Historical Commission to unveil marker at Machu Family Cemetery

A Texas historical marker will be unveiled Saturday, Aug. 17, at the Machu Family Cemetery near Granger.

Descendants of Pavel and Rozina (Trlica) Machu are excited about the unveiling ceremony scheduled at 10 a.m. Saturday when local dignitaries from the City of Granger and the Williamson County Historical Commission will take participate. A reception will follow with refreshments served under the cemetery’s gazebo area.

The following information is from the family’s records supplied to the Texas Historical Commission.

The Machu Family originated in Seninka, Moravia, a short distance south of Vsetin. Family members coming the U.S. in June of 1870 were Pavel Machu, his wife, Rozina Trlica Machu and three children, Anna, who later married Joseph Friedrich Cervenka, Jan T., who married Veronika Pokorny, and Pavel H., who married Rozie Wentrcek.

They traveled by ship from Bremen, Germany to Galveston, a two-month voyage. The family first settled in Austin County where they lived for eight years. They moved to Polanka, south of Taylor where they lived for a year, then to the community of Circleville on the banks of the San Gabriel River and finally to land Pavel purchased about five miles southeast of Granger. The “Machu” homestead was commonly recognized as its own community east of Granger and is reflected as such on early Williamson County maps.

Pavel’s brother, Josef, married Rozina Mazac. This couple and their daughter, Veronika, arrived in Texas in May, 1871, settling in the Lavaca/Austin County area. Their daughter, Veronika Machu, married Paul Trlica. They were the parents of John P. Trlica, the well-known Granger photographer.

Pavel committed himself to getting a school built for the children of his fellow countrymen from Moravia who settled in Central Texas. Pavel donated a portion of his farm for the school, and he traveled to surrounding towns on horseback, soliciting funds for the construction costs. It was at this school that the newly organized SPJST Fraternal Lodge #20 held their first meetings. Pavel and Rozina were charter members of this benevolent organization’s local chapter. After Pavel died in 1907, the SPJST purchased from Rozina the property on West Davilla Street in Granger where the new lodge found its permanent second-story home. The Machu name can still be found on one of the front door thresholds of this city block.

Pavel and others were instrumental in establishing the first Czech Protestant church in this area of central Texas under the guidance of Rev. Adolph Chlumsky – the Czech Moravian Brethren Church whose origins date back to the 15th century Hussites. The first church services for the Czech Protestants in the area were held at the Moravia School. He also provided assistance to those of the Catholic faith in building their new church in Granger – the church dedicated to the 9th century Christian missionaries to the Slavic peoples of Europe, Sts. Cyril & Methodius. His Catholic neighbors, in turn, offered assistance when the time came for the Czech Brethren Church building project. This was a noteworthy accomplishment in those days for first and second-generation eastern European immigrants of Catholic and Protestant Christian faiths since the historic tension between the two groups following centuries of religious wars back in Europe was often transported here. Such tensions were not to be found in Granger as the two churches today continue to stand side-by-side on the west side of town.

When Pavel was approached by a lady with her deceased husband in her wagon who needed a place to bury him, Pavel’s act of charity that day, providing a place on his farm for her need, launched what became the Machu Family Cemetery. Pavel’s contributions to his new homeland, including the Machu Family cemetery, the Moravia School site, as well as his collaboration toward the establishment of the Granger Brethren Church have all been recognized by the State of Texas with historical markers. 

Pavel died in 1907 and Rozina died in 1920 and are buried in the Machu Cemetery. In addition to their children, they were survived by 38 grandchildren.

The cemetery was relocated in the early 1970s by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as “Machu”-land would soon be under the waters of new Lake Granger. Today, the cemetery is found on the eastern edge of the city of Granger.

DIRECTIONS: From Highway 95 at the only traffic light in Granger, go East on FM 971 .9 mile to County Road 348. Turn right (South) on CR 348 and the Machu Cemetery is located .10 mile on the left.