Category Archives: Balcones Community

52 Ancestors – # 9: Donut Sundays, Ida Haufler Adam

“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.


Sentimental Sunday: Julius and Willie Adam

Julius and Willie Adam with wagon filled with corn

Julius is driving the wagon loaded with corn. Willie looks like he is enjoying the ride.

Picture taken outside the yard of the Julius Adam home in the Balcones Community.

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Posted by on December 22, 2013 in Adam, Balcones Community, Sentimental Sunday


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The House that Conrad Adam Built

In 1959 my great grandmother, Ida Adam, moved to the Golden Age Nursing Home in Boerne. She sold the house that Conrad Adam built to the Thompsons. Mrs. Thompson was interested in the history of the place and created a large display with pictures and text.  The fuzzy orange pictures are copies of the ones she placed in the display along with the text.

Adam Home

 Conrad Adam home

Picture taken in 1898 when home was owned by his son Julius Adam

“Home built by Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Adam in 1873.  Mr. William Schoenert contracted to build the house which took him one year.  He was paid one dollar a day and board. Mr. Schoenert later married the third child of Mr. and Mrs. Adam, daughter Emilie.

The house has four bedrooms three upstairs with plenty of storage space and one downstairs. The bedroom downstairs measures 15’x18’ with 11’ceiling. When the house was built the living room  measured 15’x17’ 8” with 11’ ceiling. There is a fireplace in it. There is a bath on both floors.


Small room added after original kitchen made of wood was torn away (by Julius Adam) room divided equally into four small rooms. The cistern which was on a porch outside  the original kitchen was enclosed in the N.W. corner room and was used for cream separator and milk utensils, S.E. corner room was used by Mrs. Adam for sewing room; S.E. corner room was used for entrance on east side; S.W. corner room was the bathroom. The original [?} Was more narrow but the same length as the rebuilt room, and was entered through an enclosed passage way from the dining room, and was entered through an enclosed passage way from the dining room, double doors were on both east and west sides of the passage way. The dining room was used for kitchen by Adam family.


East view of smokehouse. The slot in the wall was used to rest guns in guarding off Indians. The round hole in the gable is where a pipe came from the stove in the wash room. The outer toilet was built by WPA on 6 May 1935.”


Taken from plaque made by Mrs. Thompson who bought house from Ida Adam in 1959.

House served as a stage-coach stop for many years. The drivers would use a trap door in the roof to look for Indians.”


Posted by on December 12, 2013 in Adam, Balcones Community


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Adalbertha Bergmann Adam 1912

Adam Descendants at Julius Adam Home in 1912

Celebration? Relatives visiting on Sunday afternoon? I don’t know, but I love the picture! The family is posed in front of the Julius Adam home on a sunny day in 1912. Adalbertha Bergmann Adam is front row center. On her left is Bertha Adam Froebel Haby, her daughter, Erna Adam, her granddaughter, has her hand on her chair, on her right is Kathinka Adam Toepperwein, her oldest daughter.

Left to right:

Eugene Adam, grandson; Paul Toepperwein, son-in-law; Emma Herms, daughter; Wally Toepperwein, granddaughter; Gus Herms, grandson; Clara Toepperwein, niece; Ida Haufler Adam, daughter-in-law and my great-grandmother; Hilda Adam, granddaughter; Bertha ?; there is a man standing behind Bertha I can’t see his face clearly; Edna Herms, granddaughter; Julius Adam, son; Mousie Goerges, niece; Chris Herms, son-in-law; Willie Adam, grandson and my grandfather.

Adam, Adalbertha. Adam Descendants at the Julius Adam Home 1912. Photograph of the original. 2000. By Gunner Froebel. Digital copy privately held by Regina Adam and Kathryn Adam-Hurst. Boerne, Texas. 2011.

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Posted by on October 22, 2011 in Adam, Balcones Community, Froebel, Herms, Toepperwein


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Tombstone Tuesday: John G. O’Grady

John G. O’Grady

While visiting the Boerne Cemetery a few weeks ago, I came across John G. O’Grady tombstone. I like saying his name. It just flows off the tongue. He served as the second Post Master in Boerne from 1861-1869. In 1862, he was elected the first District Clerk of the newly formed Kendall County. J. G. O’Grady owned and operated the O’Grady Inn which was located on the south side of the Cibolo Creek. There is still a house on the site and I was told by Mrs. Edith Gray that the house and several of the houses on Evergreen Street were built from the lumber of the O’Grady Inn when it was torn down. In 1879, he donated one acre of land so a school could be built for the Balcones Community.  Both he and his wife, Katherine, were born in Ireland.

Boerne Cemetery (Boerne, Kendall County, Texas). John G. O’Grady marker; personally read, 2011.

Kendall County Deed Record 4, p. 589.


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Balcones School

Balcones School 1930s

For most of the 20th century the school bells did not start ringing until the day after Labor Day. The last day was usually around Memorial Day. In the early part of the 1900s, school sometimes didn’t start until October and ended in March, as was the case in 1900-1901, when my grandfather, Willie Adam, was seven years old. The school year began October 15, 1900, and ended March 16, 1901. He attended the Balcones School  located on the Boerne Stage Road or at that time it was the main road from Boerne to San Antonio. (Highway 9). The school building is located next to the Balcones Creek which is the boundary line between Kendall and Bexar Counties. Most residents in Kendall County call this school the Lower Balcones School.

In 1900-1901 school year, the Balcones School was a one room wooden school house with 20 double desks. During the 1908-1909 school year, Willie was the oldest boy in the school and his younger brother Eugene and his sister Hilda also attended school with him. The building had not changed from the 1901 assessment but in 1910 a new one was built. My father always understood the one room school burned down and in its place a two room school was built.

My father, his brother and many of his cousins attended the Balcones School. His grandfather, Julius Adam, was on the school board for a number of years and later his son, Willie Adam, served on the board. Sometimes during a school year, the school teacher lived with Julius and Ida Adam . It was about a mile walk to school from the Adam farm.

A couple of  memories from attending school there in the 1930s.

One time, the wooden shingle roof on the Julius Adam home caught fire and someone came and got the school kids so they could form a bucket brigade. They put the fire out. Don’t you know that was exciting but hard work!

In 1936, Texas was celebrating its Centennial. The school teacher took a number of the Balcones students on the train to Dallas to experience the State Celebration and Fair.  Daddy, his brother, his cousins Jack, Wallace, Julian, Doris and a number of others went.  They stayed for three days. While on the train, it seems the older boys in the group (brother and cousins) convinced my father that he could fit in the luggage compartment. They assisted in squeezing him into the compartment but he got stuck and couldn’t get out! They had to call a conductor to help him.  While at the fair, the kids rode the carnival rides, looked at the exhibits and had a great time. It was “lots of fun.“

What I want to know is, did the teacher have as good a time as the kids? What were all of there parents doing while practically all the kids in the neighborhood were gone? Were they dancing in the street?

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Posted by on September 9, 2011 in Adam, Balcones Community


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