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Monroe  Nowotny

Monroe Nowotny was born in Comal County, Texas on December 5, 1907, the son of Mary (Maria) Laux (or Kuentz) and Charles (Karl) Nowotny, a retail grocer. In 1910 and 1920 he was living with his family in Bartlett, Bell County, Texas. He got started in the taxidermy business in 1925 with a loan of $200 from his brother, and became very successful. In 1930 he was living in Denver with his partner in taxidermy, Carson Burch. They later operated a taxidermy shop at 289 West Young Street in San Antonio. Monroe married Evelyn Valerie Griffin.

Monroe Nowotny began to seriously collect minerals and rocks (mostly rocks), especially petrified wood, in 1936. By 1948 he had over 40 tons of petrified wood. In 1950 he sold his taxidermy shop and business to a cousin, L. F. Nowotny, and concentrated entirely on manufacturing novelty items made from animal hide and parts. A 1954 newspaper article referred to him as a "wholesale novelty executive"—he sold such novelties as a table lamp made of deer feet, a deer gun rack, an ash tray made of deer feet, and a thermometer mounted on deer feet. He was also a sport fisherman who won numerous competitions.

Nowotny's 2,500-square-foot house (at the northwest corner of Kenny and Ridge Roads), designed by Dorothy Andrews and built by J. K. "Jimmie" Butler, was a frame house veneered with "rocks collected from all parts of the world by Nowotny." He died on March 11, 2002, in San Antonio, Texas.

His son, Monroe Ben Nowotny was born in Texas on January 4, 1939. He had two sisters: Texas Carol Nowotny (1936) and Deanna Dale Nowotny (1945). He earned his BS and MS Degrees in Petroleum Engineering at the University of Texas. He married Patricia Louise Myers in 1964 (while living in Kingsville, Texas), but they divorced in 1968. He was working for Esso Standard in 1968, and was transferred to Tripoli in Libya. He then married Rosemary Buie in 1970 and they had four children in the 1970s.
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