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WESLEY, TX

WESLEY, TEXAS. Wesley is at the intersection of Farm roads 2502 and 332, eight miles southwest of Brenham in southwestern Washington County. In 1859 Josef Mašik founded the first Czech school in Texas in the Czech settlement of Veseli near the Austin County border. Veseli, meaning joyous, was later anglicized to Wesley. Rev. Josef Opocensky organized the first Czech Protestant and Moravian Brethren congregation in North America in 1864 at Veseli, which became a supply center by 1866. The Wesley Brethren church, erected in 1886, served as a school between 1866 and 1900 and as a museum by 1989. In 1867 the first Czech reading club in Texas and a post office were established. In 1889 Pastor Bohuslav Emil Lacjak painted designs on the church interior. Wesley was the site of a Czech Brethren state convention in 1893. The population was 318 in 1890, 200 in 1930, and sixty by 1959. The Wesley Brethren Church has been restored and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Wesley also had a new church serving the Brethren congregation, the Brethren cemetery, and several residences in 1988. No commercial establishments remain there. Through 2000 the population was still reported as sixty.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Christian Sisters Union Study Committee, Unity of the Brethren in Texas, 1855–1966 (Taylor, Texas: Unity of the Brethren, 1970). W. O. Dietrich, The Blazing Story of Washington County (Brenham, Texas: Banner Press, 1950; rev. ed., Wichita Falls: Nortex, 1973). William Philip Hewitt, The Czechs in Texas: A Study of the Immigration and Development of Czech Ethnicity, 1850–1920 (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas at Austin, 1978). Estelle Hudson and Henry R. Maresh, Czech Pioneers of the Southwest (Dallas: South-West, 1934). Clinton Machann and James W. Mendl, Krásná Amerika: A Study of the Texas Czechs, 1851–1939 (Austin: Eakin Press, 1983). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Carole E. Christian

Citation

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

Carole E. Christian, "WESLEY, TX," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hnw36), accessed April 17, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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