The articles below appeared in A History of Texas and Texans, by Frank W. Johnson (Edited and brought to date by Eugene C. Barker with the assistance of Ernest William Winkler. To which are added historical, statistical and descriptive matter pertaining to the important local divisions of the State, and biographical accounts of the leaders and representative men of the state.), Chicago and New York: The American Historical Society, 1916.
Fayette County Biographies
JOSEPH J. FIETSAM. A man who has won success by hard directed effort, Joseph J. Fietsam is one of the large land owners and business men of the Ammansville [Ammannsville] locality in Fayette County, and is known all over the county for his efficient service as county commissioner, an office from which he retired in 1914. He is a man of large physical proportions and splendid constitution, from whom one would expect vigorous accomplishment, and while he began life with only the capital of willing hands he has secured a reasonable degree of material prosperity and at the same time has not neglected his obligations toward the community and his fellow men.
Joseph J. Fietsam was born in Fayette County, at Bluff, on February 6,1856. His father was Joseph G. Fietsam. The latter was one of those German pioneers who came into Texas in the great movement of German colonization during the decade of the '40s. He was born at Herzogthum in Nassau, in what is now the German Empire, on February 12, 1825, and was reared on a farm, being the son of a surveyor. He acquired a more liberal education than could usually be obtained from the popular schools of his time. He learned the trade of wheelwright, and when about twenty years of age, in 1845, took passage on a sailing vessel at Bremen, and some weeks later landed at the old Texas port of Indianola. He was still unmarried, and joined the old German community of New Braunfels, and soon took service with the Texas Rangers. He became a Waggoner, and worked along the frontier and in the Indian country for some time. On leaving the ranger service he moved to LaGrange, and took up work at his trade as wheelwright at 50 cents a day. He soon found reason to give up this business, and engaged in farming. He was married in 1852, and then located on a farm at Rock Prairie in Fayette County. From there he moved to the Bluff community, and in that locality bought his first land. His home was there until 1887, when he went to Weimar, and died in that village in 1906. Joseph Fietsam had no part in the war between the states since he was physically incapacitated for active service. Not long after coming to Texas he took out citizenship papers and in politics was a republican. At one time he served as county commissioner of Fayette County, and for many years was a trustee of the public schools at Bluff. After removing to Weimar he was appointed postmaster by President Harrison, and had begun a second term when the Democratic Party came into power and replaced him with a new appointee. He was an active member of the Catholic Church. Joseph G. Fietsam married Catherine Laux, daughter of Peter Laux, who came also from the Province of Nassau, Germany. She died in 1898. Her children were: Henry, who died at Weimar, leaving three children by his wife whose maiden name was Thekla Goeph; Joseph J.; Mary, who married Oscar Hilden of Weimar; Bertha who married William Tell of Weimar; and Miss Emma, still living at Weimar.
Joseph J. Fietsam has spent practically all his life in Fayette County. He grew up on a farm and while learning the duties of the household and the fields attended the public schools at Bluff. After his marriage at the age of twenty-two he removed to the Ammansville community. He bought his first farm, comprising seventy-one acres of raw land in the Jesse Barton Survey. Confronted with the heavy task of improving new land and making a home for himself and family, he set about his business with characteristic vigor and was soon on a fair way to prosperity. For many years he has been engaged in growing cotton and corn, and has also kept stock so far as his range would permit. His material prosperity has been indicated by the addition of new lands from time to time, until at this writing he is the owner of more than 500 acres, with 125 acres under the plow, and with three complete sets of farm improvements.
In the meantime for many years Mr. Fietsam has been a worker in local affairs. Politically he has been a democrat, since 1906, and has supported all the party nominees since that time. In 1892 he was elected justice of the peace, and served four years, making a favorable record in the routine duties of that office. In 1898 he was elected county commissioner for the fourth beat of Fayette County, succeeding Commissioner Neal McKinnon. His services as county commissioner, which has been the chief event of his public career, was for sixteen continuous years. Besides the usual duties connected with the administration of that office his administration was marked by the refunding of the courthouse bonds, which were sold to the school fund; proper provision for precinct government; and extensive road improvements and the building of a number of iron bridges in his precinct. With many high testimonials commending his service in this office he retired in December, 1914, being succeeded by Robert Williams. Mr. Fietsam was also one of the organizers recently of the Ammansville State Bank, and is first vice president and one of the directors.
In December, 1877, he married Miss Ida Albrecht, daughter of Fritz and Christina (Suren) Albrecht. Her parents came to America from Mecklenburg. Mr. and Mrs. Fietsam have the following children: Sophie, who married Charles Munke, and their children are Emma, Hilda, Edna and Katie; Walter, a farmer of Fayette County, married Rosa Munke, and has two children, Thelma and Jo. Katie married Willie Munke and has a son Clarence; Laura is the wife of Adolph Schindler of Weimar, and their two children are Ida and Oscar; Lillie married Hermann Munke, of Fayette County, and has a daughter Josephine; the younger children are Judith, Bruno and Arnold. pp. 15031504.
WILLIAM JUNIUS FISHER. From almost the beginning of the community at Waelder until his death on January 13, 1902; the late William Junius Fisher was closely identified with that community as a merchant, stockman, and capable and public-spirited citizen. He possessed many of those qualities and attainments which make a character interesting and influential apart from the considerations of material accomplishment.
A native Texan, he was born January 13, 1843, at Fayetteville in Fayette County, and was reared in that locality. His father, Thomas Fisher, was of German descent, a native of Virginia, and from that state moved west to Texas about 1839. Thus he lived in Texas for six or seven years before it became a state. The Fisher family established their pioneer home in the Ross Prairie community of Fayette County, and both the father and mother were laid to rest at Fayetteville. Thomas Fisher married Miss Martha Blackwell, and some mention of their family of children is as follows: Rufus Lattimus died at Weimar, Texas, leaving surviving children; Thomas Benjamin died in Fayette County, leaving two children; Isabella, who spent her life in Fayetteville, was the wife of Rev. John Budd, and left several children; John and James, twins, spent most of their lives at Weimar, where James died without children, while John died at Waco and left children; William J. was the next in order of birth; Ezra F. was a lifetime resident of Gonzales County and left children there; Walter D. is a farmer in Fisher County, Texas; Joseph died at Nacogdoches and left descendants.
The late William J. Fisher spent his early boyhood in comparative comfort and affluence, secured a good education at Fayetteville, and was pursuing the study of law until he had to give it up on account of the war and on account of the financial reverses that came with that period. Toward the close of the war he enlisted in a regiment raised in his section of Texas, served part of the time in Mississippi, and was present at several skirmishes.
After the war he set up as a merchant at Fayetteville, but was not successful at the beginning, and he soon turned his attention to farming. Later when Waelder was established as a town along the railroad, he again resumed merchandising, and after that was steadily successful. He invested his surplus in farming interests, and did a great deal as a cotton grower. He exercised good judgment in the buying and selling of land. His personal affairs claimed his attention, and though his friends urged him to become a candidate for the Legislature, he had no desire for such service and declined. After his early ventures. money-making was a comparatively easy accomplishment, and all he had was acquired honorably and in such a way that none could begrudge him his prosperity.
The late Mr. Fisher was almost a lifetime member, of the Baptist Church, served his society as treasurer for many years, and was active in the organization of the church in Waelder and was a teacher of the Bible class in the Sunday school. He was never a member of any lodge. In private life he found perhaps his chief interest in the study of secular and biblical history, and be collected quite a library of historical works, but unfortunately it was lost in the conflagration which consumed his home a short time before his death.
On December 22, 1869, Mr. Fisher married Miss Evelyn Dycus. Her father, Dr. Frank Asbury Dycus, was born at Palmer, near Paducah, Kentucky, October 1, 1822. When about twenty-one years of age he came to Texas, when it was still a republic, and afterwards studied medicine at Tulane University in New Orleans. During the war he served part of the time as surgeon in the Confederate army, and afterwards was a private in the ranks as a member of Captain Upton's company. He escaped both wounds and capture. His subsequent career was devoted to both medicine and farming, and he was a resident of Yoakum at the time of his death. He is buried beside his wife in the LaGrange Cemetery. He was a Chapter Mason and a man of great influence and high standing in his community. At Prairie Lea, in CaldweIl County, Doctor Dycus married Miss Maria Bomar, whose father, Dr. William Bomar, was a veteran of the Mexican war and died in Tennessee, where Mrs. Dycus was born. Doctor Dycus and wife had the following children: Mrs. Corinne Gage, a widow living at Waelder; Mrs. Evelyn Fisher, who since the death of her husband has retained her home at Waelder; Richard B., of Waelder; Frank E., who died in Fort Worth, leaving a family; and Norman D., of Dallas.
The oldest of Mrs. Fisher's children is Mrs. Lela F. Woodward, of Fort Worth, and her children are Evelyn, Corrie, Sid and Sam, twins. The daughter isabella died unmarried. Frank P., who is in business at Fort Worth, married Lula Gurley and has a son named Frank P., Jr. James H. is a farmer, merchant and oil man at Kelleyville, Oklahoma, and by his marriage to Mollie Franks has three children, Elizabeth, Evelyn and Adolph. W. J. Fisher, Jr., died at the age of twenty-one. Corinne, who graduated from Baylor University and afterwards studied in the Liszt St. Louis Conservatory of Music, has devoted her active career to piano and instrumental music and is a teacher at Waelder. Ezra Bomar is a stockman and farmer at Waelder. Jack is a Waelder merchant. Jean is the wife of M. W. Fason, of Waelder, has one child named William Warren. Ezra Fletcher, the youngest, is now a student at Brownwood, Texas. pp. 24902491
CHARLES FORDTRAN. The late pioneer and eminent settler of Austin County, Charles Fordtran, of Industry, was one of the earliest of the permanent residents of the Commonwealth of Texas. It was in January, 1831, that he came hither from New York City and joined Austin's colony on the Brazos River, he being a newcomer to America and one of the first of the German pioneers.
Mr. Fordtran was born in Westphalia Germany, May 7, 1801, and was a son of John H. Fordtran, a native of Schleitz, a province of Saxony. The Fordtran stock came originally from France, being Huguenots who refuged to Germany after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, in 1685. They were a wealthy and intellectual class of people, being manufacturers of soap, wax candles, perfumes, etc., and carried the knowledge of the production of these articles into Germany where its secret was kept in the family for generations. John H. Fordtran was identified with this line of industry and it was his desire that his son, Charles, also follow it, but it was not to the latter's liking and as soon as he was old enough to exercise his own inclinations in the matter he gave it up.
Charles Fordtran was rather sparingly educated, the main reason for this being, probably, the unsettled condition of the country owing to the Napoleonic wars during his childhood, into which every available man was forced whether learned in the professions or skilled in the arts, teachers among the rest. He was reared at Minden, Westphalia, and had the benefit of good home training and plenty of good books to read, for which he ever manifested a strong liking, a fact that compensated in some manner for his lack of scholastic training. He was one of two sons of his parents, his brother being Henry Fordtran, who passed his life in the Fatherland, Charles being the sole member of the family to emigrate to the United States and therefore responsible for the introduction here of the name.
Mr. Fordtran sailed from Hamburg, Germany, for New York in 1830, and in that city met a number of his countrymen, from whom he received valuable suggestions concerning the new country. Among these American friends was John Jacob Astor, who was even then laying the foundation for the great Astor fortune of the present generations of that name, and who walked with him one afternoon out to the limits of the city, on which occasion Mr. Astor told him that the city would soon cover the vast scope of country then embraced in farms and that the city was the place for young men to invest their earnings.
While in the great American metropolis, and still undecided as to where he would settle, Mr. Fordtran met the former gardener of the Duke of Oldenburg, of his native country, who, through some unfavorable turn of fortune, had been reduced to poverty and was anxious to go West and begin life anew. Mr. Fordtran volunteered to help the old gardener, who had a wife and three children, and as their guide and counsellor took passage on a ship bound for one of the southern ports, having in mind a location in the State of Missouri. Aboard the ship they met a party distributing Texas literature about this new and coming country for homeseekers, and, yielding to the persuasions of the Yankee emigrant, the party decided to go to Texas, subsequently reaching their destination in the early part of 1831, as before mentioned.
Upon his arrival, Mr. Fordtran met Padre Muidoon, Samuel M. Williams, and other men of local note, by whom he was welcomed and soon made to feel at home. Colonel Williams provided him with his first employment in America, viz., marking the boundaries of two leagues of land which Stephen F. Austin had granted to Mr. Williams. One of these leagues of land was given to Mr. Fordtran for surveying and locating the other. After a year in Texas, Mr. Fordtran, having become ill and discouraged, decided to return to the North. The land he owned was in Austin County and was the league he spent his remaining years upon and where he passed away. He had made some improvements upon his land, had gathered together a few head of cattle arid horses, as well as a few implements of husbandry, and offered to sell all of his possessions for $1,000, but could find no purchaser. He accordingly left his property in the hands of friends and started away in search of health. Accepting an invitation from Capt. Henry Austin to visit his home at Bolivar Point, near Galveston, Mr. Fordtran spent several weeks there and then went to Mississippi in company with Nathaniel Townsend, to visit a brother of the latter, Judge Townsend, a wealthy and hospitable gentleman of that state. His stay in Mississippi resulted in adding many warm personal friends to his acquaintance and in a complete restoration of his health, and he returned to Texas with the determination of making it his future home.
Resuming his normal activity, Mr. Fordtran made a contract with Col. Samuel M. Williams to bring in for Austin's colony 800 families, for which he was to be given liberal donations of laud. Accordingly, he went to New Orleans, where large companies of his countrymen were rendezvousing preparatory to going to South America, where extensive colonization schemes were then on foot, and there he undertook to secure settlers to carry out his contract. But interested parties soon started the report that Texans were only beguiling the ignorant foreigners to the Mexican provinces to sell them into slavery, and so strongly were the intending, settlers persuaded of this that they could not be induced to come to Texas. Mr. Fordtran then threw up his contract in disgust. He returned to Texas with two families, Zimmerscheidt and Biegel and settled them on a league of land, the former near Lagrange and the latter at Frelsburg. The two families were his servants for two years and then went to the land which they hnd been granted.
About this time Mr. Fordtran became acquainted with Miss Almeda Brookfield, whom he married July 4, 1834. She was a daughter of William Brookfield, who married Miss Lalliet and moved from New York to Texas in 1831. Mrs. Fordtran was born at Detroit, Michigan, December 30, 1817, and passed away at the Fordtran home in Texas, November 21, 1887. Mr. Brookfleld was a civil engineer, surveyor and also an Indian fighter, settled in Fayette County, on [Navidad] Creek, south of Lagrange, and had much to do with the history of the Austin colony and of South Texas. He was a man of wide learning, an orator of ability and an author of some note, having published just before his death, in 1847, a book in defense of the Jews. His family comprised: Charles, who served in the army of Texas independence, in 1835-36; Frank and Walter, who were volunteers in the United States army in our war with Mexico, in 1846-48, the latter dying in that country, while Frank was killed as a member of Captain Dawson's company; Edward, who was in the ranging service of Texas, against the Mexicans and Indians until their dispersal from the settlements, and died in the state; Mrs. Emma Evans, wife of Vincent Evans, and Mrs. Fordtran. Charles, the first-born, is believed to have been murdered by his Mexican servant.
The home at the time of Mr. and Mrs. Fordtran's marriage was on the outskirts of civilization, and they saw and experienced all there was of frontier life. He was always ready to go to the relief of any section of the country that was threatened or attacked by the Indians, and for years after coming to the country was in every campaign organized to repel the Indians from Austin's colony and was a member of a number of recruiting parties. In the vicinity of his own home he assisted in saving Mrs. Williams and Mrs. Reitis from capture, and helped, on several occasions, to drive off the Tonkawas who carried on an extensive scheme of stealing, under the direction of one Ross, a disreputable character.
On the occasion of the invasion of Texas under Santa Anna in 1835-36, Mr. Fordtran joined Captain Bird's company of "Spy Rangers" and assisted in protecting the outlying settlements from attack by Indians and in facilitating the escape of the families who were in the path of the invaders. This service, and other like labors, were the only ones of a public nature ever performed by Mr. Fordtran, unless it can be said that his whole life was in the nature of a lesson to the rising generations, in which ease it, also, was a public service. He never cared for office and when urged, in an early day, to become a candidate for office he persistently refused to do so. He was opposed to both the annexation of Texas to the United States and to its secession therefrom at the opening of the Civil war, but he saw four of his sons serve under the flag of the Confederacy during that struggle.
Mr. Fordtran brought up nine of his fourteen children, viz.: William, who died in Fayette County, leaving five daughters and a son; Portia, who is the wife of Dr. C. C. McGregor, of Waco, Texas; Eugene II., who died a soldier's death in the Confederate army, leaving a widow and children at Galveston; Frank, who also died as a Confederate soldier; Charles, who was a farmer on Cummins Creek when he died January 6, 1909, leaving three daughters and two sons; Louisa, who is Mrs. M. A. Healy, of Brenham, Texas; Ann, who died as Mrs. J. L. Hill, of Galveston, Texas; Josephine, who is Mrs. G. H. Mensing, of Galveston; Sarah, who is the wife of James B. Baker, of Waco and Robert Lee, the youngest, who is now the proprietor of the old Fordtran homestead. Before his passing away, Mr. Fordtran had a large posterity, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren being most numerous and widely scattered over Texas.
During the war between the North and the South, Mr. Fordtran kept ''open house'' as it were to all comers, doing what he could to relieve the distress and suffering incident to the protracted conflict then going on. His home abounded in good music, good cheer, good things to eat and good society. In his modes of life he was without the habits which often prey upon the constitution of men, lived an outdoor existence, with plenty of exercise, and maintained a strictly temperate life. His fondness for good books and his love of the society of young people were proverbial, and he grew old tinder the spell of these virtuous surroundings. His passing away was without long suffering, having the day before his death been about his usual haunts, and ''pottering around'' at the little exercises which interested mm and his mind was ever clear and reliable. When he passed over, he simply slept away, November 1, 1900.
Robert Lee Fordtran, the youngest child of Charles Fordtran, was born November 7, 1864, and has passed his life at his birthplace. He grew up amidst the activities of farm and ranch life and became the "man of the home gin'' at an early age. This he has continued through his life and since he left school he has been the active factor in the operation of the extensive estate. His education came from the Industry School, the Pope Military Institute and Professor Madden's school at Waco, and was completed at the Agricultural and Mechanical College, at Bryan, which he attended for one term. In his family operations. Mr. Fordtran is having cultivated 150 acres of land, and is a cotton and grain grower. Of late years he has been engaged in the breeding of pure-bred Polls and has been carrying on the breeding to build up his stock of cattle, He is warmly interested in education and has given his elder children the benefit of higher training in the Agricultural and Mechanical College, and at Blinn's College, Brenham, Texas. His oldest daughter has been a teacher for six years in the country schools.
Mr. Fordtran was married May 15, 1888, to Miss Mary C. Carmichael, a daughter of Neill Carmichael, who moved to Texas from near Fayetteville. North Carolina, before the war, was a Confederate soldier and subsequently a prosperous farmer, and had his home near the Fordtran place. He married Mary Catherine McDougall, and to them there were born the following children: John, who died unmarried; Hiram, of Comanche County, Texas; Henrietta, who is Mrs. M. J. McLain, of Lometa, Texas; Neill, a resident of Ben Arnold, Texas; Monte, of Lampkin, Texas; II. Greeley, of Ben Arnold; and Mrs. Fordtran.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Fordtran are as follows: Benjamin F.; Miss Almeda, the teacher Miss Mamie C.; Robert Lee, Jr.; Leroy; Sallie C.; Ida Ora; Reed Gilbert and Fairy, twins; Charles F.; and an infant son. Mr. Fordtran exercises his politics merely as a voter, and his interest in Woodcraft comprises his connections with societies. pp. 23712375
ARTHUR FRICKE, who is successfully engaged in the general merchandise business, as a cotton buyer and produce man at Carmine, is a worthy representative of the younger business element of Fayette County. To a very considerable extent it is this element in any locality, and particularly in those outside of the large cities, which infuses energy and progress into the activities of the place. The enthusiasm of this element, whose entrance upon the arena of business life dates back not much further than a decade, which contributes the spirit and zeal which keep commercial and industrial activities in a healthy condition. A pronounced type of this class of energetic workers is Mr. Fricke.
Arthur Fricke was born on his father's farm in Fayette County, near Round Top, April 1, 1884, and is a son of Fred Fricke, a sketch of whose career will be found on another page of this work. Arthur Fricke passed his boyhood and youth in the country, where his early education came from the country school, this being supplemented by a course in the commercial college at Brenham. Mr. Fricke's career was commenced in the field of education as a teacher in the district schools in Washington County and continued to be thus engaged for a period of three years, during which time he gained an excellent reputation as a capable and popular teacher. He then entered merchandise at Round Top in 1904 in partnership with Ernest Fricke, a cousin, the firm style being Fricke & Fricke. This existed until 1910, when the partnership was dissolved with the withdrawal of Arthur Fricke, who engaged next in the cotton business as a buyer for the exporting firm of the A. D. Milroy Company of Brenham and Galveston. After two years of experience secured in this line he again turned to mercantile pursuits, and in 1913 came to Carmine and bought the stock and good will of F. Eichler. Since that time the business has been conducted under the style of Arthur Fricke, general merchandise, cotton buyer and produce man. Under his capable and energetic management the business has grown and developed into one of the paying enterprises of the village and one which attracts its trade from the best class of people. The straightforwardness of his dealings is fully recognized by his fellow townsmen, and although his advent in Carmine is of but comparatively recent date, the patronage which he has already enjoyed presages a very successful future.
Mr. Fricke was married in Fayette County, Texas, October 11, 1908, to Miss Irene Vogelsang, a daughter of Paul and Emma (Kraus) Vogelsang. Mr. Vogelsang is a representative of an old and honored German family of Austin County and was born near Shelby, his father having been the founder of the family in the Lone Star state. Mrs. Fricke is the third in order of birth in a family of five children, and she and Mr. Fricke are the parents of one daughter, Evelyn, four years old. Mr. Fricke is a member of the Woodmen of the World. He owns the property where he does business, as well as his own home, one of the choice residences of Carmine. — pp. 1580 -1581.
ERNEST FRICKE, of Round Top, is a typical Texan, born in Fayette County, September 19, 1875, prominent in business as a young man, and of more recent years a leading merchant and in the forefront of movements beneficial to the material and moral uplifting of the community. As far as his education is concerned he is also a product of the Lone Star State. Starting his business in a modest way, relying upon the local patronage for its support, by untiring energy and remarkable initiative he has built up a large and prosperous enterprise, which attracts its trade from all over the county.
Mr. Fricke is a member of a pioneer family of Texas, and a grandson of the founder thereof, George H. Fricke, who was born in Hanover, Germany, September 19, 1821. In 1846 George H. Fricke sailed from the city of Bremen, Germany, to Galveston, Texas, and subsequently removed to Washington County, where he soon enlisted for service during the Mexican war under the flag of the United States. He was soon taken ill and sent to a hospital at Houston, and after his honorable discharge and recovery returned to his native land where he was married to Miss Behren. Again coming to this country, he settled on his first property, and being a man 'of excellent education took up the vocations of teaching and farming. In 1864 he removed to Fayette County, where he continued his educational labors for many years and died in 1893. He had come to Texas during a time when many of its heroes of the Revolution were still living and among whom he formed a wide acquaintance, one of these being Gen. Sam Houston, whose opinions as to the Civil war Mr. Fricke shared. He was a republican in his political views, was an able and fluent speaker, and frequently was called upon to preside at meetings of various kinds in his community. His religious faith was that of the Lutheran Church, in which he was confirmed. Mrs. Fricke died March 12, 1880, having been the mother of the following children: George, the father of Ernest of this review; Paul, who resides at Brenham, Texas; Dora, who married first Otto Grumbka and second Charles Schreiber and died at Rutersville, Texas; Mary, who died in Austin County, Texas, as Mrs. Theo. Buehrina [Buehring]; Susan, who became the wife of Julius Holckamp and died in Kendall County, Texas; Fred, who is president of the First State Bank of Round Top and a well-known business man; Regina, who died as Mrs. Charles Huth, at Austin; and Ida, who became the wife of Albert Real and lives near [Kerrville], Texas.
George Fricke, son of the pioneer and father of Ernest Fricke, was born July 3, 1849, in Washington County, Texas, and has spent his life about Round Top since 1864. He married Matilda Henkel, a daughter of Edward Henkel, who was justice of the peace for the Round Top locality for years and a native of Hessen-Castle, Germany, coming to the United States in 1848 and settling in Fayette County. He was an early merchant at Round Top, and after the war between the North and South devoted his life chiefly to public affairs. He erected some of the first structures at Round Top, was active in democratic politics, served his community ably as public official and private citizen, and died in 1894, one of the best known men of his locality. Mr. Henkel married Miss Louisa Schoenwerk for his first wife, and after her death was united with her sister, Matilda Schoenwerk. Of the Henkel children there were: Charley, who died unmarried; Mrs. Matilda Fricke; George, who resides at Dallas, Texas; and Albert, who died without issue. George Fricke has passed his life in agricultural pursuits, and his home is now near Round Top. He has had the following children: Ernest, of this review; Edward, a successful merchant at Woodsboro, Texas; Miss Louisa, who is engaged in teaching in Caldwell County, Texas; Albert, who is engaged in teaching in Refugio County; and Annita, the youngest, who is a schoolgirl.
Ernest Fricke received his educational training in the public schools of Round Top, under the preceptorship of the present county clerk of Fayette County, P. Klatt, who was then in charge of the schools here. He left his school books before he was eighteen years of age to begin to work on the'home farm, in addition to which he became skilled in handling live stock, in which he was engaged for a period of about two years. Just before he became twenty-one years of age he secured his first business experience as a clerk in the mercantile line for Alex von Rosenberg, of Bound Top, at the same time being employed in the post-office here. In 1897 he was appointed postmaster under the McKinley administration, and this office he has continued to retain to the present time, having passed the civil service examination for the office, in 1914 and being reappointed as a result of that examination. Mr. Fricke went into business on his own account, August 1, 1898, with a grocery stock valued at $400. He was aided financially by an uncle for some years until he reached a point where he could go on alone, and for four years was a partner with Arthur Fricke, as Fricke & Fricke, but finally bought his partner's interest and since that time the establishment has been conducted under the business style of Ernest Fricke. In addition to being a general merchant, Mr. Fricke is engaged in buying cotton, poultry and country produce, .in which he also deals. He has always warmly accorded to Round Top the same stanch support which its people have given him as an honorable and successful merchant and eminently useful citizen. Mr. Fricke has always practiced temperance. It has always been his endeavor to bring to Round Top the best trade, whether it patronizes his establishment or not, and for this reason may be placed in the booster class. He is vice president and a member of the official board of the First State Bank of Round Top, of which he was one of the organizers in 1912. A stalwart republican in his political views, Mr. Fricke was a member of the state republican convention held at San Antonio in 1900, and has served Round Top as its mayor four years. His administration was made notable by a businesslike handling of the town's affairs and the innovation of a number of needed civic reforms. Fraternally, he is also well known, being consul commander of the Woodmen of the World and treasurer of the Sons of Hermann, which latter lodge he has represented in the Grand Lodge of Texas.
On November 1, 1899, Mr. Fricke was. married at Round Top to Miss Elizabeth Ginzel, a daughter of William Ginzel, an interesting figure of the locality and a business man of importance. Two children have been born to this union, namely: Mignon M. and Elmo Arthur. — pp. 1570 -1572.
FRED FRICKE. Of the men of Fayette County who have contributed to the material growth and development of this part of Texas, few are more widely or favorably known than Fred Fricke, of Round Top. During his long and active career his experiences have included operations as a merchant, traveling salesman, stock dealer and banker, and at the present time he is president of the State Bank of Round Top and one of the most influential and progressive men of the village.
Mr. Fricke was born in Washington County, Texas, June 28, 1856, and is a son of the pioneer founder of this German family, George H. Fricke. The father was born in the city of Hanover, province of Hanover, Germany, September 19, 1821, a son of Louise (Rehren) Fricke. The grandfather was an official in the service of the government. Among the children of the grandparents' family were: several daughters who remained in Europe; August, who remained in Hanover and served his government; George H., the father of Fred; and Dr. Fred, who came to the United States and located first at St. Louis, Missouri, but later went to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, where he died in 1873 unmarried. A son of August Fricke, Fred Fricke, is a well-to-do druggist of Nebraska, and another son, Ernst, came to the United States, married in New Orleans, was a civil engineer and machinist, and died in Cuba while on a mission in connection with his profession.
George H. Fricke sailed from Bremen, Germany, in 1846, and after his arrival at Galveston, removed to Washington County, Texas. He was not there long before he entered the service of the United States as a soldier for duty during the Mexican war, but after six months of military life became ill and was recuperated in a Houston hospital, then receiving his honorable discharge. Upon his recovery he returned to Europe and married Miss Rehren, with whom he soon returned to his first permanent place of settlement in Washington County, Texas.
George H. Fricke was a well-educated man, and when he first began civic life in Texas it was as a teacher and farmer. He followed his educational career during almost all of his life, finishing his work in Fayette County, whence he had moved in 1864. He was several times justice of the peace in Washington County, and was busy with the duties of that office and his educational labors when the Civil war broke out. Mr. Fricke had early taken out his citizenship papers, and as he was a friend of the Union he espoused the cause of the republican party. He had come to Texas during the formative state of the commonwealth and at a time when many of her heroes of independence were still living, among whom he formed a wide acquaintance. He knew personally the great leader, Gen. Sam Houston, and it is probable that his warmth of feeling for the Union was inspired by the attitude of the general. Mr. Fricke was a man able of expressing himself on public occasions, and during gatherings in his community of any nature he was invariably called upon to preside or to speak. He was confirmed in the Lutheran Church, but never was connected with a fraternal order. His death occurred in October, 1893, Mrs. Fricke having preceded him to the grave, March 12, 1880. Their children were as follows : George, who is engaged in farming in the vicinity of Round Top; Paul, who resides at Brenham, Texas; Dora, who married first Otto Grumbka and second Charles Schreiber and died at Rutersville, Texas; Mary, who died in Austin County, Texas, as Mrs. Theo. Buehrina; Susan, who became the wife of Julius Holckamp and died in Kendall County, Texas; Fred, of this review; Regina, who, died as Mrs. Charles Huth; at Austin; Ida, who married Albert Real and lives near Kerrville, Texas; and Clara, who married Albert Giebel and resides on a farm near Industry.
Fred Fricke was a lad of eight years when he accompanied his parents to Fayette County, and his education was secured under the preceptorship of his father, with additional schooling at LaGrange. He had a teaching experience of one year in a country school before he entered business life, and in 1873 went to Brenham and became a merchant's clerk. Three years later he engaged in mercantile pursuits on his own account there, conducting a store until 1878, when he went on the road as a traveling salesman, a vocation in which he followed the "trail" until January 1, 1897. Mr. Fricke started on the road for W. D. Cleveland, of Houston, was later with Ullmenn, Lewis & Company, and subsequently spent thirteen years with Foche, Wilkins & Lang, covering Texas territory throughout this long period, and becoming widely and favorably known throughout the state. When he left the road Mr. Fricke turned his attention to the stock business and farming in Fayette County, and became rather extensively identified with these lines, which he followed until 1908. He introduced a good blood of cattle into the country, occasionally shipped his stock, and as a farm improver added homes to the farm for tenants and gave an impetus to an already wakeful spirit there. On December 19, 1912, Mr. Fricke became identified with financial matters when he became the founder of the State Bank of Round Top, an institution with a capital of $10,000, of which he has since been president and his son, George H. Fricke, cashier. In the direction of this enterprise Mr. Fricke has displayed the possession of marked business and financial ability, a natural courtesy and broad-mindedness, a knowledge of affairs and human nature gained in his long years of travel and experience, and good business and financial judgment, which, combined with his high reputation for stability and substantiality, have gained the confidence of the depositors of the .bank, as well as a high standing for the institution in financial circles. Mr. Fricke has not entered actively into political life, but has cast his presidential vote always with the republican party.
On February 20, 1880, Mr. Fricke was married to Miss Louisa Weyand, a daughter of George Weyand, a merchant of this community, a large real estate dealer, and a sterling citizen. Mr. Weyand married Christina Becker, and their living children are: Mrs. E. Nagel, Mrs. Alex von Rosenberg, Mrs. Louisa Fricke and Mrs. Lena Kaiser.
The children born to Mr. and Mrs. Fricke are as follows: Paul, a business man of El Campo, Texas, who married Adelia Hahn; Arthur, a business man of Carmine, Texas, who married Irene Vogelsang and has a daughter, Eveline; Fred, Jr., a stockman of this locality, who married Eugenie Vogelsang and has a son, Clinton; George H., who is cashier of the State Bank of Round Top, and married Louisa von Rosenberg, has two children, Helmer and Vernon; Lydia, the wife of Walter von Rosenberg, of Malone, Texas, a merchant, who has two daughters, Loraine and Loretta; Edgar, a student in the Blinn College, Brenham; and Estella, who is attending the public schools. — pp. 1572 -1574.
WILLIAM GINZEL. The career of William Ginzel, one of the German settlers of the vicinity of Round Top in the year 1878, is one crowded with interesting experiences, including service throughout the Civil was as well as Indian fighting on the western plains. He is now devoting his time to the tinner's trade and to conducting an establishment at Round Top, and in the years that have passed since he gave up military life he has proven himself as good a citizen as he was a soldier.
Mr. Ginzel was born at Reichenberg, Bohemia, December 24, 1844, of German parents, his father being Frank Ginzel, who as a young man was engaged as a manufacturer but in later years became foreman of a woolen mill. He made a second trip to the United States before he became satisfied to remain in this country and died at Trenton, Illinois, in 1875, being then sixty-nine years of age. Mr. Ginzel married Miss Elizabeth Hoffmann,who died as a young woman while still living in Bohemia. Four children were born to Frank and Elizabeth Ginzel, namely: Frank, a resident of Ansonia, Connecticut, where he is connected with a manufacturing business; Morris, who is a business man of Trenton,Illinois; Mary, who is the widow of Mr. Suschmann, and makes her home at St. Louis, Missouri; and William, of this notice.
William Ginzel was reared in his native land and received a fair education in the public schools, following which he began to learn the tinner's trade, to which he served an apprenticeship of four years, thoroughly mastering its every detail. In 1864, deciding to try his fortunes in the United States, the opportunities of which country he had heard so much about, he set sail from Hamburg, Germany, for Hull, England, and there took ship for Liverpool, where he transferred to an American ship bound for New York. Arriving safely in the United States, he found the Civil war at its height, and enlisted in the United States Volunteers, Second Regiment, New York Cavalry, under Colonel Randall. He saw active service during the balance of the war, in the Shenandoah Valley, belonged to the famous cavalry of General Sheridan, and in addition to the battles of Winchester and Fishers Hill, took part in the skirmishes around Petersburg. At Appomattox Court House, just before the surrender of General Lee of the Confederacy, he was on the ground and saw the flag of truce that led to the proceedings which brought about the close of the great and bloody war. Mr. Ginzel was discharged with his regiment at Alexandria, Virginia, June 13, 1865, having passed through the war without being wounded or injured in any way, but that he was a faithful, devoted and brave comrade is shown by his discharge which reads: "A most excellent soldier."
Taking up the duties of civil life, Mr. Ginzel went to Nashville, Tennessee, where he secured employment at the trade of tinner and remained so engaged for two years. He had, however, formed a liking for military life, which he decided to resume, and accordingly went to St. Louis, where he enlisted in the Seventh United States Cavalry, Company F, Captain Yates and Colonel Custer. His regiment was one the plains of Kansas and he at once joined the command at Fort Wallace, his first service being at Indian fighting on the Canadian River, in Kansas and the Indian Territory, where the Arapahoes, Comanches and Cheyennes were on the warpath and causing the settlers of the frontier much trouble. Colonel (afterwards General) Custer, Mr. Ginzel's commander, was to be slain a year after Mr. Ginzel's discharge, with his entire command, when he made his memorable and disastrous last stand on the banks of the Little Big Horn.
Mr. Ginzel had enlisted in the service for a period of five years, but a consolidation of the troops by the War Department, and a retrenchment in the personnel of the army, caused an order to be issued that all non-commissioned officers could return to the ranks and serve out their enlistment or claim a discharge. Mr. Ginzel chose the latter course, was discharged on the Saline River in Kansas, and secured his papers and pay at Leavenworth. Notwithstanding the arduous and dangerous character of his service during his enlistment, in which he took part in a number of fights with the hostiles, he again escaped wounds and injury. Of his many brushes with the red men, perhaps the one most notable was the fight at Wichita, near Sweetwater Creek, in which the regiment lost 38 men, while they killed 110 "bucks" and captured 57 squaws and children, the prisoners being taken to Camp Supply and turned over to the infantry. The herd of Indian ponies were also killed, in order that the Indians might be put on foot and thus rendered easier of capture.
When he again resumed the peaceful duties of the life of the civilian, Mr. Ginzel took up his trade of tinsmith at Leavenworth,Kansas, and there continued to be so engaged until 1871. Hen then made removal to Texas, locating in the city of Galveston, where he worked until 1878, and then came to Round Top, which has continued to be his home and the scene of his labors to the present time. On his arrival here he embarked in business on his own account, and has developed a prosperous enterprise, his store being one of the busy places of the town, and well stocked with the various kinds of tinware and miscellaneous supplies for which the people of this vicinity have a need. Mr. Ginzel bears a high reputation in business circles, having invariable proven himself true to the engagements of life.
While a resident of Galveston, December 19, 1875, Mr. Ginzel was united in marriage with Miss Caroline Heggemann, who was born in Westphalia, Germany, and to this union there have been born the following children: William, who is engaged in farming in the vicinity of Round Top, married Eliza Kneip, and has two children, Alfreda and Florence; Miss Tillie, who married Walter Kuhn and resides eight miles from Miami, Texas, on a ranch; Elizabeth, who is the wife of Ernest Fricke, postmaster and merchant of Round Top; Alfred, of LaGrange, who married Lula Prazeale, and has two children, Ralph and Victoria; Edwin, a resident of La Grange, Texas, who married Annie Lidiah, and has two children; and Max, of Round Top, who married Mabel Beyer. — pp. 18741875.
ALBERT MILTON GOSCH. One of the sterling old German families around Flatonia is represented by Albert M. Gosch, now the efficient incumbent of the office of postmaster at Flatonia. In view of his public position and his influence in local affairs, his personal career has considerable interest.
He was born at Port Huron, Michigan, in 1858, a son of J. J. [sic.] and education came from the schools at Cistern and Elm Grove, followed by a course in the Walden Business College at Austin. During several years spent on the farm he married, and he soon afterward became mail carrier from Cistern to Flatonia. After four years he resigned, and entered the employ of J. J. Machann, the druggist at Cistern. At the end of two years he bought the business and conducted it until 1911, when he sold out and embarked in the same business at Flatonia, purchasing the J. J. Kotzebue stock. He was popular and successful as a merchant, and the same record has followed him into his position as postmaster.
Of a democratic family, he has been identified "with politics in that part since reaching his majority. Since that date in his career he has attended nearly all the county, congressional and state conventions. He helped give Congressman Burgess his first nomination, supported Colquitt in his first aspirations for governor in 1906 and was influential in carrying Fayette County into the column of his supporters. He was a member of the state-convention which finally nominated Mr. Colquitt, and also in the one which renamed him. There was hardly any competition when he sought the postmastership, and his name was sent to the Senate by President Wilson with the first twenty-three new postmasters. He succeeded Fred "W. Laux.
Postmaster Gosch's father was the late Jacob Gosch, who spent nearly all his active life as a Texas farmer. He was born in Wuertemberg, Germany, April 27, 1834, and while growing up his education was directed with the idea of his becoming a member of the Lutheran ministry. His father, however, was an adherent of the Revolution of 1848, and in consequence the family had to leave Germany. Grandfather Jacob Gosch brought his household out to Texas, and landed at Galveston in the spring of 1851, after eight weeks spent on board a sailing vessel. From Galveston they proceeded to Columbus, spent a year on a farm at Cummings Creek, and then moved to the old Luck farm at Black Jack Springs, on the Lockhart and LaGrange road. Later Grandfather Jacob bought land near Cistern, improved a farm, and died in that locality in 1884 at the age of seventy-seven. His children were: Jacob, father of Albert M.; Christopher H., who spent most of his life in Chihuahua, Mexico, where he and his brother, Jacob, discovered the Torreon mine; Fritz, who also drifted into old Mexico and lived there from 1861, living at Parral; Lena, who married G. W. Michaels of Cistern; and Barbara, who died at Cistern as the wife of Z. H. Henry and was the mother of the county superintendent of schools of Dallas County.
Jacob Gosch, Jr., had spent about ten years in Texas prior to the outbreak of the Civil war. He enlisted at LaGrange in Captain Alexander's company, and was in the service of the South throughout the remainder of the war, entirely within the State of Texas. His command was almost destroyed at Brownsville toward the close of the war, and he then went into Mexico and remained with his brother Christopher until peace was restored. On returning to Texas he resumed his life as a farmer at Cistern, and thenceforward his career was one of quiet uneventfulness. Though a democrat, he took little part in politics, was a member of the Lutheran Church, and his only social connection was as honorary member of the Sons of Hermann. He died February 9, 1915, and his wife, whose maiden name was Mary Beck, a native of Germany, died in 1905. Their children were: Christian H., a farmer near Cistern; Fritz, of the same locality; Henry, also at Cistern; Charles J., who died in youth; William, a farmer in this locality; Albert M.; Monroe, of the old home community; Nancy, who married Joshua Singleton and died near Cistern; Caroline, who died unmarried; Micha, wife of Ernst Harsch of Flatonia; and Lena, wife of C. W. Churchwell of Uvalde.
Mr. A. M. Gosch was married at Cistern December 27, 1896, to Miss Lula Marburger, daughter of James and Mary (Doss) Marburger, a fine old German family of the Cistern locality. There were five sons and five daughters in the Marburger household. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Gosch are: Wilma, Lola, Vastine, James and Leonard. — pp. 1419 -1421.
HARRIS TAYLOR GREEN. In Fayette County on the rural route No. 5 between Schulenburg and Weimar is the fine country home and ranch of Harris Taylor Green, who has spent the greater part of sixty years in this one locality. His success as a farmer is above the ordinary, and while his life has been a part of this section of developing Texas for so many years his name also suggests some interesting family relationships and influences that have been steadily exerted for better things morally and socially.
There is authentic information concerning only three generations of the family, but tradition is that Mr. Green's ancestors took an active part in the Revolutionary war. The grandfather, Jesse Green, Sr., was during the first half of the nineteenth century a planter and slaveholder in Alabama and later in Choctaw County, Mississippi. He married Jemimah Lee, daughter of Richard Lee of Virginia. Both of them died in Mississippi, and their estate was divided before any of their children came to Texas. The first of their children was Rev. Lee Green, who entered the Baptist ministry and was engaged in preaching over Fayette, Lavaca and Colorado counties until he was ninety years old. After the war he was also a merchant at Hallettsville, and his last years were spent in Yoakum. His wife was Lucretia Middleton, and both are buried in the cemetery at Hallettsville. The children of Rev. Lee Green were: Jesse, who was a lawyer and died at Hallettsville; John M., district judge of the Victoria District; Judge Pleasant, county judge of Lavaca County; Holly, of San Antonio; Hicks, who died as a young man; Sarah, deceased wife of John M. Hatchett; Jemimah, who married Mr. Shoemaker and is deceased; Demarius, who died unmarried; Lula, deceased wife of Mr. Rogers. The second child of Jesse Green Sr. was Jesse Jr., whose career is taken up in a following paragraph; Harris, the third, died in Leon County leaving a family; Ananias spent his last years at Seven Rivers, New Mexico, and left a family; Betsy married Mr. McAdams and spent her life in Leon County; Jemimah married Charles Quinn and died at Plantersville, Texas, leaving some children.
Jesse Green, Jr., was born in the vicinity of Selma, Alabama, in 1820, and grew up in that locality. About the time he reached his majority he moved to Choctaw County, Mississippi, and took possession of a new plantation purchased by his father. He was a man of good education for his time, and gave his active years to farming, with the aid of slaves, which he brought with him to Texas. He came from Mississippi to the Lone Star State in 1850, making the journey overland in the familiar fashion of the time, his wife and children riding in the old "carry-all,'' and that and other vehicles were drawn by mules and ox teams. They crossed the Mississippi at Rodney. The chief incidents of the trip that have been handed on to the present generations concerned the difficulties of bad roads, since the good road movement had not yet dawned. It is possible that the Rev. Lee Green preceded this caravan on his way to Texas. Jesse Green joined a little settlement at Black Jack Spring at the head of West Navidad in Fayette County, where he purchased land and lived with his family until 1854. In that year he paid $1,500 for about 1,100 acres of the James Sergeant league, where his son, Harris, now lives. His death occurred the year following, in 1855. However, he had taken an active part in the pioneer life of this section.. He was a justice of the peace; was church clerk of the Missionary Baptist Church at Black Jack Springs, having donated five acres of land for schoolhouse purposes and the Baptists holding their meetings in the school building. In the same locality he also built a gin operated by horsepower, probably the only one in a great expanse of country at that timey and evidences of this old landmark could be seen even in recent years.
Jesse Green married Mary Spencer. Her father, William Spencer, who married a Miss Lang, of Pennsylvania German stock, was a wealthy farmer and owner of many slaves in Choctaw County, Mississippi, where both he and his wife died. The Spencer children were: James, who was killed as a Confederate soldier; Mrs. Green; Dr. Henry, who practiced medicine at old Terryville in Dewitt County and at Independence, where he educated his children, and then located in Falls County, where he died; Mrs. Benjamin Moore, Mrs. Vance, Mrs. Berson, Marion and Albert, all of whom lived in Mississippi. The children of Jesse Green and wife were: William W., who died soon after the war as a result of the hardships of his life as a soldier; Jesse Clinton, who died at the age of twelve; Harris T.; James A., of Karnes County; and Sarah Jemimah, wife of George Williams, of Schulenburg. The mother of these children, who died April 1, 1874, having been left a widow subsequently married John S. Black, and her daughter by that union, Frances, married Lewis Porter. Mr. Black died in 1885.
Harris Taylor Green, whose ancestry has thus been traced, was born in Mississippi July 29, 1849, and was an infant member of the caravan whose journey has been described. The great Civil war was in progress during his teens, and while in school at old Lyons a company of youths was formed and drilled in the expectation that in time their services would be required by the South, but he made no real effort to get into the scenes of active hostilities. Most of his education was acquired in the old Baylor University when it was located at Independence while Dr. William Carey Grain was its chief executive. In 1869 he drove cattle over the old Chisholm trail to Abilene, Kansas, and invested the proceeds of that work in college tuition. He spent two years at Baylor, lacking eight months of graduation. He also did some teaching there, as assistant in the branches of grammar and arithmetic. When he left school he was in poor health, and anticipated that he might be in the early stages of pulmonary disease, but with the active outdoor life of the farm he quickly mended and has become physically stronger until today he is as robust as possible for his frame.
Farming has been his career and profession. His first home in Texas was a log house both at Black Jack Springs and on his present farm. Soon after his father's death his mother erected a plank house of cedar lumber which came from cedar brakes owned by the family on Buckner's Creek in Fayette County. An old log house with "stack" chimney stands on his farm, erected long before the war and still used for one of his tenants. His present residence was erected in the fall of 1873. Although the old homestead was divided among the heirs, Mr. Green has since purchased some of the interests and owns over 500 acres originally belonging to his father, and his total holdings aggregate 900 acres, partly in Fayette and partly in Colorado County. His revenues have come from cotton, corn and stock, and while he was a cattle feeder in former years, he has lately devoted much attention to mules. Mr. Green is a member of the Baptist Church. During the existence of the Weimar Institute he was at one time president of the board.
December 18, 1873, he married Miss Mary M. Black, a daughter of John S. Black, who as already mentioned married Mr. Green's mother. Mrs. Green, who was born December 6,1850, and died September 1,1883, had children as follows: Jesse T., who is a rural mail carrier at Weimar and by his marriage to Emma Frazier has William, John, Charles and Mary Emma; Milton A., who practiced law at [Yoakum] as partner of Judge John M. Green until his health broke, is now recovering his strength on a farm in Fayette County and by his marriage to Verna Burford has a son, Milton Burf ord.
After the death of his first wife Mr. Green married Miss Mary E. Morrow, a daughter of James and Mary V. (Armstrong) Morrow, Alabama people who came from Mississippi to Texas and were married here. Her mother is now Mrs. August Koltermann, whose parents were John and Sylvia (Land) Armstrong. Besides Mrs. Green the Morrow children were: Fannie, wife of William Black of Weimar; James of Mesa, Arizona; Martin, deceased;. Thomas, who died at Odessa, Texas; while of the Koltermann union there is a son, Frederick William, a farmer near Weimar.
The children of Mr. and Mrs. Green are: Sallie E., wife of H. A. Philips of Quanah, Texas; Fannie Y., wife of C. C. Harris, a druggist at Houston; Harris T., who graduated in dentistry in Chicago and is now in practice at Thorndale; James M., who is a graduate dentist from the same school, married Miss Ruth Rylander and lives at Port Lavaca; Lee M., a graduate of the Texas A. & M. College, is a farmer at home; Ruth, who graduated from the San Marcos Normal, is Mrs. Mack Walker of Houston; Pearl is a student in the Normal at San Marcos; and Jennie, who is a student in the Weimar High School. — pp. 1688 -1690.
JOHN G. GUENTHER, M.D. Success is the ultimate criterion of ability in the medical profession, and guaged [sic] by this standard Doctor Guenther is fully entitled to designation as one of the representative physicians and surgeons of Lavaca County, where he is engaged in active general practice in the thriving Town of Moulton. Aside from his well earned professional prestige he is further entitled to consideration in this publication by reason of being a native son of the Lone Star State and a representative of one of the sterling and honored families that was here founded more than forty years ago. He is known as a physicians of high attainments and is the dean of his profession in the Moulton community — a man of sturdy loyalty in all of the relations of life and one who commands unequivocal popular confidence and esteem.
Doctor Guenther was born at Schulenburg, Fayette County, Texas, on the 12th of May, 1872, and is a son of Franz and Magdalena (Seidenberger) Guenther, who still maintain their home at Schulenburg, where the father is engaged in the bottling of carbonated waters and is a citizen of prominence and influence.
Franz Guenther was born in the Town of Deutsch Jasnik, in the Province of Moravia, Austria, in which locality his ancestors settled more than a century ago, their emigration from their native Germany having been prompted by their desire to escape after the ravages of an epidemic or plague that was there raging at the time, the original home of the family having been in the Rhine country of Germany. In Austria representatives of the name in the various generations were found prominently identified with the agricultural and milling industries, and Joseph Guenther, grandfather of the doctor was long and prominently associated with what was perhaps the largest flour-milling enterprise in Austria, both he and his wife, who bore the maiden name of Magdalena Seidenberger, the same as that of the noble young woman who later became the wife of his youngest son, continued their residence in Moravia until the time of their death. Of their children, Franz, father of doctor Guenther of this review, is the youngest; Joseph was for many years a resident of the City of St. Louis, Missouri, and late in life he came with his family to Texas, where he continued to reside until his death; John came to this state in 1867 and for many years was a prominent citizen of Weimar, Colorado county, where his death occurred and where he left a family of several children; Henry died in Austria and has no posterity; Rosina became the wife of Franz Stanzel and they were numbered among the pioneer settlers of Schulenburg, Texas, where she died in 1914, at the venerable age of eighty-six years; Elizabeth, the wife of Franz Brossmann, died at Schulenburg, in 1913, at the age of seventy-six years.
Franz Guenther was reared and educated in his native land and in his youth followed the miller's trade, though he subsequently served a thorough apprenticeship to the carpenter's trade and became a skilled artisan. He became a successful bridge contractor in Austria and had the supervision of the construction of many important railway bridges in that empire. There was solemnized his marriage to Miss Magdalena Seidenberger, and upon their immigration to America they were accompanied by their two children — Prof. F. P., who is one of the prominent and honored figures in educational circles in Texas and who now holds the professorship of German and history in the Northwestern Texas State Normal School, at Canyon; and Louisa, who is the wife of Henry Jeterka, of Schulenburg, this state. Upon coming to Texas, in 1871, Franz Guenther established his residence at Schulenburg, where he and his wife have continued to maintain their home, and where all of their children were born except the two already mentioned. Concerning the American-born children the following brief record is entered: Dr. John G. is the immediate subject of this review; Ludmilla is the wife of Henry Friederich of Schulenburg, Miss Theresa is a trained nurse and holds a position in the hospital at Moulton; Anna is the wife of Joseph Winkler, of Lockhart, Caldwell County; Doctor Frank is engaged in the practice of medicine at Moulton; Tillie is a popular teacher in the Moulton High School; and Charles, who was the second in order of birth, was a representative member of the bar of Travis County at the time of his death, which occurred at Moulton, in 1914. Charles Guenther was a man of Distinctive intellectuality and fine professional ability, was a talented musician, and his wanderlust led him to travel extensively in all parts of the world prior to his engaging in the practice of law at Moulton. He was a bachelor.
Dr. John G. Guenther acquired his early education in the public schools of Schulenburg and his higher academic education was gained in the University of Texas. For one year he was engaged in teaching at Yorktown and a second year found him similarly employed at Moulton. In the medical department of the University of Texas, a department established in the City of Galveston, he was graduated as a member of the class of 1897, his reception of his degree of Doctor of Medicine having occurred on May 16th of that year. He forthwith established his residence and professional headquarters at Moulton and he has not only achieved unqualified success in the general practice of medicine and surgery but has also shown his humanitarian spirit and civic enterprise by establishing the Moulton Hospital, which was founded by him in 1913 and of which he has since continued the executive head. This institution, with excellent modern equipment and facilities, has proved of inestimable benefit and value to the local community and its advantages have been utilized by patients from a wide area of surrounding country. The doctor is actively identified with the American Medical Association, the Texas State Medical Society, and the Lavaca County Medical Society, which last mentioned organization he has effectively represented in the State Medical Society, besides which he has served as county censor of Lavaca county. He is one of the oldest members of the Moulton camp of the Woodmen of the World and also of the Hermann Sohns, which latter fraternal organization he has represented in the grand lodge of the state.
At Cuero, Dewitt county, on the 26th of December, 1900, was solemnized the marriage of Doctor Guenther to Miss Justina Kossbiel, a daughter of Charles and Helena (Moll) Kossbiel, who came to America from Cologne, Germany, and who became the parents of two sons and nine daughters. Doctor and Mrs. Guenther have three children — John C., Leo, and Marion. — pp. 1406 -1408.
AUGUSTINE HAIDUSEK, a native of Moravia, was a member of the first colony of that nationality to settle in Texas west of the Colorado River. It is a distinction generally accorded to Augustine Haidusek that he is the most prominent Bohemian in the State of Texas. Early in his career a Confederate soldier, a member of the Texas bar over forty years, now president of the First National Bank of La Grange, and editor and proprietor of The Svoboda, the most influential journal published in that language in Texas. Mr. Haidusek's attainments and services in behalf of his people and his thorough American spirit are scarcely to be appreciated from the following brief recital of his career.
Angustine Haidusek was born in September, 1846, at Missi, a village in the northeastern part of Moravia. His parents were Valentine and Veronika (Kladiva) Haidusek, and the mother died in 1847, leaving three children: Theresa, who married Joseph Lebeda; John, who died at Brownsville, Texas, February 14, 1863, while serving as a member of Captain Alexander's Company of Texas troops during the war; and Augustine, the youngest. In 1848 the father married Mary Broz, and in September, 1856, when Augustine was just ten years of age, all the family left the old country for Texas, arriving at Houston in November of that year, and from that city they traveled west by ox wagon to La Grange. Two weeks later they settled at East Navidad (now Dubina, Fayette County), with six other Bohemian families. These were the first Bohemians that settled west of the C olorado River. Incidentally it may be noted that Fayette County is o of the chief centers of Bohemian population in Texas. According to the last census, of a total population of about 30,000, the county had about 2,500 inhabitants born in Austria, and nearly 4,000 native Americans of Austrian parentage on both sides. Subsequently the father moved on a farm four miles west of [Schulenburg], where he died December 23, 1867.
Augustine Haidusek had but little schooling as a boy, and his knowledge of the English language was very meagre until the beginning of the Civil war. About that time he attended a school taught by a man named Black. In 1863, at the age of seventeen, he went with a drove of beeves to Louisiana, swam the cattle across the Mississippi River at Port Hudson and they were sold to the Confederate Government. On his return home he enlisted in Company F of the Bates Regiment, was stationed at Velasco on the Gulf coast and continued in service until June 6, 1865, when he returned home and helped his father put in a crop.
The year 1866 was spent in farming and in attending a school taught by old man Mays below Weimar. During 1867 he clerked for G. W. White in Lagrange several months, then returned home and spent the fall in cutting and splitting 4,000 post-oak rails for George Morysak, and put the evenings to good advantage by studying the English language by the light of the fire. The year 1868 was a continuation of his farming experience, though he also taught a term of school in the summer. Difficulties and disadvantageous circumstances seem to act only as a spur to the efforts of some men, and while he undoubtedly has possessed exceptional native endowments of intellect and character, Mr. Haidusek during his early career overcame obstacles which would have disheartened a man of ordinary determination. In 1869 he settled at Lagrange, read law in the office of Jarmon & Cross, and was admitted to the bar on December 22, 1870. He claims distinction to have been the first Bohemian to practice law in the United States.
During the following congressional campaign between John Hancock of Austin and Degner of San Antonio and between Giddings of Brenham and Clark of Galveston, he took an active part supporting the democratic candidates who were elected. During 1872 Mr. Haidusek taught school at Ross Prairie near Fayetteville. He was elected chairman of the Fayette County Democratic Executive Committee in 1874, and in the following year was elected mayor of Lagrange, defeating A. H. Brandt, and was re-elected in 1877, defeating P. Y. McAshan. His election to this office gave him another premier distinction, since he was the first Bohemian mayor elected in the United States. In 1878 the Hon. J. C. Stiehl defeated him in his race for the office of county judge.
In 1880 Mr. Haidusek was elected representative to the Texas State Legislature from the counties of Fayette and Lee, defeating John L. Smith by over 2,000 majority. His work was notable in the Legislature: It included the introduction of two amendments for the state constitution. One was to amend the immigration clause so as to authorize the dissemination in foreign countries of facts as to the revenues, resources and benefits of Texas; the other was to authorize the investment of the permanent school fund in county bonds and similar securities. Both propositions were defeated. He opposed the amendment to the constitution, proposing that voters should be required to pay their poll tax before being permitted to vote. This amendment was introduced by C. L. Wurzbach of San Antonio. Mr. Haidusek secured the amendment of the law compelling county convicts to work public roads.
When, in 1882, Mr. Haidusek was urged by some of his friends to make the race as an independent candidate for the office of congressman, he replied in an open letter that he was a democrat for principles and not for office-that he proposed to stand by the democracy because that: party in 1856, when know-nothingism was rampant, had stood, by the foreigners.
Fayette County has among many other things reason to he grateful to Mr. Haidusek for his work thirty years ago as county judge. He was elected to that office in 1884, defeating the Hon. J. C. Stiehl, and continued to administer the fiscal affairs of the county for six years. His administration was notable for his work in improving the public schools, and especially in raising the standards of the local teachers. As Fayette County was chiefly populated by Germans and Bohemians, he found that the local schools employed either the Bohemian or German language exclusively and neglected English books and the English language altogether. As county judge he required the school trustees to employ teachers qualified to teach the English language and urged all the teachers to make English the language of the school room. At the time this was a daring step, and for it he was pronounced a renegade by nearly all the Bohemian papers of the United States, particularly by the Slovan, a Bohemian weekly published and edited by Joseph Cada at Lngrange. His stand in favor of English language incensed the people of his nationality throughout Texas, and indignation meetings were held condemning his efforts to make English the official language of the school room in Bohemian localities. At that time there was practically no organ for the expression and publicity of his view's on the matter, and the friends of Judge Haidusek therefore started another Bohemian paper, the Svoboda.
which was owned by a Joint stock company comprising about fifty members The company secured the services of a man from New York City to perfect the paper. The Svoboda was started in December, 1885, and by 1887 had about 400 subscribers, with an indebtedness of $2,400. The New York editor, Mr. Chudoba, was discharged, and Judge Haidusek took charge of the paper. Under his management the number of subscribers increased rapidly, the debt was paid off in two years, and in 1890 he became sole owner of the journal. Since then lie has devoted nearly all his time to its management and has made it one of the best paying papers of its class in the entire country. Its circulation in 1914 reached to about 5,000 copies and its subscribers are found in 100 counties of Texas, besides in other states and in Europe. While it is a Bohemian paper, its sentiment is thoroughly American, and its policy and editorial control have always reflected the sterling American spirit and democracy which are so deeply characteristic of its proprietor. Besides his work in connection with the schools, Judge Haidusek as county judge inaugurated the improvements by which public roads were graded and macadamized, and nineteen iron bridges were built and the bridge spanning the Colorado River was bought by the county. Another thing that made his administration notable was the letting of the contract for the building of the present courthouse at Lagrange, and the foundation was laid before he left office.
In the split in the democratic party in 1892, when the Hogg and Clark factions were at war, Mr. Haidusek espoused the cause of Clark. Although an advocate of the gold standard, he supported Bryan in all his campaigns for the presidency, since he could not conscientiously abandon the democratic party. However, in the congressional fight between B. B. Hawley, the republican nominee, and W. S. Robson, the democrat, he supported Hawley, and it is said that on this account Robson was defeated.
On January 14, 1896, when the First National Bank of Lagrange was found to be in a bad financial condition, Judge Haidusek was elected president of the bank, and has since brought its affairs to a most substantial condition and has made the bank one of the strongest, considering its capital, in the state. During his administration the stockholders have received in dividends more than their original investment. He is yet the president of said bank. In 1905 he was appointed by Governor Lanham s one of the directors of Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, in which capacity he served until 1911.
Judge Haidusek affiliates with the Knights of Honor, the Ancient Order of United Workmen, is an honorary member of the C. S. P. S., a Bohemian order similar in organization and purposes to the Knights of Honor. He and his family are all members of the Catholic Church. In May, 1872, he married Miss Anna Becka, daughter of John and Catherine Becka, of Ross Prairie. She was born near [Bellville], in Austin County, in June, 1856. Of their five children three are living, as follows: Jerome, who married Fanny Mosig; George, who graduated from the University of Texas in both the literary and law departments, took postgraduate work in Harvard University is now a successful lawyer at Seymour, Baylor County, Texas, add in 1904 was a presidential elector on the democratic ticket; Vlasta, married Joseph Koss.
As this brief sketch indicates, Judge Haidusek is a man of unusual force and determination, is broadminded, thoroughly democratic in his nature, and few citizens of Texas in his time have accomplished more and made their activities more fruitful for the general welfare of community and state. While subjected to severe criticism for his course in the matter of education thirty years ago, Judge Haidusek has long since outlived that brief unpopularity, and many of those who opposed him then are now as strongly convinced of the justice and the necessity of his course as he himself. pp. 2288-2291
JOHN M. HALAMICEK. The wonderful success which has attended the career of John M. Halamicek, of Roznov, Fayette County, a country community six miles north of Fayetteville, attests the sagacity, foresight and financial skill with which his various ventures have been directed. The life of the merchant is less conspicuous before the world than that of a member of a learned profession, or of one who mingles in public affairs, but is none the less one of arduous labor and thorough engrossment. In no other calling in life is success so sure a gauge of uncommon power.
Mr. Halamicek has lived in the County of Fayette since 1870, and in the State of Texas since 1869, in which year he came from Moravia, the Town of Roznov, where he was born March 7, 1855. His father was John Halamicek, a baker by trade, a vocation which he followed while residing in his native land. His forefathers had been indigenous to that locality for generations, and his father, the grandfather of John M., Joseph Halamicek, was a weaver by vocation. The heads of families of this name seem to have been tradesmen or mechanics and as a rule were people in moderate circumstances. John Halamicek, father of John M., was the only one to emigrate to the United States, and to him is due the establishment of the family in the State of Texas.
John Halamicek was twice married, his first wife being Margaret Kubis, who bore him three children, only two of whom came to mature years: John, of this notice, and Frances, who is the widow of Jo Blaha, of Fayette County. John Halamicek sailed with his two children from Bremen, Germany, on one of the early steamships bound for Baltimore, Maryland, and from the latter city, without delay, took the train for Cincinnati. Thence he went to Cairo, Illinois, where he took a steamboat for New Orleans, which southern city was reached by the family in November. The father then came on to Texas and joined some old-country friends, Barosa and Liska, at Frelsburg. He found, himself without money sufficient to engage in farming on his own account, so he hired out on the farm and his children did likewise when they followed him to Frelsburg the following summer. In addition they earned some small money picking cotton, and worked at whatever other honorable employment presented itself. In 1872 John Halamicek was able to buy an ox-team, and at that time started farming for himself at old ''Rock House," Fayette County. He also had a horse, but only such implements as were absolutely necessary to make a crop. He was a renter of Mr. Pargel [Pagel]and the first year made eight bales of cotton and plenty of corn. The next year he rented from Mr. Salik [Sollick?], a forty-acre tract of land, but his crop was somewhat a failure as to cotton. In 1874 Mr. Halamicek died, at the age of fifty-six years, and this left alone the children, who stayed together and moved over to Warrenton, continuing to engage in farming as renters. They remained together for three years, at the end of which time Miss Halamicek was married, and her brother helped her and her husband to make one crop and then started agricultural operations on his own account.
John M. Halamicek secured his educational training before he came to Texas. When he launched his bark alone, in 1875, he went to Ellinger, where he secured a place in the lumber yard of McCormick & Hall, remaining there three years and saving a small amount of money from his wages. Subsequently he became a clerk in that village for Jo Krenek, with whom he remained a few months, after which he secured employment with Charley Rosenberg, as clerk, at a wage of $45 and house rent, and remained there fourteen months.
In 1885 Mr. Halamicek left Ellinger and came to Roznov. A business had been operated here by Charley Prasifka, having been started by Mr. Awalt, and Mr. Halamicek rented the lone store building, which had a store room in front and a residence of one room in the rear. He started his business venture with $300, and his first stock was purchased of the wholesale house of William Cleveland, of Houston. In a few months his stock began to grow and it expanded gradually to its present dimensions. In 1900 it was found necessary for Mr. Halamicek to add another building to accommodate his increased business, and different lines of goods have been made a part of his stock. In time, Mr. Halamicek became able to spare money from his business to invest in land. He purchased the thirty-acre tract of land upon which his store is located first, and subsequently bought a 500-acre tract on Clear Greek, from Mrs. P. Fagg, this being a part of the Robert Peebles League. He has since built eight residences on this property for the accommodation of his tenants, and his crops are the usual corn and cotton. He more recently purchased 200 acres in the Thomas Gay League, and 150 acres in the Greenville League. He has added tenant houses on his property, too, and his home in the hamlet of Roznov is a two-story residence of seven rooms. In addition he owns five sections of ranch land in Upton County, Texas, fenced and improved with ranch houses. All that Mr. Halamicek owns has been accumulated through his own exertions, combined with those of his wife, a lady of most marked business abilities who continues to be of great assistance to her husband in all his business transactions.
Mr. Halamicek became a citizen of the United States as a young man, and has taken a good citizen's interest in public affairs. A democrat in his political views, his only public service has been as school trustee, a capacity in which he has acted for twenty-six years. Personally, Mr. Halamicek gives one the idea qf being possessed of irresistible energy, virility and spirit, thoroughly sure of his course of action before he enters a transaction, and then forcible and rapid in the attainment of his object.
At Ellinger, Texas, January 24, 1882, Mr. Halamicek was married to Miss Anna Baron, daughter of Paul and Rosa (Kanarik) Baron, whose children were as follows: Rosina, who is the wife of Peter Krystik; Mary, who married Leopold Bruner; Anna, born August 25, 1865, at Halenkov, Moravia; Paul, of Runnels County, Texas; Josephine, who married John Pustejovsky; and Frances, who died single.
To Mr. and Mrs. Halamicek there have been born the following children: John A., a graduate of Memphis Hospital Medical College, and now a successful practicing physician and surgeon of Nada, Texas, married Frances Fremka, and has one sonJohnnie; Willie, of Rowena, Texas, who married Julia Baron, and has two childrenEdline and Rowena; Julia, who is the wife of Prof. Charles Havlik, of Roznov, and has three childrenLadimir, Linnie May and Annita; Annie, who married Jo Kopecky and has three childrenBettie, Clarence and Jo; Alvina, who married Charles Hilser, and has two childrenAlfred and Leonora; Olga, who married Edwin Cordes; and Henry, Edwin, Paul, Vlasta, Bertha and Bennie, who reside with their parents. — pp. 1674 -1676.
Halamicek photographs provided by Julia Neeley.
AUGUST HEINSOHN, of Fayetteville, belongs to the pioneer element of the citizenship of Colorado County, and is a native of that county himself, having been born September 27, 1858. His father, Gerhardt Heinsohn, the founder of this branch of the family in America, came to this country in 1848, a young man, having just completed his service in the German army. He followed four brothers to come to the new world. Gerhardt Heinsohn was born at Oldenburg, Germany, February 13,1822, and in his native land learned the trade of wheelwright and received a common school education. He sailed from Hamburg on an old sailing vessel, which brought him to the City of Galveston, Texas, where he found his brothers who were doing carpenter work for a time before seeking the rural precincts in Colorado County.
The Heinsohn brothers were as follows: William, who spent his life as a farmer in the vicinity of Frelsburg, Colorado County, and left a family there at the time of his death; Frederick, who spent his life at Galveston as a mechanic and left a family there when he died; Gerhardt, father of August; John, who lived at New Ulm, where he was engaged in farming, reared a family, and died; Henry, who died during the first year that he was in Texas, as did also his wife, they leaving a son, George, who also passed away and left no issue; and Antone, the youngest of the brothers, who lived near Frelsburg, Texas, as a farmer, and left a large family at the time of his demise. All the brothers were industrious, hardworking men, of honest purpose and determination, honest men who combined in their characters the best traits of their race.
Gerhardt Heinsohn had some military experience during the war between the states, hauling flour for the Confederate Government as a teamster and occasionally making a trip to Mexico from whence he hawked supplies. Almost immediately following the close of hostilities, he engaged in farming, his property being located near Frelsburg, where he made his influence felt in both a business and a social way. His handiwork is yet observable in the improvements of his farm, and the property is still held in the family name and possession. Mr. Heinsohn took no particularly active part in politics as a politician, although he was a naturalized citizen of the United States and voted at elections in support of the principles and candidates of the democratic party. A devout and consistent member of the Lutheran Church, he was one of the founders of the congregation at Frelsburg and took an active part in its work. Also, he manifested a strong interest in public education, and was one of the makers and sustainers of the old Frelsburg College, and continued as its permanent friend throughout his life.
Gerhardt Heinsohn was united in marriage in 1854 with Miss Sophia Fehrenkamp, a daughter of Antone Fehrenkamp, who came from Oldenburg, Germany, also. Mr. Fehrenkamp was a farmer in Texas, and at his death left a family which included: Mrs. Meta Becker; Mrs. Anna Klump; Mrs. Sophia Heinsohn; Mrs. Helena Pophanken, and Gerhardt, who died leaving three sons and a daughter. Mrs. Heinsohn still survives, at the age of seventy-eight years, having been born in 1837. The children of Mr. and Mrs. Heinsohn have been as follows: Mamie, who married William Schwecke, of New Ulm, Texas; August, of this review; Emma, who is the widow of Albert Wagner, of Bartlett, Texas; Mary, who married Charles Zapp, of Houston, Texas; Gerhardt, who engaged in farming in Fayette County; Emily, who is the wife of Monroe Johnson, of Fayetteville; Louis, a public weigher of Fayetteville; Matilda, who became Mrs. Adolph Krueger, of Fayetteville; Ida, who became the wife of Rev. August Beteit, a Lutheran minister at Hempstead, Texas; and Ella, who is the wife of the Rev. Hans Krause, a minister of Fayetteville. The children were brought up to value honesty and integrity above all things, to know the value and reason for hard work, and to render their community their best service, and all have since filled well the positions in life to which they have been called.
August Heinsohn passed his boyhood up to the age of fifteen years near Frelsburg, and then came with his parents to Fayette County. His education was secured in the public schools of his native locality, following which he began assisting his father in the work of the home farm, where he remained until he was twenty-seven years old. At that time Mr. Heinsohm [sic.] engaged in the lumber business at Ellinger, this being a rather small undertaking, to which he devoted his attention for a little less than two years, moving to Fayetteville at the time of the building of the Missouri, Kansas & Texas Railroad. There he put in a lumber yard, which has been the only enterprise at that place in all the years that have followed, of its kind. In addition to this Mr. Heinsohn has extended his interests until they include the stock business, the raising of hogs and cattle. He has also become a farmer, has done much farm improvement, building cattle and hog sheds, and has erected two silos, of which he is also the agent for this county. Mr. Heinsohn owns more than one thousand acres of land, 100 acres of it being farmed, while the balance is his pasture, where he has but recently engaged in the breeding of Hereford cattle, while his hogs are of the Poland-China strain. He attends the Fort Worth stock shows and frequently returns to his home with something new to add to the blood of his fine herds.
Mr. Heinsohn has let politics alone. He votes the democratic ticket, and although he has not been an office holder, was made trustee of the school hoard before he had children, remained so while he was rearing his family, and continued to act in that capacity until his children had all passed through their educational experiences. He belongs to the Woodmen of the World and the Sons of Hermann, and is a Lutheran in his religious belief, as is Mrs. Heinsohn, their children having also been reared in that faith. Mr. Heinsohn erected his home, one of the substantial and modern ones of Fayetteville, and has added to the growth of the town by doing other building of a small residence character.
Mr. Heinsohn was married January 4,1887, to Miss Adele J. Scharnberg, a daughter of Fred Scharnberg, who married Anna Albrecht at Shelby, Texas. The parents were born in Germany, Mr. Scharnberg at Mecklenburg and the mother at Pommerania. Mr. Scharnberg was a carpenter by trade, but in his later years took up agriculture, and died on his farm in Fayette County, Texas, in 1898, aged seventy-eight years. He was a Confederate soldier during the Civil war, and was a Lutheran in his religious belief. To Mr. and Mrs. Scharnberg there were born the following children: Anna, who became the wife of Ferdinand Menking, of Fayette County; Mrs. Heinsohn, born November 22, 1866; Ida, who died as Mrs. Gus Giese; Mary, who married Albert Heinz, and died at Gonzales, Texas; Hugo, who died at Port Arthur, Texas; Helmuth, a resident of Bartlett, Texas; Otto, who resides in Fayette County; Charles, a resident of Houston; John, also residing at Houston; and Fred, of Bastrop, Texas. To Mr. and Mrs. Heinsohn there were born several children, of whom the only survivor is Lee, who married Miss Agnes Sump, and is engaged with his father in the lumber business. He is a member of the Woodmen of the World. — pp. 1484 -1486.
JOHN C. HELBLE. The possession of marked business talents, enterprise and aggressiveness, has placed John C. Helble in a position where he is contributing materially to the good government of the prosperous little City of Fayetteville. A product of the farm, in young manhood he turned his attention to business affairs, and through perseverance, energy and strict integrity built up a paying venture. In the meantime he acquired experience in business affairs and the management of men, so that his fellow citizens have chosen him on numerous occasions to act in positions of public importance, and during the last thirteen years he has served very acceptably as both alderman and treasurer of Fayetteville.
Mr. Helble is a native son of Fayette County, Texas, born in the Biegel settlement, January 5, 1867. His father, also named. John C. Helble, came to Texas in 1844, when a man of thirty years, and with a wife, and settled near Biegel. He was there only four years when he left for California with a party of gold-seekers, leaving his family alone in Texas for four years while he was engaged in prospecting and mining, in which, however, he met with but little success. Finally he gave up his idea of accumulating a rapid fortune, and in 1852 returned to Texas, where, until his retirement from active life, he followed the peaceful pursuits of the farm. During the period of the Civil war Mr. Helble sympathized with the cause of the South, and rendered some small aid to the Confederacy. In his political views he was a democrat, but he never desired public office. He was a well informed man, keeping himself thus by constant reading, although in his youth he had received only scanty educational training. He had no interest in fraternal matters and belonged to no orders, nor was he a member of any religious denomination.
Mr. Helble, Sr., married his first two wives in Germany, but had no children by either. His third wife was Johanna Gieshen who was born at Oldenburg, Germany, while he was from Wittenberg. Mrs. Helble still survives at the age of seventy-eight years, and has been the mother of the following children: John C., of this notice; Bertha, who married J. J. Tschiedel, a farmer of Fayette County; Joseph, who is a resident of Spokane, Washington; Otto, a resident of Halstead, Texas; and Julia, who married E. M. Oetken, of Fayette County.
John C. Helble of this review was reared at Biegel and secured his education in the country schools. He worked on the farm until reaching the age of twenty-two years, when he engaged in the retail liquor business at Warrenton, and remained there not quite two years. Subsequently, he went to Walhalla and continued in business until the fall of 1899, which year marked his advent at Fayetteville, with which place he has been identified as a business man and public official ever since. He is a man of high business attainments, progressive spirit and broad-minded views on various subjects. All movements which promise to be of business or civic betterment enlist his heart support and co-operation. In politics, his first office was that of alderman of Fayetteville, a capacity in which he has served for thirteen years, and during the same period he has acted as treasurer of the city. In 1903, under Sheriff August Loessin, he acted as deputy sheriff. He has always been known in office as a man who could accomplish things, and his community has benefited materially by his capable executive management. Mr. Helble has never been a convention man. He belongs to the Blue Lodge of Masons, is a Knight of Honor, and holds membership in the S. P. J. S. T., a Bohemian fraternal order, and to the Sons of Hermann. In business and public life, as well as in fraternal circles, Mr. Helble has a wide circle of friends, attracted to him by his whole-hearted geniality.
While a resident of Walhalla, Texas, January 6,1888, Mr. Helble was united in marriage with Miss Emma Imken, daughter of Gerhardt Imken, who came to the United States from Oldenburg, Germany. Mr. Imken married Johanna Oetken, and Mrs. Helble is the youngest daughter of the family of seven children. Mr. and Mrs. Helble are the parents of four children, namely: Monnie, John, Herbert and Gilbert. — pp. 1451 -1452.
WILLIAM HERDER. Another of the native sons of Texas who has here achieved distinctive success in connection with the great fundamental industry of agriculture and who is the owner of a large, well improved and valuable landed estate near the Village of Shiner, Lavaca County, is William Herder, and he is entitled to recognition in this history not only by reason of his own achievement and advanced status as a citizen and man of affairs but also as a scion of a now numerous family that was founded in Texas more than eighty years ago and that has been one of prominence and influence' in connection with the social and material development and progress of the southern part of this great commonwealth.
The honored father of William Herder figures as the founder of the family in the Lone Star State, and this sterling pioneer, George Herder, was a youth of sixteen years when he came from his German Fatherland and established his residence in Texas, then on the very frontier of civilization, other members of the family having later come to America and established their home in Texas, including his sister, Mrs. William Winkelmann, who passed the closing years of her life in Colorado County.
George Herder was born in the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg, Germany, in the year 1818, and there received good educational advantages. In 1834, at the age of sixteen years, he severed the home ties and set forth to seek his fortunes in America, though he could have little foreseen that it would be his portion to gain broad experience in connection with life on the frontier of civilization and to aid in gaining independence for what is now the largest State in the greatest of all American republics. In the year that marked his arrival in the United States he came to Texas, and his loyalty to the land of his adoption soon came into effective play, for he joined the forces of Gen. Sam Houston and did effective service as one of the valiant soldiers who won independence for the Lone Star State, which was freed from the domination of Mexico. He took part in the historic battle of San Jacinto and his record of gallant service as a soldier in the war for independence makes it but consistent that his name and memory shall be held in lasting honor and given recognition on the pages of Texas history.
George Herder, the youthful soldier and adopted son of Texas, was one of the pioneer German settlers in the vicinity of Frelsburg, Colorado County, where he reclaimed land and became actively engaged in agricultural pursuits. Just prior to the inception of the Civil war he removed to the High Hill community, in Fayette County, and there he. continued his successful operations as a farmer for many years, besides building up also a substantial business as a general merchant, his ability and enterprise bringing to him splendid prosperity and giving him prestige as one of the most influential, even as he was one of the most honored, citizens of Fayette County. In the early '80s Mr. Herder removed to Lavaca County, where, in "half-moon Timber," he purchased a tract of open grazing land, over which occasional bands of cattle had roamed. He fenced his land and brought a portion of the same under cultivation, besides continuing his operations in the raising and handling of cattle. He remained on this place about three years, and the closing days of his long and useful life were passed at Schulenburg, Fayette County, where he died in 1887. He was a democrat in politics, was identified with no religious or fraternal organizations, was not given to garrulousness or self-exploitation, but, was a strong, upright, reserved man who was a person of thought and action rather than of useless loquacity.
As a young man George Herder wedded Miss Minnie Wolters, a daughter of another prominent pioneer, Jacob Wolters, concerning whom special mention is made elsewhere in this work, in the comprehensive article dedicated to the Wolters family and its various representatives in Texas. Mrs. Herder passed her entire life in Texas and died at High Hill, Fayette County, in 1877. Of the children the eldest is Meta, who is the widow of Julius Seydler and who still maintains her home at High Hill; Annie is the wife of Charles Eschenburg, of Schulenburg; Fritz, who died in Dewitt County, married Miss Ida Arnim, who, with several of their children, survived him; Augusta became the wife of Moritz Richter and both died at Shiner, leaving children; Minnie is the wife of Adolph Richter, of Weimar, Colorado County; Charles died in 1874, when a young man; August was a resident of the City of Houston at the time of his death in January, 1916, Eliza is the wife of Fritz Hillje and they reside in San Antonio; Henry, who died at High Hill, married Josephine Russek and left children; William, the immediate subject of this sketch, was the next in order of birth; George, who resides at Weimar, is one of the substantial capitalists of Southern Texas; and the other child of the twelve died in infancy.
William Herder was born at High Hill, Fayette County, on the 5th of April, 1861, and in that locality he was reared to adult age, in the meanwhile gaining youthful experience of practical order in connection with the work of the home farm. His education was not neglected and he was favored in being able to prosecute his studies under the direction of such able instructors as Professors Seydler and Heyer. He continued to be associated with his father in the work and management of the home farm until he had attained to the-age of twenty years, and for the following year he was employed for wages in the vicinity of his home. Shortly before attaining to his legal majority he took unto himself a wife, and the youthful pair established their first home at Engle, Fayette County, where he purchased a farm, in the locality formerly designated as "Black Jack Oso." After having there been engaged in agricultural pursuits four years Mr. Herder purchased and removed to the Half Moon Ranch, in Lavaca County, where he and his wife have since maintained their home and where their lives are compassed by smiling plenty and fair prosperous days. Mr. Herder owns 446 acres of the old ranch bearing the name designated above and situated in the Lockhart League. The estate is given over principally to the raising of cotton and corn, and since the property has come into his possession Mr. Herder has effected the reclamation to cultivation of an additional area of about 100 acres of the tract, besides which he has made many substantial improvements of permanent order, including the erection of two tenant houses. In addition to this fine landed estate he is the owner of a well improved farm of 296 acres in Gonzales County.
Mr. Herder cast his first presidential vote for Grover Cleveland and has since continued his allegiance to the democratic party, though he has had naught of ambition for public office or the activities of practical politics. He was reared in the faith of the Lutheran Church, of which his mother was a communicant, but is not formally identified with any religious or fraternal organization.
In December, 1880, was solemnized the marriage of Mr. Herder to Miss Theresa Nitschmann, who was born in Fayette County, Texas, on the 27th of February, 1858, and who is a daughter of the late Frank and Anna (Gallus) Nitschmann. Mr. Nitschmann was one of the earliest of the German settlers of the High Hill district of Fayette County, and later removed to the vicinity of Engle, that county, where he was not only a successful farmer but also followed the trade of blacksmith. He had much mechanical and inventive skill, and is accredited with having invented the first turning plow and "middle buster," which he patented and for which a certain implement manufacturing company offered him the sum of $10,000. He declined to let the patent pass from his control and the same was later practically stolen from him, so that he realized but meager financial profit from a valuable device which brought large monetary returns to others, who had taken advantage of his genius. He was a resident of Schulenburg at the time of his death and his widow passed the closing years of her life in the home of her daughter Theresa, wife of the subject of this review. Concerning the other children of the Nitschmann family the following brief data are available: Joseph was a resident of Lindenau, Dewitt County, at the time of his death; Edward died at Flatonia, Fayette County; Mrs. Anna Bucek resides at Engle, Fayette County; Emil maintains his home in Victoria County; and Hermann is a resident of Guadaloupe, Victoria County.
This concluding paragraph is given over to a brief record concerning the children of Mr. and Mrs. Herder: Adaline is the wife of Edward Busch, of Shiner, and their children are Lonnie and Enunett. Edmund, the present postmaster at Shiner, is individually mentioned on other pages. Ella is the wife of Edward Cordes, a farmer near Shiner, and they have one child, Marvin. George remains at the parental home. Mrs. Annie Ahrens resides at Shiner and has two children, Avery and Melvin. Hattie is the wife of William Hewig, of Gonzales County, and they have one child Ed. "Walter, who married Miss Eva Turk, likewise resides in that county. — pp. 1337 -1340.
FERDINAND HILLJE. One of the solid Germans of Southwest Texas, a leader among his nationality which more than any other countrymen have developed many of the most prosperous counties of the state, Ferdinand Hillje has spent most of his business career at Hallettsville, is chiefly prominent as a cotton oil mill man, and is also a banker and a factor in public affairs.
Ferdinand Hillje was born at High Hill in Fayette county, Texas, December 12, 1862. He represents the second generation from the Fatherland. His father, John F. Hillje, who died in Colorado county, Texas, in 1893, at the age of seventy-six, was a native of Oldenburg, Germany, the son of a wagon maker, and the son learned the same trade. He came to the United States when a single man, landing at Galveston, and his first location was Frelsburg, where he invested his small capital in the construction of a cotton gin. Although this was to him a new business, he ran it with success for a few years, and then sold the plant to his brother, who had followed him the the United States after two years. John F. Hillje then located in the High Hill country of Fayette County, built there another gin, and also owned and operated a small farm. The ginning business was his principal work during his active career. During war times he was exempt from military service owing to the fact that he was a miller and was more useful in his capacity as grinding the grist for the "war widows" and others than as a soldier in the ranks. In politics he voted as a republican, but held no office. John F. Hillje was married in Colorado County to Miss Mina Fahrenthold, who was born in the town of Pritzwalk, Prussia, and came to America with her father who was a farmer. Mrs. Hillje died at La Grange, Texas. Aside from Ferdinand, her children were Fred, who died while in the oil mill business at Weimar, and left children; Mary, wife of Rudolph Klatt of LaGrange; Louis, an oil mill man in San Antonio; Anna, who married Herman Reissner of Weimar; Bertha, who married Gus Seydler of Wharton; William, who is in the oil mill business at Weimar.
The boyhood of Ferdinand Hillje was spent in the country, where he attended the public schools, learned the arts of ffarming and the mechanism and operation of a cotton gin, and remained at home in managing these different interests until twenty-seven years of age. At that time Mr. Hillje became interested in and connected with the oil mill business at Weimar and was superintendent of the Hillje Brothers mill one year. In 1893 he removed to Hallettsville, and here purchased the Lavaca Oil Company's plant, which had been built by the Baumgarten interests, and since that time has been secretary and manager of the mill. The Lavaca Cotton Oil Company has a capacity of forty-five tons daily and is the chief manufacturing industry of Hallettsville.
Mr. Hillje has steered as nearly clear of politics as possible for a business man to do, although at the present time he is an alderman and is city treasurer of Hallettsville. A business man and manufacturer who has increased the facilities of his home town, and also a capable banker, he succeeded Mr. Henry J. Strunk in the office of president of the First National Bank of Hallettsville. The Hillje home, which he erected some years ago, is one of the best in the city. Mr. Hillje belongs to several fraternities, but is not an ardent lodge man.
Ferdinand Hillje was married at High Hill, Texas, in 1890 to Miss Marguerite Seydler. Her father, Julius Seydler, was a native of Saxony and came to the United States before the war between the states, and followed farming. Julius Seydler married Miss Herder, and they became the parents of a large family. Mr. and Mrs. Hillje have no children. — pp. 1270 -1271.
CHARLES HENRY HOLLAND. The career of this well known citizen of Schulenburg has two interesting distinctions. The first is his long service for more than a quarter of a century in the employ of the Southern Pacific Railway, and railroading has been almost his entire life work, having learned telegraphy in a railway office in Indiana, his native state. The second is his proficiency in the traditional work of Masonry, and he is one of the few Masons clothed with authority to teach the unwritten rites and symbolisms of this great and ancient order.
Charles Henry Holland was born in Dublin, Henry County, Indiana, July 12, 1859, and he spent his youth there and received an education in the public schools. His first work after leaving school was with some horse men in that locality, and he spent a couple of years training horses and then conducted a butcher shop in Dublin. While in this business he was taken ill, and while convalescing and still weak from the disease, he was spending a few days in Richmond, Indiana. While there his attention was directed to the study of telegraphy. He talked with the manager of a school which had that art in its curriculum, and was induced by the prospects to begin the study. After several lessons he visited a couple of friends, employees on the Grand Rapids & Indiana Railway, who advised him to give up the telegraph school and begin the practical work of a railway station and telegraph office. He found an opening in the office of the Grand Rapids & Indiana at Fountain City, in Wayne County, and there was converted from his former vocation as butcher and horse trainer to a telegrapher, and soon afterwards was given his first independent work at Kendallville, Indiana. He was stationed at several points, including Fort Wayne, Richmond, Kalamazoo, along the route of the Grand Rapids & Indiana and was finally induced to come South by Mr. Van Vleck, general manager of the Southern Pacific Railway system.
Mr. Holland came to Texas in December, 1888, was an operator at Rosenberg, and before he had been with the company two months he was given a day shift, and in April, 1903, was made agent of the Schulenburg Station, succeeding Agent R. S. Tanner, another old employe of the system who had left the service to engage in business for himself.
Mr. Holland is a grandson of Rev. Henry and Mary Holland. The grandfather was a native of Ohio, one of the early settlers in Henry County, Indiana, and entered Government land and was a farmer there until his death. He was also a Methodist preacher, and did circuit work over his section of Indiana before the advent of railroads. His ancestry was a combination of Irish and French. Rev. Mr. Holland and wife had eleven sons and a daughter, all of whom grew up in Indiana, and all those reaching maturity had families. Of these children the following are named: Joshua, Asbury, William, Andrew, Joseph, Elijah, Henry, Isaac, Emma, Emory, Adam and Elizabeth, who married Joshua Waddell.
Henry Holland, father of the Schulenburg railway man, was born in Henry County, Indiana, in 1826, and died at Dublin in 1904. His career was spent as a sawmill man, a farmer and carpenter. Owing to an injury he had sustained when a boy he was rejected for military service during the Civil war, but three of his brothers were soldiers in the Union army. Though a democrat in politics, he took little part and never held an office. He was a member of the Methodist Church. Henry Holland married Mary Swiggett. She was an only child of Andrew Swiggett, who came from North Carolina to Indiana as a pioneer. In the Swiggett household was reared another child, Isaac McNamec, who at his death left a family of six children. Mrs. Henry Holland died in 1901 at the age of seventy-nine. Her children were: Joshua, who died at Straughns Station, Indiana, leaving a son; Roy Holland, now a New York lawyer; Mary, who married Dill Waddell, of Straughns Station; Lydia, who married Nate Gaukher of same place; Charles H.; William A., of Elwood, Indiana; and Ella, who married William Gaukher, of Straughns Station.
Mr. Charles H. Holland owes his success largely to the fact that he has supported himself unreservedly to the business in hand, and has participated in no other lines of commerce or in politics, except to vote the democratic ticket. He is well known in different fraternal orders and fraternal work is his one absorbing interest [sic.] outside of business and home. He belongs to the Knights of Pythias, the Improved Order of Red Men, the Woodmen of the World, the Modern Order of Praetorians. In Masonry he is member of both Lodge and Chapter, a past master of his lodge, and in December, 1914, was made deputy district grand master of the Thirty-third Texas District. It is given to few men to master the 42,210 words of unwritten work with such proficiency as to be able to communicate this as instruction to novitiates, and Mr. Holland is one of these few and occupies a place of high standing and esteem in his order.
Mr. Holland was married at Portland, Indiana, December 24, 1886, to Miss Harriet Winters, daughter of John and Margaret Winters. Her father was a miller at Portland, and met an accidental death at his mill at the age of seventy years. The children in the Winters family were: Mollie, wife of Doctor 0'Neal, of Elwood, Indiana; Mrs. Holland; Addie, wife of A. Hamlett, of Portland; Thomas, of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; John, a resident of Pennsylvania; and Jay, of Huntington, Indiana. Mr. and Mrs. Holland have five children: Irene; Frank, who is employed in the railway station at Schulenburg; Mabel, Pearl and Donley. — pp. 1356-1358.
WILLIAM W. JANSSEN. In adding the name of William W. Janssen to its citizenship in 1883, Fayette County was to profit by the services of a man who possessed both the ambition and the ability to make himself a factor of great usefulness to the community. He is now the proprietor of a handsome and valuable farm, in the vicinity of Lagrange, and is numbered among the men whose activities have contributed in large measure to the development of this thriving part of the country. Mr. Janssen was born in Oldenburg, Germany, January 30,1862. His father, William W. Janssen, Sr.,.a carpenter by trade, was born in the same locality, followed his vocation there throughout his life, and died in 1873 at the age of fifty-two years. The family originated on the North Sea, but during the sixteenth century moved to Oldenburg because of an inundation of the country from that body of water, and the forefather of Mr. Janssen took up farming which was followed by a number of generations of the family.
The elder William W. Janssen married Dorothea Bockhopp, who lived to be eighty-one years of age and died at Shiner, Texas, in 1908. She came to America in 1887, and her children were as follows: Lena, who married William Meinke of Shiner, Texas; Gesine, who married Fritz Janssen of Clay County, Texas; Henry of Glen Flora, Texas; Katie, the wife of Charley Murphy of San Antonio; and William W., of this notice.
William W. Janssen received only limited educational advantages, these being limited to attendance at the Volksschule until he was fourteen years of age. Under the preceptorship of his father, an able mechanic, he learned the trade of carpenter, which he followed in Germany until coming to the United States in 1883, at which time he located in Fayette County. He continued in this work in Texas, and did not discontinue his activities therein until 1914. Much of his contract work is yet visible among the country and village improvements of Fayette County. At Plum, Texas, he erected the greater number of the residences of the hamlet, a church, the Legler gin and the Plum Valley School. Later he built the dance hall there and the Lutheran Church at Rutersville, the Harms schoolhouse, Fiedler's gin, nearby, the Fiedler gin at Elgin, the Nitschke gin at Lagrange, as well as the Diers and Wimkan gins there, the Rutersville gin for Herdler, and another at Plum for Antone Legler.
At the time of his marriage Mr. Janssen turned his attention to agricultural pursuits, an occupation in which he was to duplicate his success as a carpenter and builder. He began by buying an 80-acre farm in the Ebling League, which furnished the nucleus for his present large property. It was at that time a rather run-down place, with but little promise in it, but when he took possession of it he began to make a fairly good property of it and found it more than able to support his family. Since that time Mr. Janssen has purchased a half-section, 320 acres, in the same league, another farm which was practically abandoned and which German industry and ingenuity have made into a productive estate. He is now having cultivated about 100 acres, and built two houses on his land, one being a 5-room structure, with such barns as accommodate his stock. He is a cream producer also, this being a profitable department of his enterprise, and raises all the family consumes, including bacon and vegetables, as well as feed for his stock. During the more than a quarter of a century in which he has been engaged in farming he has been compelled to buy but three bushels of corn. He invariably has a surplus from his crop. Modern methods and progressive ideas have always appealed to him and at all times he has lent encouragement to the elevating of agricultural standards. He has made a study of agriculture, and his activities are carried on in a scientific manner that raises his vocation to the level of a profession.
Mr. Janssen took out his citizenship papers as soon as he conveniently could do so, and his last papers were issued to him in 1892, at Lagrange. He also possesses his American passport to Germany upon his trip there in 1913, and upon which occasion he witnessed the vast improvement accomplished for the agricultural conditions during his absence, and also the improved conditions of wages for mechanics. Mr. Janssen's first vote for a presidential candidate was cast for Grover Cleveland, in 1892, and he has always voted the democratic ticket since that time, save when Mr. Bryan has been a candidate for the presidency. He has served his school district in the capacity of trustee for fifteen years, and in November, 1914, was elected county commissioner, an office in which he succeeded Frank Lidiati, who had served many years and who Mr. Janssen defeated for the nomination. Mr. Janssen took office in December, 1914, and represents Precinct No. 1, the leading precinct of the county. His fellow-members on. the board are Henry Cordes, S. R. Allen, Robert Williams and Judge Wilrich. His public record has been as clean as that of his private career and has served to place him still more substantially in the confidence of the people.
On February 7, 1887, Mr. Janssen was married to Miss Wilhelmina Gerdes, a daughter of Gerhard and Anna (Miller) Gerdes. Mr. Gerdes came to Texas from Oldenburg, Germany, in 1867, and is engaged in agricultural pursuits. Mrs. Gerdes died in 1911, having been the mother of the following children: Anna, who is the wife of John Rihtter; Meta, who married Ben Harms; Helena, who is Mrs. William Harms; Mrs. Janssen, who was born January 31, 1869; Sophie, who is the wife of John Enders; Johanna, who is the wife of Henry von Minden; Henry, a merchant of Lagrange; and Gerhardt, a farmer near this place.
Mr. and Mrs. Janssen are the parents of the following children: Miss Friede; William, a Lagrange carpenter, who married Mary Liebscher; Gerhardt, also a carpenter, who married Bertha Brandes.; Anna, who is the wife of Henry Freres; Louis; Emil; Alma; Lydia; Alfred; and Herbert. Mr. Janssen is a member of the Sons of Hermann at Rutersville and has served on its finance committee. He is a Lutheran of the Rutersville congregation. — pp. 1791-1793.
Thanks to Debbie Hanson for her help in getting these biographies online!
Heinsohn photo provided by Rox Ann Johnson