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Joe F. Honza, Sr.: Ennis’s barbecue man

Like many Czech residents of his day, Joe F. Honza, Sr. (1896-1955) was a devoted father and husband as well as a successful farmer in the Ennis area. His son, Lawrence Honza, remembers him as hard-working, dependable and caring, again not unlike many men who supported their families in the first half of the 20th century. “Dad farmed a half section with two-thirds of the acreage in cultivation,” Lawrence recalled. “About half of our land was in the Waxahachie Creek bottom, which is now a flood plain for Lake Bardwell. We raised cotton, corn and oats, pretty much what farmers raise today.” But Joe Honza was no average Joe. While working his farm in Bardwell, he managed to carve out a reputation as one of the state’s most sought after barbecue cooks.
“From what our family was able to learn, Dad was the first and premier barbecue man in this area,” Lawrence said. “This was in the mid-1930s. He cooked in many places — at the country club in Waxahachie, for the country club here in Ennis, for the Byrd-Rankin celebrations, and at many other venues such as weddings at all the halls here in Ennis.” Read this story and more in your Weekend edition of The Ennis News. Be informed, subscribe today!

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Posted by on Jan 20 2018. Filed under About Ennis, History of Ennis. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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