New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 31, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas
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Girl still might ‘live’ on Winn place
By Ron Maloney
SMITHSON VALLEY — From the account that comes down to us today, the accident that took the life of a young Comal County girl in the 1930s was a horrible and tragic one.
And to this day, she hasn’t gotten over it.
Randy and Cathy Winn have owned the house just off Texas 46, west of New Braunfels, since 1985.
The Winns built a beautiful Victorian home that overlooks it from a few yards away.
In the afternoons, the brittle fall breeze blows off the pasture where the Winns’ longhorns graze.
The wind rattles the branches of the oak and chinaberry trees that shade the 18-inch thick walls of the 150-year-old hand-cut limestone home.
In its attic, where the children’s sleeping loft used to be, it whistles through the chinking between the logs and through the cedar shingles forever shaded from the sun by the rusty tin roof.
The same cracks that let in the breeze admit slivers of dusty sunlight that show the peg-and-post workmanship. The home’s builders oversee the property from their places in an overgrown family cemetery on a bluff overlooking it.
Loose boards bang and the steep old stairs under the eaves creak, but that’s about as close as the house comes to telling any of its stories today.
Except, Cathy Winn says, for an unexplained, sweet scent of perfume that is sometimes so strong it can be smelled from the grounds outside.
Henry Saur and his family rented the ranch house, built in the middle 1800s, from Herman Conrad. Saur had a sawmill on the property, rigged up to an old Model T Ford, as were many in the day.
One day, Saur was running his circular saw, and his daughter, as she often did, was helping him.
Franklin Meyer, grandson of Herman Conrad, said tragedy struck the Saur family that day.
Saur’s daughter got too close to the saw; her beautiful, long blonde hair got caught on it; and she got pulled into it.
You know the rest.
The old saw blade is sitting a half-mile to the east, in Meyer’s pasture. But the story wasn’t over. Subsequent residents of the home report some rather peculiar goings-on.
Lights in the home have been said
K. JESSIE SLATEN/Herald-Zeitung
Cathy Winn sneaks a peek up the steep stairway into the former children’s sleeping loft of the reportedly haunted home she and her husband Randy own off Texas 46.
to turn themselves on and off, with no help from human hands.
Living human hands, that is.
Unbidden, doorknobs turn; doors have been reported to open and close and then latch themselves shut again.
Then there are the noises.
Cathy Winn was told a story about a former resident of the home, a San Antonio College professor, who reported a pretty frightening encounter with something or someone.
“The way the story was told to me,
he was asleep, and there was a knocking at the door, which was unusual, he thought, because after all, there was no reason for his wife to knock," she said.
The door opened by itself, Cathy Winn said, but there was no one standing there — and no one making the footsteps the professor heard coming across the floor, toward the bed.
As if that were not bad enough, the professor then watched as the foot-
A Ghostly Night of Fun...Trick or Treat Off the Street: New Braunfels Marketplace, > 651 Business Loop I-35, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today. As long as supplies last, retail •stores will hand out candy to costumed children.
Halloween Happenings: New Braunfels High School,
2551 N. Loop 337, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. today. Children can walk safely through the high school halls and play in an inflated castle Admission is free. Also, stop by a haunted house the drama club put together with some help from health occupation students. Admission is $3 for high school students and $1 for everyone younger.
Halloween Safe Night: Canyon High School, 1510 E. I-35, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today. All children elementary school age or younger accompanied by adults are invited to trick-or-treat in the cafeteria. Admission is free.
Several businesses along Farm-to-Market 2673, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. today. Children can show off their costumes and collect some candy from businesses at the Canyon Lake Action Center.
Canyon Lake Fire/EMS divers bring to shore the body of Yesenia F. Lopez Sunday afternoon. Lopez and her husband, Temo Lopez, of Alvin, drowned Saturday in the Guadalupe River.
Divers retrieve couple’s bodies from Guadalupe
By Ron Maloney
Divers recovered the bodies of a Houston area couple Sunday afternoon a day after they drowned in the Guadalupe River.
Pct. 2 Justice of the Peace William Schroeder declared Yesenia F. Lopez, 27, and her husband, Temo Lopez, 22, of Alvin, dead shortly after their bodies were pulled from the water at 4 and 5:05 p.m., respectively.
Canyon Lake Fire/EMS Chief Shawn Wherry said the bodies were found about IO yards from shore in water IO feet deep. They were directly across the river from where Hueco Springs enters a pool that is from 18 to 30 feet deep in places.
The husband and wife were found about 15 feet apart, Wherry said.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Jimmy Limmer said the 13-year-old sister of Yesenia Lopez saw the pair disappear in the river Saturday. She told authorities that the couple and their son were swimming in the river a little after 5 p.m. when some kind of problem occurred.
What that problem was is unclear.
Limmer said the husband, whose parents said Sunday was an excellent swimmer, got into some kind of trouble in the water near the far bank.
The victim s sister reported Temo Lopez went under water, followed moments later by his wife.
“We were told Dad got in trouble and Mom tried to help,” Limmer said. “Somehow, the boy got to the far bank.”
The young boy either swam or was pushed the few feet to the far
Yesenia F. and Temo Lopez and their two children, ages about 6 and 1. The couple died Saturday in a swimming accident.
shore. Accounts are unclear, but somehow he made it up onto the rocky, cypress-lined bank. Sheriff’s officials said Saturday night that the boy was 6 years old.
The sister of the victim was playing with the couple’s infant daughter at the near bank. She left the infant with another camper and went upstream, crossed the river at Hueco Falls and retrieved the son.
Witnesses said she was screaming for help as she did so.
Ed Gillespie, manager of Camp Hueco Spnngs, said this was the first accident of this nature he’d seen in that spot in 13 years.
The Lopez family had been on an overnight camping trip when the tragedy occurred, Gillespie said.
The accident “absolutely couldn’t be” alcohol-related, said Gillespie, who is used to seeing plenty of alcohol-related behavior in the summer. There was no alcohol in the campsite, he said.
“It’s sad to see this happen to a
See BODIES/5 AVol. 149 No. 265 14 pages in 2 sections October 31, 2000 npTTT^nT>, A^T Serving Comal County since 1852 50 cents
Students began turning in pumpkins at Wells Fargo Bank in Canyon Lake Monday for the pumpkin decorating contest that runs through 3 p.m. today with the winners announced at 5 p.m.
Key Code 76
Four degrees to NB city council
Councilman’s cousin’s appointment complies with nepotism rules
By Jo Lee Ferguson Staff Writer
Atanacio “Nacho” Campos’ recent appointment to the New Braunfels Utilities Board of Trustees was made possible by a matter of degrees.
Campos is an attorney and has several education degrees to his name, including his law degree, master’s and bachelor’s degrees from the University of Texas.
But those are not the kind of degrees in question. Instead, the issue is the contusing terms used to describe
the degree of kinship between family members.
This past week, a majority vote by four New Braunfels City Council members led to Campos’ appointment. One of those votes was cast by Campos’ first cousin. Mayor Pro Tem Juan Luis Martinez. NBU Board members are paid $ IOO a month.
Councilman Robert Kendrick and Councilwomen Debbie Flume and Juliet Watson also voted for Campos.
Mayor Stoney Williams and Councilmen Larry Alexander and Lee
Rodriguez voted for other candidates.
The council had interviewed four candidates for the board in early October. William Brown, Jerry Ford and Anita Stipnieks were interviewed along with Campos. However, Martinez did not attend those interviews because of a family obligation.
The city has a nepotism law regulating the appointments of council members’ family to city positions. But understanding that law is a lesson in the ins and outs of genealogy — who married who and who one’s parents’ and grandparents' are.
“No person related within the second degree by aff inity, or within the third degree by consanguinity to any See CITY/5A