Ignatius [Ignatz] Burda 1845-1906
Educator, Bookkeeper, Purchasing Agent, and Salesman

Ignatius Burda in Prussian King's Guard

Ignatius Burda in Prussian King’s Guard

• Born on January 31, 1845, in Raduń, Silesia
• Son of Andreas Burda and Catharina Kowolik
• Baptized on February 2, 1845,in Wiśnicze, Silesia
[Św.Trójcy, Wiśnicze, Poland, Baptism Record, pages 375-376, entry #10]
• Served as a German Cuirassier officer in the Garde du Corps Regiment of the Grand Duchy of Mecklenburg-Strelitz of the Prussian army in the war against France
[photo in uniform]
• Arrived in New Orleans, Louisiana, as a 27-year-old merchant on October 14, 1872, on a ship named Saxonia from Hamburg, Germany, Le Havre, France, Santander, Spain, and Havana, Cuba
• Upon arrival in Texas, visited his brother, Franz Burda, in Yorktown
[Franz Burda family in Silesian Profiles II, pages 38-39]
• Taught school briefly in Yorktown, Texas, before moving to San Antonio
• Declared his intention to become a US citizen on June 15, 1877, in Bexar County [District Court Naturalization Papers, Box E #833]
• Married Mary Bryś in San Antonio, Texas, on November 19, 1878
[St. Michael Marriage Records, pages 18-19, 3rd entry]
• Granted US citizenship on August 2, 1887, in Bexar County
[County Court Probate Minutes, Volume M, page 226]
• Father of five children: four sons and one daughter
• Was an amateur horticulturalist
• In 1891, lived at 313 South Street in San Antonio, Texas, and worked as a bookkeeper for Angelo Battaglia, a commission merchant
• In 1893-1894, lived at 413 South Street in San Antonio, Texas, and worked as a bookkeeper for another merchant, G.B. Boero
• Acted as a purchasing agent for several wholesale produce merchants
• In 1900 Bexar County Census, gave his occupation as a traveling salesman of produce
• Member of St. Michael Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas
• Died on April 14, 1906, at the age of 61, in San Antonio; buried in St. Michael Catholic Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas
[St. Michael Burial Records, page 230, 6th entry]
• Described as “…a well known traveling salesman who has lived in this city for the last thirty years” in his obituary notice.
[San Antonio Light, April 15, 1906, gives date of death as April 13, 1906, at 11:30 PM]
• Dedicated in 1923: A stained glass window of Saint Ignatius in St. Michael Catholic Church with the inscription, “In Memory of Ignatius and Mary Burda and their son Joseph”

Additional Sources:
Passenger Lists of Vessels Arriving at New Orleans, Louisiana, 1820-1902. M259, RG036. Rolls #1-93. National Archives, Washington DC
Polish Footprints, Summer 2001, page 81
The Polish Texans, Institute of Texan Cultures, 1972, page 24
San Antonio City Directory, 1891. San Antonio: Johnson and Chapman
San Antonio City Directory, 1893-1894. San Antonio: Jules A. Appler
Photograph of Ignatius Burda in uniform provided by Ron Burda, Gilbert, Arizona

Eduard [Edward] Michael Kotula 1844-1907
Prominent Merchant and Rancher

• Born on September 29, 1844, in Zyrowa, Silesia
• Son of Carl Kotulla and Elisabeth Englert
• Baptized on October 1, 1844, in Jasiona, Silesia
[Św. Marii Magdaleny, Jasiona, Poland, Baptism Record, page 50, entry #126]
• Arrived in Texas on December 20, 1855, at the age of eleven years
• Became a Naturalized US citizen on November 25, 1869, in Bexar County
• Married Wilhelmina Seng in San Antonio, Texas, on June 4, 1872
[Bexar County Marriage License #4127]
• Father of five children: three daughters and two sons
• Owned a large wholesale grocery store and wool commission house on Military Plaza in San Antonio, Texas
• Known as the “Wool King of Texas”
• Charter member of St. Michael Catholic Church in San Antonio, Texas
• Member of Catholic Knights of America and St. Albert Benevolent Society
• Retired to his 40,000 acre ranch in Dimmit and Webb counties
• Died on May 11, 1907, at the age of 62 [Bexar County Death Certificate, stamped #5498]
• Buried in St. Michael Catholic Cemetery, San Antonio, Texas
[St. Michael Burial Records, page 228, 2nd entry]
• Described as “a public spirited man” in his obituary notice which continued, “…the orphan asylums and churches, regardless of denominations, will mourn his demise on account of the many charities he bestowed on those institutions.”
• Dedicated in 1923: A stained glass window of Saint Edward in St. Michael Catholic Church with the inscription, “In Memory of Edward Kotula”

Additional Sources:
St. Michael’s Catholic Church: 1866-1966 Centennial, 15th page
San Antonio Gazette, May 11, 1907, page 1
San Antonio Light, May 11, 1907, page 1, with photo
Silesian Profiles II: Polish Immigration to Texas 1850s-1870s, 2004, pp. 116-117
Photograph of couple from: The Polish Texans, Institute of Texan Cultures, 1972, page 22

Wilhelmina and Eduard Kotula

Wilhelmina and Eduard Kotula



Mary Rzeppa Schulz 1844-1923
Pioneer Entrepreneur of Karnes County

• Born on September 29, 1844, in Toszek, Silesia
• Daughter of Johann Rzeppa and Tecla Dosterschill
• Baptized on October 7, 1844, in Toszek, Silesia
[Św. Katarzyny Aleksandryjskiej, Toszek, Poland, Baptism Record, page 132, entry #1]
• Arrived in Texas in 1855, at the age of eleven years
• Married Gottlieb Schulz in Panna Maria, Texas, on July 17, 1865
[Immaculate Conception of the BVM Catholic Church Marriage Records, entry #29]
• Moved to San Antonio and lived on the corner of Alameda Street and Bonham Street
• Mother of three children: two daughters and one son
• Returned to Panna Maria around 1872 and by 1873 was operating a store there with husband Gottlieb Schulz
• Widowed on August 23, 1876, when John Gottlieb Schulz, age 36, died and was buried the following day in the Panna Maria Cemetery
[Immaculate Conception of the BVM Church Burial Records, page 9, entry #42]
• Donated $100 to the Panna Maria church building fund as the only female listed among male parishioners in 1877-1878
• By 1879, owned a town lot [Block K] in Panna Maria valued at $1000, six horses and/or mules valued at $60, nine head of cattle valued at $70, $2000 in merchandise, and $15 in miscellaneous property
• Identified as a dry goods merchant in the 1880 census of Karnes County
• Named Postmistress of Panna Maria on January 29, 1880, and served in that appointment for 21 years
[Dworaczyk, Rev. Edward. The First Polish Colonies of America in Texas, page 89]
• Around 1884, relocated to Brackenridge which was soon renamed Falls City when the San Antonio and Aransas Pass Railway built a switch and depot there
• With her keen business sense, opened another store, the Schulz Mercantile Company, the principal place of business in Falls City, which employed ten shopkeepers
• Owned Schulz Bank, the local bank in Falls City

Schulz Bank

Schulz Bank

• Successfully managed her large grain and cotton business, a steam gin, and lumber mill
• Featured in a section about Falls City in the Karnes Reformer, Special Edition, on October 20, 1895, page 9:
“The principal business at this place is done by the firm of Mrs. G. Schulz, which firm has a very large, well stocked and finely kept general stock of merchandise, and in connection therewith they operate a large steam gin and mill which is equipped and supplied with the most modern and latest improved machinery and appliances, and they do a very large and lucrative business…Their magnificent patronage extends over a very wide area of country and reaches out to different portions of this county as well as adjoining counties and the name of Mrs. G. Schulz is a household word over all the land…and it is a real pleasure to deal with them, as they are all a pleasant set of people and always treat their customers right.”
• Generously supported her new parish of Holy Trinity in 1902:
“Great credit is due to …Mrs. Mary Schultz [Schulz], of the Rzeppa family of Panna Maria, through whose efforts, particularly, the building plans took concrete form.”
[Dworaczyk, Rev. Edward J. The First Polish Colonies of America in Texas, page 144]
• Calculated her wealth at $400,000 by 1909
[Nesterowicz, Stefan, Travel Notes, page 113]
• Died on May 21, 1923, at the age of 78 years and 8 months; buried in Holy Trinity Catholic Cemetery, Falls City, Texas
[Church Burial Records, page 4, entry #7—Catholic Chancery microfilm VS92]

Additional Sources:
Panna Maria Newsletter, December 2001, 5th page, “The Schultz Stores, 1890, Panna Maria and Falls City” by Cheryl Lynn Highley
Polish Footprints, Spring 2005, pp.29-35, “Mary Rzeppa Schulz: Pioneer Entrepreneur, Karnes County, Texas” by Cheryl Lynn Highley
Silesian Profiles: Polish Immigration to Texas in the 1850s, 1999, pp. 164-167
Photographs of Mary Rzeppa Schulz and her businesses provided by Cheryl Lynn Highley, San Antonio, Texas

Click on images to enlarge

Mary Rzeppa Schulz

Schulz Mercantile Company in Falls City, Texas