St. Joseph's Cemetery

St Joseph's CemeteryOn June 10, 1851, Ignatz Wenzel purchased 100 acres of land out of the Francisco Rodriguez Survey 99 southeast of the Comal Creek 6 in the newly settled area of Comal, eight miles southwest of New Braunfels and Ignatz began farming the land. On April 25, 1854, Ignatz married Anna Friesenhahn at St. Peter's (now Sts. Peter and Paul) Catholic Church in New Braunfels. Together they continued to farm the land where they raised their large family. In 1864, they purchased an additional 303 acres of land out of the same survey northwest of the Comal Creek. 7

Prior to his death on February 2, 1884, Ignatz had requested that upon his death, he be buried on his land and that one acre of land surrounding his grave be set aside as a Catholic Cemetery. Fulfilling his desires, Anna Wenzel, on March 3, 1884, “…for the purpose of putting into effect the desires of my deceased husband, the said Ignaz Wenzel, have granted, sold and conveyed, and by these presents do grant, sell and convey to said Right Reverend John Claudius Neraz, Bishop of San Antonio in the County of Bexar and State of Texas and his successors in office, one acre of land to be used exclusively as a Cemetery, said acre of land being situated in the County of Comal in the State of Texas about seven miles South West from New Braunfels, and being a part of a 60 acre tract sold of Survey No. 99 made in name of Francisco Rodriquez, belonging to the Estate of said Ignaz Wenzel deceased. …” 8 The cemetery became known as the Wenzel Cemetery (named after Anna and Ignatz Wenzel), as the St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Comal, and sometimes as the Eight Mile Creek Cemetery. When Anna died on March 27, 1914, she was buried to the right of Ignatz, with their daughter, Elizabeth, in between them. Anna, Elizabeth and Ignatz originally had beautiful cast-iron cross grave markers. Unfortunately these beautiful markers were vandalized and were later replaced by granite tombstones.

On August 15, 1925, Ignatz and Anna Wenzel’s son, Eduard, and his wife, Margaretha (neeReininger) sold “…one half acre of land to be used exclusively as a cemetery…” to Right Reverend Arthur J. Drossaerts, D.D., Bishop of San Antonio for $75.00. 9 That ½ acre of land is located immediately adjacent to, and on the northwest boundary of, the one acre donated for the cemetery by Ignatz’s widow, Anna, in 1884.

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Comal County Historical Commission