History of St. Paul Parish, Smithville, Texas
In 1913, volunteers completed the construction of St. Paul's church after Father Charles O. Gallaher was assigned as pastor. To help fund the construction of the new church, the parish held monthly dinners to raise $100 per month. They raised the rest through contributions and special events. The total cost of the church came to $18,000. Initially, the parish was called Sacred Heart Parish. At its May 15, 1913 dedication, the parish took the new name of St. Paul the Apostle, in homage to the Spanish missionaries who had traversed the area centuries earlier.
Between the years 1920 and 1985, the rectory, parish hall, education building and activity center were constructed on the church grounds. The sanctuary was refurbished for the parish's centennial celebration in 1996. In 2008, the Diocese of Austin shortened the parish name to St. Paul.
History of Sts. Peter & Paul Church, Kovar Texas
Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church and cemetery are located on Stolle Lane at Kovar. It was built in 1921 on land gift deeded to the San Antonio Diocese by Anton and Sophia Psencik.
The present church was built in 1921 under the direction of Father John Andres and parishioners, including Anton and Sophia Psencik, Adolf and Luis Lidiak, Beno and Bessie Hellinger, Joseph Vacek, Joe Hajdik, Frank Kruppa and Peter Sulak.
Many of the Smithville parishioners are direct descendants of the original builders of the Kovar church.
Barton's Creek Catholic cemetery is located on Kovar Road on land which was originally donated to the church by M.J. Ziegelbauer in 1883. There had also been a church located across from this cemetery until it was destroyed by fire.
In 2008, the church roof was replaced, the steeple and exterior were repaired and painted, and the Altar was completely repainted and restored. Fred Hellinger, grandson of Beno and Bessie Hellinger, maintains both of the cemeteries.