Jacob and Anna Hinterman Buhrer left Ellenboro, West Virginia, their first home in America, to come to Dallas in the summer of 1879, bringing their first child, Lena, with them. Jacob’s sister, Anna, came also. In 1879 she married a young Swiss dairyman, Christian Moser, who was already established in the community. By October, 1880, Jacob had bought a two acre plot “2 miles north of east of Court House” on Hawpe Lane and built their first small home. This home place became 4603 Junius (between Carroll and Fitzhugh Streets). Jacob established a small Swiss Dairy here, where cows grazed on open prairie to the west and a creek ran through the property providing water. Milk was delivered twice daily in old East Dallas.
During the next ten years, four children were born: Arnold (1879), Bertha (1883), Julia (1887) and Anna (1889). Thus the family needed a larger home, and the successful dairy needed space for a larger herd. Finding the west bank of White Rock Creek a suitable location of prairie-meadow, sufficient water, and a hillside with good drainage for both a new house and barn, Jacob purchased 200 acres. In 1890 a white two-story farm home topped the hill with a hedge of native cedars planted to border the yard. The house and remnants of the cedar hedge remained standing until the early 1960’s. Children born there were Herman (1892), Martha (1893), Maria (1895) and Walter (1896).
Jacob and Anna Buhrer became charter members of St. Paul’s Evangelical and Reformed Church where services were conducted in German. Jacob served on the Consistory Board. His wife drove her buggy to town to the Women’s Society and to visit church members. Even though milk was delivered on Sunday, the entire family attended church together. Mrs. Buhrer assumed responsibility for keeping family business records as well as homemaking. She was aided by Jacob’s cousin. Miss Anna Schmid, and sometimes by the wife of a dairy worker since many of them were Swiss or German immigrants and lived on the dairy farm.
The older children attended David Crockett School in Dallas, but after moving to the country they all attended Floyd School near the present Lakewood Theater. Their parents participated in keeping the school in repair and in school activities. Anna Hinterman Buhrer’s health deteriorated; and, after a long illness, she died in 1904 and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery. Jacob then married Miss Emma Gieser. The children moved back to Dallas to enroll in school and live in their early home on Junius with sister Lena and her husband, Phillip Hatzenbuehler, but spent weekends in the country.
As population increased in Dallas, more water was needed. The citizens voted to build a new lake on White Rock Creek with the proposed dam at the edge of the Buhrer Swiss Dairy Farm. This meant the end of the dairy and the entire farm was condemned, including the house and barns, because they were on land designated for the filtration plant. Son, Herman Buhrer, took some of the cattle to South Dallas and later had his own dairy, which eventually was bought by Borden’s Dairy. Jacob retired; having kept the two acres on Junius Street, he built a new large two-story house there.
After Mrs. Emma Buhrer died, he married Mrs. Augusta Jung of Germany. Her daughters, Magdelene and Deborah, came to live in the big house too.
All of Jacob and Anna Hinterman Buhrer’s children married and continued to live out their lives in Dallas County. Herman sold the dairy and entered real estate and banking. Bertha Buhrer Chiesa and Martha Buhrer Strange married farm and dairymen and lived east of Garland. Marie Buhrer Gracey became a nurse, training at St. Paul’s Hospital. After her husband died, she returned to St. Paul’s Hospital for some twenty-five years as a floor nurse. Arnold Buhrer retired from Brown Cracker and Candy Company; Walter Buhrer was with Lone Star Gas until his death. Julia Buhrer Bane’s husband was a carpenter-builder and Anna Buhrer Fritz’s husband a photoengraver.
By Bertha Fritz for Proud Heritage by Dallas County Pioneer Association.