heritagefdn  
P.O. Box 433, Comfort, Texas 78013


Corner of 7th Street and High Street
Comfort, Texas 78013
phone 830-995-2641

HISTORY OF BROWNSBORO CEMETERY
This small Brownsboro settlement and its graveyard (variously known as River Bend Cemetery, Methodist Episcopal Cemetery, and Waring Cemetery) was mainly a community of farmers. There was a church, a graveyard, and a school. The San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railroad passed nearby. Thomas and Sarah Manning in 1870 donated 1.0 acre for a church and graveyard to the Methodist E[piscopal] Church, South. A subsequent donation in 1884 by Levi and Sarah Howell increased the size to 1.8 acres. The cemetery owner from 1870 until 2007 was the Methodist Episcopal Church. On the Kerrville circuit with Center Point in the San Antonio District, in 1886 the preacher, Brother J. M. Shuford, preached the first Sunday in Kerrville, the second Sunday at Center Point, the third Sunday at Brownsboro (“where they propose erecting a church”), and the fourth Sunday at Turtle Creek. When the Brownsboro church closed, members transferred to the Center Point Church. No subsequent land transactions occurred involving this property until 2007 when the Comfort Heritage Foundation gained ownership. The first known burials were in 1877—Henry Bierschwale in November 1877 and his son who was born on the day of his father’s death and died nine days later. The Hispanic community near Waring began burials in the cemetery in 1892 (Juanita Reyes y Artega) and continued until 1951 (Dominga Rodriguez, as recorded at the County Courthouse, although no gravestone is identifiable). The Mexican families borrowed tools for preparation of burial sites from the Otto Haufler home near the cemetery. The graveyard became known as the “Mexican Cemetery.” Surveys of the graves from 1965 to 2007, supplemented with courthouse death records, identify seventy-nine burials. Fifty-one have tombstones, twenty-six do not have tombstones but do have courthouse death records that indicate burial in this cemetery. The church was still in use in 1898 when the funeral of Thomas Manning took place in it. The 1902 records of the Third Quarterly Conference in Center Point show the Brownsborough church sale for $60 with the money deposited in the Center Point Bank. Paul Ingenhuett obtained the church and transported it to the back yard of his home on 8th Street in Comfort, where it remains. Flood damage and neglect pushed the grounds into disuse after the 1950s. Renovation took place in 2007 and 2008—removal of the resident emu, new fence, repair of broken tombstones, up-righting of leaning tombstones, uncovering of buried tombstones, removal of dead trees, new Manning tombstone from Veterans Administration, replacement of wooden crosses, a churchyard table, lych gate, and information shed. The Texas Historical Commission awarded an Affidavit of Designation for Cemetery Purposes for the Brownsboro Cemetery on June 11, 2007. The Texas Historical Commission approved a proposed marker and it was dedicated on June 14, 2008. Six Confederate Civil War veterans have graves here, now marked with the Confederate Cross of Honor: (1) Henry Bierschwale —Private, Company C, 33rd Texas Cavalry (Duff’s Regiment). He enlisted in 1862 at Austin. The Regimental Return for May 1864 notes “Deserted while on march to Bonham.” (2) John C. Brown—Private, Company A, McCord’s Frontier Regiment Texas Cavalry. He enlisted in 1862 at Camp Davis, a ranger station in Gillespie County for the Frontier Regiment. The Kendall County commissioners in 1863 awarded his wife and first-born son support money in the program for Needy Families of Confederate Soldiers. (3) Christian Haufler—Private, Company K, 3rd Texas Infantry. He enlisted in 1862 in Capt. Bose’s Company from New Braunfels. His unit was at San Antonio, Ringgold Barracks, Fort Brown, Columbus, Sabine Pass, Houston, and Arkansas for the Battle of Jenkins’ Ferry. (4) Levi Howell—Private, Homeguard Company for Charco in Goliad County, 29th Brigade, Texas State Troops. He joined Captain Greenwood’s Company of militia in August 1861 according to a company muster roll of October 1861. (5) Thomas Manning—Private, Company D, 1st State Troops Texas Infantry. He joined Captain Lawrence’s Company on September 23, 1863, for six months. After the War, the enrolling officer for the 1867 Voters Registration wrote, “Volunteered in Rebel Army. Rebel propensities.” (6) James B. Nowlin—Private, Company B, McCord’s Frontier Regiment Texas Cavalry. He joined at Camp Verde when 17-years-old, and served until the end of the war. When paroled in 1865, he gave his residence as Kendall County. On the 1867 Voter Registration, he lived at Curry’s Creek, and the tabulator remarked, “Joined Rebel Army to avoid conscription.”

Page created August 24, 2012