TexasEscapes.comTexas Escapes Online Magazine: Travel and History
Columns: History, Humor, Topical and Opinion
Over 1800 Texas Towns & Ghost Towns
NEW : : TEXAS TOWNS : : GHOST TOWNS : : TEXAS HOTELS : : FEATURES : : COLUMNS : : ARCHITECTURE : : IMAGES : : SITE MAP : : SEARCH SITE
HOME
SEARCH SITE
ARCHIVES
RESERVATIONS
Texas Hotels
Hotels
Cars
Air
Cruises
 
 Texas : Feature : Columns : "They shoe horses, don't they?"

Texas War Casualties
Delhi, Smithville and Praha

Stone markers and chapels
quietly reveal where America gets its soldiers.


by John Troesser

Delhi, Texas, (pronounced DELL HIGH), is situated in one of the more thinly populated parts of Caldwell County. Eighteen miles east of Lockhart, if you can find where FM 713 intersects with Highway 304, head south on 304 and you'll soon pass a cemetery, church and a simple building identified as the Delhi Community Center.

The well-tended cemetery is on the left side of the road. Enclosed by a tidy, but far-from-quaint cyclone fence, the cemetery's identity is confirmed by the overhead arch saying DEHLI - 1881. Tiny Confederate and American flags, their number disproportionately large to the number of graves in general, snap in the near-constant breeze.

A granite marker stands just outside the cemetery gate seemingly too elaborate for a community that no longer appears on state maps. The explanation is in the number of inscribed names.

According to the Handbook of Texas, the population of tiny (never-had-a-railroad) Delhi never exceeded 200 persons. Nevertheless, from the Civil War to Vietnam, the town supplied 32 soldiers to various wars, "police actions" and conflicts.

The first thing that catches the visitor's eye is the duplication of surnames.

Like most Delhi men, Alford J. Fogle served in the Confederacy during the Civil War. The Fogle family didn't participate in WWI, but they made up for it in WWII when Julius, Marvin, and Willey Fogle served.

The Cox family had John G. in the Civil War, Jessie G. in WWI and Joe H. in WWII.

Bartlett S. Reid was in the Civil War and a descendent also named Bartlett S. served in WWII.

Glenn B. Reid served in WWII and years later Carroll A. Reid was Delhi's solitary Vietnam casualty.

Although Spanish-American troop trains to Florida passed as nearby as Luling, Delhi didn't have a participant in the all volunteer Spanish-American War.

But, by the time the U. S. became involved in WWI - Delhi was again ready.

Two Neeleys, Penn E. and Clarence J. served in The Great War and then Lloyd C. Neeley served in WWII. Tyre Pendleton was in WWI while descendent George M. Pendleton died in the Korean War.

Horace and Vernon were either brothers or a father and son that served in WWII.



By comparison, in neighboring Bastrop County, Smithville was a railroad town with a much greater population than Delhi. A marker on Smithville's city hall lawn shows a count of 18 Smithvillains in the Civil War with fully half of that number coming from only the Sawyer, Burleson and Hill families. There were 11 Smithville servicemen in WWI with one of them being another Burleson.

WWII had 16 participants and Korea and Vietnam had three each. This gives totals of Smithville 51 to Delhi's 32.



Another small town that contributed casualties totally disproportionate to its population was the Czech community of Praha in Southern Fayette County. When the town lost three men in WWII, a small stone memorial chapel was built on the church grounds. Before long, other deaths required another chapel being built. Then a third. In total, Praha, Texas lost nine sons, husbands and brothers - reportedly the greatest number of casualties for a town its size in the entire United States.

Besides the memorial chapels in Praha, a marker was erected in the Texas State Cemetery.



As the number of war dead increases from Iraq, the casualties reflect the demographics of our times. Today more are from the larger cities, but tiny towns like Comfort and Sunray continue to contribute a disproportionate share of their population.


John Troesser

"They shoe horses, don't they?" May 7, 2004 column
 
HOME | TEXAS ESCAPES ONLINE MAGAZINE | TEXAS HOTELS
TEXAS TOWN LIST | TEXAS GHOST TOWNS | TEXAS COUNTIES

Texas Hill Country | East Texas | Central Texas North | Central Texas South | West Texas | Texas Panhandle | South Texas | Texas Gulf Coast
TRIPS | STATES PARKS | RIVERS | LAKES | DRIVES | MAPS

TEXAS FEATURES
Ghosts | People | Historic Trees | Cemeteries | Small Town Sagas | WWII | History | Black History | Rooms with a Past | Music | Animals | Books
COLUMNS : History, Humor, Topical and Opinion

TEXAS ARCHITECTURE | IMAGES
Courthouses | Jails | Churches | Gas Stations | Schoolhouses | Bridges | Theaters | Monuments/Statues | Depots | Water Towers | Post Offices | Grain Elevators | Lodges | Museums | Stores | Banks | Gargoyles | Cornerstones | Pitted Dates | Drive-by Architecture | Old Neon | Murals | Signs | Ghost Signs | Then and Now
Vintage Photos

TRAVEL RESERVATIONS | HOTELS | USA | MEXICO

Privacy Statement | Disclaimer | Recommend Us | Contributors | Staff | Contact TE
Website Content Copyright 1998-2008. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. All Rights Reserved
This page last modified: June 5, 2008