the Fischer Bowling Alley for the competition and the Fischer team travels to other nine-pin alleys in the region.
The origin and evolution of the community named Fischer:
In 1853, Hermann and Otto Fischer arrived in the area, being the first settlers. Their survey for J.F. Johnson 123 was made in November 1853, and the filing of the Fischers’ claim was made in Austin on January 3, 1854.
Other settlers claimed land nearby during the late 1850s by the names of Bernard Kuhn, Andreas Kuhn and Moritz Suche. Settlers named Christoph Spangenburg and Adolph Schlameus brought their families during the Civil War years, becoming part of the community yet without a name.
The Fischer brothers first tried their hand at cattle ranching and attempted to cultivate the fields that they carved out of the bottomlands along Lake Creek. Raising cattle took more effort while the country was open range and their cattle roamed from the Pedernales River southward to the San Antonio River. Harsh weather, rustlers, Indians and wolves all contributed to cattle losses. In 1855, a party of Indians stole thirty horses from Otto Fischer. The task of retrieving cattle from across county lines became more hazardous with the beginning of the Civil War. Hermann was required to have a pass from the county provost marshal in order to cross adjacent county lines chasing his cattle. Families from other southern states that moved into the area due to the aftermath of the Civil War were the Dickens and McNair families. The area was becoming populated with people seeking land for agricultural purposes. The end of the Civil War brought changes to the surrounding area.
The agriculture and raising livestock:
Ranching would undergo changes from the year 1865 to the 1870s as it did all over Texas. The open range still existed in the 1860s and neighbors worked together to round up drifting cattle into herds to move to Kansas for market. The average herd was about 2500 head and was driven by a group of the neighbors or a trail drive group. The cost of such a group to drive the herd north was about $1,500 and would take about three months. Most of the local ranchers sold their cattle to buyers going to Kansas. Otto Fischer once sold a large herd in this way. The buyer paid one dollar per head as a down-payment and the remainder upon final sale. Due to stampedes, rustlers, Indians and trail losses, however, he only made one dollar per head. Hermann once sent six hundred head north with a buyer paying a down-payment of one hundred dollars. The buyer returned with the sad tale of Indians stealing the entire herd. Later this
cowboy buyer became a preacher. Hermann felt that he was the first man to give six hundred cows to convert a cowboy into a preacher. A man named George Kendall of Kendall Valley, six miles from New Braunfels introduced Merino sheep to the region. The Fischer brothers and other ranchers eventually began to raise sheep in addition to the cattle. The days of the free range disappeared as the land was fenced and better breeds of cattle were introduced.
The community is named:
The settlement on the banks of Lake Creek by the Fischer brothers eventually led to the establishment of a general store that gave the region or community the name Fischer’s Store. Hermann Fischer farmed, ranched and then decided to use his formal training to open a mercantile business in 1866. The name was made official with the addition of a U.S. Post Office in 1876, but the original application for the post office was in the name Fischerdale on March 30, 1875. When and where did the name Fischerdale originate from? The U.S. Postal Department declined the application for Fischerdale but did approve the next application for Fischer’s Store on March 17, 1876. The community became Fischer’s Store.