Sunday 19 May 2013 at 9:40 pm
Those seeking more information may log on to www.rootsweb.com. At the top of the Home Page click Family Trees, then scroll down until you see Specific Database, enter germantexan in the box. The index that appears can guide you to the person in whom you have an interest. The information also appears in Ancestry.com as Texas' German Families but navigating is a little more difficult there.
Wednesday 15 May 2013 at 11:40 pm
Most of the facts related here were extracted from a booklet written in 1980 by Frieda Makowski Grusendorf entitled "The Life and Labors of William Makowski", reproduced and bound by Polygraphics, San Marcos, Texas. Frieda was the only daughter of William and Henrietta Makowski.
Saturday 11 May 2013 at 9:25 pm
“William K. Ebers, Wagon Master” was previously published in The Journal, German-Texan Heritage Society, Austin, Texas, Volume 31, Number 2, Summer 2009, pages 155ff and is published here with his permission.
While this article by Makowski does not mention anything about the Wends there are at least two stories about Wends involved in the cotton trade. Use your imagination to imagine your Wendish ancestors doing the same thing for the same reason as you read the following three paragraphs and Makowski's tale of William Ebers.
1. Carl Teinert was involved in the hauling of cotton to Matamoros. It was on the day of his wife's funeral, 17 November 1863, that Carl Teinert returned home from a trip hauling cotton to Mexico during the Civil War. As he approached his home he noticed all the people milling around. That is when and how he first became aware of her death.
2. Lillie Moerbe Caldwell, in her book, Texas Wends: Their First Half-Century, page 62 and following tells a story this way: "The Wends used all kinds of excuses to keep their men from going to war. ...several got affidavits to prove them unfit for services so that they could haul cotton to Mexico and run the blockade at Bagdad on the Mexican border. In exchange for their cotton they got lots of money, with which they bought and brought back all kinds of good from Mexico, San Antonio, and Houston.
As soon as the war started, Christoph Schatte realized that he and his adopted nephew Johann could not keep up the work of his blacksmith shop. People were buying new wagons that had to be checked; old wagons had to have many repairs and much overhauling so they would be strong enough to haul cotton and other freight as far away as Mexico and other cities. Schatte decided to move the blacksmith shop close to his home. In this way they could get more done and still have some time to spend with their family. Johann could also be spared more often to visit his firl friend Anna Zwahr, who lived at Prairie Branch. Christoph hired a number of men to help him dig a deep tank (stock pond) close to his house so that he would have plenty of water at all times to cool the hot iron from the blacksmith anvil. Rosina, his wife, Maria Pilak, the adopted daughter, and his son Andreas, all were able to help with the many little jobs in the shop. Many times during the war Christoph and all of his family worked day and night to get the wagons out for the teamsters.
Right in the middle of this busy time, in October 29, 1863, Johann Schatte, Christoph's adopted son, married his sweetheart Anna Zwahr. They moved into the home of Anna's mother, who was a widow with five other children and who was sick. Johann was needed there. After that Christoph Schatte's job was even harder on him, for help was hard to find at that time.
A short time later Ferdinand Jacob Moerbe, Ernest Moerbe's brother, who had lived with the Ernest Moerbes since they came to Texas, married a girl [Johanna Rahele Anna Dube] from Fedor, Texas, where they had made their home after the wedding. After Ferdinand left Ernest Moerbe's home, Mr Moerbe decided to take his young son Johann Traugott with him, as did most of the other Wendish fathers who were hauling freight. He promised his son a brand new freight wagon and a team of six mules for his seventeenth birthday, which was on October 1, 1864. This generous gift proved to be a big mistake; for on Johann Traugott's first hauling trip with the new wagon, while the team was pulling it up a steep river bank, the loaded wagon came loose, ran over the boy and instantly killed him."
3. Anna Blasig in her book,in her book, The Wends of Texas, pages 51 and 52 tells about the cotton haulers this way: "The Wendish settlers prospered during the Civil War. They brought to Serbin a large amount of goods from Mexico, in exchange for their cotton, and had plenty of money. Since cotton was higher-priced than wool, some of the men hauled bales of cotton with freight wagons, drawn by srong oxen or horses, to Houston and at times returned with as much as twenty pieces of gold."
If someone has more to tell of Carl Teinert and others about their adventures running cotton, we offer this as a place to publish them.
Saturday 11 May 2013 at 8:31 pm
This article was originally published in The Journal of The German-Texan Heritage Society, Austin, Texas. volume XI, Number 2, 1989, pages 102-105. It is published here with the permission of Edwin Makowski. The first paragraph has been slightly revised by Weldon Mersiovsky and George Nielsen.