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BERGHEIM, TX

BERGHEIM, TEXAS. Bergheim ("Mountain Home"), a German immigrant community, is on State Highway 46 and Farm Road 316 ten miles northeast of Boerne in far southeastern Kendall County. Austrian-born Andreas Engel immigrated to Texas in 1885 to avoid military service. In 1887 Casper Seltenfuss (Sültenfuss) hired Engel to cut the native cedars on his property on the Guadalupe River. At this time cedar was used for fence building and was burned to produced charcoal. Engel and his new wife purchased land from Seltenfuss and built their first general store. In 1900 Engel sold his store and bought three acres of land at the site of present Bergheim. A cotton gin was erected and began operation on September 15, 1900. The post office opened, and Engel became postmaster in 1901. The Bergheim post office became a rural branch of the Boerne post office in 1965 and was still operating in 1990. Cotton, charcoal, cedar, and corn were the means of livelihood for Bergheim and the surrounding area. A new store was built from limestone quarried nearby in 1903. In 1907 a house was built adjoining the store. In 1916 Rudolph and Alfred Engel succeeded their father in the business; Rudolph managed the cotton gin, and Alfred handled the store and post office. Cotton ginning came to an abrupt end with the onslaught of the boll weevil. The gin was afterward used to grind cornmeal. At this time cedar again became the chief source of income for the area, and Bergheim was said to operate the largest cedar yard in the state. Cedar posts were traded for groceries, and many cedar choppers were employed there. The sheep, goat, and cattle industries supported the community by 1950 and in 1990 were the economic backbone of the area. The store and post office have remained in the Engel family and were owned and operated by Andreas Engel's great-grandson in 1990, when the business provided fence-building supplies, feed, and dry goods, as well as the necessary grocery staples for the local ranchers. Bergheim General Store and Post Office received a state historical marker in 1983. Bergheim's population was listed as twenty-two in 1980 and 1990.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Kendall County Historical Commission, A History of Kendall County, Texas (Dallas: Taylor, 1984).

Joyce M. Gass

Citation

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

Joyce M. Gass, "BERGHEIM, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnb28), accessed November 22, 2014. Uploaded on June 12, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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