Benjamin Lester Enderle, peach grower, surveyor, and teacher, was born in Kerrville on February 28, 1889, to Albert and Amelia (Dietert) Enderle. His maternal grandparents were among the founders of Comfort, Texas. Enderle graduated from Tivy High School in Kerrville in 1906 and received a teaching certificate. For the next six years he taught school in several small towns around the state. On September 9, 1908, he married Louise Elizabeth Forres from Fayetteville. They had three children. In 1912 Enderle moved to Fredericksburg, where he was appointed Gillespie county surveyor, a position he held for the next sixty-three years. In 1913 he also accepted a post at Fredericksburg High School, where he was a math and science teacher and a coach until 1944.
In 1921 Enderle and his wife began planting peach trees on fourteen acres east of Fredericksburg as a means of paying off their land house. He worked to develop a durable species that would survive shipment, using Hale, Burbank, Elberta, and Stark clingstone varieties. By 1925 the Enderles were producing more from their several hundred trees than they could sell locally. Enderle's boyhood friendship with Howard E. Butt's family provided an outlet for the sale of peaches outside the Fredericksburg area, the H-E-B stores in Austin and San Antonio. In 1935 Enderle bought another 145 acres and soon had about 5,000 peach trees in production. He is regarded as the originator of the Hill Country peach industry.
He was a charter member of the Gillespie County Peach Growers Association, the Gillespie County Historical Society, and the Hill Country Poultry Association. He was a member of the chamber of commerce and the Lions Club and was an elder at Memorial Presbyterian Church. He died on June 3, 1983, in Fredericksburg and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery. See also FRUITS OTHER THAN CITRUS.
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Fredericksburg Standard June 8, 1983. Lloyd Murphy, "B. L. Enderle: Father of the Hill Country Peach Industry," Texas Hill Country View, August 1981.
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
“Enderle, Benjamin Lester,”
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed May 26, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
January 1, 1995