Agua Dulce History

  • The following story of Agua Dulce, TX was donated by Tommy Sablatura

    Some 15 miles west of Robstown in Jim Wells County is the sprawling village of Agua Dulce. The country about is somewhat flat and rolling, fertile soil. One of the first Czech people here was J.C. Mrazek. His ingenuity and perseverance met with great success. Today, with his brother Thomas he owns shares in two large and modern cotton gins. Here he owns an automobile business and another in another locality with a partner. In 1913, more Czech people arrived. Bartholomew Zurovec, who died only a few years ago, and his sons, Isidor and Frank are still here. In 1915, arrived J. Zapalac; in 1921, Frank J. Prochazka, in 1922, Karel Spicak and Ludwig Zurovec. In 1923, John Sablatura, Antonin Ermis, and M. Levek. In 1925, came Vaclav Podest; in 1928, Peter Repka, Joseph Kaspar, and Bohumil Bubemk. In 1931, Alois Raska, has brother Paul and Frank Krkoska; in 1932, Joseph Bolom, Vinc Stastny, and Esterak. In 1934, came Ludwig Mikulec. All these people attended church in Corpus Christi, some 31 miles away. When a church was later built in Robstown, they attended there. Some time later, though the number of families was still rather small, they decided to build a church of their own. Mr. J.C. Mrazek donated the necessary land. The first meeting for that purpose was held the first Sunday in January, 1934, called by John Sablatura. At this meeting, Father F.J. Kasper, pastor of the Czech parish SS. Cyrill & Methodius Church in Corpus Christi was also present. Some parishioners, at this meeting, placed down ready cash moneys and others made very generous donation pledges. J.C. Mrazek, John Sablatura and Karel Spicak were elected to petition the Most Reverend Bishop Ledvina of Corpus Christi for permission to form this parish and erect a church. This permission was graciously granted by the Most Reverend Bishop. Mr. W.B. Ebner, and Stanley Prochazka were elected in addition to the three above mentioned to constitute the Building Committee. They collected some $1,200 and construction on the new church began January 30,1934. The church was blessed April 15,1934, by Msgr. J.J. Lannon, delegated to St. Francis, in memory of Mrs. Frances Mrazek, deceased wife of Mr. J.C. Mrazek. On this occasion a new bell was blessed also. First Mass in this new church was celebrated by Father F.J, Kasper, who then for some time alternated with Father Jiri (George) Scecina, pastor of Robstown. The first Baptism in the parish records in Jarolim Peter, first born son of Peter Podest. Some 30 souls belong to this parish. The church building cost about $3,600 in addition to the manual labor and hauling of building materials donated by the zealous parishioners. At present, the parish is free of debt and some more landed property was acquired for a rectory and school. The Altar Society of St. Frances donated all the necessary linens and vestments for the church.. On October 21, 1934, a branch of the K.J.T. was organized with the help of A. J. Kallus, president and W. J. Janecka,

    Secretary of the supreme office and Pauline Peter, secretary of the K.J.Z.T., being present. At this time Mr. & Mrs. Karel, and Emilie Spiack were awarded a Cross of Merit for having given four sons and five daughters to these societies.

    Farming around Agua Dulce is carried on a large scale. Most of the land is owned by people living in town and cities and the lands are leased out. Of the Czech people, Antonin Ermis owns some 350 acres; his neighbor Joseph Stuchly owns 300 acres, and to this day his wife Mrs. Winne Stuchly is a very active member of the community and the Parish.

    In 1928, a seminarian, Henry Pencil had been teaching catechism during summer vacation time. Presently, Father Henry Psenick is in Inez, Texas. At the beginning of the 1939, a new Catholic Hall was erected. All manual labor was donated by the parishioners. John Sablatura supervised the work. The builder was I.B. Vrana from Robstown.

    The church building cost about $3,600 in addition to the manual labor and hauling of building materials donated by the zealous parishioners. At present, the parish is free of debt and some more landed property was acquired for a rectory and school. The Altar Society of St. Frances donated all the necessary linens and vestments for the church.. On October 21, 1934, a branch of the K.J.T. was organized with the help of A. J. Kallus, president and W. J. Janecka, Secretary of the supreme office and Pauline Peter, secretary of the K.J.Z.T., being present. At this time Mr. & Mrs. Karel, and Emilie Spiack were awarded a Cross of Merit for having given four sons and five daughters to these societies. 

    Farming around Agua Dulce is carried on a large scale. Most of the land is owned by people living in town and cities and the lands are leased out. Of the Czech people, Antonin Ermis owns some 350 acres; his neighbor Joseph Stuchly owns 300 acres, and to this day his wife Mrs. Winne Stuchly is a very active member of the community and the Parish.  In 1928, a seminarian, Henry Pencil had been teaching catechism during summer vacation time. Presently, Father Henry Psenick is in Inez, Texas.

    At the beginning of the 1939, a new Catholic Hall was erected. All manual labor was donated by the parishioners. John Sablatura supervised the work. The builder was I.B. Vrana from Robstown. 

    Some more history: the following was taken from the Texas State Historical Association web site

    AGUA DULCE, TEXAS. Agua Dulce is located on the Texas Mexican Railway at the intersection of Farm Road 70 and State Highway 44 in west central Nueces County. The name, Spanish for "sweet water," refers to a nearby creek. The settlement existed by the 1900s. In August 1908 the post office was established with James L. Petray as postmaster. In 1910 the Agua Dulce Independent School District was founded; Sophinia Thompson was the first teacher. The school system was consolidated with that of Bentonville in 1932. Agua Dulce profited from an oil boom in the 1930s. The first seismographic survey done in Nueces County was done in Agua Dulce by E. E. Rosaire. Several gas wells are located there, as well as the Agua Dulce oilfield, which was opened in 1928. In 1914 the population of Agua Dulce was 100, and the town had a general store, a lumber mill, a cotton gin, a blacksmith, a confectioner, and a grocer. Between 1940 and 1945 the population increased from 200 to 750. In 1961 thirty businesses were in operation. In 1990 the population was 996, and Aqua Dulce had nine businesses.

    BIBLIOGRAPHY: Nueces County Historical Society, History of Nueces County (Austin: Jenkins, 1972). Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin.

    Robin Dush

    "AGUA DULCE, TX." The Handbook of Texas Online.

    http://www.tsha.utexas.edu/handbook/online/articles/view/AA/hla8.html