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« William Makowski, Met… | Home | Grassyville in the Ne… »

Raesener Brothers of Grassyyille -A Story of Two Orphans

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.


John Henry Raesener was born in Muehlhausen, Dusseldorf, Germany. In November 1872 he, his wife, and 18 year old son, John Adam, arrived at the Rabb's Creek area of Bastrop Co, Texas. One son and two daughters remained in Germany. About 1 month later, on December 31, 1872 son John Traugott Raesener was born. Soon thereafter both parents died in either a disease epidemic or accident. The two orphaned sons were taken in by Fritz and Christine Grusendorf. The 1880 census of Lee County, Texas lists Janey Raisner (age 7) living with this elderly couple. This was John T. Raesener .

John Adam Raesener, his older brother, in 1887 married Maria Johanna Grusendorf, one of twin daughters of the foster parents. They had 10 children between 1877 and 1899. As a young man he became a member of the Grassyville Methodist Church and soon thereafter decided to be a Methodist minister. He was ordained in Schulenburg during a Methodist Annual Conference there. He served churches at Hochheim, Hugoville, Schulz, Cuero, Indianola, Dallas, Palmer, Ft Worth, and Denton before retiring in Lexington due to asthma and other health problems. After Maria's death John Adam married a widow, Magdalena (nee Eckert) Boehme whose husband had died in 1907.There were 10 children in the Eckert/Boehme family, one of whom was Minnie. Minnie Boehme married Will Grusendorf, another cousin of John Adam.

This writer has on file a letter written to Bertha Grusendorf by her mother, in which she tells the following story: One day, while walking, Adam Raesener saw one of his nieces, Alice Hillegeist, and her daughters trying to coax a stray dog out of their yard. Adam offered to help but was bitten by the dog. Test for rabies was positive creating the need for Adam to receive a series of inoculations in Austin. He was accompanied to Austin by a nephew. The letter is dated Aug 5, 1925.

- Adam and Maria had ten children between 1877 and 1899. Maria died in 1911. Adam later married a widow, Magdalena (née Eckert) Boehme whose husband had died in 1907. The Boehme couple also had 10 children. Now there was a family in which each parent had 10 children and 10 step-children. Adam's nephew, Will Grusendorf, married Magdalena's daughter, Minnie. Adam and first wife, Maria, are buried at Memorial Cemetery in Lexington. Magdalena shares a marker with her first husband at Meiers' Settlement Methodist Cemetery near Mart and Riesel in McLennan County. Magdalena's mother, Maria Scharlock Eckert is buried in an adjacent grave.

John Traugott Raesener married Bertha Peterson in Lexington, Texas and they had six children. John was a farmer in Lexington until about 1930 when the family moved to Fort Bend County. Most of them spent the rest of their lives in that area. Some of them preferred using the name Raesner and that name appears on documents associated with those persons.

Most of the Grusendorfs and Raeseners moved out of Grassyville at about the end of the 19th century. Many went to Lexington in Lee County and thence to Falls, McLennan, Coryell, and Mason counties. This writer has on file a printed letterhead of Raesener Brothers Garage in Rosebud. These brothers were likely Herman and Henry, sons of Adam Raesener.

This writer recalls an incident in 1950 involving Henry Raesener: I, Edwin Makowski, with 2 friends, joined the US Air Force and decided to make the journey from Waco to Lackland Air Base in my automobile. When we arrived at Lackland we were refused entry because the vehicle was not registered and there were no open parking places in the basic training area. I called my father for advice and he gave me the phone number of Henry Raesener in San Antonio who was kind enough to invite me to leave my car at his home. On arriving there we were served a meal and then delivered back to Lackland Air Base in Mr. Raesener's car. I retrieved my car about 3 weeks later and have often thought about the kindness of my mother's cousin who I had not previously met.

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