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Home Texas Bexar County San Antonio Site of Idlewild Community

Site of Idlewild Community

  Texas Historical Markers
San Antonio, TX, USA
    Texas State
Historical Marker
     This farming community was a growing settlement in July of 1867 when a group of Indians on horseback attacked Romanus Gross, age 51, and his 19-year-old son George on land belonging to the elder Gross' son-in-law, Michael Kauffmann. A party of men from Castroville was in pursuit of the Indians, who had been accused of stealing horses. Both Grosses were shot in the side; George was scalped. The community was formally organized in about 1879, the same year that Thomas Dunkin, a lawyer, arrived from New York. Dunkin lived and worked as a tutor in the home of Michael Kauffmann and his family. Seeing the growth of the community, Dunkin and Kauffmann convinced their neighbors of the need for a schoolhouse. Kauffmann provided the land and Dunkin became their first teacher. He taught an innovative curriculum designed in New York for one-room schools. Dunkin welcomed the railroad in 1881 by offering twenty acres of his own land for a station and townsite, but other necessary land could not be secured and the station was erected on a site that became Lacoste. Competition between the communities was high, and Idlewild remained an agricultural and livestock center. In 1887, Dunkin applied for a U. S. postal permit. He first chose the name Ida, for Michael Kauffmann's daughter, and then tried Ivanhoe, but both names were rejected by the postal service because they were already in use in other Texas locations. He finally named the community Idlewild after Idlewild, New York. The post office remained in service until 1902. Idlewild's second school closed in 1955. (1999)

This page last updated: 7/15/2008