Walzem Chapel

ChapelThe Walzem Chapel is located in the Mission Valley Settlement Community, an area five miles north of New Braunfels in Comal County. Most of this area is now within the city limits of New Braunfels and the chapel is in the Mission Hills Ranch Subdivision. The highest point of the Mission Valley Settlement area was called Mission Hill. This area was one of the few areas already named when the German emigrants settled the area. The name resulted because the Spanish had established a Mission, Nuestra Senora De Guadalupe in 1758, in the area. The Mission Valley Settlement was formed around the time that New Braunfels was established in 1845 and the boundaries resulted largely as school boundaries for the Mission Valley School.3 It was at this location that Johann Joseph and Anna Gertrude Walzem settled after arriving from Germany in the 1850s and where Johann Joseph and his sons built the Walzem Chapel.

The Walzem Chapel in the Mission Valley Settlement area was located on part of the property owned by Johann Joseph Walzem. Johann Joseph and Anna Gertruda immigrated to Texas from Germany in 1851 and their home site is well documented as a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark. Mr. Walzem received 160 acres in Survey 361 from the State of Texas in 1859 where his home site and the chapel are located. According to the Land Office in Austin, the 160 acres were originally surveyed in 1854. The Walzem family received the land by a process called pre-emption which would indicate that they started working the land in 1851. Mr. Walzem was a stone mason and has been credited with building several houses in the Mission Valley Settlement Community

Johann Joseph Walzem and his sons are credited with building the Walzem Chapel (also named St. John Chapel) located on an acre lot in the north end of their original 160 acre tract. Legend has it that Mr. Walzem built the chapel in thanksgiving for a safe trip from his homeland in Germany to Texas. A stone at the top of the entrance to the chapel is marked 1870 indicating it was completed that year. Johann later gave the land and chapel to the Right Reverend Bishop C. M. Dubois of the Catholic Church in June of 1871. The property was then purchased in 1989 by Doris Hankamer from the church and later by the developer of Mission Hills Ranch Subdivision whose homeowners now care for the property and the chapel.

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Comal County Historical Commission