Focus on the Backroads » Photo Journeys

FOCUS ON THE BACKROADS: Ammannsville’s Painted Church St John the Baptist Catholic Church

Ammannsville, Texas‘ roots go back to the 1870’s and is named after the first settler, Andrew Amman.  Like many of the towns in the area the early settlers were German and Czech immigrants.  In 1876 the first business opened and the town had a post office by 1890.

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church was opened in 1890.  This church was destroyed in a hurricane in 1909.  A second church was built by Leo Dielmann, an architect from High Hill.  This second church burned to the ground in 1917.  Immediately the folk in Ammannsville began to plan and rebuild a third time.  The third church was completed in 1919.  This church was simpler than the earlier ones, the interior has wide open spaces.  Six of the statues and a crucifix that had been saved from the fire were placed in the church.  Fred Donecker, a noted decorative painter was hired to give some pizzazz to the church’s interior which is a dusty rose color.

In the early days the women sat on one side of the church and the men sat on the other.  The pews still have hooks where the men would hang their hats.

Next to the church is a cemetery with artistic old ornate tombstones, many of which include Czech inscriptions.  Many of the early settlers are buried here.

There are still about 40 local residents today in the area.  Most of the local activities revolve around the church and the KJT hall.

St John the Baptist Catholic Church and Ammannsville are reminders of a simpler time.  Once a thriving community it is now a  step back in time.  While touring the Painted Churches of Texas be sure and make Ammannsville one of your stops.

The Church is the one institution that exist for those outside it”      William Tyndale



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