Hondo Anvil Herald (Hondo, Tex.), Vol. 88, No. 52, Ed. 1 Thursday, December 23, 1976 Page: 1 of 26
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MESS AT CHRISTMAS.. Boh
and Ann Peden at Peden’s Rexall
Drug received an unwelcome
Christinas time visit lust week
when iniruders broke into their
store Other pictures can be
found elsewhere in this issue of the
Anvil Herald [Fhotos By Tony
‘Forge thy tongue on an anviCof truth.
f«nd what flies up. though it be but a
I spark, shall have weight '' Pindar
BY BURN IS K. LAWRENCE
. . time of the year when all
hearts should hold onh happi
ness, thankfulness and good
Oh, were it only so.
If only we all could face each of
our hrothtrs and truthfully say.
“I love you ." what a great world it
If only we all could look upward
and truthfully say, "Thank you,
lord, for all the blessings you
have given me" without at the
same time asking Him for more,
what a satisfied world this would
If only we all could face each
and ev»r\ day with a cheery,
friendly attitude to all we meet,
what a pleasant world this would
But, unfortunately, our world is
filled with human beings find we
are not' perfect. Therefore, we
stress our frailties: we ask for
more thap we give; we growl when
CHRISTMAS IS THE
we .should smile: and we at time's
allow our hearts to he Filled with
hale, and if not this strong, at
bust disgust for our fellowman.
So our world is not perfect; our
world is not all pleasantries; our
world is not all cheery "good
mornings and I love yous."
Y'et, despite these sour atti-
tudes. we find that this time of the
year seems to cast them all in a
glow that, at least temporarily,
tends to bide the seamy si die of
The love of the Christmas
season, although strained by the
crass commercialism so prevalent
in our times, permeates the world
and for a- short while dulls our
tempers and stills our tongues
from harsh sayings.
It somehow brings on a smile
strange to many lips and a seldom
heard cheerful, "Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year To All
Children write Santa letters
Is Admiral Byrd there? I didn't think
Hey, are you at the North Foie? Or are
you in Alaska?
It’s probably cold.
Well, how are the reindeer? Are they
ready to go around the world'
Anyway. 1 would like a duck, and a
digital watch. I also want a ten dollar bill.
James I). Feden
Dear Santa, •
I have been a good boy l love you
Santa If vou think I’m a good boy. bring
me a motorcycle You are a very good
man I f vou are a very good man. bring me
h truck I have tried to obey my father and
mother nil during the past year I want
vou t o bring me a big gun this ( hnstmas.
I have been good this year. I admit that
some days I was hard to get along with,
but most of the time I was not too had. If
you think I should have a BB gun. would
you pifUHp gpt one for me * llianks Siinta.
• Y’our friend,
No mystery to
Source of water covering
farmland, say geologists
Geologists and Soil Conservation
District technicians say there is no
mystery about the source of water
that is inundating several thousand
acres *)f farmland south of Hondo.
“We’ve had a lot of rain over the
past 12 years,” they say, "and it
has no place to go.1’
They also say they have given
Rene Aelvoet, who^e story appear-
ed here and in the San Antonio
Express and on Channel 5 tele-
vision last week, a suggested
MEDINA COUNTY’S LEADING NEWSPAPER SINCE 1886
Published each Thursday at 1601 Ave. K, Hondo. S6.83 per vdar
in county. $8 out of state. 2nd Class Postage paid at
Hondo, Texas 78861.
88TH YEAR NO. 52 28 PAGES IN TWO SECTIONS 15c
HONDO, MEDINA COUNTY, TEXAS
THURSDAY. DECEMBER 23, 1976
Thieves make early
visit to Peden's
Hondo police say they have
"some leads" in the burglary of
Peden's Rexall Drug last week
when intruders • took over $800
worth of meYchandise and met
The thieves, or thief, not only
took the merchandise ami medica-
tions, but also scattered items all
over the floor throughout the area.
The break-in occurred sometime
late Wednesday (Dec. 15) night, of
early Thursday Dec. 16) morning.
Entry was made through a-small
hole in the roof which the intruders
chopped out after overturning an
airconditioning unit on top of the
Speculation was that whoever
committed the break-in were either
extremely lucky on the spot they
picked or they had "cased the
place” from inside, because their
• entrv came almost in the exact
center of a small area blocked in by
electrical conduits and right where
they could step down on a storage
shelf and on dawn- to the floor.
Among the items taken were
2a '0 zippo lighters, about three
dozen watches and an undeter-
mined quantity of pills and other
medication. No money was missing.
'Hie intruders apparently left by
the same -way they entered the
building, through the hole in the
Hondo Patrolman Jack Preston,
who investigated the break-in, said,
the thugs also entered Penning-
ton* s hut apparently took nothing.
They attempted to enter Graff’s
but did not succeed.
The Anvil Herald and the Anvil
Office Equipment and Supplies will
be closed beginning at noon Friday,
December 24. They will reopen at 8
a.m Monday, December 27.
Restore old church
solution to temporarily alleviate the
problem, but for some reason
landowners in the area do not wish
to follow the suggestions, “one
thing for sure, it has been so wet
they could not have followed any
suggestion,” they say.
Mainly these people say that a
final solution cannot be accomplish-
ed overnight. “This water did not
build up overnight,” says hydrolo-
gist Richard D. Reeves of the U.S.
Geological Survey. “It has been
caused by above average rainfall
•that has fallen in this area for the
past 12 years and we cannot solve it
with any simple action."
Suggestions include construction
of intersecting drainage ditches to
intersect main drainage areas so
that water can be diverted to the
natural drainage area farther
south; construction of sumps or
ponds to collect the water and then
use for irrigation: or drill shallow
wells and use the water for
“The w'ater covering *he area
described in last week’s article in
the Anvil Herald,” said Reeves, "is
not Edwards water. It is not
coming from water drained by
Parker Creek Dam, nor has it been
caused by the construction , of
Ainistad Dam. It is top surface
rainfall that has drained over the
area into an approximately shallow
20-foot top-soil level and has found
a place to surface." '
Rodnev Hyatt, Medina Valley
Soil and Water Conservationist,
pointed out that back in 1965 the
area started receiving above aver-
age rainfall and this trend is now in
its twelfth year. "In 1973," he
pointed out, “this area received 50
inches of njin compared to the 28.5
average. This year. 1976, it will
exceed the 50-inch total.”
The two pointed out the water
has satured the top soil area and
Cannot penetrate the clay level thus
creating a problem area of approxi-
mately 20 feet. “It's just too much
water,” they sav.
Statistics show that in 1951
water well levels in this area were
50 feet below the surface. "Right
now," Hyatt pointed out, "the area
is overflowing with the well level
being about three or four feet below
Not Edwards Water
But one point the two agree on is
that there is "no way” that the
water covering the area below
Hondo can be Edwards water. "The
Edwards level which Parker Creek
water drains into begins at 1200
feet,” Reeves explained and the top
rises to a point no closer than 60
feet below the surface. Therefore,
the only way for the Edwards water
to come out is by pumping."
This pumping point could be
By Doris M. Koch
Have you ever wanted to go back
to the “good old days"?' Often,
those times of gunslingers and
genteel ladies are thought of
romantically, but not too practical-
ly For example, can you imagine
riding as1 much Its two hours in a
buggy just to get to church on
"There was-no such comfort as
heat jn the winter back then. The
sc hod house had a small wood
heater, but not the church. I always
wore a coat and usually two pair of
pants on Sundays.” .
That’s how John B. Nester of
DHanis remembers the good old
days. He has lived in that same
small town for all of his 85 plus
years. The church he was referring
to was St. Dominic's Catholic
- He town of D Hanis is now 129 .
years old. Started by Henn gastro
<» French empresario). D Hanis was
the fourth community established
on the tract of land (west of the
Medina River) granted Castro by
the Republic of Texas.
The first three - Castroville,
Quihi and Vandenberg - were
larger than DHanis, which had.
only 29 families It was located an a
high prairie two miles east of the
Rio Seeo on the banks of a stream
named Parkers Oeek.
Theodore Gentilz, a French
artist, came to the area during the
winter of 1846-47 to stake out lots
for the settlers. Each married man
was assigned 640 acres of land and
a town lot; each single man
received 320 acres. To receive a
deed for the land, three1 conditions
had tq be met: first, each settler
had to promise to convey one-half
“of his Land to Castro: second, to
cultivate 15 acres and fhird. to erect
a suitable home.
"The hardships endured by the
pioneers were almost beyond
belief." Mrs. Josie Finger, a local
historian and member of the
Castro's Colonies Heritage Associ-
"They were impoverished by the
expenses entailed in emigration;
thev lacked guns and ammunition
and experience in handling them;
they1 were harassed by indians, not
to mention the epidemics of cholera
and diptheria." Mrs. Finger said.
Because most, if not all, of the
settlers were Catholic, one of the
first things thev did was to build a
church. It wasiocated in the center
of the village and priests rode out
from Castroville (‘15 miles away) to
This was used until 1853 when
D Hanis became a mission parish.
Under the direction of the Rex'.
Dominic Mesens, O.M.C., a small,
two-story rock church was built.
"My grandfather was one of the
carpenters who built that church,’
John Nester said.
"Cypress trees for rafters and
logs were used and came from
Castroville. The rocks for it came
from ail over Medina County,” he
’According to historians of the
area, the logs (and shingles) cut
from cypress trees were hauled by
ox wagon across t hecountrvside.
There were no roads and horseback
riders had to serve as guides. The
rocks that Nester referred to were
limestone rocks, available over
most of Medina County.
A large addition made of sand-
stone was added in 1868 when St.
Dominic's first resident pastor
arrived. It formed the proper of the
church th^t some people, such as
it-kit Flea« Turn to Page 2
adding to the problem, both men
agree. "For an example,” Hyatt
pointed out, "in February of this
year (1976) it was so dry that a
tremendous amount of Edwards
water was being pumped into the
area, thus adding to the saturation
of the top soil area.”
The question was asked if the
water in this Escondido formation
could be harmful to the crops due to
any saline content. “Not the water
form this level,” Reeves said. “But
in the southwestern part of the
county we do have that problem
with Escondido water that is much
deeper. When the water drains
through the limestone and other
clay formations to reach the depth
of that area, it does collect a high
saline content. But water on the
local level, and especially the water
seeping out to cover this area, is not
and will not be harmful to crops due
to a saline content."
Help On Way?
SCS officials on a local level were
in the dark on a Tuesday report by
Bill Cunningham in his Cattle
Clatter column in the. San Antonio
Express. Cunningham* stated:
“Action will be taken in the near
future to relieve the swamp condi-
tions for a wide area of land south
of Highway 90 near Hondo. Darryl
Grubbs, administrative aide in
charge of the San Antonio office of
U. S. Representative Bob Krueger,
said the congressman has bqen
notified by the Soil Conservation
Service that it will have a drilling
rig in the area by Feb. 1 to
determine the cause of the strange
“A member of Krueger’s staff
earlier had toured the stricken area
and the SQS had been contacted.
"The SCS has only two drilling
rigs in the state and thev are kept
busy . The rig should be able to give
th-^SCS people the right clues as to
the cause of the water."
Hyatt of the Hondo office said.
"Although this turn of events has
not been passed on to us, this is one
of the solutions we offered the
landowners. We said more study
should be done by core drilling
before putting out some $113,000
on a drainage system on Aelvoet's
Reeves said he would like to
point out in the midst of all the
controversy over excess rainfall:
“This water has been a blessing to
all the people of this area because it
has replenished the Edwards
Underground Reservoir area to
So, according to the geologists,
there is no mystery to the water. It
is caused by record rainfalls and a
changing weather pattern. And
there are solutions to the problem -
some may be expensive, but none
will come cheap. '
rirV V * * .
/OLD D HANIS CHURCH BUILT IN 18M
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Hondo Anvil Herald (Hondo, Tex.), Vol. 88, No. 52, Ed. 1 Thursday, December 23, 1976, newspaper, December 23, 1976; Hondo, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth819420/m1/1/: accessed September 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Hondo Public Library.