House refuses to become relic , June 20, 1932 - Article Transcribed
(Note: The house herein described no longer exists. It has been demolished.)
Reprinted with permission of the San Antonio Express-News, June 20, 1932
Julian Stapper, a descendent of frontier Physian Dr. Felix Bracht, is seated in 80-year-old hand-made chair, hewn of pecan wood. Pecans were more plentiful than chairs in Texas in pioneer days of the '40's. This house can't be judged from appearances because inside it contains elm, cypress, pecan and cedar logs. It was built near present town of Cibolo, then a wilderness, in 1849 by Dr. Felix Bracht from Germany
Frontier Farm Worked By Descendants of Pioneer Near Cibolo.
One of the most historic frontier farmhouses near San Antonio, almost forgotten now by all except those who remember a long way back, steadfastly refuses to become a relic as modern business flows through Its doors.
For Julian Stapper, owner of the famous log home of Dr. Felix Bracht on the Cibolo. farms the same acres his grandfather-defended from Indians—but In a modern way. And the old place, responding, is a blend of old and new.
Built in a quadrangle for better frontier defense, the farm buildings contain one particularly unique feature—a 100-foot house erected to shelter men, pigs, horses and cows, in pure European fashion. Dr. Felix Bracht, brother of Viktor Friedrich Bracht, author of "Texas in 1848," one of the first books written on the advantages of Texas, was born at Dusseldorf. He and Viktor came to Texas In the interest of immigration and Viktor was a leader in the New Braunfels colony. His grandson, R. P. Bracht of San Antonio and Rockport, has preserved memoirs written by Viktor Bracht of those early times.
Dr. Bracht, according to Mr. Stapper, built the present farmhouse of native logs—pecan, elm, cypress and cedar—in 1849. The logs have since been covered on the outside with lumber, but within, the old hand-hewn beams remain to tell of the era before mills and machinery. "He first got 50 acres of land, then another 50,'' Mr. Slapper said. "Then he told his sons that this would be sufficient as there was free ranch land all around. The farm was laid in a crescent around the banks of the Cibolo."
Indians, chiefly Comanches, raided the place, and one time Dr. Bracht operated on a horse and successfully removed an arrow. Another time his wife's pet horse was stolen. Two years later in Laredo a friend saw an Indian squaw riding that horse, and quickly re-assumed possession for Dr. Bracht. The old farmhouse is furnished in the style of 1848, and has all necessities for an independent wilderness "castle." In Its "parlor" hangs a life-sized oil portrait of Dr. Bracht, with a. Viking beard and a scarlet velvet coat, painted in 1844