John, Texas History
Heinsohn, Fayette County Historical Commission:
1. Spanish conquistador journals reference a large Tonkawa Indian
camp in the area in the 1600s.
2. McKinnon Store records in nearby Lyons indicate that families
with the names of Glass, Frazier, May, Kirk and Ray were living
here. They built a school before the 1870s.
3. Settled by Czechs and Germans in the 1870s and 1880s, including
the Kobzas, Klesels, Beyers, Sommers, Rohans, Brossmans and Junger
families. Others came later.
4. A Catholic
school was built in 1882 on land donated by John Klesel; that same
year Catholic services were held in the Klesel home. The last Catholic
school was closed in 1963.
5. St. John Catholic Church was built on a hill on Klesels land
in 1888. A cemetery was established next to the church.
6. By 1916 a
hall had been built by a Mr. Kahanek; it was purchased by the Catholic
parish in 1934.
7. Joe’s Place, a small store and filling station, was built by
Joseph and Caroline Krause Havrda in 1931; Joe also worked as a
blacksmith, Watkins Products salesman, and life and fire insurance
agent. Later he was elected constable and deputy sheriff for Fayette
8. Joe’s Place
had additions built as needed and was sold to Joe Havrda’s son,
Ervin, in 1981; a café was housed there for awhile; the establishment
is now closed.
9. David Kubenka of Praha opened Kubenka’s Welding Works in 1971;
it is now the only operating business in the community.
10. The church has been totally updated and refurbished, the parish
hall renovated, and a new covered pavilion constructed on the grounds.
The annual parish picnic is held every July 4th.