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05. Johann Franz Stendebach

Fifth Sheriff of Kendall County- May 1869 - September 1878


Johann Franz StendebachJ. F. Stendebach immigrated to Texas in 1852 from the Rhineland Pfalz area of Germany and settled in Comal County. He is one of about 50 men who signed the 1859 petition to establish Kendall County. Kendall County was the only county in Texas created during the Civil War. Two years after the war ended, all eligible male voters were required to register and give a brief statement. J. F. Stendebach stated "held off Con[federates] before the war but none during. Never aided a reb[el] Good U.[nion] man." In 1869, Joseph J. Reynolds, governor of the reconstruction government, appointed J. F. Stendebach sheriff of Kendall County. Sheriff Stendebach was considered a fearless man who transported convicted prisoners to the Texas State Penitentiary in Huntsville. He would take the prisoners to Austin with a team of horses and a wagon and then travel by train to Huntsville. Stendebach was a talented stonemason by profession. He was the contractor for the original one-story Kendall County Court House and later added two more rooms onto the courthouse. He assisted in building the Kendall County Jail. Family stories tell us he helped build the central part of Ye Kendall Inn, the Phillip House, and many houses and buildings in the county. In addition to working with stone, he was a landowner, developer, farmer, and rancher.


Source: Hill, Deborah. "Johann Franz Stendebach" Keys to the Past. Vol. XXXVIII No. 1,

     Spring/Summer 2019.







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