HISTORY: Conrad Adam was born 30 December 1828, in Tiefenbach,
Prussia. He came to Kendall County, Texas, with his brother Carl in 1854. His
usual occupation was farming but he would often help his brother Carl with his
meat business. Conrad also raised horses. It was not unusual for him to have 120
horses at one time.
On 16 February, 1856, he married Adelbertha Bergmann in San Antonio. She was the daughter of Joseph and Theresia Ohnesorge Bergmann from Reichenberg, Boehem. She came to Texas with her parents in 1853. Conrad and Adelbertha had six children. They were Kathinka (Mrs. Paul Toepperwein), Theresa (Mrs. Frederick Voges), Emilie (Mrs. William Schoenert), Julius Conrad, Bertha (Mrs. Hilmar G. Froebel) and Emma (Mrs. Christian Herms).
Conrad acquired the title to the land on which the house was built on 28 January 1874. The land he purchased was part of the estates of Genubath Winn and R.S. Simmons which had been originally granted to Antonio Cruz by the Mexican Government. Conrad purchased 116 acres of the land for $425.00.
He contracted William Schoenert to build the two story rock house. It took one year to build and Mr. Schoenert was paid $1.00 per day plus board. According to the family the house was completed in 1873. Conrad sold his horses so that the house could be built. Fritz Herms, the grandson of Conrad Adam, said the house cost about $1800.00.
The house originally had a widow's walk, a double porch, and an outside staircase. The stage road was near the house and the stage drivers frequently stopped. The Adam family provided a place for the passengers to freshen up and if the need arose a place to stay for the night. The widow's walk was often used as a lookout to watch for incoming stages. The family continued to use the widow's walk well into the nineteen thirties. It was during this time that the roof caught fire and everyone in the neighborhood came to form a bucket brigade. The students from the Balcones Community School house were part of the brigade. The widow's walk was used by the firefighters to gain access to the fire which was quickly extinguished.
A double porch, which faced South was replaced by a single porch shortly after World War II.
The house originally only had an outside wooden staircase. Once a severe storm came through the area and tore these stairs off the house. Two of Conrad's daughters were trapped upstairs. After this the stairs were placed both inside and outside the house.
The house also had a small cellar near the front part of the house. The entrance was near the outside stairs. The cellar was ventilated by small vents placed on the sides of the porch floor. Food and wine which was made by the family was stored there.
The house was built with rock from the area. According to my great-uncle, Julius Bowman, the rock was quarried near his home, by the Balcones Creek.
Conrad and occasional hired help cleared the land and cultivated his crops. He grew Indian corn, wheat, cotton, sorghum, sweet potatoes. Cows, sheep, swine, horses and chickens were also raised.
The house was inherited by son, Julius Adam. Julius and his wife Ida Haufler Adam lived there until 1959. The house was sold by the family. Since then the house was remodelled several times, then left vacant for a while until it underwent a drastic restoration by Pauline and Jim Mutchler in 1983. Pauline wrote about their experience in her book, "Five Acres and Dementia; How to Remodel an Old Texas Farmhouse and Keep Smiling."
Source: Boerne Public Library files.Information and pictures from Kathryn Adam Hurst
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