San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

January 14th, 2011
Buda to unveil historic marker for Antioch Colony


Originally settled by former slaves following the Civil War, the Antioch Colony, just west of Buda, was recently awarded a Texas Historic Marker to document its storied yet undertold history.

Situated in a landscaped walkway and seating area, the Texas Historic Marker for the Antioch Colony will be officially unveiled Jan. 22 during a 10 a.m. ceremony. A reception will follow at the Buda City Hall. The public is invited to attend both events, which are sponsored by the City of Buda and the Hays County Historical Commission. PHOTO by JIM CULLEN

The City of Buda will officially unveil the Antioch Colony Historical Marker at a 10 a.m. ceremony Jan. 22. The site is just off of Old Black Colony Road, which is located west of Cole Springs Road.

Following the unveiling, a reception will be held at the Buda City Hall located at 121 Main Street. The unveiling and the reception are open to the public.

The original Antioch Colony first drew settlers in 1870, when Anglo businessman Joseph F. Rowley began selling parcels of his 490 acres for the relatively low price of $5 per acre to formerly enslaved African Americans.

In 1874, community residents Elias and Clarisa Bunton donated property for a community school and church. The building on that site continued to serve as the school until 1939, when the school was relocated to Black Colony Road. A Baptist Church and a Methodist Church were also part of the community, along with an active Masonic Lodge and Order of the Easter Star chapter.

Antioch remained an active farming community through the 1930’s and 1940’s, but by the 1950’s, many residents had moved away in search of better employment and Antioch was virtually abandoned. Two decades later, however, former residents and their descendants began returning to Antioch, some purchasing the land that their ancestors had previously owned. The community continues to thrive today.

Buda resident Mary Giberson and other members of the Hays County Historical Commission were instrumental in securing the Texas Historic Marker for the Antioch Colony. The marker was granted under the Texas Historical Commission’s “Undertold Marker Program,” which provides funding incentives for markers that address historical gaps or document significantly underrepresented subjects or untold stories.

The marker is situated within a landscaped walkway with a seating area that was designed and prepared by local Boy Scout Grant Garcia as an Eagle Scout project. Funding for the walkway was donated by the Old Town Buda Association and the City of Buda.
The unveiling ceremony and reception will feature some current and former Antioch residents, including artist Joan Limuel, who attended Antioch School when it opened in 1939. Limuel will display her drawings and paintings, and her granddaughters, Samatha and Samonica Harper, will sing during the ceremony.

LeeDale Bunton, whose grandparents donated land for the first Antioch School, will also be at the event to show historical photographs and documents of the Antioch community

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One thought on “Buda to unveil historic marker for Antioch Colony

  1. Joseph Freeborn Rowley was my g-g-grandfather. My wife and I are planning on attending the unvailing and visiting with the descendants of the residents of Antioch Colony.

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