For Regina Tolley and Allen Kosub history has always been a shared passion.

They met in one of Professor Hubert J. Miller’s history classes at St. Mary’s University in San Antonio in 1968. After graduating from St. Mary’s they were married in 1970.

Since 1964, Allen has been involved in the Oriental rug trade, traveling the world and bringing fine textiles to collectors in Texas and the American south. Today, he is a recognized expert on the subject of oriental rugs and an Accredited Senior Appraiser with the American Society of Appraisers.

Regina was a schoolteacher who left the profession to raise their two children and joined Allen in their business ventures. Regina’s skills as a researcher were useful in navigating deed, probate and court records. Visits to historic sites during their travels would guide their itinerary and reading.

Tell Joe here about how this priest died at a party on your grandpa’s place.

Their work as local historians began when they attended a funeral at Allen’s hometown of St. Hedwig in East Bexar County, Texas. As they picked their way between the headstones, they passed two elderly men resting in the shade, engaged in an animated conversation. One of the men pointed to Allen and said, “ask him, it happened on his grandpa’s place”. Recognizing Harry Kiolbassa, a community elder, they shook hands and proceeded with “how have you been.” Harry returned to his comment: “Tell Joe here about how this priest died at a party on your grandpa’s place.” As he pointed to a stone dated 1863.

For over two hours, they rambled among the headstones with the elderly men providing a flowing narrative about the people buried in the Annunciation Church Cemetery. They remembered, joked, laughed and brushed away the occasional tear. They told of saints and sinners, cowboys and bootleggers, murders and accidents. All the while reminding each other jokingly that only good things should be said about the occupants of a cemetery.

For days after, Regina and Allen put their recollections of the visit to paper. They were intent on remedying their ignorance of their own histories. For them local history was irresistible, and the best way to connect people and communities to their place in the vibrant tapestry of the American experience.

Since that time, their work has uncovered lost places, people and historic events in old Bexar County east of San Antonio. From the disappeared Old Gonzales Road related to the Siege of Bexar and the Alamo, through the Civil War, Reconstruction and the cattle drives Regina and Allen have uncovered their connection to the local history of East Bexar County.

 

Lost Texas Roads

 

Through countless presentations and numerous articles Allen and Regina Kosub have brought to their audiences a local history that connects to the great movements of American History. It is history that you can touch; history that exists around you…it is your history.

they believe that every person and place deserves their own history

As local historians they believe that every person and place deserves their own history. As historians, they believe that local history requires the same rigorous process that is brought to the grand topics of history. Primary sources and official records are essential to creating the narratives that stand the test of time.

The stories from families and communities, when supported by the historical record, are woven into their narratives and provide a local perspective and flavor.

LostTexasRoads.com is a resource for individuals and communities looking for their place in history. It is a website where items of local history will be published on a regular basis and is available at no cost to the public. Readers have the option to subscribe to the site so that they may be notified when new material is added.

 

Acknowledgements:


John & Shirley Grammer, Maurine Liles and Gene Maeckel are local historians from Wilson County (formerly a part of east Bexar County) with whom we have spent many delightful hours scouting the countryside and records. Their enthusiasm and friendship is a continuing treasure.

The La Vernia Historical Association, the La Vernia Heritage Museum and their leaders Elaine Mazurek Stephens, Susan Richter, and Walter and Nancy Scull who have been great friends and supporters from the beginning.

The Wilson County Historical Society under the leadership of LaJuana Newman-Leus has become an important force for identifying and preserving the 18th and 19th century historical sites in the San Antonio and Cibolo River Valleys.

Father Bill Zadora, Annunciation Parish, St. Hedwig Texas for his deep appreciation of history, his wise counsel and continuing support.

Ira Lott, Geraldine Smedler and Allie Mitchell (now deceased) for introducing us to the rich history of the African-American community of East Bexar County.

Frank Faulkner and the staff of the Texana and Genealogy Department of the San Antonio Public Library for maintaining, sharing and guiding us through this most important resource for Bexar County history.

Judge Robert Thonoff of Karnes County whose work on the Spanish Colonial period in Texas provides the foundation for understanding Texas in its infancy.

The Silesian Profiles Committee (Mary Ann Moczygemba Watson, John Warren Beard, Katherine Korus Beard, Janet Dawson Ebrom, Cheryl Lynn Highley, Doris Jaeschke Kosub, Michael Kurtin, Msgr. Franciszek Kurjac) for their important work in documenting the Polish/Silesian settlers of Texas and east Bexar County.

Special thanks to our son D’mitri, a graphic artist, whose work decorates and enlivens this website.