Zion Lutheran Cemetery Inscriptions
[From the Gravestones in The Zion Lutheran Cemeteries]

Transcribed by Jerry and Geri Dalum (1988)
(Updated on July 21, 2000)

The Zion Lutheran Cemeteries are located in Northwest San Antonio on Leslie Road adjacent to Zion Lutheran Church of Helotes which is at the intersection of Braun Road and State Highway 1604.

[ Zion Cemetery #1 Inscriptions ] [ Zion Archives Home Page ]
[ Zion Cemetery #2 Inscriptions ]
[ Bexar County TXGenWeb Cemetery Homepage ]   [ Cemetery Updating Service ]

Several new items were added to the July 2000 update to the Zion Lutheran Cemetery inscriptions.  The location of the gravestone was added. The gravestone location is determined in the following manner.  Both cemeteries, number one and number two, have a drive that enters the cemetery and divides the cemetery into two parts.  The two parts are identified as the left section and the right section, determined as you face the inscriptions on the gravestones (be cautious here as the inscriptions in cemetery number one face Leslie Road while the inscriptions in cemetery number two face away from Leslie Road).  The rows are numbered with row one being the row closest to Leslie Road in both cemeteries.  The gravestones are numbered beginning with the one closest to the separating drive.  For example, gravestone location R05-12 can be found by facing the gravestone inscriptions, going down the drive until the fifth row on the right, and counting 12 gravestones down the row to the desired grave.  The count is for "gravestones", not graves.  Thus any single gravestone for two or more people is counted as one gravestone.

Some gravestones have pictures of the deceased attached.   These gravestones are now identified with a "gravestone picture" comment in the remarks column.  Links to copies of these pictures will be added at a later date.  Other pictures of some of the deceased have been added when available with a "(photograph)" link.

A link to the obituaries of deceased members of Zion Lutheran Church of Helotes, which can be found in the "Zion Archives" obituary section, were added when the obituaries are available.  Links to obituaries of non-members are also included when available.

All added remarks are now enclosed in parentheses to distinguish them from the engravings on the gravestones.   This includes the few instances where the death date of a person is not engraved on the gravestone but it is known that the person is deceased.  When the date of death is known in these cases, it is included in parentheses.

Photographs of gravestones in the Zion Lutheran Cemeteries are being added, begining in February 2004.  The link to the gravestone photo is on the location information.  The ultimate goal is to have a photograph of every gravestone in the cemetery posted.  This is a slow process and will take quite some time to complete.

The following brief history of Zion Lutheran Cemetery was extracted from a paper researched and written by Karen Petersen and Gloria Anderson and submitted to the Texas Historical Commission for award of a Texas Historical Marker for Zion Lutheran Cemetery (number one).

A Brief History of Zion Lutheran Cemetery

Zion Lutheran Cemetery incorporates the first officially named cemetery in northwest Bexar county.  The people buried in the cemetery in the early days were important to this community because they were the pioneers that settled the area which includes Helotes and Leon Valley.

One of these pioneers was a farmer, Anton Gugger.  Anton came from Germany and his wife Marie came from Switzerland.  When Anton died in 1881, he was buried on property he owned on Leslie Road near Helotes Creek.  Their daughter Augusta and her husband Julius Balsheidt owned much of the land near present day Zion Lutheran Church and Cemetery.  The land surrounding Anton Gugger's grave was donated to Zion Lutheran Church in 1906 by his descendants.  The original Zion Lutheran Cemetery, known informally as cemetery number one, was established on a portion of this land.  The oldest grave in the area, that of Anton Gugger buried in 1881 is now located in Zion Lutheran Cemetery.  His wife Marie was buried next to him upon her death in 1911.

Some of the early pioneers buried in Zion Lutheran Cemetery are Amalie Mueller Boegel, who operated an early stage-coach stop and established the first post office;  Henry J. Brauchle, a prominent early school teacher in the area;  Heinrich Steubing, Sr., one of the first farmers in what is now Leon Valley;  Heinrich Steubing, Jr., a well known musician in the community who helped build Zion Lutheran Church and also was instrumental in establishing the Leon Valley School;  Fritz Borman and his wife Katherine, early farmers in the area now known as Grass Valley.

The grave markers in Zion Lutheran Cemetery include some artistically interesting gravestones featuring sea shells.  Dr. Jean Andrews, who conducted a field study of Texas cemeteries, viewed the graves and found them to be slightly different in shape from the usual sea shell graves.  While the shell graves are usually rounded or completely square, those in Zion Lutheran Cemetery are trapezoid in shape.  It is believed that the shell motif was used as a symbol of eternal life.  The idea was not brought from Germany but possibly the German immigrants got the idea of using sea shells when the stayed on the Texas coast upon arriving from Europe.  At least some of the shell graves at Zion Lutheran Cemetery were built by Arthur Kleypas Memorial of San Antonio.

Some of the stone markers in the cemetery are memorials in honor of people who were buried at their farms or place of death before the cemetery was established.  Other remains were disinterred from their original graves and reburied at Zion Lutheran Cemetery.  Some gravestones are engraved in the German language while others feature a photograph of the deceased imbedded in the stone.

When the grave sites in the original cemetery were all sold a second cemetery, Zion Lutheran Cemetery number two, was established across Leslie Road from the original cemetery.  More about cemetery number two will be added here at a future date.

Click on the links below to view the transcribed tombstone inscriptions from both cemetery number one and cemetery number two.

[ Zion Cemetery #1 Inscriptions ] [ Zion Archives Home Page ]
[ Zion Cemetery #2 Inscriptions ]

[ Archives Home Page ] [ Charter Members ] [ Confirmations ] [ Zion's Pastors ]
[ Ordained Members ] [ Others of Importance ] [ Obituaries ] [ Zion's History ] [ Zion's Veterans ]

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