Knapik has history in her blood and honors well earned



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Burnet County Commissioners congratulate Jane Knapik, PhD, on her work earning the 2017 Burnet County Historical Commission Distinguished Service Award. Pictured, from left, are Billy Wall, Knapik, Joe Don Dockery and Jim Luther Jr.




Jane Knapik, PhD, has been honored with the 2017 Burnet County Historical Commission (BCHC) Distinguished Service Award.

The award was presented in recognition of “consistent and dedicated work with the BCHC," with Burnet County Commissioners Billy Wall, Jim Luther Jr., and Joe Don Dockery in attendance to congratulate her.

“With Dr. Knapik’s body of work in education and her continuing work in preservation of history in our county and others, she has earned yet another title: a Burnet County Woman of Note,” read the announcement of her award.

One could say Knapik has history running through her blood. Born Jane Alexander, a descendant of a Burnet County pioneer founding Alexander family, her ancestors fought in the American Revolution, for the Republic of Texas, and for the Confederacy. Her family moved to Uvalde County when she was three years old, but she came back after a long and satisfying career in education.

During her life’s work as a school teacher, Knapik earned a PhD in Education and taught in several schools across Texas. She married Robert Knapik, also a teacher, in Uvalde in 1952. After living in Uvalde for 32 years, the couple returned to Burnet County in 1998, celebrating their 61st wedding anniversary on Aug. 23, 2013. They frequently were honored with visits from their former students.

It was while she was employed in Fayette County that she visited all the cemeteries in the Schulenberg area. She discovered that the oldest cemetery in the area was in distress and she began a campaign to clean it up; an example of the many projects through which she left a mark on historic entities across Texas.

Knapik has published five non-fiction books and is currently working on number six, which is about Fort Croghan. She co-authored the most recent book in 2013: “Images of America – Marble Falls.” The book is packed with photos with captions that accurately portray historic Marble Falls and surrounding communities. She also has authored a juvenile historical fiction book, “Sarah’s Flag for Texas,” set in Texas the 1830s as the area was moving to declare its independence from Mexico.

A dedicated member of the BCHC for more than 16 years, Knapik has served as president, vice president, and secretary. She currently serves as chairwoman of the Historical Marker Committee. In that capacity, she has assisted many citizens as well as BCHC colleagues with filing complicated paperwork required to received state historical markers in Burnet County.

If anyone has a question about this process, Jane has the answer. When the marker application is approved by the state, a dedication ceremony is planned. Regardless of where these marker dedications occur, Knapik is always there, usually as master of ceremonies.

“She is ready to help in every way possible to get the public involved in Burnet County history,” continued the announcement of Knapik’s honor. “She is currently spearheading an oral history project for Burnet County.

“Besides her work with the BCHC, Jane is mindful of opportunities to help preserve history in the county. She is a long-time member and volunteer for the Burnet County Heritage Society where she is working on long-range plans for Fort Croghan, dubbed ‘The Dream Committee.’ She is a charter member of the Falls on the Colorado Museum, serving on the board of directors as an officer and active participant in problem-solving or new projects. She attends the Marble Falls City Council meetings and other meetings when an issue concerning historical preservation is being discussed. She currently serves on the Marble Falls City Parks Board, Cemetery Division.”

Knapik has been a member of all and officer in most of the following organizations: DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution), UDC (United Daughters of the Confederacy), DRT (Daughters of the Republic of Texas), Highland Lakes Quilt Guild, Burnet County Genealogical Society. Highland Lakes Retired Teachers Association and Friends of the Marble Falls Library Board of Directors.

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