Nov 18 2014
In the 1870s, Bexar County Commissioner’s Court began receiving petitions for roads to the community. Records indicate wide-ranging and intense negotiations for the placement of roads. These records reveal a participation in politics and a preoccupation with the acquisition of land. 
 
Individuals and groups sought to establish an advantage in the access these roads provided to their land. The unusual arrangement of four adjoining plots of land, donated for the church site, created the center of the village. The arrangement also insured placement of a main road through St. Hedwig that provided access to most landholders. 
 
Violence and death were constant companions to these first settlers. Albert, the younger brother of Frank and Anton Kosub, was murdered and robbed while travelling from San Antonio to Bandera in 1870. Lawrence Ploch was murdered in 1871 while he traveled with his family to San Antonio. The Sutherland Springs Chronicle on 18 August 1877 reported, “…Three persons…robbed four houses in Poland Town on the west side of the Cibolo…” Reports of violence against members of the community were regularly cited in the newspapers of the day. Bexar County Commissioner’s Court responded by placing a constable and a Justice of the Peace Court in St. Hedwig. Numerous trials were conducted for lawless behavior. 
 
Two of St. Hedwig's own sons became legends of the Old West. Martin Mroz became a wealthy rancher and outlaw who lost his wife, fortune and life to the deadly John Wesley Hardin. Alexander (Elic) Tudyk is remembered for his reign of terror in the community. 
 
The adjacent community of Cottage Hill became a rival to St. Hedwig. During the 1870 and 1880 the two communities became enveloped in violence that would not be resolved until U. S. Federal law enforcement intervened. 
 
Tragedy visited the clergy that served St. Hedwig. On November 25, 1863 Fr. Julian Przysiecki died in a riding accident while attending a party at the farm of Anton Kozub. The loss of Fr. Julian was a blow to the entire Silesian populations in Bexar, Karnes and Bandera County. It meant that no Polish–speaking priest was available to minister to the new Polish Texans through the Civil War. On November 2, 1869, Fr. Teofil Bralewski was stricken by a mysterious illness while saying mass and died within a few days.
 
Some believe that this Catholic community could have eventually been assimilated into other catholic churches in the area, perhaps becoming a mission of the German Catholic Churches. St. Hedwig was insured a national identity when priests from the Congregation of the Resurrection came to the area. These men were Polish nationalists who insisted that Silesian settlers have their own Polish churches and schools. The community of St. Hedwig negotiated with the priests and in return for a church and rectory was promised a school and an order of Polish-speaking nuns from their own community.