Lillie and Willie Adam
Happy Birthday, Grandpa!
“She made the best doughnuts!” is the comment I have most often heard about my Great-Grandma Ida Adam. Her grandchildren and neighbors living in the Balcones Community have commented about those donuts on many occasions. They are always wishing they could have just one more. Sunday afternoon coffee klatch was her usual time to share this tasty treat. Bob Clines, the youngest grandchild, describes them as, “wonderful confections that would rise out of the bubbling lard in a roasting pan so light they seemed to me to float above the grease. Turned at the right time and placed at the side of the roasting pan on cookie racks to be dusted with granulated sugar. First, she made the regular doughnuts and then the final miracle the jelly-filled ones, always last because you could ruin the grease if the jelly leaked out of its doughy cover. Then they sat above the cooking surface of the wood stove in the two warming ovens.” All the family passed through the house on Sunday afternoons and neighbors would frequently find their way there. Allan Stahl said as a young boy, he couldn’t get enough of those donuts and would just happen to stop by when she was making them. My father, Jimmie, said the kids ate the donut holes first and then the donut. I wonder how many dozens she made and if I ever ate one.
Ida and Julius Adam
Jimmie said she made delicious food and if the wind was blowing in the right direction you could smell what she was cooking. As a young boy, he would run to her house when the smell of baking cookies was in the air. Another of her specialties was Koch Kase. Bob Clines said, “She made Koch Kase by separating the whey from the milk and drying it for a week in cheesecloth then heating the dry curd with a little salt and baking soda. It would spread on bread like butter” She canned fruit, made sauerkraut, baked bread, pies, cobblers, and cakes. Cousin Bob remembers she made German Coffee Cake with strudel on top at Thanksgiving and her devil’s food cake was out of this world. The family agreed she always had something delicious to eat when they came to visit.
Ida was the eighth child out of thirteen children born to Johann Gottfried and Louise Magers Haufler. She liked to tell stories and unfortunately, I was too young to remember them. Her stories were about growing up in Kendall County and her family. One story has stayed in my memory. She said she was out with one of her sisters near their family home. There was a snake and her sister didn’t see it until it was too late. It bit her. Grandma Ida acting quickly sucked out the poison and got her back to the house as fast as she could. Their father immediately put her on a horse and they rode to the nearest doctor. Ida said the horse was ridden so hard and fast that it collapsed at the doctor’s house. Her sister survived.
After she married Julius Adam in 1890 and moved to the Balcones Community, she wrote letters to keep in touch with her brothers and sisters who lived in other parts of Kendall County. They regularly corresponded with each other and always wrote in German.
She moved from the family home in 1959 to the Golden Age Nursing Home in Boerne. She remained there until her death on Mother’s Day, 10 May 1964.
Adam, Jimmie, Personal Interview, 2012.
Clines, Robert “Bob.” Letter dated 17 Feb 2012.
While catching up on some genealogy reading, I discovered Amy Johnson Crow’s blog No Story Too Small: Life is Made of Stories. In January she challenged everyone to take the 52 Ancestors in 52 weeks challenge. I’m a little late but have taken the challenge!
In 1911 at the age of 18, Willie purchased 240 acres from his father, Julius Adam. He bought the land for $3000.00 with $500.00 down and a balance of $2500.00 to be paid in fifteen years with 6 percent interest. The land was just “across the field” from his parents on the San Antonio-Fredericksburg Road, old Highway Number 9. The back side of the property ended at the Balcones Creek. According to family stories, the property included a two-story house which needed repairs. Julius purchased this property from George N. Lytle and his wife in 1909.
Willie raised on his parent’s farm was a hard worker. My guess is he wanted his own place but that’s a lot of land and debt for an 18-year-old. His experience working on his parent’s farm to market farm must have helped him. Willie pursued farming until he was drafted in 1918 and was sent to France. Upon his return, he married Lillie Katherine Schuetz from Kendalia on 7 June 1919. Willie repaired the house, removed the top story and made it ready for his new bride. Together Willie and Lillie operated a farm-to-market and dairy farm until 1955. Kendall County, Texas, Deed Book 27 p: 48-49, Willie Adam and Julius Adam, 21 December 1911; County Clerk’s Office, Boerne.
Kendall County, Texas. Deed Book 27: 48-49, Julius Adam and Willie Adam, 11 December 1918; County Clerk’s Office, Boerne.
“All those certain two tracts of land on Balcones Creek, in Kendall County, Texas, being parts of the San Antonio Cruz League and Labor of land. Original Survey No. 170. And described as follows: First, Seventy (70) acres of land of said survey sold by Geo. N. Lytle and wife to Julius Adam by deed dated 12 February 1909 and recorded in Vol. 25, page 5 of the Kendall County Deed records and which Deed contains the field notes…Second, One hundred and seventy (170) acres of said Survey comprising lots and parts of lots numbered Twenty three (23) Twenty six (26) Twenty Seven (27) Thirty (30) Thirty one (31 thirty four (34) and Thirty Five (35) according to plat made by James S. Trueheart and being the same land sold to Julius Adam by Geo. N. Lytle and his wife by deed dated 2nd April 1909. Total 240 acres of land.”
While looking through my parents photograhs for snow pictures for a Dietert Archives Project, I discovered this photo. The date on the back is December 1957. I’m thinking this is the first time I saw snow and there was enough to build a nice size snowman! So to family and friends in Indiana where it is snowing with windchill temps in the negative numbers, I just want to say “Just look, it does snow in the Texas Hill Country!”
World War I Draft Registration Cards are on file at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington DC. If a trip to Washington DC is out of the question, you can subscribe to Ancestry.com and read them any time. The copies are not the best but still readable. I searched for my grand-uncle Eugene Conrad Adam and my grandfather Willie Eugene Adam.
I have transcribed as much of the hazy blur as I could.
Eugene Conradt [sic] Adam; from Boerne, Texas; age 20; born June 1, 1898; white; farmer; employed by Julius Adam, Boerne, Texas; next of kin Julius Adam, RFD #1, Boerne, TX, he signed his name as Eugene Conrad Adams; medium height; build ?; eyes blue; hair brown; Registered by Elmer Watts on Sept 12, 1918
Willie Eugene Adam; age 24; Boerne, Texas; Born March 23, 1893; natural-born citizen; place Boerne, Texas; Farmer; next of kin, Julius Adam, Boerne, TX; no children; single; caucasian; signed Willie E. Adam; Tall; Medium build; light blue eyes; Med. Brown Hair; H. O. Adler; Precinct #1, Kendall Co, Texas, June 5, 1917; Aug. Langbein