Sobek Sebastian Filla


Born: 1810 in Poson, Prussia (Silesia now in Poland)

Passed: 1871 in Clover Bottom, Franklyn County, Missouri




Sobek and Margaretha emmigrated from Prussia (Silesia) with their three children; Albert, Martha, and Andrew.  With 100 other families (304 souls), they made the nine week voyage under sail on the brig "Weser" starting from Bremen, Germany, and landed in Galvanston, Texas on December 3, 1854.  After a grueling overland trek from the Gulf Coast through a yellow fever epidemic, their party reached Panna Maria, Texas, which is located some 55 miles southeast of San Antonio near the junction of the San Antonio River and Cibolo Creek at a site acquired by their sponsor, Father Leopold Moczygemba.


In thanksgiving, on December 24, 1854, they celebrated Midnight Mass under a large oak tree which still stands.  Eventually, the community was able to build the church of "The Immaculate Conception of The Blessed Virgin Mary" on the same site.  The original church was destroyed in a lightning storm in 1877 but was rebuilt and renovated most notably in 1937 and recently.


After constructing the most rudimentary dwellings, they attempted to start farms but, unfortunately, were considered "nesters" by local cattle ranchers who drove large herds across their crops in order to starve them into submission.  They built a church but the local cattlemen put snakes and scorpions in the baptismal font.  They also had to contend with Indian attacks.  During one raid a daughter couldn’t make it back to the compound and was murdered.  Afterwards they relocated to Clover Bottom, Missouri.  Fortunately Sobek had accumulated the princely sum of $9,000 in gold to buy land for a homestead north of Clover Bottom along St. John's creek.  The farm was along St. Ann’s Road about three-fourths of a mile from Highway KK.  They built a rock house from stone quarried on a sloping field on their farm. The livestock barn was also built of stone.  They were good stonemasons. 


He is buried in the Catholic Cemetery at St. Gertrude's in Krakow in Franklin County, Missouri.