On February 13, 1855, Pastor Johann (or John or Jan) Kilian must have felt as if things were looking up.
The long voyage from Lusatia to Texas that claimed the lives of many of his fellow immigrants was not yet a distant memory, but it was now several months in the past. So was the brutal winter they had spent in Houston relying on the kindness of Pastor Caspar Braun and his Lutheran congregation there.
Two days earlier, Kilian’s group had agreed to purchase a league of land in what was then Bastrop County from Absalom Delaplain, a veteran of the Texas Army. And on that day, February 13, 1855, he and his wife Maria welcomed a daughter, Maria Theresia.
It wasn’t until March 20 of that year that ownership of the land was transferred to the Wends, which was then divided into plots including one where they would build their church and establish a cemetery.
Yet what should have been a moment of great joy for Pastor and Mrs. Kilian was also mixed with great sorrow, for the first person to be buried in Serbin was little Maria Theresia, who had died a few days earlier on March 14, a month and one day after her birth.