KRAUSE – Farming and Agricultural Production

The Krause family farm, located in southern Bexar County, Texas, is situated on what was originally part of Survey #54, granted to Samuel McCulloch, Jr. for his service at the Battle of Goliad.[1]  Samuel McCulloch, Jr. was a free black man and the first man wounded in the Texas War of Independence from Mexico. Anton Krause purchased his original 101.3 acres of land from McCulloch in 1875.[2]  Additional acreage was bought and sold in the years to follow.

The Krause family has a long history of farming which includes dairy farming, raising beef cattle, chicken and egg farming and growing a variety of crops, such as Indian corn, sugar cane, cotton, pecans, hay and oats.  At various times the family also raised ducks and turkeys.

Tax records from 1876 – 1910 indicate the ownership of cows as well as chickens.[3]  The 1880 agriculture census indicates the production of 216 lbs of butter from 16 milk cows; 58 “other cows” are indicated and were possibly raised as beef cattle.   The 55 barnyard chickens produced 420 dozen eggs. The production of 50 lbs of honey indicates that honey bees were raised. Crops included Indian corn, cotton and sorghum.  26 acres of corn yielded 150 bushes of corn. 12 acres planted in cotton yielded 3 bales and a ½ acre planted in sorghum yielded 20 gallons of molasses.[4]

In the 20th century the Krause family had a dairy farm.  They initially had a herd of Jerseys and Holsteins as milk cows.  Although the Jerseys did not produce as much milk as the Holsteins, the butter fat content of the Jerseys was much higher. The Holsteins produced more milk than the Jerseys but the butter fat content was lower.  If the butter fat content dropped before 4%, the farmer was penalized. According to Rose Collins, this was one of the larger dairy farms in the area.  She remembers that 45-50 cows had to be milked two times a day.  Forty-eight acres was leased to Knowlton’s Dairy Farm for $40.00 per month.  Some of this land was eventually sold to Knowlton’s Dairy Farm in 1967.When Krause family members decided to discontinue the dairy business in 1945, they began raising beef cattle.  At first they had Horned Herefords, but then switched to Polled Herefords.  Polled Herefords were naturally hornless.  They also had a white Brahma bull.  The last cow on the property was a white Brahma who lived for 27 years before she had to be put down in 1993.  Her name was “Whitey” and in later years was called “Old Mamma”.  Rose Collins, the current owner and Krause descendant, knew that it was Old Mamma’s “time” the day Old Mamma could not get up to eat her food.  The family vet was called to come and put her down.  Mrs. Collins said she had been given instructions by her father, prior to his death, as how to identify when it was time for Old Mamma to leave this life.

In addition to raising Indian corn, which was ground for corn meal, the family raised sugar cane for the making of black strap syrup.  A local mill would grind the corn. Rose Collins remembers that the corn meal mush was not very tasty.

The Krause’s also had chickens, both guineas and white leghorns.  The leghorn chickens which numbered 200-250 resulted in a successful egg business. The guineas were used primarily as “watch dogs” as they would make a lot of noise anytime a person or wild predator appeared.  The eggs of the guineas were eaten at times by the family but were never sold. 

During WWII, the Krause family raised Muscovy ducks.  The ducks laid greenish eggs and took 4 weeks to hatch, as opposed to the three weeks it took for the chicken eggs to hatch. During the War, meat was scarce and was rationed.    There was a ready market for duck meat.  One family would drive out from “town” twice a month and purchase 4-6 ducks each time.  Usually, Mrs. Clara Krause Parsons would put the duck eggs under a chicken hen to hatch as the mother ducks would pinch one’s hand very hard as the eggs were being checked. Pecks from chicken hens were much less painful.  After the ducklings were hatched the mother duck would lead them to the creek where they would go for a swim paddling around.  After they were tired, the ducklings would come out of the water and the mother duck would take them back to the coop.

For years, the Krause family has had numerous pecan trees on the property.  Pecans would be shipped out to buyers or would be sold to local stores.  Pecans are still gathered and sold today although the pecan trees are not as productive as they once were due to their age.

Turkeys were raised for sale at Thanksgiving and Christmas as a cash crop.  They would be shipped to buyers via the railroad in crates made especially for them.  Tin cans for water and food would be attached to the inside corners of the crates so that the railroad men could feed and water them while in transit.

Of note is the fact that on March 11, 1881, Anton Krause sold a tract of land, 100 feet in width over his 104 acres of land known as the Samuel McCulloch survey to the International and Great Northern Railroad.  In the transaction, Krause stated he was selling this strip “in consideration of the enhanced value to be given and contemplated to arise to my land and other property and in further consideration of $50.00 in hand to me to be paid.” [5]  It is likely that having the railroad nearby greatly facilitated the shipment of agricultural products over the years for both Krause and his neighbors.

The Krause farm, was designated a State of Texas Family Land Heritage Farm in 1975 by the Texas Department of Agriculture.  This program recognizes farms who have maintained continuous agricultural operations by the same family for 100 years or more.  The definition of a farm is defined as 10 acres or more with agricultural sales of $50.00 or more annually.[6]  A Texas historic farm gate sign is displayed prominently at the Krause-Collins farm.

The Krause family lands have had some form of agricultural production since the original purchase of the acres in 1875 as well as with subsequent land purchases.   Rose Collins currently leases out a portion of the property where hay is grown and harvested.[7]

 Pat Ezell,

April 2007

Historic Farm and Ranches Complexes Committee

San Antonio Conservation Society

[1] Letter of Patent No. 542, Abstract No. 472, Bexar 1st, File #000905, Certificate #113, 2952.26 acres,

Vol. 8, December 13, 1850.  General Land Office, Austin, TX.

[2] “Warranty Deed”, March 19, 1875. De La Zerda to Krause. Bexar County Deed Records, Vol. 2, pp. 274-75.

[3] Bexar County Tax Assessment Rolls, (Microfilm) San Antonio Public Library, Texana/Genealogy Collection.

[4] U.S. Census, 1880, Agricultural Census, Bexar County, TX. San Antonio Public Library, Texana/Genealogy Collection.

[5] Bexar County Deed Records, Vol. 16, p.550, 1881.

[6] Texas Department of Agriculture.

[7] Rose Collins, current owner of the Krause farm and descendant of Anton Krause, Charles Ferdinand Krause and Edward and Clara Krause Parsons, provided all of the above information to Pat Ezell except as indicated in the above end notes.

KRAUSE – Farming and Agricultural Production