Shelby Henke welcomed everyone to the dedication. Henke introduced Robert Thonhoff, retired principal of the Fashing School and Pastor Rhonda Troll, pastor of the Fashing United Methodist Church. The tobacco can was dedicated to Robert and Vickie Thonhoff by Pastor Troll with Mr. Thonhoff and Pastor Troll breaking a bottle of grape juice against the tobacco can. Due to her health, Mrs. Thonhoff was unable to attend. Pastor Troll led the blessing at the dedication.
Shelby Henke thanked everyone for attending especially Rudy Rodriguez for bring his father-in-law, Mr. Thonhoff from San Antonio; Jody Callahan, construction superintendent with Marathon Oil and Kenny Serrata, construction superintendent with Stallion for building the tobacco can. Henke also thanked Charlene Henke, his daughter-in-law, for painting all the lettering on the tobacco can, as well as the ladies of the community for the refreshments and Lee Roy Weigang for always being available to help. And he thanked Pastor Rhonda Troll for her help in the dedication.
Guest gathered at the Fashing-Peggy Civic Center for sandwiches, chips and cake. They visited with Mr. Thonhoff, who shared stories about Fashing. He is a historian and author and was the principal of the Fashing School for 32 years and Mrs. Thonhoff was a teacher’s aide for 21 years.
As guest speaker, Mr. Thonhoff told of how Fashing got its name from a can of tobacco. In 1915, a settlement was formed in south eastern Atascosa County near Karnes County. The residents petitioned the Post Office Department for a post office. The name “Hickok” was submitted for the town site. It was declined because of the similarity to the town of Hitchcock.
Local merchant, Albert Schroeder, then submitted the name “Hindenburg”. Due to the anti-German sentiment at the time in the United States, this name was also turned down.
At a loss for something better, Mr. Schroeder decided that there must be something in his store that he could get a name from. There on the shelf was a big can of “Fashion” cut plug tobacco. So he submitted the name “Fashion” to the Post Office Department. It came back approved, but for some unknown reason, the spelling was changed to “Fashing”. And this is how the little town of Fashing acquired its name from a can of tobacco. Appropriately, Albert Schroeder became the first postmaster of Fashing in 1921.
Thonhoff also shared that he started teaching in Jourdanton, then became the principal of the Fashing School. Thonhoff was instrumental in getting fashing in the Rural Community Improvement Program for many years and in 1972 Fashing-Peggy was named the “Grand Champion Rural Community of Texas”. Mr. Thonhoff said, “It was truly a wonderful experience.” He added his thanks to Shelby Henke for leading the way in the tobacco cans restoration. Thonhoff thanked everyone for the honor, being a part of this community and having the new tobacco can dedicated to his wife Vickie and him. “It will always reside in my heart” he said.