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MORAVIA, TX

MORAVIA, TEXAS. Moravia is at the intersection of Farm roads 957 and 532 in Lavaca County. In this Catholic community of Czechs, Germans, and Anglos, the Czech-Moravian group was the largest during the 1980s. Most of the Moravians speak both Czech and English; in the early 1980s a few still spoke only a Moravian dialect. Anglo settlers were already in this farm area before the Czechs arrived in the early 1870s. The Anglo settlers, who may have moved there in the early 1850s, probably began to leave around 1865, and the settlers who replaced them had immigrated from northeastern Moravia and brought with them their culture and their Moravian dialect, which differs from standard Czech. During the 1980s Czech was still used in the recitation of the Rosary and in hymns. Moravia was founded in 1881, when Ignac Jalufka and James Holub moved a preexisting store to the junction of three roads. The next buildings were a blacksmith shop, a gin, and a school. A post office operated in Moravia from 1882 to 1900. In 1912 a Catholic church, named Ascension of Our Lord, was built. The architect was its first pastor, Emil Schindler; the builder was Koch and Sons; and Ponecker and Sons did the interior work. The church was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983. Schooling was conducted in private homes when the community first began. A one-room school, built on donated land and supported by tuition, burned in 1878 and was replaced; the Moravian dialect was part of the course of study. A new structure was built for the school in 1923, though it was subsequently destroyed after the Moravia school was consolidated with those of Hallettsville. In 1933 the population in Moravia was estimated at forty. The Texas Almanac listed a population of 165 there from 1968 through 1990, but according to the church census, 227 people lived in Moravia in 1983. The population dropped to 165 in 2000. In the 1980s the main income of Moravia residents continued to come from the sale of farm produce. Cattle production was the main cash crop, followed by hay and grain sorghum production, truck farming, and poultry raising.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Doris S. Block and Isabelle Brymer, The History of the Joseph and Sophie Schwartz Family, 1789–1977 (San Angelo, 1977). Frances Breska et al., Golden Jubilee Historical Review: Ascension of Our Lord Parish and Moravia Community (Moravia, Texas, 1963). Czechs in Texas: A Symposium, ed. Clinton Machann (College Station: Texas A&M University College of Liberal Arts, 1979).

Thadious T. Polášek

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Thadious T. Polášek, "MORAVIA, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hlm86), accessed September 22, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.