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 Texas : Towns A-Z / South Texas :

CESTOHOWA, TEXAS

Karnes County, South Texas
Hwy 123 (one mile west)
50 miles SE of San Antonio
(via US-181 or US-87)
5 miles N of Panna Maria
10 miles E of Falls City
Population Est. 110 (2000)

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Cestahowa Texas church steeple
The Church Steeple
TE photo, 6-01
History in a Pecan Shell

Cestahowa was a logical offshoot of the first Polish settlement at Panna Maria. About 40 families made the move. Even though as immigrants, they lived as a group, the Poles understood the wisdom of keeping some distance between families. It was close enough for residents to attend services at the Immaculate Conception Church each Sunday if they were so inclined, and the priest from Panna Maria would come to Cestohowa once a month, if they didn't want to make the trip.
The Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Cestohowa , Texas
The Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Cestohowa

Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2005

When lightning struck the Panna Maria Church - the residents of Cestohowa felt the time had come to build their own church and so they did. The church was built in 1877-78.

About 10 years later, other families moved to the new town of Kosciusco, across the Flores County line.

Economic setbacks and the loss of their bank and post office reduced the population around 1914-18. By 1936, there were only 100 people in town - about the same as it was in 1990.

The Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church in Cestohowa , Texas
Another view of the church

Photo courtesy Barclay Gibson, April 2005
John Troesser

Cestohowa, Texas Forum

  • Subject: Cestohowa
    Originally the town's name was Czestochowa, which is a name of a rather large city in southern Poland which is home to the painting of Our Lady of Czestochowa, revered by Poles as much as Virgen de Guadalupe is loved by the Mexicans. I understand the change in name, Czestochowa is impossible to pronounce for English speakers - Wojtek Felendzer, Irving, Texas, January 12, 2005

  • Why doesn't the lovely Sister Agnes do a full sized photo of the beautiful parish church at Cestohowa - better still a long exposure full sized image of the church at night - it is as impressive as any European church. - Lawrence Linehan, Wooburn Green, Buckinghamshire, UK, July 05, 2002

    Anyone wishing to share history, stories or photos of Cestahowa, Texas, please contact us.

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