School, Lavaca County, 1925|
Photo Courtesy Friench Simpson Memorial
in a Pecan Shell|
Originally settled by Anglo settlers in the 1850s, Czech immigrants started
appearing in the early 1870s. The immigrants were from NE Moravia and brought
their culture and distinctive Czech dialect.
A store was moved to the
crossroads in 1881, giving birth to the community. Soon there was a blacksmith
and a cotton gin. The town had its own post office in operation from 1882 to 1900.
Classes, which were first conducted in private homes, were taught in the
Moravian dialect when the first one-room school was built. The school burned in
1878 and was replaced by another building. A newer structure appeared in 1923,
although the Moravia school was eventually
consolidated with the Hallettsville
The population was a mere 40 in 1933. It was reported as165 from
1968 through 1990, but the church census states that in 1983 it was closer to
In 1983 the Ascension of Our Lord
Catholic Church (c. 1912) was placed on the National Register of Historic
The Ascension of Our Lord Catholic
National Register Property
Photo courtesy Barclay
of Moravia SchoolMany
Czech and German immigrants settled in this area of South Texas in the 1870s.
Moravia was a Czech farming community that included homes, a Catholic church,
businesses, and a school.
The first school in the Moravia community was
a one-room structure located about one mile northwest of this site. Students attended
classes on a tuition basis. The one-room schoolhouse was destroyed by fire in
1878, and students temporarily attended school in a former store building (about
1 mile north).
Land at this site was acquired in 1885. Moravia School,
a two-story schoolhouse with two classrooms, was erected in 1887. Classes were
conducted primarily in the Czech language until 1895.
acquisitions in 1908 and 1922 enlarged the school property, and in 1923 materials
from the 1887 structure were used in the construction of a larger school facility
with four classrooms.
Serving students from a large rural area, the Moravia
School continued to grow as other rural schools declined. Students participated
in scholastic, literary, and athletic activities. The Moravia School was closed
following the 1971-72 school year and was consolidated with the Hallettsville
General Store Ignac
(J. E.) Jalufka and Jakob Hollub brought their families to northern Lavaca County
in 1874, followed by several other Czech families. Founded in 1881, Moravia was
so named to honor Moravia, Czechoslovakia, the settlers' homeland. The first commercial
structures here were a blacksmith shop, cotton gin, and school.
Jalufka built a two-story frame saloon on this site. Grocery and mercantile supplies
took up the rear half of the ground floor; the saloon was located in the front.
The second floor served as a dance hall. Masquerades, seasonal celebrations and
other events made it a popular gathering place for the entire community. From
1891 to 1900 Jalufka also was United States Postmaster for the area, operating
the post office from his store.
The saloon was popular and successful
until 1920, the year that J. E. Jalufka died and prohibition was passed into law.
Agnes Jalufka inherited the business, and sold it to Annie Chromcak and Lillian
Blahuta in 1922. Annie Chromcak sold her interest to Lillian and Frank Blahuta
the following year. In 1930, a new dance hall was erected across the road. The
second story was torn down, leaving the one-story Moravia General Store. The new
dance hall across the road was torn down in 1950. The Moravia store remained in
the Blahuta family until 1979. In 1990 the store was closed for the first time
in 109 years, but it was reopened in 1996. The Moravia General Store remains a
link to the past and to the spirit of the pioneers of Lavaca County.
Lavaca County Postal map showing Moravia |
"V" in "LAVACA". Near Lavaca/Fayette County line)
Texas General Land Office
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