The Diary of Spruce McCoy Baird

The Diary of Spruce McCoy Baird is held in the Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library at Yale University. The transcription of the diary was purchased from the Library in 2015. it is valuable to Wendish researchers in that it mentions Serbin and the conditions in the United States in the immediate years following the Civil War. We present to you first his bio followed by the transcript of the diary.




Spruce McCoy Baird, jurist and Confederate officer, was born at Glasgow, Kentucky, on October 8, 1814. He taught school there before moving to Texas. He lived at Woodville and San Augustine before beginning his law practice at Nacogdoches. On May 27, 1848, Governor George T. Wood appointed Baird judge of the newly established Santa Fe County, east of the Rio Grande in what is now New Mexico, an area included in the bounds of the Republic of Texas but unorganized until after the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo concluded the Mexican War. Baird was unsuccessful in his attempts to set up Texas jurisdiction, for the natives of Santa Fe County were Republican in politics and were opposed to Texas control. Furthermore Baird was opposed by Col. John M. Washington, commanding officer at Santa Fe. When Texas sold her claim to the area as a result of the Compromise of 1850, Baird was left without a job. He stayed in New Mexico, became a member of the bar there, and in 1852 was Indian agent to the Navajos. In 1860 he was appointed attorney general of New Mexico, but in 1861 he was forced to leave the state because of his sympathy with the Confederacy. On March 4, 1862, he was indicted for high treason and his property was confiscated. Baird returned to Texas, where he recruited and commanded the Fourth Regiment, Arizona Brigade, which served throughout Texas, mostly on the northwest frontier. He was paroled in July 1865 and in 1867 moved to Trinidad, Colorado, where he opened a law office. Baird married Emmacetta C. Bowdry of Kentucky in 1848. On June 5, 1872, he died at Cimarron, New Mexico.


Vertical Files, Barker Texas History Center, University of Texas at Austin

C. R. Wharton, “Spruce McCoy Baird,” New Mexico Historical Review 27 (October 1952).

Clinton P. Hartmann








S.M. BAIRD A .O. 1867



I send you this little token of my affection, written hastily, at times snatched from the other business, without reviewing it or making any attempt at correcting either the spelling, punctuation or grammatical construction – – If it will in any degree cheer you and amuse in my absence, my object will be accomplished.

Trinidad, C.T. Oct. 10th 1867

S. M. Baird.

1. June 6th 1867

                Left home at Serbin, Bastrop County, Texas. Serbin is a German Colony which settled there some twelve or fifteen years ago. The people are distinguished from other Germans as Wendish, and are from the frontiers of Saxony and …., the capitol or principal town being Bautzen. They are an industrious people and economical people – kind in their disposition and devoted to their church which is Lutheran. They have two churches and the whole population of the colony amounts to some 800 or 1000 men. A good school, taught by their minister the Reverend Mr Killian, in which the dead languages German and French are cultivated – These people, by their industry and frugality, though their lands are not of the best quality, being what are known as post-oak lands, are prospering and many of them growing rich.

                My oldest son Andrew Bowdry Baird accompanied me on my first day’s journey as far as the little town of Round Top – some

2.             twenty miles from Serbin. The country over which we passed is not materially different from that surrounding Serbin except that embraced by Cumming’s Prairie which is very beautiful – The crops as far as the German settlement extend were in first rate order and promising – whenever negro labor is relied on they are in the woods and many of them apparently lost. Stopped on the road on the headwaters of Cumming’s Creek to noon and take lunch – The place is pretty and shady and refreshing on a hot day – Four boys came with their rods, hooks and lines a fishing. They caught but few fish but fully verified the old adage that “if you swear you will catch a fish for every sentence they severally attend was sounded off at each with an oath. It is mortifying to see the moral cotton of children thus neglected or mis-directed.

                Arrived at Round top early in the evening and put up for the night

3.             at a German hotel at which a Yankee officer seemed to be boarding. He was non communicative and so were we – He had a disgusting appearance and I trust we did not.

                Saw here in Flaker Bulletin that 60,000 pounds of wool had been exported this year from New Mexico and that a larger amount was expected – One evening at Trinidad I heard that that was but a fractional part of the wool annually exported from New Mexico and that the best informed men on the subject estimate it at (at least) 1,000,000 of pounds.

                Round Top is a small German town in Fayette County and the LaGrange and Brenham road, fifteen miles from the former and twenty from the latter.

                It, like all German towns, is in a prosperous condition.

                From this point Bowdry will return home and I will take the

4.             stage in the morning for Brenham.

                The sky is clear (evening). A gentle breeze is blowing, weather pleasant, and I would be happy, but the journey before me is a long one and I feel sad am starting out and parting with my family, who have been deprived of a home and almost every comfort by the fates of war, – The patience and equanimity with which they have born this misfortune doubly endear them to me. I however leave them in the special care of my good friends and relatives, A. M. Smith, T. J. Smith, Cousin Bettie and G. Waitman and the immediate care at house of Clay & Cousin Dick. Pack and Ben are also close by who I know love their sister and her children – My business is important and I will go ahead through any danger – At any sacrifice of comfort with a full faith that I will be enabled to remedy our misfortunes and make all around me happy and warm.

5.             I love my people, not only better than any comfort but better than my life.

                Bowdry has kept my spirits up through the day. I learned here from a German, a Juryman, just returned from LaGrange Court that a negro was being tried for maltreating a Bohemian woman.

                To be more explicit my notes are the way of today are as follows:

                “The country passed over today is very poor – gravelly-post­oak land-a portion of the road passes through small prairies. The crops seen after leaving the vicinity of Serbin badly cultivated-a good deal of land idle.

6. June 6th

                Bowdry bid me adieu this morning and returned home. I waited at Round Top for the stage until 1O A.M., 1 ½ hours behind time – Met here Mr. Gaither of this vicinity and intelligent gentleman and old settler and nephew of Dr. Gaither of Columbia, Ky and formerly Democratic member from Ky to congress.

                On entering the stage found for traveling companions and very agreeable gentlemen Attorney General Walton of the city of Austin, Parson Colsons, Mr Nunn, Dr. Kepm and a “culled population” formerly a slave of the Parson and now traveling under his protection on a visit to her retainer in Houston. Her old master seemed kind to her and I think was bearing her expenses. Mr. Colson is quite a jolly person and not at all hidebound by the pharisaical formalities of religion. He and Dr. Kemp were traveling to Houston as delegates to the Grand Masonic lodge. Genl Walton was on his way to Galveston

7.             to attend a suit against Genl Miholds in behalf of the states, involving a large amount in regard to cotton purchases for the state during the war.

                We dined at Genl Wilsons, the stage stand, and about sun down arrived at Brenham and stopped at Crumpter’s hotel and took lodging for the night. Crops on the road to Brenham in bad condition and prospect very bad. Brenham was named after Dr. Brenham from Louisville, Ky, and one of the Santa Fe prisoners from Texas in 1841. The word Brenham is German and signifies to burn, and very significantly this unfortunate town has been the victim of four fires since the close of the war. The first known to be a diabolical act of incendiarism of the United States soldiers, and the others were supposed to be so – Each side of the public square has been successfully thus burned down.

8.             Took the cars on railroad at ½ past 6 o’clock A.M. passing over a fine country and by the town of Hempstead and arrived at the city of Houston ½ past 11 A.M. Crops all the way in the grass improving. Many of them lost — Called to see Judge Crosby and Tenilo on business in regard to land at Woodville – Directed them that if Dr. Burroughs could not pay for the land to rescind the contract and take a deed from him to Mrs. Baird, C. This business being attended to, went aboard the St. Clair in the evening bound for Galveston – Saw on board Col. Ashbel Smith and Judge Aldharn. Also a young man by the name of Benj. Cooper of LaFayette county. Cousin to Cousin Dick Thomas – formerly a confederate soldier and now on his way home. We agreed to travel together-we wound our way down the tortuous stream of Buffalo Bayou,

9.             the boat constantly running into the bank on one side or the other – and finally they ran the Jacob staff into the top of a tree and broke it: but we seemed to get along just as well without it, showing that it was more ornamental than useful – The stream is dull, dark and sluggish and might be well taken for Luther. It, however, is beautifully bordered with magnolias, water oak, and other evergreens for a long way down. Night overtook us shortly after passing Harrisburg and left us the hum­drum it through the dark, passing Lynchberg, until we awake in the morning on the out-spreading bay of Galveston. Just above Houston we passed the Eureka Cotton Mills in a beautiful locality – the buildings extensive – frame and painted white – The grounds

10.          well laid out and handsome. Everything wearing a clearly fresh and pleasant appearance – There mills are said to be in a flourishing condition – Just below Houston we saw other buildings (brick) for a like purpose in process of erection an extensive scale. It is to be hoped the south will soon raise and spin and weave her own cotton, and be entirely independent of her enemies.

11. June 9th

6 o’clock A.M. at the wharf at Galveston with the usual annoyance of Hotel owners, hackmen, and porters. But as I have no encumbrance baggage, I swing my haversack on my shoulder “a­ la” “The hunters of Kentucky” and give them all the go by, and this is the right way to travel in these hard times. I went directly to the ticket office on the wharf and young Cooper and myself procured through tickets by steamer to N.O. (New Orleans) and then to St. Louis by rail, and sat down in the office to await the arrival of the Hughes are? but not arrived from Port Lavaca-We pick up a breakfast on the wharf, not wishing to go to a hotel as we may be trotted back immediately on the announcement of the Hughes in sight – It is dinner time and no Hughes. Rumors are afloat as to the

12.          cause of her detention when thinking men knew there is no possibility of her having been heard from.

                We go up town and dine bountifully at a restaurant and return hot but in a better humor in company of a fresh made acquaintance and fellow passenger, — a Baltimorean, a German by the name of Brawnold. The sun is down and no Hughes – We dutifully shoulder our nap sacks and wend our way to the Island City hotel-where it is announced that the Hughes is coming in — The accommodating proprietor Mr. Pierce sends down and brings back the intelligence that she will not go out until morning at ½ past 6 A.M. so we eat a hearty supper and get a good night’s sleep.

June 10th

                Arise early, settle our bills, wet our whistles

13.          with the land lord-strike out and board the Hughes before breakfast ½ past 6 A.M. – Omnibuses, hacks and drays all in a hurry and bustle. And now we are all aboard and who are we first and foremost “here be I” as an Englishman would say and my travelling companions little Ben Cooper. Next-there are twenty three sea turtles aboard all flat of their backs with their faces turned up to the hot boiling sun-their great paddle feet pierced with holes and tied together-some with their eyes closed, others half closed and others wide awake rolling their eyes so tragically, stage like and oratorical frenzy. If the gourmand and epicure of feeling heart could see their misery his “hasty plate” of turtle soup costs these poor creatures he would certainly dispense with that favorite beverage. After the turtles came next in rank the Yankee

14.          sea captain clever enough for aught I know: for I never exchanged a word with him – Then there was a lot of Yankees from Brownsville and the Rio Grande, men and their wives, strong minded women of the male persuasion and among them an amazon with short hair, a man’s hat as mostly so, sunburned face and sun burnt back black sack of seedy cloth and dowdy white dress– She was traveling alone and seemed at first to congregate with no one. She looked like she might have a twin sister to Madam Dunway. Another of these “strong minded” had a menagerie of prairie dogs and rabbits, a trifling look husband in U.S.A. uniform and no baby. There were some others of the Yankee school not sufficiently different from Christian women of the French persuasion except that for corn they said “karn”. For water they said “wat-ter” giving these as the sound it takes in “fat” and the mother of a cow they called “gnow” but talking

15.          always when they talked at all, and their silence was the exception to the rules, sharp, pest and quick as though they all had crackers to their tongues. This disposes of the Yankee part of the “voyageurs”. At the head of whom I have placed myself and the turtles, that they, the Yankees might have no pretext for saying, we, that is I and the turtles, were prejudiced against them.

                And now comes another class of travelers that fall not in competition with either the Yankees or turtles, for rank, but form a separate and independent community. I will mention them as I happen to remember them. Mr. Shanks and children placed under my care by her husband (an old acquaintance) on her way to New Orleans to visit her father, Judge Palmer, formerly confederate depositary of public moneys at San Antonio and who “ingloriously fled”. He lives

16.          in luxury now in New Orleans respected by no one. He was originally from New Hampshire. Mrs. Shanks deported herself with all the modesty and propriety of a well raised southern lady, which she is – Then there was a handsome widow by the name of Mrs. R—– commended to my attention in – —- of need by old friend John S. Ford but no occasion required that I should cultivate her acquaintance and I felt not like dancing attendance on handsome widows as my thought were on other subject connected with my own affairs and family. There were also on board several Mexican families from Monterey whose fortune had gone down with the fall of Maximillian and who were “flung the wrath to come” from the triumphant party.             As I had passed through this ordeal in our own civil war

17.          I sympathize deeply and earnestly with them. There were also several French families from Matamoras, as I thought entitled to no sympathy as they were at best but intruders in Mexico as the Yankees were in the south, and were merely returning home-Then there was a Madam Placido an actress of some celebrity and a native of New Orleans – she had the habit of rolling her eyes about in a theatrical style, similar to the green turtles and seemed to be attended by a man formerly of Arizona of the sporting persuasion, by the name of Jones (not Claude Jones).  She also seemed to be fond of sangones. There was also on board a doctor Hale of New Orleans returning from exile or banishment a fine looking man of dark bilious complexion and southern to the core. Also a Mr. Lemon from Georgia and the last I will mention was my traveling      

18.          companion and roommate the Baltimorean Dutchman Mr Brownold a gentleman in all his bearings. Down below, a corps of Texas cattle with their attendants and now we are underway and at breakfast. We pass the bar and are out at sea, and a gentle sea at that. We have finished breakfast and are all out looking at the sea gulls ever in the wake of a vessel “Just parting from the shore” and straining our eyes to get the last glimpses of the fading and receding shore and church steeples of Galveston. “We run all night-we run all day,” without any change of course, or sail or steam or scenery except that of day for night and night for day, enjoying, however the brilliancy of a Mexico sun set and marine sun rise as the sun at lastly

19.          plunged into the sea at eve and hopped out of the sea in the morning brining us up to the 11th June.

June 11th

This morning we saw in the distance and right ahead of us a small spot just above the surface of the sea which we soon learn from those acquainted with the south, is Ship-shoal light-house. It gradually rises higher and higher until, after an hour or two run we get opposite, when two men in a small boat came out to us to mail letters and get newspapers which are delivered to them by casting them upon the water, after which they pick them up and dry them and read them . From this forward all is monotony until evening when we pass Ship Island light house and sometime after we pass through a

20.          mottled or clouded sea having passed however the line where the two tides meet. – that is the rising on advancing, and the falling on receding tides. The time of their encounters is marked by its peculiar calmness and foam and such other drift as the two tides may topper? To be freighted with. Late in the evening the water gradually becomes muddy from the disgorgement of the great Mississippi. The clear and muddy waters are not marked by a line as I have often heard though it may sometimes be as for aught I know. We were warned of our approach to the mouth of the Mississippi before even entering the clouded waters by an occasional log or chunk floating on the water generally bearing one or more sea birds. We also pass through schools of

21.          porpoises (some of large size plunging about and plowing the sea in every direction. Often leaping clear out of the water and among them we thought we saw a large shark leap clear out of the water, and I think so yet, though an old sailor said it was a porpoise. The light house and shipping at the mouth are in full view and now the pilot comes aboard and takes the direction of the vessel as we approach the bar over which there is a much greater current than I had supposed or had ever noticed before. The channel is marked by stakes – a large ship is laying off to our left, aground, and waiting to be dragged off and towed up to New Orleans by some propeller or tug-boat. We are now over the bar and fairly in the Mississippi

22.          whose banks are surely marked by a narrow strip of grass just above the surface of the water, the muddy sea appearing beyond on every side. We see a large steamer a way off to our right on the open sea, on her way from Mobile. We pass the few shanties and the quarantine station all down in the mud and water surrounded by coarse rush like grass, and mosquitoes, and frogs and snakes and alligators and chills and fevers and death apparently: yet the few inhabitants, as usual in all countries say it’s entirely healthy. And I must say those I saw of them presented no unusual appearance of sickness. The sun is down and the river and the land and the sea are all under our excessive and

23.          unbroken shallow-We pass Fort Jackson and St. Philip in the night though I have heretofore seen them in the day time. There is nothing worthy of note about them except that they are said to have been treacherously and mutinously surrendered to the Yankees. We run all night and wake (June 12th) up in the morning in what used to be the bountiful and luxuriant coast of Louisiana, made beautiful by the fine residences and the highly cultivated sugar plantation and sugar factories (houses). But the hand of the destroyer has been here, – The trail of the Vandal– the infamous Yankee, is marked out by the charred walls of the sugar houses and the lone, homeless chimneys of the residences built of frame structure as the trail of the serpent is said to be marked with its slime.

24.          The whole coast of the Mississippi ever so beautiful and charming is one continuous scene of desolation from the mouth of the river to New Orleans and from New Orleans to Memphis.   In the lower part of the city I noticed the smoked walls of a formerly large and splendid church (Catholic I suppose)–and passing up and down the river a year ago I noted, the broken levies unrepaired , the lone chimneys, fences gone, plantations growing up in young cotton woods and the idle negroes when seen at all hovering round the steamboat landings and  railroad stations The former city of Bayou Sara no longer exists – its former site is lonely marked by a few shanties extemporized from the rubbish

25.          left by the Vandals. The Yankee incendiaries and plunderers the city of Grand Gulf at which Grant’s army crossed the river to flank Vicksburg is marked by its mines only – not a living soul, nor a house remains there and in this communication I will note that the well authenticated reports and statistics show that during the war these same people who have the presumption to send missionaries to all parts of the world burned within the southern states twelve hundred churches of all denominations The Capitol of Louisiana at Baton Rouge, ever a splendid edifice presents to the view nothing but its cracked and smoked walls. But we are still aboard of the Hughes and at the Levee of New Orleans-we land in a hurry and secure a hack and rush on to the

26.          railroad depot just in time to see the train rolling out of sight. We are five minutes too late and return to the hotel and remain till evening. Walked around town a little and called on General Longstreet who expresses radical sentiments at the time not understood by me – Dine-rest till evening and start out on the 7 o clock evening train.

Of our fellow travelers on shipboard we find on the cars my traveling companions, Ben Cooper, Mrs. Brawnolds, the Yankee Amazon and another female from Bryant, Texas who claimed to be a Texan though she was traveling north for her health. We made other agreeable acquaintances on the way from New Orleans to St. Louis and among them a Dutchman from Philadelphia who had been to

27.         Mobile to visit his brother. This Dutchman, though not a large man, a fleshy man, made himself worthy of note by his eating a whole meal at every eating station and replenishing between meals from a large basket he had aboard filled with cheese, crackers, oranges, bananas and other things including a bottle of brandy. At one of these stations he ate heartily, and drank twelve glasses of lager beer, returned one hand? And ate and drank again and said he felt first rate. On leaving New Orleans we passed the suburbs of the city in the meantime observing a dredging boat cutting a canal-It was operated by steam and ate its own way through the earth, floating on the water for which it was making the way and soon after passing this boat

28.          night overtook us and we consequently could see but little by the way until morning, enough however to know that we passed through a long stretch of low swampy lands, densely covered with trees and undergrowth and densely populated with frogs and mosquitoes for we could hear the former bellow and at one of the stations saw the cattle standing around a smoke raised for their especial benefit in driving off the mosquitoes. We passed up between the river and Lake Pontchartrain and won the shore of the latter but in the darkness we could see but little of it– We also passed over a pretty sheet of water known as Lake Manshee and gradually emerged from the swamp into the piney wood and higher land.

29.          The only incident worthy of note during out night ride was the locomotive encountering a negro man laying, fast asleep on the road who was scratched up by the cow catcher and cast to one side, breaking his arm as I heard next morning. The train made a short halt to look after him but I did not know the object of the stoppage at the time. I sat up and lounged in my seat all night and slept by snatches only, as I was desirous of seeing even at night what I could of the country. It seemed to be nearly all the way poor piney woods and sparsely populated. Daylight caught us some distance below the city of Jackson, Mississippi in a poor, worn out country. Farms

30.          and houses all in a dilapidated condition and many of them totally destroyed by the Vandal enemy of the Army of the best Government this world ever saw, “so called”. The crop was backward– The cotton not yet chopped out to a stand and the com just above the ground. Some of the cotton burned off but the greater part not yet touched with either plow or hoe. The country hilly the soil originally thin and now much washed craggy points and sided of the hills and deep washed gulley presenting themselves everywhere. They seem almost universally to have adapted the circular or horizontal system of plowing– That is running the rows and furrows round the hills to keep them on a level to prevent the land from washing. It must be very troublesome and tedious in plowing.

31.          We arrived at Jackson, Mississippi, breakfast, the noisy gang singing on the steps of the far and fair famed Confederate house nearby, burned by the Yankees, as the train stops at the depot. But I have my lunch aboard and never have the cars when thus provided to forage in railroad Hotels because the whistle generally announces the start about the time the guests get seated. I went out on the platform however and looked around for the city of Jackson, but alas! It is not there – I thought we were merely in the suburbs and that the main city was behind some hill or skirt of timber and on making inquiry was told that the city was burned and that the former site was before and around me. A house with a dome was pointed out to me some distance off

32.          as the Capitol or court house, I disremember which. But Jackson, alas! Is not there – It was maliciously and hellishly burned by the army of a people professing to be Christian and our brethren. The site from the hasty and limited survey I was able to make appeared to be rather flat, rising into a slightly hilly and rolling country. The timber being pine, oak, hickory, etc. The Confederate house seen is rebuilt – framed – of a circular of octangular form, some twenty or thirty yards from and east of the  railroad and presents a very pretty appearance though a sad monument of the vandalism of the enemy, and made testimonial by their fiendish brutality. The warning scream, or squall or squeak, a hideous noise embodying

33.          all these hideous and diabolical sounds and a good deal more coming from what by misnomer is called the Rail Road whistle announces the departure and those who as usual at such places frantically rushed in at the door of the Confederate house, now as frantically rush out, bestowing their parting blessings on the hotel keeper, the Rail Road conductor and, as Lincoln used to say in his rambling proclamations , “whom it may concern, and generally, avowed their finis belief that there was a universal conspiracy between Rail Road men and hotel keepers to defraud travelers of their first and equitable rights in creature comforts, for which they have paid their money and that is just the way it looks to the jaded and hungry traveler though I think otherwise.

34.          We are all aboard and off for Grenada as our next objective point-nothing of importance occurring on the road except that the Yankee Amazon of the Madam Danly persuasion, vivid from her opulent torpor, like an anaconda opened her basket and for the first time commenced finding on such things as sausages, cheese and cracker, and oranges. The side of her face was hitherwards so that I could not well avoid seeing the motions of her jaw and the muscles brought into play as she chomped her provender with the quick and fierce manner of all hungry Yankees and I never saw one that was not hungry. For this regard they are like the Indian always ready to eat at another’s expense. In the mean time I had been out at one of the depots foraging myself and having for a few bits

35. of green backs became lawfully possessed of more comfits than my personal wants demanded, commenced distributing them among my mosest  railroad neighbors “a la Southern Chivalry” and consequently made a courteous tender thereof to the Amazon who very curtly, but intending to be very polite, gave her head a stiff Yankee jerk intended as a bow or curtsey and replied “No I thank ye, I believe I won’t tick enny. I don’t need enny” About the middle of the afternoon we arrive at Grenada (pronounced by Americans uncouthly “Graynady”. This plan was one of the unfortunate points of the Griessan and other raids and presented satisfactory evidences that the Vandals had been there. The former depot buildings.

36.          cars and other Rail Road appurtenances had then and there, these fiends, being moved and seduced by the instigation of the Devil and silver spoons and other like plunder and not having the fear of God before their eyes, been suitably destroyed. Rail Road iron-car wheels and the iron skeletons of the cars lay in confused heaps on every side. There was on board a Methodist minister, with his family, by the name of Coperton, who had formerly been stationed at this town and who avowed he could scarcely recognize the place by reason of the destruction and desolation there perpetrated by this Army of “the best Government the world ever saw” “so called.” Here the Rail Road forks—0ne prong leading

37.          to Humbolt, Tennessee by way of Grand Junction and the other to the same point by way of Memphis-and here most of my  railroad acquaintances and myself separated. I took the Memphis prong-­ And as we dashed for Memphis – passing late in the evening Hernando were I suppose lived my highly esteemed friend Mrs. Oliver upon whom I would have called if could have done so conveniently and without too great a loss of time – After dark we arrived at Memphis and were greatly annoyed (more so than at any other place, though it is too bad at any city) by hack and omnibus men and hotel drummers – I wish they were all “dead or absent” as they are to the traveler a very great nuisance and a disgrace to every city. They are

38.          less annoying in New Orleans than any place I have been at. We however worked our way through them and got into the right omnibus and off to the right Hotel (the Overton House) after some trouble. As the omnibus was too much loaded on one side I changed to the other and in so doing unfortunately planted the weight (avoirdupois) of two hundred and ten pounds with the heel of my shoe on the toe of a young Tennessean, who had been one of the “so called”. He gave mouth with some profanity, whereupon I apologized and expressed much sympathy and condolence.  Whereupon he apologized for haste of speech and expressed regrets and thereby we became acquainted. Memphis is a beautiful city – On high and dry ground – streets

39.          wide and airy and well paved. Buildings in good style and the Overton one of the most agreeable and finest hotels I have ever been in – There was a music school or amateur concert or something of the sort going on up stairs in a house just in front of the hotel. Through the large windows we could see all over the room and he who seemed to be boss of the institute seemed to have “wait for the wagon” “on the brain” while another sawed it on the violin, another fluted it on the flute and another piped on a pipe and all together they did nothing favorable for the musical reputation of the fair Rebel City of Memphis. God bless her! And her truly southern people – Took supper and went to bed. Slept all night – woke

40.          June 14th early in the morning, took breakfast and fool – — it down to the  railroad depot. After some waiting took the cars for Humbolt. I here should remark that from Grenada to Memphis the country and crop improves in appearance. From Memphis we pass through one of the prettiest countries I have ever seen for a heavy timbered country. The country for some distance out from Memphis is level and laid out in beautiful forms, in a good state of cultivation with good houses. The lands appear to be good. The timber heavy and of every variety common to that altitude (35 degrees north). I had selected this road instead of the road by the Grand Junction at the ticket office in Galveston for two reasons – first, that it is the road of

41.          which Beauregard is president and secondly because I wished to pass through Memphis and see that fine city and surrounding country all of which came quite up to my expectations. But I have to lodge a complaint against the accommodations on this road from Memphis to Humbolt. They had the passenger car hooked on so close to the locomotive, that the smoke, ashes and coal dust entered the windows so that when I arrived at Humbolt at middle of the day, 80 odd miles from Memphis, my hair and beard were full of small particles of coal, and ashes and I felt or thought I might be taken for a well smoked ham. This car was furthermore old and smokey and dusty, and ashes with no carpets on the floor. We however arrived at Humbolt at dinner time and were saluted as ever by the barbarous

42.          unchristian sound of that grand and universal hotel nuisance – the gong. I wish the man who introduced them to this country was back in China surrounded by all the gongs in the “so called United States in full blast. We here were detained some half hour for the mobile train, which having arrived we boarded and set out on the last stretch for Columbus, Ky. The cars more pleasant – the country not materially changed except that we passed through what I supposed to be the Hatchy swamps of which I have often heard – Cypress is also seen occasionally from New Orleans to Columbus and passing through Tennessee and Kentucky I met with an also familiar acquaintance which I have never seen west of the Mississippi, the yellow poplar. The Tennesseans seemed unanimously

43.          embittered against Brawlow and against him with absolute horror. What a farce it is to pretend that he is governor of Tennessee by the votes or will of the people. It is the meanest burlesque on the republican form of government of which Americans have been in former years so justly proud – The port of Ky passed through presented a poor appearance – The soil is thin. We arrived at Columbus, Ky, the scene of operations by generals Polk and Pillow at the commencement of the war and a little below Bellmont on the opposite side when Grant met with his first defeat. Columbus is an insignificant place, confined to a small half moon valley, a portion of which seems subject to overflow it cannot be supported a wealthy and productive back country or else it would be of more importance and better appearance.

44.          Kentucky is my native state of which I used to be proud, but her unjustifiable vacillation during the war dampened my ardor for her, and it has not until the present time fully revived although she seems to be taking the right line now. I hope she will often merited penance, by the renewal of good works retrieve her former enviable character. Now with these, as I think, just reflection on my notion I go aboard of the steamboat (laying at the wharf) which plies between Columbus, Ky and Cairo, Illinois in connection with the New Orleans, Memphis and Columbus Rail Road and the Illinois Central, and bid farewell for the present and perhaps forever to “Old Kentucky shore” – We take supper on the boat, and with a sun of two hours we descry the lights of Cairo and soon after land at

45.          9 o clock P.M. At the wharf of that delectable city – —–­——– speaking. Aside from the fact that two great rivers happen to unite at this place, and a rail road ends as it it certainly is the most ineligible and disgusting place for human habitation in the world pretending to be on “terra firma”. To look over the levee into the heart of the town one can but imagine that it is built upon the ruins of fallen Babylon: for there is the marsh and pools of stagnate water far below the artificially elevated streets. And there is a fit dwelling place for swamp reptiles, bitterns, etc, but there is no hill for the satyr to dance upon as at Babylon. The city is far below high water mark – an immense levee has been thrown up to protect it against

46.          inundation. The streets running back have likewise been elevated to correspond with the levee and to keep the houses and the enterprising denizens out of filthy, stagnant water and mire. The consequence is the water settles in the low grounds between streets and the city is beautifully checkered off with levees and likes. It would be a fine place for raising ducks and not likely adapted to the culture of frogs and mosquitoes. The citizens say it is one of the most healthy places in the world. It is certainly the lower end of Illinois. We had to wait here in the  railroad sitting rooms until 12 PM the time of the “great Central” (as it calls itself) starting. We had for our wakeful companions a very polite, “very fine old Irish gentleman” and a very fine old Irish lady and a very fine Cairo alderman and all of them

47.          drunk “according to the custom of Cairo.” The car doors were locked except the sleeping car, apparently with a view of forcing the weary travelers into the sleeping cars and the payment of an extra dollar. As one of the brake-men entered one of the ordinary cars. A man from St. Louis made a rush at the door to get in and locate himself for his night ride, but the brakeman slammed the door in his face and locked it to the displeasure of us all for all wished to get our seats and be at rest and devote the three hours of waiting to sleep – But the conductors of the “great Central, as it calls itself were inexorable and we wore away the time with the drunken Irish gentleman and woman and the bonny alderman of Cairo – A stranger

48.          had left a carpet bag for a few moments in charge of the old Irish gentleman who seemed to be very proud of his charge but at the same time uneasy that the wrong man would claim it – He consequently addressed us in this wise – “Stranger did you leave this carpet bag under my care? No Sir. However a gentleman left it with me and however I didn’t know but it might be you. I don’t know the man however” And this he must have repeated to various individuals at least a dozen times. At length the right man came and unceremoniously picked up the bag. When the old Irish gentleman cast his eyes upon him and significantly acknowledged “Stranger, I hardly think I may be mistaken but I hardly think that is your bag” Certainly it’s my bag replied the

49.          man, I left in your charge – Well however you can have it sir but I thought it was best to be sure” The Old Irish Lady squatted about first in one corner and then in another and at the kind of amen intervals doled out some Irish imprecation upon the Rail Road men for not letting the “people” have train seats in the cars for which they “all had first class tickets at once and bay done wid it” In the mean time we staggered the drunken alderman when the Irish gentlemen approached him and being recognized by each other they had a friendly tussle. They were both by their acquaintances said to be fine clever men but were now on a regular bust and going off on the cars to get sober.

They were well dressed and the alderman’s son as filially bound

50.          was following his father seemed to take care of him in a very commendable manner. The doors were opened and we all rush in and off we go. 15th June – Nothing of note transpired during the night except that a black man who seemed to be known to road men came aboard and traveled a short distance – He talked much, muddling up politics and religion, though a democrat and not fanatical. He evidently was trying to make a display of his “hamming” which was however (to use the “old Irish gentle-man’s, expletive nothing but a smattering – nevertheless some of the passengers, not graduates themselves stared with wonder that one head, and that blind could hold as much learning – We gaped – we nodded , – we snored – we slept – — and awoke at daylight high up

51,          in the lower part of the very low and flat state of Illinois and still dashing on towards Odin, our present objective point. By farm houses, by small towns numerous through fields, with waving grain though lands and skirts of timber and open prairies we soon arrive at Centralia and a few minutes afterwards at Odin when we change cars and direction for St. Louis and the Mississippi or St Louis and Cincinnati road – The country and towns all along the road are just such as we have indicated above and need no further description – We arrive about ten o clock at east St. Louis and take the omnibus amid the usual din and scrabble of hackmen and hotel drummers, under our through

52.          ticket privilege to any hotel or steamboat. As we passed down the wharf I saw the Kate Kinney with her sign up for Omaha and I boarded her and made arrangements for my passage up the Missouri to Kansas City.

And here I will rest a while. The Captain of the Kate Kinney was not ready to sail and consequently proposed that he would take us on board and charge me per/day until he did sail. I accepted the proposition at once and soon found myself in a choice stateroom, – Soon made myself acquainted with the officers of the boat, – found them all clever and accommodating gentlemen and of the Rebel persuasion I turned my money over to the clerk, it being gold and requested him to sell it for me for greenbacks which he did the first time he went

53.          up town to much better advantage doubtless than I could have done myself. I was now the first and only passenger on the boat and soon ingratiated myself with the clerk, Capt. Steward and got along well by being polite and kind to all with whom I came in contact. The Captain (Kinney) had but little to do and I had less and we mutually assisted each other by talking about matters and things in general – Among other things talked over was the war – He stated that his boat had been pressed into the service and forced to send up the Yazoo river and was there when Sherman returned from his raid into Mississippi – that the officers brought back gunny sacks full of gold, and silver plate – that they had also collected a large number of negroes

54.          from the plantations and that they even encamped or crowded on a space of ground of about four acres mostly on quite as close as they could be packed . That they were without a single exception pure blacks – –that the soldiers perpetrated the most shameful outrages upon them in open day, the oldest not excepted and notwithstanding their entreaties to be let alone. Of these negroes he said mostly every one died from hardships, hunger and maltreatment. After closing his statement and seemingly falling into a reverie he quickly added “This was no war. It was nothing but a great big plunder and robbery”–remained on the boat all day having no important business ashore.

June 16. This morning after breakfast I went down to the Iron Mountain Railroad depot and then down to Carondelet

55.          by the RR to see Mrs. Farnsworth and make inquiries about the Mrs. Leittersdorfer, her brothers – I found that they were both out west, Tom at Trinidad and Eugene at Las Vegas. Carondelet is a small hilly, and rather pretty place having nothing about it worth special notice – I returned by the next but am return train to the depot and then up through the heart of the city on 4th street & the finest of the city – I went to some of the hotels or public places because I did not wish to meet any of my acquaintances as I knew they would disturb more or less my quietude on my boat and insist on running round the city for which the weather was entirely too hot and moreover I had a slight rheumatic affliction in my right thigh and had no heart for s—- and gay enjoyments.

56.          I purchased me a fine glass and returned to my boat – They all seemed glad to see me (though I had been gone but a few hours) as I was the only company on the boat. I should have remarked that on Saturday it was published in the paper that the  railroads congressional committee who were there in St. Louis on their return from Fort Riley, Kz consisting of Ben Wade and others, would attend the Baptist church on Sunday – I had myself contemplated attending the same church but on seeing this declined, because I thought it would look too much like the curiosity which sends people to a monkey show. On this Monday morning passengers began to come aboard – I had been so long to first settle on the boat that I felt like Daniel Boon when he passed of another settler within forty miles

57.          of him that is to say I was about to be crowded – While laying at the wharf a boat from the head of Navigation (Fort Benton) and the Missouri river, a way up in Montana landed at the side of us. She was heavily laden with paltries such as buffalo robes, bear skins, dear skins, antelope skins, elk skins, beaver skins etc. etc. And afterwards the Stonewall came and landed just above the latter and next to us. She had a gilded lance projecting horizontally from the Jacob-staff and the bust of the celebrated Dutchman of Sharpsburg standing on it with their words ascending from his mouth tittered on a tin plate “Who’s pin her ven I’sh pin come” Among the passengers there was old gentleman by the name of

58.          O’Bryan and wife and daughter and three grandsons, from La. Opposite Nachez – formerly a large planter, shipping annually 1000 bales of cotton – He was a Kentuckian by birth and from Nelson County – He had sold his plantation in La. And purchased another in Clay County, Mo. And was now on his way to his new house – They seemed to be remarkably clever people and in their manners of the fine unstrained and courteous southern school. Mr. A. Bryan said he know of no planter who had made any thing over expenses since the war and he had consequently given up the business himself. Everything is in a stir about the boat as they are loading – The prevailing sentiment among the passengers seems to be southern or conservative.

59.          In the evening I went down some distance to see a new boat, said to be the finest on the Mississippi – she is a boat of huge size – I stepped up on the cabin deck and looked down the hall and observed (the only thing about her peculiar. That she had a row of Gothic columns (colonnades) extending the whole length of the hall and each side, apparently one in front of the partition of each stateroom – They looked very pretty, but when I reflected that this was all Yankee ostentation and vulgar attempt at grandeur and display and that it all was probably built with the ill gotten gains of the war, and at the expense of those left destitute I turned from it as from a disgusting pageant and slowly and thoughtfully returned to the boat (my boat).

60.          June 18. Last night I walked up town and a considerable distance up and down 4th street, which was brilliantly lighted up and showed to great advantage. The chief object of attraction to idle strollers was a Yankee blacking peddler who had his stand placed on the street near the sidewalk with a lamp, a box of blacking, a brush and a shoe and was giving an interminable on his blacking and the art of blacking shows, which he illustrated and exemplified by interminably blacking his shoe – I soon became disgusted with him also and again returned to my boat, which now had passengers aboard enough to make it cheerful and companionable. This morning a Judge Hughes from Union county, Ky came aboard – We soon became acquainted and were traveling companions from this on as far as

61.          Lawrence City, Ks-was also observed a Dutch Doctor from St. Louis by the name of Galland – He was out peddling the patent right to a medicine for rheumatism and bored us soundly as to the extraordinary virtues of his medicine – They are rapidly transferring the barrels, boxes etc. piled up on the wharf in front of us, therein to the boat preparatory to starting this evening – In the meantime there came on board a fine florid old Kentucky gentleman who after looking around requested the clerk to introduce him to me – After some conversation in which he informed me he was a liquor merchant and doing business just in front of the boats, he invited me over to his store and treated

me to some of the best whisky I ever tasted – His name was Chamblin, and if I ever returned that way, I certainly will

62.          call on old man Chamblin according to his request. The black smoke is boiling out of our chimneys in clouds – The steam is up – The whistle blows – the bell rings – we are all aboard and off we move passing up in front of the city – St. Louis is now a great, a beautiful, a large city – But to me like all other cities a perfect Babel – a systematic confusion, a regularly confused mass of brick, stain and mortar and human misery and apparent anxiety – Its population is about – ——. There is nothing in city life to my taste, to be compared with that in the outside world, in the grand old forest, in the rural hamlet and districts, on the widespread prairie and towering mountains, livened up by all wildness and freedom of unbridled nature, the growing

63.          of chickens, the lowing of cattle the tinkling of bells, the barking of dogs, the singing birds, the mighty rush of a herd of buffalo and even the occasional raid of hostile band of Indians – But we are going and night overtakes us about the mouth of the Missouri – Old man O’Bryan, myself and his son, take a social and quiet game or Eucher and we tum in for the night.

64.          June 19. We woke up this morning some distance up the turbid Missouri – nothing to note during the night except that the boat furnished us wretched coffee. In fact, Judge Hughes and myself have held a council over it and pronounce it not coffee at all but we cannot positively say what it is made of. The fare is otherwise very good. The Missouri River, like all the streams issuing from the Rocky Mountains is always muddy, or “riley” as Lincoln would have it in one of his ill timed pauses. When settled the water is good and healthy. There is not much to be seen in ascending the Missouri. The best farms lay back in the country generally – Though in places, particularly at Washington and Hesinan the river hills are beautifully adorned with cottages, gardens and vineyards. It was generally conceded

65.          by the passengers that Washington is the most inviting place on the river, as seen from the boat.

At Boonville Capt Kinny left us, it being the place of his residence. The voyage becomes monotonous, as the time lengthens and the distance before us shortens – Everything is common-place and unworthy of even a hasty note, and we will jump an interval embracing the 20th (Thurs), 21st (Friday) – June 21st during which we passed Hills landing, stopping a short time to deliver freight and where I left a note to Maj. Bowdry (father in law) of that vicinity.

                We pass Lexington in the evening and on Saturday the 22nd in the evening arrive at Kansas City the terminus of our river voyage.

June 22nd               Before arriving at Kansas C. our Dutch Doctor, patent medicine peddler came to Judge Hughes and

66.          myself and said he was informed that there was a Dutch hotel in the City of superior quality and class and proposed that we all stop there to which we consented. It is known by its sign as the Franklin House and stuck against the bluff right on the railroad and near the river which even the Judge’s and any my principal reason for stopping there. As we approached it the countenance of the Dutch Doctor brightened as he remarked “Now we gits some tings coot”. We had gotten our evening meal on the boat and fortunately needed no supper. The evening sun beat against the house and the bluff perpendicularly and we found the heat almost unbearable, but we were in for it and had to endure it. The evening was also enlivened by the music of about three billion of mosquitoes, corresponding as near

67.          as I could calculate from the number that seemed to be to each square inch numerically with the public debt. From the order in which their bills seemed to be they must just have returned from the shop of the candle maker for they brought blood with pain every “pop”– We retired to our rooms only to find them of the most filthy and disgusting character though the beds seemed to be clean, and after our olfactories became familiarized with the stench, being up stairs and having the doors and windows open and the mosquitos from some cause having returned, perhaps they were sorted by the overwhelming stench, we passed a tolerable night in the Dutch hotel “the Franklin House” – The Doctor and I arose early and went up into the city and the Hill in search of a bath house, which we found, kept under

68.          ground by a freed man and tolerably neat – After bathing we returned to our hotel and found breakfast in progress – The prominent object on the table was an immense sausage cooked around in an immense dish, and looked like an immense anaconda, such as I have seen in shows. We had bakers bread and bad coffee, but the Dutch Doctor ate as though he had “cot some ting coot”. As soon as we got through with our share of the sausage consisting of about one coil apiece (more or less) the Judge and I in a fit of deep disgust, paid our fare, shouldered our baggage, bid farewell to the Dutch Doctor and the Franklin hotel and launched out upon the broad bosom of the earth resolved to seek adventures for that day. This was Sunday morning and the cars would not leave for the west

69.          until Monday morning. So afoot we struck along the railroad for Wyandotte some three miles off around the bend which the Missouri River here makes and just across the Kansas river – I’m passing along at our leisure, coats off and baggage on our backs, we discussed of matters and things in a desultory manner, but somehow or other the conversation involuntarily would return with imprecations to the Franklin Hotel of Kansas City. We noticed on our way myriads of grasshoppers which in their flight had come in contact with the high and perpendicular embankments in heaps at the foot of these bluffs there to die. We noticed also that they had devoured everything grown in their way, even to the dogfennel and

70.          smartweed. Kansas City promises to be a place of importance and the City and the hill is as pretty a place as could be desired. It is improving rapidly. Its inhabitants number some 14,000 to 15,000. It is supported by a fine surrounding country both in Missouri and Kansas as well as by the river trade of the Missouri and Kansas rivers. By the Pacific railroad from St. Louis to this city and thence to Leavenworth and the Union Pacific Railroad E.D. Extending across the plains on what is more commonly known as the smoky hill route and that which I traveled.

A branch of the North Missouri Rail road also extends up the north bank of the Mo River and connects with Kansas City and its converging railroads by a bridge across the Mo River which

71.          is now being built. They are also constructing a Railroad from this city by way of Fort Scott designed eventually to connect with the Texas Railroad and Galveston – We passed up the south bank of the Missouri into the valley just above this present city and just below the mouth of the Kansas, where the business port of the city will soon be and where now the depot is and when they have also included a fine and commodious Railroad Hotel. On arriving at the depot we found that we would have to go to Wyandotte to board the Monday morning train. So we continued our walk talking as before, Judge Hughes cursing right out in the open and profane manner the Franklin

72.          Hotel of Kansas City and I if not exactly saying Amen at least giving such guaranty as are usually to be heard in and about the Amen comer. The weather was intensely hot and we took divers and sundry rests at such shady places as the surrounding forest trees presented and at length arrive on the bank of the Kansas, bank full muddy and swift! We are paddled over in a yawl and strike for the Hotel situated near the railroad in the City of Wyandotte­ determined not to be tit as at the Franklin House of Kansas City kept by the Dutchman when we ate a whole coil of the huge anaconda sausage. We deposited out baggage in the clerk’s office and \\alked around to the rival hotel on the hill

73.          and reconnoitered it and found it a twin sister, if not a branch of the Franklin House of Kansas City kept by the Dutchman where we ate a coil of the great anaconda sausage and contentedly returned to – —-Hotel where we had left our baggage and took a pleasant room for the balance of the day – and until next morning and found our accommodations every way excellent. The landlady was a Tennessean – We worried through the balance of the hot day and at night went to church (Congregational). A man by the name of Parker preached – Yankee Radical though he touched not politics – His text, “What doth it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul

74.          or what will a man give in exchange for his soul. It was certainly a good text – he read his sermon in the cold, formal lifeless Yankee style and its best feature was its shortness – Judge Hughes and I returned again disgusted and the Judge said he was a d-m-d fool and I granted. He added, he was a d-m-d Yankee and I said Amen. We talked out in the cool night a while to the land lord and lady in the free and easy and lovely southern style and then retired and slept soundly till day break.

June 24th. Monday.

It rained yesterday evening and made the streets muddy and slippery. This morning after breakfast cars arrived from Leavenworth City and had aboard some negro soldiers with white officers. These white negro officers all have a downcast sheepish or anguish look – are respected

75.          by no body, not even the negroes. One of them seemed to be a lowland vulgar man and the other seemed to be walking all the time on stilts and under an effort to make a respectable, soldierly expression. The negroes, of course were all stolen property the train is under way and flying up the northern bank of the Kansas or Kaw River. Our flight is too rapid to learn much about the country. It is plain to be seen however that the river bottom is of the best of land but in rather a rude state of cultivation. The grasshoppers for a long way up the river have in many places destroyed the wheat and young corn. We pass many ephemeral, mushroom towns too tedious and unimportant to mention. We arrive about the middle of the day at Lawrence

76.          City, made famous by many events and particularly by Quantrell’s celebrated raid. The buildings now seem to be almost entirely of wood and of the Cabin order – Hon. Judge Hughes left me and on we go for Fort Riley and Junction City. Arrive in the evening at Fort Riley where the negroes disembarked and three more miles more bring us to the depot at Junction 139 miles from Wyandotte. We have passed on the way several prongs of the Kansas River but all their names I now cannot call to mind. On the cars nothing worthy of note transpired – The boys as usual ran up and down and cried their “peanuts,” “figs,” “oranges” and newspaper and yellow backed literature. Pilities on boats, and cars and in hotels one not disciplined as in former years. The Radicals seem ashamed to

77.          avow their principals and the Democrats say they (the Rads) are too d-m-d fools to talk to and I believe this to be so: for I have never heard one attempt to give a sober man’s reason for any of their diabolical proceedings. They always set out by opening a set of base falsehoods to be facts and no amount of evidence is sufficient to convince them that they are falsehoods and forever they are perfectly incapable by any ordinary channel of reasoning. They all however whenever I have met them have treated me with marked courtesy and are evidently proud of being on familiar terms with any gentleman known to be Southern. At Wyandotte I learned that General Wright in command of

77.          (sic) the railroad surveying party on the Smoky-hill and New Mexico route was a few days ahead of me and I had some hope of overtaking him and traveling with him, but on arriving at Junction City found that he was out of my reach. On landing at the depot at Junction City as I stepped upon the platform with my baggage on my own I was accosted by a young man in his shirt-sleeves, his clothes being reasonably clean and his countenance and address pleasant. He asked me if I would like to go to a private boarding house. I replied in the affirmative but that I must see the house first. He then insisted on taking my baggage and conducted me to Mrs. Burroughs. On arriving I was at once unfavorably impressed with the outside appearance of things

78.          but requested the young man to show me the room designed for me. Whereupon he opened a door into a back room – there were some four or five tumbled beds in it and from all appearance the sheets and bedding generally had not been washed since the year A.D. It was evidently an Irish establishment and the gem of all the unwashed democracy and ripoff of the railroad employees. It surpassed in filthiness the Franklin Hotel of Kansas City kept by the Dutchman when Judge Hughes and I ate two coils of the great anaconda sausage and for our time the Irish took the premium over the Dutch – that is in filthiness and this adventure led me to the reflection that perhaps filthiness is confined to no one nation and in these cases were certainly

79.          common to both Irish and Dutch – the Irish winning. I curtly remarked to the abashed young man (who seemed to understand me fully) as I grasped my baggage that the situation would not suite me and I struck out up main street in search of better quarters. As I passed the store door of a Jewish gentleman by the name of – — with whom I afterwards became acquainted. I made inquiry for the best hotel in the city. He directed me to the Hole House remarking that it was the only decent Hotel in the place which I found to be the case and felt gratified to Mr. – —-for telling me so plain a truth. I arrived at the Hole House and registered my name and my destination with the expression of my desire (also registered) to see anybody from New Mexico.

80.          It was not long before I met quite a number of acquaintances both Mexican and Americans. Among them Mr. Kitchen of Las Vegas, Lalos formerly of Mexilla, Musie of Chihuahua and many others. I found the Hole House to be a pleasant and well-ordered place and the chief clerk a young Kentuckian by the name of Lyon and a clever fellow. I also became acquainted at this town with a Col. Hasen of Richmond, Roy County, Mo. He had been a Confederate colonel and appeared to be every way a gentleman. I learned that Giorg Al Giddings of San Antonio, Texas had left here a few days before, having been interested in freighting contract that from some source had failed and we seem to be let which was in a few days

81.          secured by the Messr. Kitchens of Las Vegas. Mr Kitchen ordered me every accommodation for my trip to across the plains wherever his train should go. I stayed at Junction City until Friday evening in consequence of the road thence to Salina being out of order from having been submerged. I availed myself of the interval to prepare my outfit for the plains. I purchased me an elegant pair of high topped cavalry boots, soldier’s overcoat and pants, and pair of blankets, butcher knife, trunk, etc. While here I found that a valuable negro which the Government had stolen from me was camped near town with a train but did not see him. Then also met Bishop Laimey of Santa Fe on his return from Rome with

82.          a number of attaches and some good hearted sisters of Charity a Religious sisterhood made ever memory noble and worthy of all praise and all gratitude for their disinterested charities during the war – They are practical Christians and not of the Pharisaical order so characteristic of the real Yankees.    They, the sisters, fully illustrate St. James definition of religion. He says, “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the father is this: to visit the widow and the orphans in their afflictions – and keep thyself unspotted from the world” The Yankees and even some people not Yankees, I am sorry to say, hold that religion is to pray hard, sing loud, get all you can, let everyone paddle his own canoe and like the

83.          pious old lady, who, when the horses ran away down the mountain road said she, “trusted in God till the breeching broke and there she gave up all hope”. I have known many persons who could not for any consideration be induced to commit a sin knowingly for less than five dollars; others not less than ten and so on – And to sum up the whole matter after long experience & much observation I have deliberately come to the conclusion that mo man has about two hundred and seventy thousand sincere heart feeling worshipers, where God has one (more or less) – The Bishop met me very cordially and pleasantly alluded to the good dinner and pleasant times he had enjoyed in our house in New Mexico. June 26. I was deprived of the pleasure of

84.          traveling with him by his intending at that time to travel the Cimmaron route. My business calling me by the Bents Fort route. The little priest (formerly of Albuquerque) tendered me a seat in his carriage – and they all seemed very kind and obliging. The Bishop is a most excellent man and practically a good Christian. At junction a train of movers passed from Johnson County, Texas in-route for Oregon. This evening the train on its being announced that the road was repaired and in running order started through to Salina; but about fourteen miles from town a bridge gave way and some of the freight cars tumbled down, the locomotive and passenger cars escaping on the very brink of the breach in rather a miraculous manner. I was prevented from going on this train by my clothes being out at wash.

85.          June 27th This was fortunate and perhaps I was indebted for that good fortune to the indolence of the washer woman for although no one was seriously hurt yet the returning passengers said they had passed a very disagreeable night. June 28 Next day (the road again being declared passable) in the evening the train again started out for Salina. I this time being aboard. We passed some miles from town on a place where the riverbank had given away (fresh) and there lay a locomotive and tender upside down in the river. This had occurred a few days before but without any one being hurt. The engineer now drove very carefully and felt his way at every doubtful place and the consequence was that it was dark

83.          (sic) when we arrived at Salina. On arriving, as I had my trunk checked, I left it at the depot and with my portable baggage in company with others to wit (maps Swartz-coffee valise etc.) footed it about a half a mile in the dark up to town and the hotel, if anything about the place be worthy of that dignified and honorable title and I must say that I most decidedly think in the negative. As we passed along the street the stores and shops being lit up presented a lively and city like appearance. And to add still further life there was a traveling theater going on in a frame building house near the hotel at which we stopped. As we passed it the whole house – not only so but the whole town seemed to be melodious by the

84.          (sic) music of many voices and on inquiring into the matter we found that the actor and actresses in attempting some city, theatrical and operatic airs (in giving a song) though out of the place in this extemporized rail road town, perhaps or perhaps from a misunderstanding of the matter but so it is they were joined by the whole audience upon almost every key in the gamut from deep bass to alto and with almost every tune to be found in “The Missouri Harmony” to the deep disgust and bitter chagrin of the theatricals. The consequence was the theater adjourned, was informally disrupted or broken up and turned into a free ball in which all the bull whackers as teamsters are here called, took an equal rights post and

85.          they danced away the lazing hours of the latter night. The theatrical, good humoredly both men and women leading off in every dance. With the theater and the ball I here close volume first of my diary and narrative, it being the most suitable point for such case as on the next morning I go into camp with parker and remain in camp until my arrival at Trinidad. The balance I will complete as soon as I can, leaving for your devout meditation in the meantime the following, upon which your minds and hearts can safely rest in every trying time and under every trying circumstance until we are again reunited.

86.          The Lords Prayer

                Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come – Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from all evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Psalm XXV

Unto thee, 0 Lord, do I lift up my soul.

2. 0 my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me.

3. Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed; let them be ashamed that transgress without cause.

4. Shew me thy ways, 0 Lord, teach me thy paths.

5. Lead me in thy truth and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; On thee do I wait all the day.

6. Remember, 0 Lord, thy tender mercies, and thy loving kindness: for they have been ever of old.

7. Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; According to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness sake, 0 Lord.

8. Good and upright is the Lord! Therefore will he teach sinners in the way.

9. The meek will he guide in judgment; and the meek will he teach his way.

l0. All the paths of the Lord are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

11. For thy name’s sake, 0 Lord, pardon mine iniquity for it is great.

12. What man is he that feareth the Lord? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.

13. His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.

14. The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him and he will shew them his covenant.

15. Mine eyes are ever toward the Lord! For he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

16. Turn thee unto me and have mercy upon me! For I am desolate and afflicted.

17. The troubles of my heart are enlarged; oh bring thou me out of my distress.

18. Look upon my affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

19. Consider mine enemies; for they are many; and they hate me with cruel hatred.

20. Oh keep my soul and deliver me; let me not be ashamed for I put my trust in thee.

21. Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.

22. Redeem Israel, 0 God, out of all his troubles.


The Gotier Trace by James Woodrick

This document was created by James Woodrick. It was transmitted to Weldon Mersiovsky on May 8, 2015, with permission to post on the Wendish Research Exchange website. The author would appreciate attribution for any use of the information in this document. 

As you read this article, keep in mind that its importance to the Texas Wends is that it may have been the path that our ancestors traveled on or along as they made their way to what was called “The Camp” and then to what is now known as Serbin, Texas.

The Gotier Trace

The original Gotier Trace was an early road laid out by Stephen F. Austin’s colonists to connect the upper and lower portions of his new colony in Texas. Many historians today remain confused about the route of this early road, and significant differences in facts appear in various places in the historical record. This article will present historical evidence that James Gotier, a settler in the Bastrop region, laid out two routes, one in about 1832 and another in about 1835, both of which were called the Gotier Trace. The original 1832 route connected Bastrop to San Felipe and passed through unsettled wilderness; it saw significant use for only a short few years. This road left Bastrop to Gotier’s cabin east of town, then continued generally east, passing through the current town of Industry, whose founder Friedrich Ernst arrived with his family in 1831. From Industry it followed an existing road to San Felipe known as “Dotry’s Road,” named after Bryant Dottrey [Daughtry] who settled on the southern side of the West Fork of Mill Creek.

San Felipe was burned in 1836, eliminating this location as an important road destination. John Henry Moore’s fort built at the La Bahia Road crossing of the Colorado River grew into the town of La Grange by the mid-1830s, creating a need to reroute east-west travelers through this settlement. By 1847 a new route connecting Bastrop with Houston passed through the settled area closer to the Colorado River, then downriver to La Grange, New Ulm, Columbus and on past San Felipe to Houston. This new route closer to the river gradually displaced the western portion of the original 1831 Gotier trace, and is today Hwy 71 from Bastrop to the Smithville airport, then Hwy 153 to Winchester.

The second “Goacher Trace” was laid out by James Gotier in about 1835 from Bastrop to his camp and newer home on Rabb’s Creek in modern Lee County south of Giddings. This road is shown on an 1847 map of Bastrop County as ending at Gotier’s home at that time. Later this road was extended to connect with the La Bahia road near Burton, then to Washington-on-the-Brazos and became the best known route of the “Goacher Trace.” Washington (on-the-Brazos) grew rapidly after 1836 until the advent of railroads in 1858. In 1839 the official postal route went from San Felipe to Center Hill, Washington, Independence, LaGrange and to Austin. It was a longer route running through the more populated areas, bypassing the eastern portion of the original 1831 Gotier trace.

The first historical record of this road is its governmental authorization. The November 7, 1831 minutes of the ayuntamiento of San Felipe contains the following entry: “A petition from the inhabitants of the precinct of Bastrop living upon the Colorado praying for a division of the precinct and for permission to open a road from the crossing of the San Antonio road to this town, the body decided that it was impracticable to accede to the prayer for a division of the precinct but granted the privilege of opening the road.” At that time the upper part of Austin’s Colony was part of the precinct of San Felipe and thus governed by that ayuntamiento, the Mexican unit of local government roughly corresponding to today’s city council and county commissioners court combined. This is the genesis of the road that would be blazed through the wilderness to connect Bastrop and San Felipe, known today as the Gotier Trace. It significantly shortened the previous route which passed through the scattered settlements along the Colorado River.

No records of the road being completed are known to exist. Many accounts by later historians speculate that it was laid out by James Gotier in late 1831 or 1832. The “road” or trace probably consisted of little more than chop marks on trees and perhaps mounds in prairies to mark the way. With time, wagon ruts made during wet weather helped a traveler find his way. The route would have been situated to cross streams at advantageous locations and minimize travel through dense timber as much as possible. Gotier was illiterate, and only his mark “X” appears in one document. His name is spelled several different ways in the Bastrop County deed and other records – Gotier, Goacher, Goucher, Gotcher, Gocher. His descendants prefer the spelling Gotier.

James Gotier came from Alabama to Texas in 1829, settling in the Bastrop area. He had a cabin due east of Bastrop in the Lost Pine forest on Spaulding and Pin Oak Creeks in the Bastrop/Lee/Fayette County corner. He was apparently selected to lay out the road to San Felipe, although no records of this are known to exist. After completing this work, he went back to Alabama and returned with his family in January of 1834. Included in his family was his wife Mary Nancy, sons Samuel, Nathaniel, James Jr., and William Riley, and one daughter Jane with her husband Lemuel Crawford.

The route of this first road between Bastrop and San Felipe is shown on the Austin/Perry “Connected Map of Austin’s Colony,” prepared between 1833 and 1837 by surveyor Gail Borden from land records on file before 1838. Much of the road went through un-surveyed wilderness; Borden estimated the route in these parts of the map. A segment of this map showing the Bastrop – San Felipe road follows. This is the route taken by Mexican General Antonio Gaona in April, 1836 as he traveled from Bastrop to rejoin the main Mexican army at San Felipe. Gaona had several overloaded wagons containing supplies and goods looted by his army from the evacuated Texian settlers around Bastrop. He also traveled with two cannons on wheeled carriages which delayed his travel as the roads at that time were designed for a single traveler on horseback and not always widened through trees for large wagons. The only two settlements between Bastrop and San Felipe along the Gotier Trace at this time were Industry and Cat Spring in modern Austin County, and he looted and destroyed most of the property as he passed through.

Other maps of Texas from the 1830’s also show this road, as in the following segments of the 1839 Coulton map (TSL 0906) and the 1847 Coulton (TSL 0908). Note that the 1839 map shows a new road leading from La Grange to San Felipe which would later replace the eastern section of the original Gotier trace. The 1847 map shows a new road extending from La Grange along the Colorado river to Bastrop. This road, which passed through La Grange and by the houses of settlers along the river quickly became the preferred route for travelers. Also note that in the 1847 map the town of Industry is incorrectly located on the East Fork of Mill Creek.

By 1849, a detailed map of Texas (DeCordova, TSL 7826) shows the Bastrop to San Felipe route passing through La Grange, replacing the middle portion of the original Gotier trace.

When the Gotier family returned in 1834, they apparently settled at the place that Gotier had built his original cabin in Texas, on Spaulding and Pin Oak Creeks in the Bastrop/Lee/Fayette County corner. This location has been later identified as the homestead of Charles Spaulding, who married Gotier’s daughter Jane around 1840. Her first husband Lemuel Crawford had been killed at the Alamo in 1836. Presumably Spaulding obtained this land from his wife, it being the original Gotier residence. Gotier’s 1831 road ran nearly due east from Bastrop, passed by his cabin on a nearly direct line to San Felipe, then passed north of La Grange, near Warrenton and Willow Springs, then generally followed today’s Highway 159 into Industry. Once it entered Austin County it followed an existing road referred to as “Dotry’s Road” from Friedrick Ernst’s new home in Industry to San Felipe along the southern margins of the West Fork of Mill Creek.

The deed for 2/3 of a league of land near Cat Spring conveyed by Louis Von Roeder to Charles Amsler dated October 25, 1837, mentions the land being located on the road known as Daughtrey Road leading from the town of Austin to the residence of Bryant Daughtrey. It passed near the original site of Cat Spring, then along the edge of the prairie and woodlands south of Mill Creek to San Felipe. Bryant Daughtry was an early settler who was granted land on the west bank of Mill Creek in 1831, then bought additional nearby acreage in 1837 from Cat Spring founders Von Roeder and Amsler. He lived in the Star Hill area between New Bremen and Industry.

A survey for the Felix Wright league in Austin County (GLO Field Notes Book 2 p. 213) specifies the points at which “Dotry’s Road” crossed the boundaries of Wright’s grant.

A survey for the Samuel Douglas League in Austin County (GLO Field Notes Book 2 p. 214) shows Dotrey’s Road. Later records of the Austin County Commissioner’s Court call this road the “the San Felipe – Bastrop Road,” or “the Barstrop Road.” It was never called the Gotier Trace in Austin County.

The Gotier’s also owned land on Rabbs Creek in southern Lee County in which he had a “camp” and reportedly gathered lead from nearby outcroppings. At some time before 1837 James apparently laid out a road connecting this camp with Bastrop. Some historians have suggested this was his primary residence after retuning in 1834. It is shown on an 1847 Bastrop County map (#3275) in the files of the Texas General Land Office labeled the Goacher Trail and ended at his camp on Rabbs Creek.

The tract where they settled on Rabb’s Creek was patented to James’ son Nathaniel Gotier’s heirs as his 1/3 league granted to him as a single man. His grant is shown on modern Lee County survey maps as being about three miles south of the city of Giddings.

Samuel Gocher, son of James who came to Texas in 1834, was entitled to a grant of one-third of a league of land. He died in 1837 (see below) but his heirs remained entitled to his grant and selected their land in March of 1838 on the east bank of the Colorado River in modern Travis County. Most of the original city of Austin, selected and laid out as the new capital of the Republic of Texas in 1839, sits on the Samuel Gocher grant.

The Gotier family was attacked by Indians in 1837; James, his wife Nancy and two sons were killed, but two sons and their daughter Jane Crawford with her daughter were taken captive and held by the Indians for nearly two years. Jane and the children were traded to the owner of Coffee’s trading post on the Red River. Coffee recruited Charles Spaulding to escort Jane and her children back to Texas, and they married shortly thereafter. A day or so before the Gotiers were killed the same band of Indians had murdered and scalped brothers John G. and Walter Robison in Colorado County between their home on Cummins Creek and Industry. The site of the massacre of the Gotier family was apparently at the camp on Rabbs Creek since James Gotier was buried there.

At some point the second Gotier Trail leading to his camp on Rabb’s Creek was extended to intersect the La Bahia Road, one of the main early roads of Texas. Travelers between Bastrop and Washington (on-the Brazos) began to use this road, which in 1840 was a barely visible trace through unsettled woods frequented by hostile Indians. (See Harris’ account in the Appendix.) The 1858 map of Texas by Pressler (TSL 1201) shows both the original Gotier Trace and the second Goacher Trail. By this time the original Gotier trace through Industry had been replaced by a newer, more direct road that led through the newly created towns of New Ulm and Fayetteville.

 The following map shows the approximate routes of the two roads known as the Gotier Trace. The original, ca. 1831, is in green and the second, ca. 1835, is in light blue.

Appendix – Historical records related to the Gotier Trace

Kenneth Kesselus in his “History of Bastrop County, Texas Before Statehood,” (Austin, Jenkins, 1986, pp. 75-81) describes the debate over the route of the Gotier Trace, and suggests that in fact there were two such roads by the same name. He cites the work of Walter Freytag of Fayette County who found land records of this road into Fayette County in the direction of San Felipe. Freytag and the Lee County Historical Society favor a Bastrop to San Felipe route. Albert Busha of Lee County, Clyde Reynolds of Bastrop County and the Bastrop County Historical Society favor the route from Bastrop to Washington along the route of “the old Serbin road.”

This author thinks that both are correct. There were two different routes named the Gotier Trace.

The two articles below are taken directly from the Texas Historical Association’s “Handbook of Texas Online:”

GOTIER’S TRACE. Gotier’s Trace, also known as Goacher’s Trace, was a pioneer trail built by James Gotier in 1831 or 1832 under the authority of the ayuntamiento of San Felipe. The road, which connected San Felipe and Bastrop, probably followed a curved route to take advantage of an easier crossing of Cummins Creek. As settlement progressed, the course of the trace may have been moved slightly to the south to follow a more direct route. A branch of the trace may have connected Bastrop with Washington-on-the-Brazos.

GOTIER, JAMES (?-1837). James Gotier (Goacher, Goucher, Gotcher), a native of Alabama, settled on Rabbs Creek in southern Lee County, Texas. In 1831 or 1832, under the authority of the ayuntamiento of San Felipe, he built a trail, later called Gotier’s Trace, from Bastrop to San Felipe. In 1835 he moved his family to Bastrop County, where he planted cotton and raised cattle. He is said to have built the first house in the county. The Gotier family was attacked by Indians in 1837. Gotier, his wife, son-in-law, and two sons were killed, but his daughter and her two children were taken captive and later released.

There are three state historical markers in the Texas Department of Transportation’s system marking the Gotier Trace:

1. Marker Title: The Gotier Trace. Marker Location: Entrance to Bastrop State Park, Loop 150 & SH 21 Marker Text: Originated in 1820s. Crossed the present counties of Austin, Washington, Fayette, Lee, Bastrop; joined San Felipe, capital of Stephen F. Austin’s colony, with Bastrop. Marked by James Gotier, a settler who (with several in his family) died in an Indian massacre near this trace in 1837. Like most early Texas roads, this was only a marked route which travelers could follow– dusty in droughts, boggy in rains. From such traces, wagon roads and cattle trails, Texas has developed over 67,000 miles of fine paved highways– a system recognized as nation’s finest. (1967)

2.Marker Title: Gotcher Trace. Marker Location: from La Grange take FM 245 NW about 12.5 miles then go NW FM 1291 about 3 miles. Marker Text: Opened about 1828 by James Gotcher from Alabama, a settler on Rabb’s Creek in present Lee County, as route from San Felipe, in Stephen F. Austin’s original colony, to Bastrop in second or “little” colony. A short, exposed route to the upper settlements, this trace shared with nearby Wilbarger Trace the title of “via Dolorosa” of early Texas, as both were marked by tragedies. Gotcher moved to this area, and in 1836 six people of his family were killed and several captured during an Indian attack. At this point the trace is crossed by a 20th century road. (1973). [Note: Ken Kessulus disagrees with this location, saying that this original cabin is on Spaulding and Pin Oak Creeks in Bastrop County, on the first road from Bastrop to San Felipe – the original Gotier Trace]

3.Marker Title: Early Roads to San Felipe Marker Location: Stephen F. Austin State Park, Park Road 38 (off FM 1458). Marker Text: During the mid-1820s, when Stephen F. Austin was founding this town, the only roads in the area were wagon ruts of beaten trails marked by notched trees. Within a decade, however, the village of San Felipe, one of the first Anglo settlements in Texas, had become a hub from which 8 or more roads projected. Many of these were small, intra-colony routes, but the main trails extended to major towns or joined “highways,” such as the San Antonio Road (El Camino Real). A main route which passed through San Felipe was the Atascosito Road, connecting Goliad with the United States. It took its name from Atascoso (Spanish for “boggy”) Spring near Liberty, which once was its main terminus. The Gotier Trace, another travel artery, was laid out about 1830 by pioneer James Gotier. It joined the northern and southern parts of Austin’s colony and was used for decades. The San Felipe Road proper, which ran to Harrisburg, transported goods inland from the Gulf Coast. Even the main thoroughfares, however, were dusty trails in the summer and impassable quagmires in the winter, often flooded by knee-deep water. Not until well into the 20th century did Texas begin to develop her present, outstanding highway system. (1969)

The following article is taken from The James Gotcher Family: A Pioneer Family in Texas.

“James Gotcher came to Texas from Alabama in 1829 and by agreement with Stephen F. Austin, under the authority of the ayuntamiento of San Felipe, founded and marked a road or “trace” from San Felipe to the “colony on the Colorado,” also known as Bastrop. James led several wagons of settlers along this route and it was later known as the “Gotier Trace,” or “Gotcher Road.” Many original surveyors’ description of property in the counties the trace traveled through contains reference to the Gotier/Gotcher Trace. Once the road had been completed, James Gotcher returned then to his family in Alabama. In January of 1834, the James Gotcher family immigrated to Texas. The Stephen F. Austin Papers contain an entry of their immigration on this date. The James Gotcher family consisted of his sons Samuel, Nathaniel, James Jr., and William Riley. Mrs. Gotcher’s name was Mary Nancy. Also with the family, their one daughter Jane, and her husband, Lemuel Crawford. 

“The Gotcher and Crawford families settled and built homes near the Gotier Trace on Rabb’s Creek in Lee County. They were the first white settlers in that county. As you can imagine, James Gotcher was a very industrious and enterprising man. For farming purposes, he built a second home in the old Post Oak Community, located a few miles from his first home on Rabb’s Creek. Several historical accounts indicate that James either mined lead along Rabb’s Creek or was dealing in imported lead. Such an occurrence would support his need for two places to live. His home by the Gotier Trace on Rabb’s Creek would also afford more security if required. 

“In the winter of 1836, General Santa Anna was approaching San Antonio with his Mexican Army. David Crockett was at this time in the Alamo at San Antonio and had previously sent for the “Tennessee Volunteers” to come to the Alamo to join the new Republic of Texas Army. The Tennessee Volunteers with their Captain, William B Harrison, traveled a part of their way down the Gotier Trace and stayed with the Gotcher Family on their way to the Alamo. Gotcher supplied Captain Harrison with a large quantity of food and provisions to take to the defenders of the Alamo. Lemuel Crawford, husband of Gotcher’s daughter Jane, volunteered to go with Captain Harrison and his men and was subsequently killed in action at the fall of the Alamo. This left Jane a young widow with an infant child, a daughter named Margaret Elizabeth Crawford. In the month of March in 1837, a band of Comanche Indians approached the Gotcher homestead intending to attack the family. The family home was located on a hill about 400 yards east of Rabbs Creek and 100 yards north of the Gotier Trace. James and his two oldest sons, Samuel and Nathaniel, were cutting wood nearby. Mrs. Gotcher and James Jr. were in the cabin, while Jane, her daughter Margaret, and the youngest Gotcher son, William Riley, were bringing water from the creek. Mrs. Gotcher shot and killed five of the attackers before she died. She very bravely defended her home and her loved ones as best she could. Before she fell dead, many arrows pierced her body. Gotcher and his sons, hearing the shots, quickly ran to defend their family, however, they were all quickly killed. Jane, knowing immediately what was taking place, attempted to escape with her daughter and William Riley. However, they were captured and along with James Jr. 

“They were forced to watch the Indians scalp their mother, who was of German descent and known for her long beautiful golden hair – hair which they placed on a pole for their ceremonial “victory dance.” The survivors were forced to participate in the Indian ceremonial dance around their mother’s scalp. They then took their captives away, down the Gotier Trace. 

“Traveling along the Gotier Trace several days later, General Edward Burleson found the massacred family and buried them near their home by the Gotier Trace. A Texas State Historical Marker has been placed on the burial site. Colonel Burleson buried the Indians that Mrs. Gotcher killed near a large oak tree between the home site and the family graves. Jane, her daughter, Margaret, and two brothers, James Jr. and William Riley were forced to walk behind the Indians who were on horses. They were treated with extreme cruelty and were made to work for their captors who tied them each night. Upon reaching the Arbuckle Mountains in Oklahoma, the remaining Gotcher family members were traded to a Choctaw Indian village chief. The Choctaw people were not cruel to them, but did require them to perform hard work.

 “Near the city of Sherman, Texas was an Indian trading post operated by Colonel Coffee. In January of 1838 through the efforts of Colonel Coffee and Mr. Charles Spaulding, Jane, her daughter and two brothers were bought from the Choctaws. Charles Spaulding later married Jane and brought them all back to their old home in Post Oak Community.

 “James Gotcher Jr. enlisted in the Texas Rangers when he was of age, never married, and died of natural causes in 1846.

“William Riley Gotcher married Rhoda Margaret Hancock and built a home in Sugar Loaf Mountain Community, Coryell County.

“Jane (Gotcher) (Crawford) Spaulding died March 27, 1851. Her daughter Margaret Elizabeth (Crawford) Timoney died one year later, in 1852, with one daughter, Mary Jane Timoney, left to carry the Crawford family line.” 

A travel account of around 1840 by Lewis Harris appears to describe a little-known shortcut route from Washington to Bastrop that went along the second Gotier Trace through Lee County: “I stopped at a home in Washington on the Brazos. my proper route [Houston to Austin] was to La Grange on the Colorado River and then up the river among the settlements to Bastrop, but during the evening the landlord said that about 80 miles could be saved by taking the Goshen [Gotier] trace, which left his place and went straight through the country to a point on the San Antonio and Nacogdoches road near Bastrop, but that there was no habitation in the whole distance and that the country was the favorite haunt of hostile Indians. There were a couple of Mississippians there, who were on their way to Austin, and I persuaded them that it would be perfectly safe for the 3 of us to take this route, so the next morning we were put on the trail as soon as we could see, it was mid-winter – after we had been well provided with lunch. All went well for about 20 miles. We found a trail that far and then it gave out. Our route being through scattered timber we followed by the blazed trees for 15 to 20 miles farther, when they could no longer be found. I knew the course and told my companions that if they would trust me I would take then through all right, and struck out at a good round trot taking the sun for my guide. I had already cautioned them to observe the strictest silence and we made so little noise that we would sometimes come up to deer within 20 yards without disturbing them; but one of the men declared that I was bearing too far away from the river and he would strike out for himself. I divided the provisions and pushed on with my one companion, but I noticed the other man did not go off far from us and finally fell in behind. When the sun went down I took a star and traveled by it and kept my course and directed my companions to keep a sharp lookout for any appearance of a road crossing our path; this road having not been used for years I knew would be pretty hard to find in the night and everything depended on our finding it. About 9 o’clock we came to it and although covered pretty much with dried grass I made sure it was what we were looking for and took it and pushed on towards the river, feeling very confident that it would take us into Bastrop, and I was not disappointed. We got in there about 11 o‘clock. After putting up our horses we went into the Hotel and while getting something warm several men came up an as usual asked where we were from, and what news, etc. I remarked that we came from Houston, told some news about what had occurred in Washington the evening before; they looked at me and said “you can’t mean yesterday,” I said “yes.” They asked, “how could you come 160 miles since yesterday evening?” and when told we had come by the Goshen [Gotier] trace, they would hardly believe it. “Why,” they said, “the place is full of Indians, and yesterday they killed a family only about 20 miles below here on this side of the river, and you could not come through there once in 50 times and not meet Indians.”

It was a pretty hard ride of 80 miles, so next morning I concluded to change from horseback to buggy, and got one and put my horse in, and started for Austin. …” (Source: “Journal of Lewis Birdsall Harris, 1836 – 1842,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Vol. 25, Pp. 193 – 195.)

John Wilbarger, in his book “Indian Depredations in Texas”, (Austin, Hutchings, 1889) relates the story of the Gotier family and that after the Indian raid Jane and her children were released at Coffee’s Trading post on the Red River, “Mr. Coffee furnished them an escort under the control of a Mr. Spaulding, who conducted them to safety in Texas. On the journey Mr. Spaulding became much attached to the lady and eventually married her. … Mr. Spaulding also has been dead for many years. Her children, born to her after her marriage to Mr. Spaulding, are still living in Bastrop county on or near the old Goacher Trace.” A lengthy account of James “Goacher” is on pp. 15 – 18 in Wilbarger’s book.

The following excerpts from “Recollections of Early Texas – The Memoirs of John Holland Jenkins,” edited by John Holmes Jenkins III (Austin, University of Texas Press, 1958) relate traveler’s accounts of travel on both routes of the Gotier Trace. The 1836 and 1842 accounts describe travel along the original 1831 Gotier Trace, and the 1850 account appears to have been along the second, upper Goacher Trail.


“Captain William Hill organized a company of between fifty and sixty men at Asa Mitchell’s in July, 1836. We came along the Gotier Trace to Bastrop ….” (p. 193). Asa Mitchell moved to Washington-on-the Brazos from Brazoria sometime before July, 1835, where he helped organize the Washington Municipality and was elected a regidor. His route was probably down the La Bahia road to its intersection with the 1831 Gotier trace, then west on that road to Bastrop. The later road past Gotier’s camp near Giddings did not exist in 1836.


“… news came to us of another Mexican invasion [in 1842]. A fresh panic at once seized the families, and we had the Second Runaway Scrape. All of the families [from the Bastrop area] had gone in this escapade, … and they had crossed the river and camped at the Cunningham place, about fifteen miles below Bastrop [Jonathon C. Cunningham headright league in Fayette County east of Smithville]. At sunrise the next morning eighteen or twenty Comanches stampeded the hoses, running them off, and one of our men, Alex Harris, barely escaped being taken by them. Realizing the danger of the route, they decided not to go on by the Gotier Trace as first intended, but to come back and go down the river to La Grange.” (p. 47) They were on the 1831 Gotier Trace which, at Cunningham’s, had already left the Colorado River and was heading due west. They retraced their path back to the Colorado River, then went down that river to La Grange.

“[John Day] Morgan, with two others [in 1842], struck out [from Houston] for Bastrop County. Hatless, shoeless, and almost shirtless, they trudged homeward, finding along the road kind friends who gave them a warm and cordial welcome after their long exile. At last, footsore and tired, they found themselves at Sam Alexander’s, ten miles below Rutersville, where they found work.” Morgan returned to the Texas army, got captured in the Mier Expedition, sent to Mexico as a prisoner and was finally released and sent to Houston.

Beginning on page 140: “At daylight the boat landed at Houston and Morgan set out in search of friends, several of whom he found, all moneyless and friendless like himself. Resting one day, he started afoot for Bastrop County. He was nursed tenderly as a sick child along the road, indeed nothing of interest now came except kindness, but to be treated with consideration and confidence seemed the crowning glory of his regained liberty. Once more Morgan stopped at his home with Sam Alexander, among old friends. After a short rest he decided to come still further, and resting a while at “Aunt Lookie Barton’s,” he came to Wylie Hill’s. Thence after another short rest he went to “Mother Barton’s.” (p. 130)

Wylie Hill’s residence was four miles south of Bastrop, today known as Hill’s Prairie.

 c. 1850

“Some time about then [ca 1850], Bat Manlove and John Edwards started [from Bastrop] to Cole’s Settlement in Washington County. They were riding leisurely on the Gotier Trace, when, upon turning a short bend in the road, they found themselves face to face with ten to fifteen Comanches.” (p. 33)

Die Schneewittchen und die Sieben Dwarfen

As the German communities moved from speaking German to speaking English, short plays were written to inject some humor into the situation. These short plays were acted out in schools, youth groups and churches. A popular play at that time was a dialogue between two farmers, one a German and the other American, about a cow that had jumped the fence for a rendezvous with a bull and what were they now going to do about it?

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is an example of one of those German-English plays in more modern times. The first time that we know it was presented was in a speech by Brice Kuhlmann when he was Principal at Zion Lutheran School in Walburg, Texas during the late 1960s or early 1970s.  Brice says, “I don’t remember where I got the text but I made  use of it several times during my days as a Lutheran school teacher.”

The last time the play was enacted in Walburg was at the 125th Anniversary celebration of Zion Lutheran Church with Ray Mickan narrating.

The way the play was usually acted out was for there to be a narrator with a real or faux German accent. Volunteer actors were picked out of the audience to participate: Snow White (a young lady), the stepmother (an older lady), the seven dwarfs (usually children of both sexes), the hunter (an older man) and the prince (a young man). As the narrator tells the story, the actors play their parts with little or no instructions from the narrator. As the actors play their parts the narrator often humorously coaches.

Thank you Brice and Ray!

With apologies to those who do not understand German, we present:

Schneevittchen und die Sieben Dwarfen.

Es var vonce upon a time eine schoene princess named Schneevittchen. (Snow White enters.)

Sie hat eine terrible queenie stepmutter, who vould nicht permitten that someone else more prettier and schoener than sie should ever live. (Stepmother enters.)

Every tag she asked her Magic Lookin-Spiegel diese questions: (Stepmother turns to imaginary mirror.) “Mirror, mirror auf der vall, am I die schonste babe of all?” And die Magic Lookin-Spiegel vould sagen, “Queenie, du bist really tops!”

Aber, after a vhile, little Schneewittchen hat prettier and prettier ge-growed, and one day vhen die stepmutter in her Magic Lookin-Spiegel ge-looked and ge-asked the question, the Magic Lookin­ Spiegel sagte, “Stepmutter, you ain’t so bad, aber Scheeewittcen really takes die kuchen.” (Stepmother makes a face at the imaginary mirror.)

Now, dis ge-made die queen sehr hot unter dem kollar, und sie vanted to put Schneewittchen out of der vay. So she called her bester hunter to come in. (Hunter enters, Bugle, etc.) Zu him she sagt, “Take das brat out in dem voods, and get rid of her.” (Hunter and Snow White move a little ways away.)

Der hunter ge-took das kid by der hand and ge-led her avay, aus in dem voods; aber venn he vanted her to ge-killen, he couldn’t nicht, because he was ge-chicken-herzlich. (Lifts knife to kill her, but cannot.)

Der hunter sagt, “Brat, ge-scrammen Sie!” Und Schneevitchen ge-scrammte. (Hunter & Snow White leave.- She slowly returns.)

Now var die little Schneewittchen all alone in der great big voods. Sie var sehr ge-scared. (Snow White wanders in woods.)

Aber suddenly sie saw ein little hauslein and ge-vent in. (Pretends to enter house.)

Es var die home of der seven dwarfen. Shneevittchen var ganz ge-tuckered out, so sie fell zu schleep auf die whole row of beds. (Folds hand and falls asleep.)

Dann ge-kammen die dwarfen home again. (As names are called, dwarfs enter, either Herr or Fraulein, depending on the sex of the child.) Diese varen: Herr/Fraulein Grumpy (Grumpy bows), Herr/Fraulein Sneezy (sneezes), Herr/Fraulein Bashful (acts shy), Herr/Fraulein Sleepy (snores), Herr/Fraulein Doc (anything appropriate), Herr/Fraulein Happy (laughs), and Herr/Fraulein Dopey (struggles for recognition).

When sie saw Schneevittchen auf dem bed ge-lying, sagen die auf Deutsch, Wheee-Whooo! (Wolf whistle). Now, mit dat loud vhistle hat she up-gevaked (Snow White wakes up) and denn hat she die dwarfen ge-told who she vas. Und die dwarfen hat her ge-told that she mit dem ge-living could. Und so hat she der ge-lived, and the haus fur die dwarfen ge-kept.

SCENE CHANGES – (Dwarfs leave, Snow White remains at house)

Meanwhile hat die stepmutter again her Magic Lookin-Spiegel dies question ge-asked: “Mirror, mirror, auf der vall, am I die schoenstes babe of all?” Und der mirror sagt, “Ja, du bist die schoenste hier, aber Schneevittchen, who now mit den dwarfen ge-lives, She ge-got it alles ge-over you.”

Den hat die stepmutter off dem handle ge-flown. Sie ge-put on some old clothes and ge-vent to das haus dem sieben Dwarfen. Schneevittchen thought dat sie ein old farmer’s wife var, and ge-let her in kommen. Die stepmutter hat Schneevittchen ein shoene little dress ge-broughten, and ge-put it on her and hat es so tight up ge-tied, das Schneewittchen could nicht ge-breathen, and so sie ge-fell down like tot. (Snow White dies, step mother leaves.)

Now in der ge-meantime, die stepmutter ge-asked her Magic Lookin-Spiegel die question again, und got der same answer, namelich, das Shneevittchen prettier var. Und so ge-made she herself into ein vitch, and vent back to das haus der sieben dwarfen. Da sie gave Schneevittchen ein ge-poisoned apple, and when de little kid hat die apple gegessen, fell sie ge-down like tot. (Stepmother brings apple and Snow White eats and falls down.)

Dann ge-laughs die stepmutter to herself. (Laughs)

Now die poor dwarfen ge-kommen back home again and found her ge-dead again. Then ge-mourned the sieben dwarfen sehr much for her. (Dwarfs cry.) And so they ge-maden her ein coffin, mit ein glass top and put her darin, Und all die little animals ge-kommen and ge-cried over her.

Dann, here kam den prince through die voods (Prince enters) and saw her da ge-lyin, er sage, auf Deutsch, Wheee-Whooo! (Wolf whistle). Er went zu die dwarfen and sagte, “Ge-sell mir das koffin. Ich vill dir ge-payen vhatever vorth ist.”

Aber die dwarfen said, “Nick fur all die bier in Valburg.” Und die prince sagte, “Denn ge-give her to mich, because ich kann nicht mit out Scheevittchen ge-liven. I will ge-vatchen and ge-guarden her fur always.”

Dann ge-gaven die dwarfen der prince den coffin mit Schneevittchen in it. Der prince ge-took die glass cover off and ge-kisst her auf die schoene lippen. Und vhen he that ge-done hat der prince var uber-joyed. (Prince makes motion of taking glass off the coffin and Snow White then sits up). Schneewittchen sagte, “Ach! Vas ist ge-happened? Ver bin ich?”

Der prince sagte, “Du bist mit mir, baby, und mit mir you ge-gonna ge-stayen.” Es var love zu firster Zeit, and they ge-fallen each other into der armen. And she ge-vent zu der castle mit der prince and ge-lives there happily ever ge-after. (They leave.)

Aber, was ist of die terrible Stepmutter be-kommen? Sie var so ge-anxious to ge-make herself schoene fur die vedding reception, that she ge-looked a hole in der Mirror, and got her Kopf ge-stuck in it, and var to death ge-choked.

(Then as the finale the dwarfs come in and holding hands move in a circle as they sing or hum a happy tune!!)


Serbin in the News by Weldon Mersiovsky

Using the Portal to Texas history I searched for every newspaper between 1855 and 1920, also 1936 that used the terms Wendish or Serbin and put them into a Word document.

Serbin in the News



Weekly Democratic Statesman. (Austin, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 6, Ed. 1 Thursday, September 7, 1871

Hon. John Hancock

Will speak during the present month at the following points, at the date set.

Serbin……….Saturday………..September 9

The barbeque and Democratic speaking at Serbin, Bastrop county, comes off on Saturday, the 9th of September. German speakers from New Braunfels and San Antonio will be present.

Houston Daily Mercury (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 6, No. 113, Ed. 1 Tuesday, January 20, 1874

United States Mail


Postoffice Department

Washington, Dec 1, 1873

PROPOSALS will be received at the Contract Office of this Department until 3 o’clock p.m. of March 2, 1874 (to be decided by the 20th), for carrying the mails of the United States from July 1, 1874, to June 30, 1875, on the following routes in the State of Texas, and by schedule of departures and arrivals herein specified, viz.:

8758 From Giddings by Serbin, to Winchester, 19 miles and back, three times a week.

Leave Giddings Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 6 a m;

Arrive at Winchester by 12 m;

Leave Winchester Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 1 p m;

Arrive at Giddings by 7 p m.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 34, No. 211, Ed. 1 Wednesday, September 9, 1874

Postal Matters

The Postmaster General has ordered the appointment of August W. Schubert as postmaster at Serbin, in the county of Lee, and State of Texas, in the place of S. Fehr, resigned.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 34, No. 290, Ed. 1 Thursday, December 10, 1874


Difficulty With Bowie Knives

[Special to the Galveston News.]

Giddings, Dec 9, 1874.

A difficulty occurred at Serbin, six miles from this place, on Tuesday evening, between Doctors Mallette and Manning, in which both were wounded, Manning dangerously, the weapons being bowie knives.

 The Daily Arizona Miner, January 28, 1875, later reprinted in The New York Sun. The following article was taken from A History of Lee County, Texas, pgd 84-85.

Giddings Doctors Duel In 1875

A TEXAS DUEL – Manning and Molett , rival physicians, in Giddings, Texas, quarreled as most rival physicians do. They agreed to settle their difficulty with knives in a quiet place in the woods just out of town. There were no seconds or spectators, and each of the physicians took along lint and bandages to dress his wounds.

The accounts of the fight are alike, and are as follows: The weapons were long bowie knives. They stripped to the waist, and at the first onslaught got such a firm hold of each other that the weapons could not he used. After a long struggle they separated and stood warily watching for a chance. As they at length rushed together, Manning received a slight stab in the neck , and Molett a more serious cut across the arm. They stopped long enough for each to dress his wound, and then faced for another round.

With great caution and many feints and dodges they spent what they say seemed like half an hour without coming together. Finally Molett caught Manning’s head under his arm, and while for an instant he was able to hold him in that position , stabbed him deeply twice in the breast; but, Manning, with his arm free, was able at the same time to plunge his knife in Molett’s back. These serious stabs ended the fight.

Molett was able to reach his surgical appliances and attended to his wound. Manning fainted and fell insensible and bleeding. After attending to his own hurt, Molett says he was about to go away and leave his adversary to bleed to death, but his better nature dominated, and with considerable effort he saved Manning’s life.

Assistance soon came and they were taken to their homes, where they will be confined a long time by their injuries.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 35, No. 148, Ed. 1 Wednesday, June 30, 1875


Fatal Encounter – Crops, Etc.

[Special to the Galveston News.)

Giddings, June 29, 1875

Dr. Molette was shot and instantly killed last evening at Serbin, by Dr. G. F. Manning, of the same place.

Crops are promising, and a fair yield of corn is assured. We have had some late showers.

Our city is steadily and rapidly improving. Several brick buildings and a steam grist, saw and plaining mill are being erected.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 35, No. 215, Ed. 1 Thursday, November 30, 1876

Local Personals

Visited the cotton Exchange yesterday: … Paul Jenzen, Serbin…

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 37, No. 85, Ed. 1 Sunday, June 30, 1878

Letters from LaGrange


The population of Fayette county is a singular piece of filigree work. The Germans and Bohemians are more than half of the people; there is also a considerable colony of Servians [sic], while the Americans and negroes make up the rest. The Germans, Bohemians and Servians, or Wendish, as they call them here, affect the highlands and shun the bottoms, leaving them to the Americans and negroes. Thus they are making the post oak ridges and the prairies blossom like the rose. They are fine farmers, and the Americans tell me they are all getting rich. They are a distinct race from the Germans, being Slavonic. They are nearly all light-haired, and their young women are as plump as partridges, and many are very pretty.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 38, No. 61, Ed. 1 Tuesday, June 3, 1879


Lone Star: Serbin crops are not so promising as last year, though, perhaps, a full average for a series of years. Cotton, as a general thing, is very fine on rolling land, where it has been cultivated. On low or flat lands it was damaged by the heavy rains in April, and is now only now beginning to grow well.

Brenham Weekly Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 14, No. 23, Ed. 1, Friday, June 6, 1879

– In the neighborhood of Serbin, Lee county, wheat is under an average, but some fields are very fine. The oat crop is described as simply splendid.

The Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 5, No. 250, Ed. 1 Sunday, October 10, 1880

State News

-About sixty of the German immigrants that lately arrived have settled in the vicinity of Serbin and Evergreen, Lee county.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 40, No. 58, Ed. 1 Sunday, May 29, 1881

The NEWS is in receipt of a letter stating that Colonel J. T. Griffin of Hempstead, died at Serbin, Lee county, on the 16th instant, after a long illness. Colonel Griffin was born in Macon, Ga., September 12, 1830, was a resident of new Orleans at one time, and for several years has practiced his profession, that of law, in Texas.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 40, No. 77, Ed. 1 Tuesday, June 21, 1881



Giddings Lone Star: Mr. Aug. Miertschin informs us that the crops in the vicinity of Serbin are good, but badly in need of rain. A similar report comes from all sections of the county. Mr. R. L. Robinson, who lives not far from Giddings informs us that the web worm is doing great damage to the cotton on his and other farms in the neighborhood.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 40, No. 162, Ed. 1 Wednesday, September 28, 1881

Letter from Paige

[To the News]

Trade is brisk, and our merchants seem to be doing a thriving business. Our town is within two miles of the Lee county line, and many of the most substantial farmers in that county are now doing their trading at this point. Especially is this so with most of the farmers in the west portion of the Serbin colony.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 41, No. 13, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 6, 1882


Advertiser: A fatal difficulty occurred between two colored youths, Thos. Jefferson and Pierce Oliver, aged 16 years in the southeastern portion of the county on Sunday last in which the latter was stabbed to death by being cut in the head and right breast. The killing was instantaneous. The difficulty grew out of a stolen pair of shoes which Pierce Oliver was charged with stealing from a German at Serbin, and began at church, breaking up the services. Thomas Jefferson was arrested and lodged in jail at Bastrop.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 41, No. 57, Ed. 1 Saturday, May 27, 1882

Palestine, May 26. – Special Agent Crawford, of the United States postoffice department, who hails from way up in Maine, was went down here to Texas a few weeks since by the postmaster-general to look after a portion of the State which had heretofore been under lax supervision. Taking a trip along the postal route from LaGrange to Ledbetter, he found the postmasters at Winchester and Serbin supplementing their postal duties by selling whiskey in the same room where Uncle Sam’s mail was kept, and passing out stamps and cocktails over the same counter.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 41, No. 71, Ed. 1 Tuesday, June 13, 1882

Texas News Items


Giddings Plaindealer: Two installments of emigrants from Saxony arrived this week and will make their home at or near Serbin, in this county. Large numbers from the same country are looked for during the fall months.

Brenham Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 8, No. 221, Ed. 1 Saturday, September 15, 1883

State News

– Julius Noak, a German, was attacked by Isam Vick, a negro, on the road between Giddings and Serbin, and beaten nearly to death. Isam was jailed.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 43, No. 147, Ed. 1 Wednesday, September 17, 1884

(Special to the News)

GIDDINGS, September 16. – Still dry and hot. Water for man and beast is becoming as serious question. If we do not have rain in the course of a week or two, we of Giddings will have to hunt living water courses.

Rev. J. A. Kilian, of this county, died at his residence on the 12th instant, at 8 o’clock a.m. His death is much lamented by all, who knew him, and he was known by many, for he was a pioneer from Germany, in 1854, and settled a colony eight miles southwest from Giddings. He was seventy-five years old at the time of his death.

The jail is nearing completion, the brickwork having been finished; the wood workmen and iron men are fast finishing off their parts of the building.

Moris Gains, of Austin, is building a one story brick business house in town. Other improvements of various kinds are going on.

There is no abatement in the cotton business. Farmers are bringing the staple to market as fast as it can be gathered and baled.

Brenham Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 9, No. 235, Ed. 1 Thursday, September 18, 1884

– Rev. J. A. Kilian, of Lee county, died on the 12th inst., aged 75. He was one of the pioneers from Germany, in 1854, and settled eight miles southwest of Giddings.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 47, No. 36, Ed. 1 Friday, June 1, 1888



GIDDINGS, Tex., May 31. – Estrayed or stolen from E. A. Lingnaw, near Serbin, on January 26 one iron-gray mare, 14 ½ hands high, 5 years old, branded GW with bar under it. Will pay $20 for her delivery to me at Serbin or $10 for any information leading to her recovery. Wm. M. Brown, sheriff of Lee county; by C. F. Brown, deputy.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 48, No. 332, Ed. 1 Tuesday, March 25, 1890

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 48, No. 335, Ed. 1 Friday, March 28, 1890


WANTED – A good German physician, desiring to locate in a thickly settled, thriving community, at present without a doctor, to communicate with P. A. Pampell, Serbin, Tex.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 50, No. 350, Ed. 1 Tuesday, March 8, 1892

Stricken in the Pulpit

GIDDINGS, Tex., March 7. – Rev. Geyer, the venerable pastor of one of the Lutheran churches at Serbin, was suddenly taken ill while in the pulpit, and died before he left the church. He was nearly 81 years old, and had been pastor f this church for seventeen years or more. He was much beloved by his congregation. He was a member of the Missouri Synod.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 51, No. 187, Ed. 1 Tuesday, September 27, 1892


WANTED – Situation by a German of 22 as bookkeeper or assistant. Speaks and writes Engloish and German. Will work two months for a small salary; best ref’s. G. Peschke, Serbin, Tex.

Brenham Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 17, No. 165, Ed. 1 Tuesday, October 11, 1892


The nights are cool and pleasant.

Personal Mention

Mr P. A. Pampell, who was burned out at Serbin, Lee county a few days ago, was in the city Monday.

Brenham Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 17, No. 169, Ed. 1 Saturday, October 15, 1892

Dr. Henninger, of Serbin, accompanied by his wife, left for Salem, Oregon, yesterday.

Brenham Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 18, No. 161, Ed. 1 Sunday, June 25, 1893


Giddings News

Miss Esther Pampell returned last week from the University to her home at Serbin.

The crops on West Yegua this year cannot be excelled; we are sure of making from fifty to sixty bushels of corn per acre. cotton is looking well, but we are having too much rain. This part of Lee county is surely coming to the front; there is no better land found in the state than on the Yegua. The Dime Box prairie country is excellent and scarcely fails in making an overwhelming crop.

Brenham Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 18, No. 167, Ed. 1 Sunday, July 2, 1893


P. A. Pampell and daughter, Miss Esther, of Serbin, are in Chicago at the World’s fair.

Shiner Gazette. (Shiner, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 25, Ed. 1, Thursday, December 21, 1893

The Waco Express Wrecked

The southbound Express from Waco was wrecked Tuesday morning between Winchester and Serbin. The train was running down a steep grade and when nearing a bridge at Prairie Creek the tender left the rails, throwing the baggage, smoker and rear coach from the track. News agent Clark Dryer was almost instantly killed, his neck being broken. One passenger had his skull fractured and another his arm broken. Conductor Niles was considerably bruised, a number of passengers were slightly hurt. The engineer pulling the train was Johny Hall. The wreck was speedily cleared and the south bound train arrived at Shiner about ten o’clock Tuesday night. The local got in an hour later. A special bearing superintendent of transportation, Ennis, passed through going to the scene Tuesday night. Baggage master Damon said: “When I saw the train was going in the ditch I ran to the door of my car and jumped out, and got off with a few scratches. When a man has been in one wreck, he never wants to be in another. If I have to be killed I want to be killed outside of my car.” Mail agent Charlie Alstott said: “The first thing I knew about the smash up was when I found myself covered up by about forty mail sacks and my car turned upside down. I was only a little bruised.” It was reported Wednesday that there were four negro preachers on the train and that they everyone had a leg broken.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 53, No. 105, Ed. 1 Friday, July 6, 1894


Serbin, Tex., July 4. – Mr. Sam Simmank has just completed a large tank, to be used in connection with an extensive gin and sawmill plant soon to be erected here. The tank will be stocked with German carp in proper season.

Brenham Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 19, No. 212, Ed. 1 Tuesday, September 25, 1894


Mr. Ben Kessell, formerly of this city, but now a merchant of Serbin, was in the city yesterday and added his name to the innumerable list of BANNER subscribers.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 53, No. 268, Ed. 1 Sunday, December 16, 1894


Serbin, Lee Co., Tex., Dec. 13. – This evening at 4:20 Aransas Pass light engine No. 60, Conductor Garrison, backed through an open switch at this place, causing considerable damage to the track. No one was hurt. It took another engine six hours to get the derailed engine on the track.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 53, No. 278, Ed. 1 Wednesday, December 26, 1894


Serbin, Lee Co., Tex., Dec.24 – Circumstances have just come to light of a supposed suicide of a German on the bank of Rabb’s Creek, near Giddings, last Friday morning. On Thursday evening he man passed Section Foreman Harry Thompson near the creek and in conversation said he was from Taylor and in search of work. Next morning about 10o’clock a traveling footman found him on the creek bank, lying face down, in the last throes of death. Upon inquiry in Giddings it was learned he had purchased morphine of Williams & Johnson, hence the supposition of suicide by morphine. There was found in his pockets $21, but nothing to identify him.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 73, Ed. 1 Wednesday, June 5, 1895


Serbin – The present outlook for crops of every kind is very gloomy; entirely too much rain. Unless things are very favorable from now on, crops will be short. The acreage is the same as last year, with but little new land put in.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 103, Ed. 1 Friday, July 5, 1895


Serbin, Tex., July 4. – About 4 o’clock this afternoon, while Prof. W. A. Herter, principal of the German school here, was attempting to light his gasoline stove it exploded, burning himself and his little daughter seriously. The father’s recovery is very doubtful.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 168, Ed. 1 Sunday, September 8, 1895


Washington, Sept. 7. – Star schedule established – Texas: Serbin to Northrup, two and three-fourths miles, and back, six times a week, by a schedule not to exceed one hour running time each way. From October 1, 1895, to June 30, 1898.

The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 39, No. 42, Ed. 1 Saturday, October 19, 1895

Purely Personal

Ex-county commissioner John Preuss, of Serbin, spent last week in Bastrop, to the great pleasure of his many friends here.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 273, Ed. 1 Sunday, December 22, 1895


Serbin, Lee Co. – This section was visited by an exceedingly hard rain, which was but little needed. Christmas money seems to be plentiful.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 297, Ed. 1 Wednesday, January 15, 1896


Fritche – Lawrence

Serbin, Lee Co., Tex., Jan.12 – Married, at the bride’s residence, Miss Mary Lawrence to August Fritche.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 315, Ed. 1 Sunday, February 2, 1896



Serbin, Lee Co., Tex., Jan 30. – Married, at the Lutheran church to-day, Miss Mary Mitchke to Aug. Matting.

From Various Sections.

Serbin, Lee Co., Tex., Jan. 30. – Hard rains have fallen here.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 328, Ed. 1 Saturday, February 15, 1896


Serbin, Lee Co. – Exceedingly heavy rains in this section have left the ground so wet that farmers are unable to do anything in their fields. Indications now are that it will clear up.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 54, No. 350, Ed. 1 Sunday, March 8, 1896


Serbin, Lee Co. – Despite the continued showers for the last week farmers are busy planting their crops. There will be quite an increase in acreage of cotton and corn in this section this year. For the last three years the raising of hogs has been pursued here and found to be very profitable. Tobacco is also quite an industry, some making as much off their hogs and tobacco as on their cotton.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 55, No. 1, Ed. 1 Wednesday, March 25, 1896

Store Robbed

Serbin, Lee Co., Tex., March 24. – Last night the store of M. Tschatschula, also the postoffice in the same building, was robbed of money and goods to the extent of about $30. Officers have a clew [sic].

Austin Weekly Statesman. (Austin, Tex.), Ed. 1 Thursday, July 16, 1896


Serbin, Tex., July 12. – (Special.) – At Warda, in Fayette county, today John Kasper, who is a son of the ginner there, was in some way killed. Particulars are unobtainable tonight.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 55, No. 159, Ed. 1 Sunday, August 30, 1896

Buyers in the City

The following interior merchants or their representatives were in the city during the past week:

… M. Tschatschula, Serbin …

Brenham Daily Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 22, No. 266, Ed. 1 Saturday, October 30, 1897

Brenham Weekly Banner. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 31, No. 48, Ed. 1, Thursday, November 4, 1897


Assassination in Lee County

Word was brought to Giddings Thursday morning that August Pampell, a farmer living near Serbin, had been waylaid and killed as he was returning home from Serbin Wednesday morning. Pampell had been to the town of Serbin attending to business early in the morning, and as he was passing through John Hendricks’ pasture on his way home someone concealed behind a fallen treetop by the roadside fired a load of buckshot, twenty-four of which went into his body, producing instant death. There is no clue as to who perpetrated the foul deed, as Pampell was a quiet, peaceable man, and no one knows of his having an enemy. The grand jury is now in session, and an investigation has been instituted.

The Galveston Daily News. (Galveston, Tex.), Vol. 47, No. 150, Ed. 1 Sunday, September 23, 1888


Texas Postmasters’ Salaries

Washington, September 22. – Salaries of Postmasters

Under the law authorizing the readjustment of the salaries of postmasters the officials of the postoffice department have found the following amounts to be due to Texas postmasters:

Solomon Fehr, Serbin, $132.08.

Shiner Gazette. (Shiner, Tex.), Vol. 5, No. 43, Ed. 1, Wednesday, March 23, 1898


Mrs. Mary Kubitz left Friday to visit at Serbin.


The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 46, No. 47, Ed. 1 Saturday, January 28, 1899


H. W. Dunk, of Serbin, was a welcome dropper-in at the ADVERTISER’S new quarters, Monday.

The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 47, No. 21, Ed. 1 Saturday, July 22, 1899


Ex-commissioner H. W. Dunk, of the Serbin neighborhood, was a pleasant caller at the ADVERTISER office Thursday, where a hearty welcome always awaits him.

The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 48, No. 35, Ed. 1 Saturday, September 8, 1900


Our old friend and longtime patron John Preuss, of Serbin neighborhood, was a pleasant caller at the ADVERTIZER office Wednesday. Mr. Preuss was commissioner of the county for a number of years and made a most excellent commissioner. His Bastrop friends are legion and always extend to him a hearty welcome to the old town.

Hereford Reporter (Hereford, Tex.), Vol. 1, No. 15, Ed. 1 Friday, May 31, 1901; The Schulenburg Sticker (Schulenburg, Tex.), Vol. 7, No. 44, Ed. 1 Thursday, June 6, 1901

List of Patents

Granted to Texas inventors this week, reported by C. A. Shaw & Co., patent attorneys, Washington, D.C:

… J. H. Dunk, Serbin, wire fastening clip…

The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 48, No. 29, Ed. 1 Saturday, July 27, 1901

Purely Personal

George Schaefer, sr., and family, and all the Schaefers, in and around Bastrop, some fifty in number, leave today for the home of John Preuss, near Serbin, to be present Sunday at the celebration of the 85th birthday of Mr. Schaefer’s mother, Mrs. C. V. Schaefer. The old lady is still hale and hearty, and as active as some of her children. Mrs. John Preuss is Mrs. Schaefer’s oldest daughter, now 62 years of age.

The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 49, No. 14, Ed. 1 Saturday, April 5, 1902

– A hungry wolf attacked a man near Serbin, 20 miles east of Bastrop, giving him a hard tussel for his life.

The Houston Daily Post (Houston, Tex.), Vol. XVIITH YEAR, No. 367, Ed. 1, Sunday, April 6, 1902


Washington, April 5. – Texas postmasters appointed: Serbin, Lee County, Andrew Moerbe.

The Democrat. (McKinney, Tex.), Vol. 19, No. 13, Ed. 1 Thursday, May 1, 1902


Wolf’s Bite Proves Fatal to a Farmer Near Giddings.

Giddings, Texas, April 30.

Mathis Mertink of Serbin died this morning of hydrophobia, the result of a bite from a wolf about three weeks ago in his yard. Some wolves chased a dog through his house and Mr. Mertink shot at it with a rifle, when another one sprang on him, biting him.

The Schulenburg Sticker (Schulenburg, Tex.), Vol. 10, No. 16, Ed. 1 Thursday, November 12, 1903


August Liberty, a Wendish farmer living between here and Green creek, committed suicide last Tuesday Morning by shooting off the top of his head with a load of buckshot. Although he owned a 100 acre farm free of all encumbrances, he complained of not being able to make a living, and, having been somewhat inclined to melancholy during the past few years, this preyed upon his mind so much that it drove him to commit the desperate deed. He was forty-four years old and leaves a wife and six children to mourn his untimely and tragic death.

The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 53, No. 16, Ed. 1 Saturday, July 8, 1905

Purely Personals

Our long-time friend, John Preuss of the Serbin neighborhood, spent several days at the county seat this week guest of relatives and welcomed by his many friends.

1906 Soil survey of Lee County, Texas


By James L. Burgess and W. S. Lyman

Location and Boundaries of the Area

Lee County is situated in the Coastal Plain region of southeastern Texas and is approximately 150 miles from the coast. Meridian 30° west longitude and parallel 29° 20′ north latitude intersect a few miles south of Lexington. The boundaries of the county are irregular, owing to its having been taken piecemeal from the counties surrounding it. On the northwest and north it is bounded by Williamson and Milam counties, on the north and east by Burleson county, on the east and south by Washington and Fayette counties, and on the west by Bastrop County.


The present county of Lee was form in 1874 from portions of Burleson, Bastrop, Fayette, Washington, Williamson, and Milam counties. The first American settlers came to this section of Texas some thirty-five years earlier, when trading posts were established on the present sites of Lexington and Lincoln. These were followed thirteen years later by a colony of Germans, who located at Serbin. The population of the country grew slowly till after the civil war, when a number of Bohemians and Germans came in as settlers. Some located near the old German settlement at Serbin, while others selected land at various points in the southern and southeastern part of the county. In 1870 a colony of Danes attempted a settlement in the northern part of the county, but climatic conditions were unfavorable and the colony was broken up. A colony of Bohemians located in Dime Box in 1880, and is in a prosperous condition. Most of the German and Bohemian immigrants make thrifty, prosperous citizens. Practically all of the American element of the population came from the Southern States.

When American settlers first came to this part of Texas most of the land was open prairie and was devoted largely to cattle raising, other forms of agricultural pursuits receiving little or no attention. Practically no cotton was produced and very little corn was grown. The prairies were covered with tall grass, on which cattle lived the year round, no other forage being necessary. The growth of chaparral was kept down by the custom of burning the dry grass in the fall and spring. In 1859 there occurred one of the abnormal changes in climate which must always be reckoned with in the southwest. The land became so parched during this dry year that only a small amount of grass grew on the prairies, and from this time on, the older settlers say, the chaparral gained an ascendancy over the cattle ranges, and the once rich pasture lands became covered with a dense growth of post oak and black jack bushes. The number of cattle that could subsist in the open pastures was greatly reduced, and many of the cattlemen were compelled to leave the country in quest of new grazing lands. Those who were so situated as to be unable to move away began to grown cotton and corn. About this time the war came on and much diversification became necessary. Not only cotton and corn, but wheat, oats, and other crops were produced with remarkable success. On the heavy prairie lands it was not unusual to get a yield of 30 bushels of wheat and 80 bushels of oats to the acre, while corn always gave good yields on these soils. After the war the price of cotton rose so high that, in comparison, the production of the grain crops became unprofitable and was abandoned. Besides, the farmers were located so far from markets that the cost of hauling a product of low value scarcely justified the effort.

Prior to 1871 most of the cotton was marketed at Brenham, in Washington County, but during that year the Houston and Texas Central Railroad was completed through this part of the State, and Giddings became the shipping point for many of the farmers. In 1889 the main line of the San Antonio and Aransas pass Railway, connecting Waco and San Antonio, was built through this county, this giving the farmers an outlet to the north.

The boll weevil has been the only severe pest eh farmers have had in this area. The last good crop of cotton was produced in 1899. Since then the crop has been reduced from 22,804 bales in 1899 to 8,000 bales in 1904. At present the ravages of the weevil are not so severe as heretofore.

[Other matters of interest, ie: climate, distribution of soils, and geography are further discussed.]

(Burgess, James L., W. S. Lyman, and United States. Bureau of Soils. Soil survey of Lee County, Texas, Book, 1906; ( accessed February 05, 2015), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department, Denton, Texas.)

The Houston Post. (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 21, No. 300, Ed. 1 Tuesday, January 9, 1906

A Bank for Giddings

(Houston Post Special)

AUSTIN, Texas, January 8. – The charter of the Citizens’ State bank of Giddings, with a capital stock of $50,000, was filed today in the office of the secretary of state. the directors are W. A. Knox, A. E. Falke, Joseph Durrenburger, I. J. Fariss, W. E. Williams and William O. Bowers, all of Giddings, and August Miestschuss of Serbin, Texas.

Palestine Daily Herald (Palestine, Tex), Vol. 5, No. 175, Ed. 1, Thursday, February 7, 1907


Two Persons Killed and three Injured in Wreck at Alvarado

Denison, Texas, Feb. 6. – Two persons were killed and three were seriously injured in a rear-end collision of two Missouri, Kansas & Texas stock trains at Alvarado, Texas, early this morning. The dead are:

John Wright of Denison.

E. A. Folke, stockman, of Serbin, Texas.

The injured:

W. T. Coon, stockman; J. F. Simmons, stockman; d. Browning, stockman.

The killed and injured were all in the caboose of the train, which was standing at Alvarado. No member of the other train crew was injured.

The collision occurred at 1:45 o’clock this morning. a stock train in charge of conductor George Wright and engineer Muncie was taking water at Alvarado. The caboose was south of the station. Conductor Wright was at the station getting orders and the brakemen were also off the train. The second train in charge of conductor Joe Cain and Engineer J. N. Cowen, came into Alvarado while the first stock train was standing still and struck the caboose. the caboose was demolished and one car preceding it was derailed, but not badly damaged. engine No. 540, which was pulling the second train was derailed and damaged by the collision.

E. A. Folke, the stockman who was killed, was in charge of a shipment of cattle from Giddings. John Wright was a young man and was a nephew of conductor George Wright, on whose train he was riding. Both were instantly killed.

The body of John Wright was brought to Denison this afternoon for burial. Wright was traveling on the freight train for the purpose of learning the trade in order that he might take a position as brakeman. He was about 18 years of age.

Brenham Evening Press. (Brenham, Tex.), Vol. 16, No. 146, Ed. 1 Friday, November 12, 1909


Mrs. Ben Kessell and children, of William Penn left Wednesday for Serbin, Lee county, to attend the wedding of Mrs. Kessel’s brother there, Wednesday.

The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 57, No. 32, Ed. 1 Saturday, November 20, 1909


On the third day the prizes were awarded as follows: On horse colts, A. Moerbe, Serbin, 1st; J. Lehmann, Lincoln, 2nd; F. Hamff, Paige, 3rd; best mule colt, H. Raclure, Paige; best span mule, John Claiborne, Smithville; best saddle horse, Sheriff Scarborough, Giddings; best homemade quilt, Mrs. A. B. Danigan, Paige; best chickens, John Barr, Smithville; best turkey, O. Schultz, Paige; best butter, Mrs C. E. Lindner, Paige; best hog, Alfred Fuchs, Paige.

The Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 57, No. 50, Ed. 1 Saturday, April 2, 1910

Events in Bastrop

Occurring Week Ending Saturday, April 2, 1882.

Twenty Eight Years Ago.

The following local items are taken from the Advertiser of April 2, 1882:

“A fatal difficulty occurred between two colored youths, Thos. Jefferson and Pierce Oliver, aged 16 years in the southeastern portion of the county on Sunday last in which the latter was stabbed to death by being cut in the head and right breast. The killing was instantaneous. The difficulty grew out of a stolen pair of shoes which Pierce Oliver was charged with stealing from a German at Serbin, and began at church, breaking up the services. Thos. Jefferson was arrested and lodged in jail at Bastrop.”

Shiner Gazette. (Shiner, Tex.), Vol. 17, No. 41, Ed. 1, Thursday, May 26, 1910


The Gazette is requested to announce that Rev. Kilian of Serbin will preach at the Northside Lutheran church next Sunday, May 29 at 10 o’clock a.m. Everybody invited.

The Daily Express. (San Antonio, Tex.), Vol. 46, No. 19, Ed. 1 Thursday, January 19, 1911


MUTSCHER – Giddings, Tex., Jan 18. – Reinhold Mutscher, whose home is in William Penn, but who was visiting his father Gustav Mutscher, near here, died last night. He leaves a wife and three children, besides his father and mother and two brothers here and one sister, Mrs. Ben Kessel, of William Penn. Mr. Mutcher was in business at William Penn with Ben Kessel. He was buried at Serbin today.

San Antonio Express. (San Antonio, Tex.), Vol. 47, No. 104, Ed. 1 Saturday, April 13, 1912


GERSCH – Giddings, Tex., April 12. – Mrs. Christianne Gersch died yesterday at the home of her son-in-law, E. A. Domaschk. Mrs. Gersch was born in Germany but had been living in this country many years. Her home was in Serbin until a few months ago, when she moved here. She was 79 years old. She was buried here Thursday evening.

The Houston Post. (Houston, Tex.), Vol. 29, No. 363, Ed. 1 Thursday, April 1, 1915


War Has Caused Changes and Many New Lines Have Been

Drawn but Plans Are Yet Unsettled

… The Wends for a little group of Slavs which has had a history as gloomy as that of the Poles, though it has not been so picturesque. their little colonies in Saxony and Prussia still persist, though many thousands fled to Russia or the Unites States. (Giddings, Wenden, Warden, Burleson and Serbin, in Texas were originally Wend Colonies.) …

The Schulenburg Sticker (Schulenburg, Tex.), Vol. 42, No. 34, Ed. 1 Friday, June 26, 1936

… the Texas District Synodical convention, now in session at Serbin, Texas, the original homesite of the first Wendish settlement to be made in Texas, about the year 1850. When these hardy pioneers first landed on the hospitable shore of the U. S. they were directed inland from Galveston and chose a tract of land on the Rabbs Creek of Lee and Fayette County, building their homes in seclusion and under primitive conditions. They at one set about building a place of worship. When the building was completed they yet lacked a bell to call the worshipers to meeting, so the good ladies of the colony gave whatever trinkets they possessed and whatever brass could be found among the colonists, and had a bell cast.

This bell, like the Liberty Bell, was in later years sprung and rendered useless for the purpose for which it was intended. When the Texas Concordia College was opened and dedicated in 1926, the Serbin people donated their old bell to the museum of the college. This year it was taken to Dallas and is now on display at the booth of the Missouri Synod Lutheran Church on the Exposition Grounds.

When the first church of the Serbin congregation was dedicated, the pastor, the Rev. Jpohn Kilian, preached a sermon in three languages, the Wendish, the German and the English. Pastor Herman Schmidt, a native son of Serbin, is now pastor of this large congregation, …

Bastrop Advertiser (Bastrop, Tex.), Vol. 83, No. 42, Ed. 1 Thursday, January 7, 1937


Way back in 1870 Jim Walker, a pioneer settler in Bastrop county a few mileseast of where Paige is now located, the settlement being known as Ridgeway prairie, set aside five acres of land to be used for church and school purposes.

Mr. Walker was by faith, a Presbyterian. One of his neighbors, Wylie Fore, was also a Presbyterian and another Grandpa Granberry, was a Baptist and they were appointed trustees and a church building was erected on the Jim Walker five acres in the spring of 1870.

The sum of $500.00 was raised by the community and the contract was let to a carpenter named John Moxley. The lumber was hauled from Serbin by ox teams.


The Michael Mickan Mystery – There could be three of them!

Here is how the story begins:

On March 3, 1995 Kenneth (K.W.) Mickan asked Weldon Mersiovsky if he would help him identify the date and place of death of Michael Mickan, the immigrant ancestor of the Mickan clan. He had given his son Michael a copy of the “1965 Mickan Album.” On the first page, in a section called “Rare Records of Michael Mickan,” the writer, who may have been Cornelius Lottman, states, “Michael Mickan, born January 21, 1821 in the Gröditz (Graditz) area, Saxony, Germany. Michael Mickan married Magdalena Brochno in Germany. With their family they migrated to Texas with other Germans; along with the Wendish Lutherans in Reverend John Kilian’s party.” Michael, son of K. W., wanted to know where the elder Michael Mickan was buried as it was not identified in the “1965 Mickan Album”.

The results of the research is what follows. The “1965 Mickan Album,” on page 2 states that Michael Mickan and wife Magdalene (nee) Brochno Mickan had four children. They were Andreas, 1841; Anna, 1843; John, 1845; and Peter, 1847. Mr Lottman goes on to say, “(No index on step-brother Andreas. According to later information he did not leave Germany with the family.)” The above mentioned John, who married Maria Neitsch, is the male progenitor of all the Walburg Mickans, Anna married Carl G. Jungmichael, and Peter married Maria Deo and lived in Lee County. That Michael Mickan (born: 1821) married Magdalena Brochno is, it turns out, a false assumption.

Michael Mickan Number 1:

There was a Michael Mickan, born January 21, 1821 in Gröditz, who is listed in The Wends of Texas, by Anna Blasig, in Appendix II, An Abstract of the Original Ship Register of the Wendish Colonists of Texas of 1854, page 110, Number 114, “Mikan, Michael, Laborer, Gröditz, Saxony, Jan.21, 1821.” Dr George Nielsen, author of In Search of a Home, Nineteenth-Century Wendish Immigration, makes no mention of Michael Mickan in his Appendix and in his collection of research notes, “Nielsen’s Notes,” he has no further information on him than does Blasig. Modern digital research finds the Michael Mickan, born 1821, living as a widower, with the John and Amelia Kruse family, in Fayette County, Texas in the 1880 Census (Mikel Meken) and in the 1900 Federal Census (Mechal Mickon) living next to John and Elizabeth Kruse in Fayette County, Texas.

In a letter dated 11 Mar 1868 (Texas Wends: Letters and Documents, compiled by George Nielsen) Jan Kilian writes, “Michael Mickan is still living and is married and lives 15 English (3 German) miles from here, not far from the little town of Round Top in a settlement of Germans named ‘Zapp Settlement’. [Zapp Settlement has also been called Rock House, German Settlement, and Willow Springs] I heard through Johann Urban from Rakel, who lives here, that over the years he [Mickan] has received several letters from Gröditz. He did not have any church fellowship with me and my congregation all the time he lived in Texas. Therefore, I am unable to say anything about him. But when his brother writes to him he should address the letter as follows: Michael Mickan, P. O. Round Top, Zapp Settlement, Fayette Co., Texas.” In 1900 Michael Mickan, widower, born in Jan 1821, was living in Fayette County.

Michael Mickan Number 2:

In the 1870 Census there is a Michael Mickan (born:1825, Prussia) living with his wife Caroline (born:1820, Prussia) and their three daughters, Mary, 18, Sophia, 15, and Bertha, 12, (all born in Texas) near the Post Office of Archer’s Store. Whether this is the Michael Mickan (born:1821) is doubtful. By 1880 all the girls could have been married and his wife could be dead but someone is off the age by 5 years; however, if the girls ages are correct, the oldest would have been born in Texas in 1852, two years before the Wends landed in December of 1854.

Michael Mickan Number 3:

Dr Nielsen also records in his “Nielsen’s Notes” that there was a Michael Mickan, of Johann, who was born March 1, 1857 and died in Round Rock, Texas on May 21 1931. This Michael married Magdalena Winter on 29 August 1886 at Trinity Lutheran Church in Fedor and were later divorced. Their wedding witnesses were “Herzog and wife” and “Benoffski and wife.” Magdalena was born February 24, 1864 in Austria and died June 14, 1937 in Thorndale. While “Mike” and “Lena” were living at Brushy Creek a son was born on 26 June 1887 and baptized on 2 October 1887 at Fedor. He was named Ernst Michael. His sponsors were Joh. Leschber and wife, Ernst Mickan (J Leschber’s ??) and Ernest Poldrack. When the Mickans were living in Thorndale a daughter, Emma Margaretha, was born on 2 Oct 1888 and was baptized on 31 November 1889 in Fedor. Sponsors were John Winter, P Symmank, Frau Heinze, and Frau Synnatschke. Emma married Charles Farris and had at least three children, one of which was a daughter Ruby Ella. Ernest married Anna Hildegard (Hilda) Schultz and had five children, Alfred D., Edward, Leroy Reuben, Alvira Doris, Alice Ruth, Alvadina Emma (Mrs Leo Henderson).

Magdalena Prochno’s husband was John Mickan.

Dr Nielsen, who in his research for In Search of a Home went to Germany and researched the ancestors of the Wendish immigrants for at least two generations, uncovered several interesting bits of information about the Mickan family corroborated by several other unconnected sources. Nielsen states that the husband of Magdalena (daughter of Johann Prochno and Maria Sobe or Dube), born on April 13, 1808 in Rackel and who died on August 1, 1881 in Serbin, was a Johann Mickan of Weigersdorf. They had three children, Johann Mikan, born December 20, 1845 in Weigersdorf, died April 17, 1894 in Walburg, and married Maria Magdalena Neitsch; Peter Mikan, born December 25, 1849 in Weigersdorf, died June 17, 1919 in Serbin, and married Maria Deo; and Hanna of Weigersdorf who married Carl Jungmichael of Bullfrog. Dr Nielsen goes on to say that Johann Mikan apparently died sometime before the Wendish migration of 1854 because the widow Magdalena married a widower Johann Symank who had a daughter Anna Maria. Dr Nielsen also records that Johann Simmank’s first wife was Maria Zieschang and she died in about 1851.

It appears that the following was the situation when the migration took place. “Johann Symank, 58, houseowner in Weigersdorf, and Magdalena Prochno, wife, migrated to Texas with Anna Maria Symank, daughter; Anna Mickan, stepdaughter; Mickan, 9, stepson; and, Peter Mickan, 5, stepson.” [Source: Nineteenth Century Emigration of “Old Lutherans” from Eastern Germany (Mainly Pomerania and Lower Silesia) to Australia, Canada, and the United States. Clifford Neal Smith.] This is a translation of a two volume study in German by Wilhelm Iwan in 1943, titled Die altlutherische Auswanderung um die Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts.)

The following are extracts from the Rev John Kilian’s marriage records of St Paul Lutheran, Serbin, Texas translated by Dr Joe Wilson, Rice University:

1861. Number 5. September 1. The church (place). According to the agenda, without marriage sermon. 12th Sunday after Trinity and the two following Sundays, threefold notice. Carl Gottfried Jungmichel, unmarried, farmer and tanner on the Bullfrog. Hanna, unmarried, surviving older daughter of the late Johann Mickan, former cottager in Weigersdorf (Prussia), now foster daughter of Johann Symank, resident here.

1866. Number 9. November 18. The church. According to the agenda, without marriage sermon. 23rd Sunday after Trinity and the two following Sundays, threefold notice. Carl Gottlieb August Rösler, unmarried, farmer in the Biegel Settlement near La Grange. Hanna, only daughter of Johann Symank, farmer at Serbin.

1872. Number 4. February 13. The church. According to the agenda, without marriage sermon. Septuagesima Sunday and the two following Sundays, threefold notice. Johann Mikan, unmarried, farmer on Wolf’s Branch, surviving older son of the late Johann Mikan, former garden owner in Weigersdorf, Prussia, now stepson of Johann Symank, farmer on Wolfs’ Branch. Maria Magdalena, unmarried, oldest daughter of Johann Gottlieb Neitsch, farmer on Rabbs Creek.

1872. Number 5. April 14. The church. According to the agenda, without marriage sermon. Easter and the two following Sundays, threefold notice. Peter Mikan, unmarried, farmer on the Bullfrog, surviving younger son of the late Johann Mikan, former garden owner in Weigersdorf, Prussia, now stepson of Johann Symank, farmer on Wolfsbranch. Maria, unmarried, surviving second daughter of the late Johann Deo, former renter on the Yegua.

From the Rev John Kilian’s death and burial records of St Paul Lutheran Church, Serbin, Texas translated by Dr Joe Wilson, Rice University:

1874. Number 7. July 11, 7:15 pm. (death). July 12 (burial). Brief funeral address at the home, blessing at the grave. and on July 19 funeral sermon. Johann Symank, former farmer at Serbin (Bullfrog Creek); brief funeral address: Psalm 90, 10-12; funeral sermon: Psalm 39, 6-9. 77 years, 9 months, 10 days. Loss of strength. The widow, 1 daughter from first marriage, 2 stepsons, 1 stepdaughter.

1881. Number 15. August 1, 5:30 pm. (death). August 2 (burial). Brief funeral address at the home, blessing at the grave, and funeral sermon. Magdalena, surviving widow of the late Johann Symank, farmer at Serbin. Brief funeral address: Hebrews 13, 14; funeral sermon: Psalm 90, 10-12. 73 years, 3 months, 18 days; born April 13, 1808. Nervous ailment. 2 sons, 1 daughter, 1 stepdaughter.

From the Rev John Kilian’s confirmation records of St Paul Lutheran Church, Serbin, Texas translated by Dr Joe Wilson, Rice University:

Wendish Confirmation, Serbin:

2. Johann Mickan, stepson of Johann Symank, born December 20, 1845.

Wendish Confirmation at Serbin, March 1863:

1. Peter August Mickan, youngest son of the late Johann Mikan, stepson of Johann Symank, born December 25, 1849.

(There is no mention of the confirmation of the two girls.)

Thus ends the “The Michael Mickan Mystery.” Who wants to take it up from here?


The Texas Mersiovskys – By Weldon Mersiovsky, Phyllis Mersiovsky Bardo, and Michelle Bardo Thorley

The story that you are about to read was gleaned from facts that were carried to the grave by all who lived it. It is pieced together from numerous records and how we interpreted them. Before we started putting it all together all we knew was that Adolf Mersiovsky was born in Hochkirch, Germany and came to America when he was 10.

If any reader would like to continue the story of their family just add it in the comments area. If any reader would like to publish their family’s story in like manner just contact the Wendish Research Exchange at

On April 1, 1848, in the kingdom of Saxony in eastern Germany in the village of Steindorfel, a daughter is born to Andreas Mirtschin and Magdalena Domschke. They name her Maria Theresa but they call her Theresa. Theresa grows up the seventh of ten children, three older brothers, three older sisters, two younger brothers and one older sister. She probably spends her time helping with household chores from a very young age, playing with her siblings and the children in the village and, if very fortunate, receiving a little schooling. At age nineteen she gives birth to a child whom she names Gustav Mirtsching. According to church records he was born July 15, 1867 in the village of Hochkirch. The father is listed as Johann Carl Rentsch. It appears that she never marries him.On February 20, 1869, almost two years after the birth of Gustav, she marries Carl August Mersiovsky who is 25 years old. He was born in Weigsdorf on March 11, 1843. They move to New Weigsdorf where their first child, Gustav Adolph is born the next year on March 12, 1870. Their young family continues to grow with the birth of Karl August 18 months later on September 10, 1871. He lives only three months, dying on October 31, 1871. William Ernst is born a year later on September 6, 1872. Two years later Julius Hermann is born on October 27, 1874. Theresa now has 4 young boys – Gustav, Adolph, Ernst, and Hermann. They bring her great joy as well as the many challenges that come from raising four young boys. In her heart of hearts she secretly wishes for a daughter when she becomes pregnant again.

About the same time she becomes pregnant, her husband Carl August tells her that he is not feeling well. He no longer has the energy he needs to work and soon becomes weaker and weaker. Theresa takes care of him as well as she can with four boys under foot and pregnant with her fifth child. In late summer, she finds her dear August slipping away from her. He dies of pneumonia on August 21, 1875 attended by Theresa with her children by her side. They were married for six short years. Overcome by grief and sorrow Theresa, only 28 years old, must decide what to do with her young boys, Gustav (8), Adolph (5), Ernst (3) and Hermann (1). During this time of great sadness, only six months after the death of her husband, great joy comes to her in the birth of her first and only daughter born April 5, 1876. She calls her Linna. Oh how she wishes that August could be there to enjoy this beautiful gift and hold his only daughter in his arms.

She finds solace and comfort with the Mersiovsky family. They come to her aid and help her with her young family. Carl Leberecht, August’s 25 year old cousin, is one or those that comes to assist with the family and he soon falls in love with Theresa. They are married on October 15, 1876 in Cunewalde, a little more than a year after August’s death. Theresa is grateful to have Leberecht enter her life and is thankful that he is willing to become a father to her five children. A year later, Carl Emil is born on September 28, 1877 and Theresa now has six young children – five of which are under the age of eight. There is surely never enough time in the day to do all that has to be done in caring for such a young family. At the same time the religious and political situation in Germany is becoming increasingly intolerable. Theresa and Leberecht have a lot on their minds: How do we want our children to grow up? What will they become here in Germany? Like all parents, they want the best for their children.

They finally decide with heavy hearts that they must leave their home and family in Germany for a better life in America. On the trip to the coast where they will board a ship to America, Theresa begins to feel ill. Leberecht assures her that things will be better in America and that all she needs is a little rest. She gains some of that rest during the steamer trip on the SS Nurnberg which sails from Bremen and Havre, Germany. On the trip they meet a young man named Julius Koch. He is a 25 year old laborer from Austria and they soon become good friends. To Leberecht’s dismay, Theresa still does not feel well and they are afraid that when they arrive in America the family will be put in quarantine or, worse still, sent back to Germany if she is found sick. So together with Julius Koch and the ship’s captain, August Geyer, they arrange to have the children registered under the name of Koch. When the ship docks at New Orleans, Julius Koch takes the children, Gustav (11), Adolph (10), Ernst (8), Hermann (6), Linna (4) and Emil (3), with him and they pass through customs as his family. To the young children this is a frightening experience, given the possibility they may never see their parents again. Lots of tears are shed and prayers offered that they might remain a family here in this new country. Fortunately, their prayers are answered. Theresa and Leberecht are able to clear customs and the family is reunited. From New Orleans, the family makes their way to Texas. It is not known whether the ship continued on to Galveston or whether they traveled by train or some other transportation from New Orleans to Texas. The journey is long and hard and the stress eventually takes its toll on Theresa who becomes sick with typhoid fever. On December 12, 1880, at 32 years of age, she dies in the arms of Leberecht – her husband of only four years – while her children stand weeping by her bedside. What is to become of them now that both their father and mother are gone? What more can they endure?

Leberecht, a man of great compassion, continues to care for his children and stepchildren for the next six years. He realizes that he must have help to care for his young family and soon meets and marries another young widow, Carolina Wilhelmina Richter Bittner. They are married on November 28, 1886 by the Justice of the Peace in Giddings, Texas. Joy fills the hearts of the children as they welcome a new mother into their lives. Wilhelmina cares for them as lovingly as their own mother Theresa had.

Wilhelmina originally lived in Walburg, Williamson, Texas. She, like Theresa, had a child by a man to whom she was not married. Herman Wilhelm Neitsch was born to her on June 25, 1882. The father refused to marry her and married another woman instead. However a year later on January 23, 1883 Heinrich Bittner of Warda, Texas married her and together they have a daughter, Martha. When Martha was only two years old, her father dies and Wilhelmina is left alone with two young children under the age of 4.

In 1886, when Leberecht is 35, he and Wilhelmina blend their families together and help one another to care for the eight children [Gustav (17), Adolph (16), Ernst (14), Herman (12), Linna (10), Emil (9), Herman (4) and Martha (2)]. Wilhelmina and Leberecht soon have two more children of their own. Carl Robert is born on November 11, 1886. Death strikes again as little Martha dies on 1 May 1887, only three and a half years old. Gerhard Max is born on July 17, 1888 – however, he dies just 15 months later on October 23, 1889.

With a family of eight to care for Leberecht decides to buy a farm from Andreas Vetter on April 22, 1890. He has seven boys to help him farm with the oldest, Gus, being 21 years old. Gus farms with his family for 1 more year before he marries Marie Mickan in 1891 and moves to Walburg. Adolph helps on the farm for 5 years and then marries Mary Lorenz in 1895, moves to Winchester and in 1920, moves to Walburg. Ernst helps for 6 years before he marries Anna Jacobik in 1896 and eventually moves to Walburg. Linna marries Johann Kubsch in 1898, moves to Walburg where Johann dies ion 1905 and then moves to The Grove where she married Matthes Dutschmann. On May 14, 1904, at the age of 47, Wilhelmina dies from tuberculosis in Serbin, Texas. Julius Hermann leaves soon after and goes to Walburg,where he lives for a couple of years and then moves to St Louis, where he changes his name to Mirtsching and marries Elsa Walther in 1911. Herman Wilhelm marries Maria Mickan, moves to Giddings where he raised his family until his death and the family moved to Houston. Emil and Robert continue to help their father on the farm. A year after Wilhelmina dies, on August 20, 1905, Leberecht marries another widow, “Grandma” Marie Kurio Wukasch. On February 14, 1907, three years after Wilhelmina’s death and only two years after his marriage to the widow Wukasch, Leberecht too succumbs to tuberculosis, dying at the age of 49. Robert marries Hulda Symm in 1914 and works the farm with Emil.

In 1914, when St Peter’s Lutheran Church reunites with St Paul’s Lutheran Church, the Maria Mersiofsky that is on the list of returnees is the widow of Leberecht Mersiovsky. She lives until 1 Sep 1915.

In his will, Leberecht leaves the farm in Serbin, Texas to Emil, his son by Theresa, who is now 30 years old and never married. When Emil dies in 1927 at the age of 50, the farm passes on to Robert – Leberecht’s son by Wilhelmina – who is now 41 years old.


Home and Farms in Klitten (since 1588) by Georg Alpermann

An explanation by Weldon Mersiovsky.

Texas Wends, especially those who trace their families back to Prussia, should consult Dr. Georg Alpermann’s book, Höfe und Bauern in Klitten (Homes and Farms In Klitten) for possible information about their own family. It identifies homes and farms in the villages of Klitten, Jahmen, Dürrbach, Kringelsdorf, Ölsa, Kaschel, Thomaswalde, Eselsberg and Klein Radisch.

I first became aware of this book in 1986 when Kurt Wensch of Dresden helped me find my ancestors in Germany. Some of the information he sent me came from this book, but because of the narrow scope of my interest at the time, I neglected asking about it. Late last year, in 2010, I reread some of Wensch’s letters and decided to investigate the source. The book was still in print in Germany and within a month I received a copy. It was published by the Deutsche Arbeitsgemeinschaft Genealogischer Verbände in Frankfurt am Main in 1959 and is classified as a Deutsche Ortssippenbuch, or a German Family Origins Book. The book is 311 pages long but it has no maps.

Dr. Alpermann was the pastor of the state church in Klitten and shortly after World War II came across some old German property books. He designed a project in which he would identify the families who became property owners following the end of feudalism and trace each property’s subsequent owners. The problem was that the names of the property owners changed, so he decided to use the church record books of the parish churches in Klitten and Kreba and first create family histories of the surnames that appeared on the property records. He then tied the family unit onto a parcel of property.

Prussian law did not require documentation each time farms or property changed hands. Only those who were willing to pay a fee had their ownership recorded in the court records. The owner of each farm, however, had a certificate of ownership. When the farm changed owners, the certificate was turned over to the new owner and the new owner took on the name of the farm. In addition to the normal selling and buying of property, if you married the farmer’s daughter, for example, your name might change. If you married the farmer’s widow, your name might change. If you inherited it your name might change. The reason people practiced this, according to Milan Pohontsch, a genealogist in Utah who grew up in this system, “was that a farm name had more endurance in the heads of people than a (short term) family name. Usually someone who bought a farm profited from the already established farm name and had no problem giving up his family name he was born under.” In some cases children born prior to the farm purchase were recorded under one family name, and their younger siblings were recorded under the new farm name.

Pohontsch goes on to say that “the only way to bring clarity into this is to compare court records…and church records simultaneously.” This is what Dr Alperman did. What he learned was that the property identity stayed the same, unless they had the money to change the name on the title, while people’s surnames changed depending on which piece of property they lived on during their lifetime.

The way the book is written supposes that you would start at the origins of the property unit and trace it down to the present; however, for most Texas Wendish/German descendants, we need to begin with the immigrant ancestor. Thankfully, there is also an index at the back of the book that lists every surname in the book, not followed by a page number but rather by the town and “family number” in which the surname is found. There are other functional peculiarities in the way that the book is written but time and practice make them relatively easy to manage.

I have found 29 Texas Wendish families and 37 parents identified by George Nielsen as originating from the Klitten area that are listed in this book with some detail: George Bamsch, Rosina Schatte Bamsch, Johann Bartel-Merting, Rosina Bartsch Paulick Zieschang, Maria Brydde Kasper, Matthes Domaschka, Rosina Drosche-Hoffman Becker Merting, Georg Helas, Johann Herenz, John Hohle, Jr, Matthes Hohle, Johann Hollas, Hanna Jurz Domaschka, Magdalena Socke Jatzlau, Johann Kasper, Maria Michalk Krause, Hanna Michalk Teinert, Johann Kubitz, Anna Schubert Lowke, Matthes Matthiez, George Merting, Johann Bartel-Merting, Matthes Mitschke, Jacob Paulik, Christoph Schatte, Johann Schatte, Matthes Schatte, Rosina Schautschick Schatte, Christoph Schellnick, Matthes Schellnick, Christoph Schiwart, Georg Schmidt, Anna Mitschke Mattke Schubert, Anna Schubert Lowke, Rosina Swoibe Schellnick, Magdalena Schurk Krause, and Anna Tschuder Kubitz.

George Nielsen, in his family note sheets, also identifies the following families as having come from the same area: Matthes Bigon, Georg Iselt, George Lowke, Johann Matz, Johann Tschornack, and Agnes Hansk. The preceding family names are in the book but I have not been able to connect them to a family in the book. This does not mean they did not come from this area. It could mean that, or it could mean that either they did not make it into the book or I am looking for the wrong name. It could also mean that a piece of the puzzle is missing, like the name of the wife or mother. There are also some spouses who one might think ought to be in the book but aren’t. There are also spouses identified with people in the book but the connection to a family can’t be made.

As confusing as it appears, the only way to make sense of it was to put the data into a modern genealogy program. It has taken me about a year to transfer 99 % of the genealogical data over to a modern genealogy program.


They Had Wendish Wives and Husbands! – by Weldon Mersiovsky

Many people have asked me why I am involved in the Texas Wendish Heritage Society because they think that my name is not Wendish. They are correct.

Mersiovsky is not a Wendish name. It is a Bohemian name, an old Bohemian name. My ancestors lived in the Kingdom of Bohemia since Miros built a farmhouse and established what became known as the town of Mirosov and the inhabitants of the house became the Miroshovskys, the knights of Mirosov. The Miroshoffskys became Protestants at the time of Jan Hus and ultimately lost their land and titles in 1620 after the Battle of White Mountain at Prague where the Protestants lost.

After living underground as Protestants until the 1690s one Mirshoffski called Matthäus left the Kingdom of Bohemia and settled in the Kingdom of Saxony. He was an immigrant known as an Exulanten. In 1880 my grandfather and his family came to Texas from Germany.

The Mersiovsky siblings, and half brothers, and step brothers married Wends, as follows.

1. Karl Gustav Mirtsching was the firstborn son of Maria Theresa Mirtsching who later married Carl August Mersiovsky. According to the Holy Trinity Hochkirch, Sachsen, church records the father was Johann Carl Rentsch. Theresa and John were not married. Theresa’s father was Andreas Miertschin of Steindorfel and her mother was Magdalena Domschke of Baschütz.

Gus Mirtsching married Marie Magdaline Mickan (born on 16 Jul 1873) on 10 August 1891 (the marriage license was issued in Bell County) and settled in Walburg, Texas. Marie was the first child, first daughter of John Mickan and Maria Magdalena Neitsch. John Mickan came to Serbin, Texas on the Fortuna in 1858 as the second child, first son of Magdalena Symmank (widow of Johann Mickan) and the stepson of Johann August Symmank. Maria Neitsch was born in La Grange, Texas in 1855, the fourth child, second daughter of Johann Gottlieb Neitsch and Maria Symmank, travelers on the Ben Nevis. John Mickan and Maria Neitsch were married on 13 Feb 1872 at St Paul Lutheran Church in Serbin.

2. Gustav Adolph Mersiovsky was the oldest surviving son of Theresa Mirtsching and Carl August Mersiovsky of Weigsdorf. The original Mersiovskys immigrated to Saxony in the late 1600’s and the ancestors of August lived in Weigsdorf, Oppach, and Beiersdorf, attending church in Cunewalde.

Adolph married Maria Theresa Lorentschk on 22 Jan 1895 in St Paul Lutheran Church in Serbin. They lived in Serbin (St Peter’s Lutheran Church), Winchester (St Michael’s Lutheran Church) and finally, Walburg (Zion Lutheran Church). Mary was born on 4 Feb 1876 on Rabbs Creek the first child, first daughter of Andreas Lorentschk and his first wife Agnes Zwahr, who, as children, had both been passengers on the Ben Nevis.

Andreas, the third child, third son of George Lorentschk and Elizabeth Kasper, was 10 when he came over on the Ben Nevis with his parents. Agnes was three when she traveled on the Ben Nevis and when her father Andreas Zwahr died in Frelsburg in 1855. Her mother had been a widow for about 6 years when she had planned to marry Johann Jeremias, a fellow Ben Nevis passenger, because a marriage license was issued on 22 Jan 1861 in Bastrop County, Texas. For some unknown reason, other than the marriage was obviously called off, Pastor Kilian returned the license to the county unexecuted. Mari’s mother then married Matthes Schelnick in 1866 and he helped rear the youngest of the Zwahr children.

Agnes was the fifth child, fourth daughter of Andreas and Maria Zwahr. Agnes died after giving birth to two daughters, Maria who married Adolph Mersiovsky and Hanna, unmarried, who reared Karl Krautz. Andreas Lorentschk subsequently married Hanna Nickel with whom he had two more daughters, Hanna, who married Carl August Berk and Emma who married Paul August Kaiser.

3. A second son to Theresa and August in Germany, Karl August, died after one month.

4. Wilhelm Ernst Mersiovsky was the third surviving son of Theresa and August Mersiovsky. Ernst married Anna Jakobik, the first child, first daughter of Matthis Jakobik and Marie Magdalena Bohot, on 18 November 1896 at St Paul Lutheran Church in Serbin. According to George Nielsen, Anna was born in either Schleife or Neustadt, Germany and came to Texas in 1881 with her parents. The Ernst Mersiovskys lived in Serbin (St Peter’s Lutheran Church), Giddings (Immanuel Lutheran Church), and Walburg (Zion Lutheran Church).

5. Julius Herrman Mersiovsky was the fourth surviving son of Theresa and August. Herrmann moved to Walburg from Serbin in the summer of 1897 and lived there until 1905. He moved to St Louis where he changed his name to Mirtsching and married Elsa Walther.

6. Maria Linna was the only daughter born to Theresa and August Mersiovsky. She married John Kubsch at St Peter Lutheran Church in Serbin on 25 Jan 1898. John came to Serbin not too long before he married Linna. John and Linna moved to Walburg (Zion Lutheran Church) where John died in 1905. John and Linaa had three surviving sons, Willie, Walter and Johnnie. After John’s death, Linna married Wilhelm Sommer, with whom she had a son, and they moved to The Grove (St Paul’s Lutheran Church). The son died and Wilhelm either died or left. In The Grove Linna married Matthis Dutschman, a widower with ten children. They had one daughter together, Ruth Dutschmann, who married Robert Winkler.

After August had died in Germany, Theresa married Leberecht Mersiovsky, August’s first cousin. Together they had Carl Emil and then migrated to America.

7. Emil never married, inherited the family farm and passed it on to his half-brother Robert at his death.

8. Herman Neitsch Mersiovsky was the son of John Robert Neitsch and Carolina Wilhelmina Richter of Walburg before either of them were married. When Neitsch would not marry Wilhelmina she married Heinrich Büttner, widower, from Warda (Holy Cross Lutheran Church), to where she moved. Herman married Martha Mickan of Serbin, the third child, third daughter of Peter Mickan and Maria Deo. Peter was the brother of John Mickan. John Robert Neitsch was a brother to the wife of Gus Mirtsching. Herman took on the Mersiovsky name when his mother, Wilhelmine, married Karl Leberecht Mersiovsky after the death of Theresa.

9. Robert Mersiovsky was the only surviving son of the marriage of Carolina Wilhelmina Richter and Carl Leberecht Mersiovsky. He married Hulda Symm of Serbin, fifth child, fifth daughter of Ernst Adolph Symm and Anna Maria Jank on 27 Oct 1914. Ernst, born in 1862, was the first child, first son of Johnann and Agnes Symm who came to Texas in 1861 from Klix (according to George Nielsen). Anna was the first child, first daughter of Ernest John Jank and his wife Maria Schneider, born in 1860 in Prussia. Anna and her parents migrated to Texas in 1882 (according to George Nielsen).

The children of Gus and Maria Mirtsching = ¾ Wendish maybe 7/8 depending on the lineage of Rentsch.

The children of Adolph and Mary Mersiovsky = ¾ Wendish.

The children of Ernst and Anna Mersiovsky = ¾ Wendish.

The children of Herman and Elsa Mirtsching = ¼ Wendish.

The children of Linna and John Kubsch = ¾ Wendish, providing Kubsch was Wendish.

The daughter of Linna and Matthis Dutschmann = ¾ Wendish

The children of Herman and Martha Mersiovsky = ¾ Wendish, could be 100% if Herman’s mother Richter was Wendish.

The children of Robert and Hulda Mersiovsky = ½ Wendish, could be ¾ if Robert’s mother Richter was a Wend.


St Peter Families – by Weldon Mersiovsky

When St Peter Lutheran Church in Serbin combined with St Paul Lutheran Church in Serbin in 1914 all of the church records of St Peter were burned except for the “Official Acts” meaning baptisms, marriages, death and confirmations. All of these “Official Acts” survived except for the confirmations. Of the confirmations, we have years 1887-1913.

This inventory of families is an attempt to assist researchers in locating which congregation their ancestral families belonged to, by when they might have arrived and by when they might have left. The entries identified by an * and in bold print are those families that sent a letter to Pastor Johann Kilian in 1858 and most likely organized what has become known as the “first St Peter.” Those names in bold italics are those people and families that are identified on page 66 of The Wends in Texas by Anna Blasig as having returned to St Pauls from the “second St Peter.”

I simply went through the marriage, birth and death records of St Peter congregation as translated by Dr Joe Wilson and recorded the families alphabetically and put the year of the marriage, birth, or death next to the family as the event occurred. When a name has no date that means that they were listed only on page 66 of The Wends in Texas. A date or list of dates next to a name is an indicator that they were at St Peters and the length of time that they were there. A number of records in the “Official Acts” have no recorded family information.

I have also tried to indicate where a family might have gone after St Peters. They might have gone back to St Pauls before 1914, or the churches in Warda, Fedor, Winchester, Walburg, Mannheim, Loebau, or Giddings as these churches were all organized before 1914 when St Peters dissolved. Sometimes weddings were performed at St Peters because it was the church home for one party (most likely the bride) and the couple settled elsewhere or never intended to join St Peters. There were a number of baptisms conducted away from Serbin where the family may not have been an official member of St Peters.

If you are wondering how to use this list, here are a couple of suggestions:

1. If you know when your ancestors joined St Peters or have a date of death, marriage, or both, you can find other families who were there at the same time. This might be a help in determining where to go next to find identities of people in pictures or letters.

2. If you find your ancestors name on this list and were not aware of their involvement in the Serbin community, you may find other references to them at the museum and archives of the Texas Wendish Heritage Society located at Serbin.

3. If you would like this word document to modify or do your own research, I will be happy to send it to you.

Bader, Christoph and Ernestine Lehmann, 1870
Becker, Gerhardt
Becker, Johann and Anna Maria Hattas, 1881, 1882, 1884, 1886, 1888, 1891, 1894, 1897
Becker, Johann Carl August and Therese Nitsche, 1909, 1910
Behrend, August Christian and Maria Rinker, 1879
Beisert, Hermann and Wilhelmine Karcher, 1911, 1913
Berger, Carl Ernst Otto and Bertha Wobus, 1895
Berger, Johann Ernst and Johanna Wukasch, 1871, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1880, 1883, 1885, 1887, 1888
Berger, Johann Gotthelf and Agnes Marie Richter, 1884, 1885, 1886
Bernthal, J. C. and Anna Schluckebier, 1893, 1896, 1899, 1904 (Pastor)
Biar, Andreas and Marie Therese Hattas, 1876, 1879, 1882, 1885, 1894, Magdalena Gröschel, 1896
Biar, Ernst August and Anna Helena Zschech, 1886
Biar, Gerhard and Anna Lehmann, 1899
Biar, Johann and Agnes Handrick, 1872, 1875, 1891
Biar, Johann Hermann and Anna Lydia Mirtschin, 1891
Biehle, August and Christiane Auguste Regmann, 1872, 1874, 1876, 1877, 1878
Blasig, Johann Gottfried and Anna Theresa Dube, 1896, 1897, 1898, 1900, 1902, 1904, 1906, 1907, 1912
Blasig, Louis and Magdalena Jank, Rabbs Creek, 1873, 1874, 1876, 1879
Bönich, Friedrich Michael and Anna Christiane Handrick, Bucknut Creek, 1871
Böhnke, Ernst Emil and Emma Christiane Noack, Stella in Fayette County, 1897, 1899
Böhnke, Ernst Emil and Emma Louise Wukasch, Muldoon in Fayette County, 1905, 1906, 1909
Böttcher, Carl Wilhelm and Anna Emilie Schulz, 1890
Boike, Christiane Scharrat nee Doman, 1873
Born, Mrs Helene, 1882
Bosmanck, Michael and Christiane Yurck, Bucknut Creek, Fayette County, 1871
Braun, Christian Friedrich and Pauline Franciska Birkmann, 1881 (Teacher)
Bubendorf, Friedrich and Agnes Mertink, 1913
Carby, Adolph and Therese Jenull, Black Jack Spring, 1872
Dietrich, Bruno and Minna Schüler, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1889
Domaschk and Christiane, 1871
Dreszler, Ernst and Therese Engelmann, 1889, Mrs. Maria Schubert, 1891
Drömer, Albert and Charlotte Juliane Rein, 1875, 1876, 1878, 1879, 1880, 1881
Dube, Carl and Maria Falke, West Yegua, 1871
*Dube, Johann Carl August and Johanna Marie Magdalena Rentsch
Dube, Johann Ernst and Anna Urban, 1871, 1872, 1875, 1878, 1880, 1883
Dube, Johann Gerhard and Bertha Therese Blasig, 1896
Dunk, Henry, 1875
Dunk, Johannes Wilhelm and Henriette Friederike Louise Auguste Elster, 1884, 1887
Dürrenberg, Wilhelm and Alma Handrick, 1909
Eisfeldt, Bernhard and Therese Wagner, 1910
Eisfeld, Gottfried Andreas and Johanne Marie Juliane Thate, 1873, 1876, 1878, 1884, 1886, 1890
Falke, Andreas Ernst and Wilhelmine Peter, Rabbs Creek, 1872, to Warda
Falke, Mrs Maria Magdalena, 1871
Faske, Traugott and Auguste Geier, 1880, 1882
Fehr, Salomon and Pauline Brennewald, 1871, and Maria Wukasch, 1872, 1873, 1874, 1877, 1878
Förster, August, 1872
Gerk, Johann and Agnes, 1874
Gersch, Ernst Herman and Maria Emma Schulz, 1899, 1903
Gersch, Johann Otto and Emma Therese Wukasch, 1898
Geyer, Carl Louis and Ida Maria Bräundlich, 1882, 1883, 1886, to Giddings
Geyer, Carl Ludwig, 1876-1892 (Pastor)
Gröschel, August and Maria Wukasch, 1889
Hamm Family, 1879
Handrick, Andreas and Anna Krautschick, 1885, 1886, 1887, 1891, 1893, 1894
Handrick, Johann and Marie Wagner Zindler nee Schneider, 1880
Handrick, Johann and Therese Mertink, 1885, 1886, 1889, 1890, 1892, 1894, 1896, 1898, 1901
Hannusch, Johann August and Maria Magdalena Hattas, 1899, 1900, 1902, 1903, 1905
*Hantschke-Prochneschko, Andreas and Hanna Zieschang, (BN 98)Andreas died in 1869 with no heirs in Texas.
Hast, Karl Friedrich and Malwine Schwarz, 1871
Hattas, Johann and Magdalena, 1897, 1900
Heinke, Johann Gottlieb, 1890
Hennig, Gustav, 1871
Hentschel, Heinrich and Magdalena Wukasch, 1873
Herter, Sophie, 1895
Herter, W. A. and Bertha Wilhelmine Ritter, 1893, 1894, 1895 (Teacher)
Hildebrandt, Christian Karsten Heinrich and Mathilda Maria Louisa Preis, 1888
Hildebrandt, Christoph and Maria Kuhls, 1888

Hildebrandt, Dorothea Friedricka Marie, 1878 
Hilsberg, Herman August and Maria Alma Wukasch, 1906
Hirsch, Edward and Agnes Leubner, 1909
Hirschfeld, Karl, 1871,Cedar Creek, and Christiane Jank, 1872, 1875, 1877
Hollas, Johann August and Augusta Jesine Senff, 1886
Iselt, Ernst and Hedwig Böttcher, 1890
Iselt, George and Magdalena Lehman, West Yegua, 1871
Jank, Johann and Maria Domaschk, 1875
Jank, Johann and Marie Schneider, 1874, 1876
Jökel, Friedrich and Marie Hardmeier, 1879
Johle, Friedrich Herman and Emma Clara Wagner, Grassyville, 1907, 1909
Jungmichel, Carl Gottfried and Anna Mickan, 1876
Kalbas, Carl August , Rabbs Creek, and Johann Berk, 1877, 1878, 1879, 1881, 1884, 1885, 1888, 1891, 1892, 1894, 1896, 1898, 1900
Kappler, August Paul and Emma Louise Hattas, 1887
Karcher, Friedrich and Hanna Kambor, 1875, 1877
Karcher, Friedrich and Friedrike Hildebrandt, 1878, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1884, 1886, 1887
Karcher, Heinrich Christoph and Anna Maria Dorothea Wiederänders, 1892
Karcher, Herman and Maria Ottilia Schulz, 1879
Karcher, Wilhelm and Maria Teinert, 1905
Kaspar, Traugott and Amalie Bertha Wiederänders, 1875
Kasparick, Johann and Friedericke Karoline Ernestine Bader nee’ Lehmann, 1871, 1879, to Warda?
Kerner, Carl and Maria Helene Emma Kessel, 1878, 1879, 1881
Kessel, Bernhard Adolph and Linna Auguste Mutscher, 1900
Kessel, Friedrich Wilhelm and Maria Auguste Micksch, 1873, 1878
Kessel, Gehard Georg and Hulda Maria Magdalena Noack, 1900
Kiehn, Karl Heinrich and Ottilie Dube nee Seidel, 1875
Kieschnick, Mrs Agnes, 1876
Kieschnick, Andreas and Louise Sophie Körner, 1871
Kieschnick, Johann Carl August and Laura Kreitel, 1887, 1888
Kieschnick, Johann Ernst and Maria Magdalena Hattas, 1884, 1889
Kieschnick, Johann Otto and Auguste Pauline Mattiza, 1889
Kiesling, Andreas and Anna Pietsch, Louis Settlement, 1872
Kiesling, Ernst and Magdalena Weise, Black Jack Spring, 1871, 1873
Kirsch, Anton and Johanna Schmidt, LaGrange, 1872
Klink, Johann Gottlob and Marie Katherine Klein, 1874
Knippa August, and Maria Lydia Wiederänders, 1885
Könning, Carl and Emilie Wukasch, 1906, 1907, 1910, 1912
*Kokel, Christoph and Maria Schneider
Kollman, Johann Friedrich and Catharina Maria Schwarz, 1871
Krautschick, Johann and Agnes Hattas, 1875
Krümke, Max and Marie Auguste Bader, 1881, 1883
Krümke, Max and Anna Adelma Brade, 1890
Krüger, Carl and Henriette, 1877
Krüger, Henry and Madalena Falke, 1871
Kubsch, Johann and Maria Linna Mersiovsky, 1898, 1899 to Walburg and The Grove
Kurio, Emil
Kurio, Ernst
Kurio, Herman and Therese Symm, 1909
Kurio, Johann Andreas and Maria Theresa German, 1881, 1883, 1885, 1887, 1889, 1891, 1893, 1895, 1899
Kurio, Johann and Maria Urban, 1883, 1887
Lehmann, August and Groft, West Yegua, 1871
Lehmann, Andreas Edward and Christiane Wukasch, 1871, 1872, 1875, 1878, 1880, 1883
Lehmann, Carl and Anna Handrick, 1880
Lehmann, Carl August and Agnes Dorothea Mitschke, 1898
Lehmann, Johann Carl and Maria Jannasch, 1873, 1875
Leubner, Ernst Edward, 1870 and Sophia Aloysia Wilhelmine Wagner, 1872, 1876
Leubner, Ernst Wilhelm and Marie Louise Lenz, 1872, 1874, 1876, 1879, 1881, 1883, 1887, 1890, 1892, 1895, 1898
Leubner, Johann Gottlob and Johanna Christiane Volk, 1872, 1877
Leist, Friedrich Wilhelm and Anna Haschke, 1871
Lingnau, Ernst Adolph and Johanna Ernstine Pillack, 1887, 1889, 1890, 1891, 1892, 1894, 1895, 1897, 1898, 1900, 1902, 1903, 1905
Lingnau, Meinhard Ludwig and Emma Pillack, 1890, 1891, 1892, 1894, 1904
*Lorentschk, Johann and Hanna Regman, Maria Nitsche, 1871, 1874, 1876, 1879
Lorenz, Ernst and Amalie Gersch, 1875, 1876
Lössin, Hermann and Marie Sauer, 1871
Luck, Carl, and Margaretha ,Black Jack Springs, 1871
Luck, Louis and Marie Lössin, 1871
Malke, Ernst Adolph and Theresa Bertha Noack, 1883, 1885, 1887, 1890
Mastanari, Anna Maria Judista, 1885
Martin, Peter and Louise Schulz, Austin, 1879
Mathiez, Carl August and Maria Magdalena Mertink, 1880
Melde, Andreas and Magdalena Pillack, West Yegua, 1871, and Christiane Therese Handrick, 1876
Menzel, Emil Gustas and Marie Philomena Karcher, 1891, 1895, 1899, 1902, 1905, 1907, 1911
Menzel, Ernst and Amalie Louise Symmank, 1872, 1873, 1875, 1876, 1879, 1881, 1883
Menzel, Ernst Paul Gerhard and Emma Maria Martha Wukasch, 1904, 1908, 1910
Menzel, Johann Bernhard Otto and Clara Martha Karcher, 1903
Menzel, Johann Carl August and Hedwig Bertha Karcher, 1900, 1904, 1909
Mersiovsky, Emil
Mersiovsky, Ernst Wilhelm and Anna Jacobic, 1896, to Giddings and Walburg
Mersiovsky, Gustav Adolph and Maria Theresa Lorentschk, 1895, 1897, 1900, 1902, 1904, 1909, 1910, 1911, to Winchester and Walburg
Mersiovsky, Lebrecht and Theresia Mirtsching, 1880, Wilhelmine Richter, 1886, 1888, 1889, Mrs Maria Wukasch, 1905
Mersiovsky, Robert and Hulda Symm
Merting, Georg and Marie Schulze, 1874, 1878
Mertink, Andreas and Maria Theresa Miertschin, 1886, 1888, 1891, 1892, 1894, 1895, 1897, 1898, 1902, 1905, 1906, 1909, 1910, 1912
Mertink, August Carl and Selma Maria Schulze, 1906, 1907, 1909
Mertink, Carl August and Maria Rosine Mitschke, 1896, 1897, 1899, 1901, 1904
Mertink, Ernst and Maria Selma Schulze, 1892, 1901
Mertink, Matthes and Maria Theresa Mertink, 1881, 1882, 1884, 1886, 1888, 1891, 1895, 1897
Michael, Ernst and Magdalena Dürrlich, 1885
Michalk, Carl and Maria Birnbaum, 1871, 1875
Micksch, Johann, 1890
Micksch, Michael and Anna Birke, 1871
Mitschke, Gerhard Paul and Maria Ernstine Noack, 1902
Mitschke, Johann A. and Maria Lehmann, 1899
Mörbe, Andreas and Maria Förster, 1876, 1878, 1879, 1880, 1881, 1883, 1884, 1886, 1887, 1889, 1890, 1892, 1893, 1895, 1898
Mörbe , Andreas and Maria Selma Kessel, 1881
*Mörbe, Ernst Adolph and Agnes Symny
*Mörbe, Ferdinand Jacob and Johanne Rahele Anna Dube, 1872
Mörbe, Carl and Maria Therese Kurio, 1883
Mülle, Karl Ludwig and Marie Sophie Behrend, 1876
Müller, Joseph and Marie Greilich, 1871
Mutscher, Gustav and Christiane Brabandt, 1891
Neie, Wilhelm Friedrich and Carolina Schmidt, 1880
Neie, August Albert and Emilie Agnes Sack, 1881, 1882
Neitsch, Carl August and Maria Selma Pillack, 1895, 1896
Neitsch, Ernst Julius and Maria Emma Mertink, 1893
Neumann, Ernst Robert and Caroline Nulischk nee Leubner, 1885
Niemtschk, August and Maria Therese Menzel, 1884
Noack, Herman and Flora Driessner, 1901, 1903, 1906, 1910
Noack, Johann and Christiana Paulo, 1895
Noack, Johann Paul and Anna Christiane Malke, 1883, 1887, 1894
Noack, Michael, 1871, and Maria Handrick, 1872, 1875, 1877, 1879, 1882
Noack Jr, Paul and Mathilde Mitschke, 1908, 1911
Nowotnik, August and Anna Mertink, 1879
Nulischk, Heinrich Oswald and Anna Maria Kübler, 1889
Nulischk, Johann Traugott, Austin, and Johanne Karoline Leubner, 1872, 1873, 1876, 1878, 1881
Pallmer, Johann and Helene Hermann, 1871 (Pastor)
Paulick, Jacob and Rosine, 1874
Peter, Carl, Pin Oak Creek, and Johanna Wilhelmine Noak, 1873, 1875, 1878, 1880
Pfeiffer, George and Antonie Linke, Bastrop, 1871
Pietsch, Carl Traugott and Anna Maria Handrick, 1886, 1888
Pillack, Andreas and Auguste Amalie Wiederänders, West Yegua, 1871
Pillack, Johann August and Anna Louisa Maria Kieschnick, 1882, 1883, 1888
Pillack, Johann and Johanna Dube, 1873
Pillack, Johanne Eleonore, 1894
*Polnik, August and Maria Wagner
Pott, Martin and Emma Lueth, 1910 (Pastor)
Pratho, Johann Gottlieb and Christiana Dupperka, 1882
Preis, Emil Rudolph and Rudolphine Helene Mathilde Drömer, 1899, 1901, 1909
Preiss, Friedrich and Mathilde Marie Louise Drömer, 1871, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1878, 1882, 1884, 1885, 1886, 1888, 1889, 1900
Ramm, Albert and Mathilde Borck, 1873, 1875, 1877, 1879
Raschke, Ernst Gottfried Benjamin and Juliane Rösler, 1880, 1882
Raschke, Emil and Anna Fritsche, 1895
Rauder, Carl Oswald and Maria Helene Mertink, 1906, 1908, 1909, 1912
Rein, Johann Bernhard and Theresia Hedwig Kunze, 1872, 1875
Richards, Joseph and Auguste Schulz, 1878, 1882, 1885, 1887, 1889
Rämsch, August Johann and Emma Selma Benedikt, 1886
Rödler, Robert and Anna Stüssy, 1879
Rudolf, Florian and Marie Noack, 1878
Rückert, Friedrich Johann, 1872
Scharf, Ernst Gustav and Emma Herwig, 1885, 1888, 1891
Scharrat, Ferdinand Paul and Marie Christiane Zindler, 1873
Schatte, Andreas, Rabbs Creek, and Magdalena Zimmermann, 1877
Schatte, Johann Herman and Anna Wukasch, 1887, 1888, 1890, 1892
Schmidt, Bernhard and Richards, Giddings, 1890
*Schmidt, Matthäus and Rosina Schneider
Schneider, Andreas and Anna, Rabbs Creek, 1871
Schneider, Andreas and Maria Handrick, 1884
Schneider, August and Auguste Wilhelmine Steglich, 1893
Schneider, Carl Traugott and Maria Emma Anna Faske, 1889
Schneider, Johann and Magdalena Nowotnik, Rabbs Creek, 1872, 1875, to Warda
*Schönich, Johann
Schröder, Friedrich Wilhelm and Emma Wobus, 1901
Schubert, August Wilhelm and Bertha Seidel, 1871, 1872, 1876, 1878, 1880, 1881
Schubert, Johann and Maria Christiane Paulick, 1879
Schultz, Michael and Magdalena Mrosak, 1873, 1874, 1875, 1878, 1879, 1882
Schulz, Alvin and Pauline Wukasch, 1908
Schulz, August and Louise Schrabe, 1874, 1875, 1877
Schulz, Heinrich and Anna German nee Gross, 1875
Schulz, Karl and Auguste Behrend, 1875, 1877, 1879, 1881
Schulz, Oscar
Schulze, Carl August and Lydia Amalie Noack, 1892
Schulze, Johann and Christine Friedericke Peter, Long Prairie Branch, 1872, 1875, 1877, 1880, to Walburg
Schulze, Wilhelm August, Pin Oak Creek, and Johanna Louise Dube, 1873, Maria Biar, 1875, 1877, 1878, 1880, 1882, 1883, 1884,1885, 1887, 1889, 1892, 1895, 1897
Senf, August Ferdinand and Bertha Auguste Friedericka Jürgens, 1883, 1884
Senf, Martin Wilhelm and Theodora Richter, 1876
Senf, Friedrich Hermann and Pauline Minna Wiederänders, 1880, 1882, 1884, 1885, 1887, 1889, 1890
Simon, George and Sophie Eleonore Küster, 1871
Simny, Johann, 1875
Skeide, Ernst and Caroline Scholz, 1889
Symm, August, 1891
Symm, Ernst Adolph and Anna Jank, 1883, 1884, 1886, 1890, 1893, 1894, 1896, 1897, 1898
Symm, Hermann Ferdinand and Maria Amalia Krakosky, 1888
Symn, Johann and Anna Christiana Noack, 1882, 1885, 1886
Steglich, August and Wilhelmine Mutscher, 1880, 1881, 1882
Steglich, Ernst Clemens and Maria Dorothea Friedericka Karcher nee Hildebrandt, 1890, 1891, 1892, 1893, 1895,1896, 1899
Teinert, August Herman and Anna Therese Wukasch, 1895
Teinert, Johann Adolph and Alvine Esther Wukasch, 1903
Thiele, Carl August and Louise Emilie Eschberger, Cedar Creek, 1880, 1881, 1883, 1885, 1887, 1888
Thomas, Arthur Wendelin and Emma Ida Steglich, 1899, 1901
Tschernick, Matthes and Agnes Lydia Hattas, 1885, 1888, 1889
Tonn, Johann Gotthelf Theodor and Theresia Lilly Wolf, 1880
Trautwein, Johann and Emilia Naumann, 1882
Umlang, Henry and Marie Wilhelmine Klein, 1872
Umlang, Theodor and Marie Möllenberndt, 1878, 1880
Urban, Andreas, Kschiedel, and Magdalene Noack, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1879, 1882, 1885, 1886, 1888, 1891, 1893
Urban, Carl
Urban, Bernhard
Urban, Jacob and Magdalena Ritter
Urban, Johann and Anna Kschidel
Urban, Johann and Auguste Louise Pauline Wagner, 1874
Urban, Johann and Maria Theresa Zoch, 1895, 1897
Urban Jr, Johann and Bertha Pauline Urban nee Förster, 1898, 1899, 1909
Urban, Michael and Johanne Christiane Schneider
Urban, Peter Ernst and Emma Rein, 1879
Urban, Reinhold Heinrich and Martha Marie Wünsche, Fedor,1898
Urban, Reinhold and Maria Nakonz, 1899, 1901, 1903, 1907, 1908, 1911, 1912
Vogt, Carl and Caroline Linke, Bastrop, 1871
Wachsmann, Adolph and Agnes Lydia Rauder, 1898
Wagner, Andreas and Marie Krautschick, 1875, 1876, 1877, 1878, 1880, 1883, 1884, 1886, 1888, 1889, 1893, 1895
Wagner, C. August W. and Anna Juliane Geyer, 1874, 1876, 1878, 1879, 1880, 1881
Wagner, Herman and Hulda Senff, 1909
Wagner, Johann, Rabbs Creek, and Magdalena Paulo, 1876, 1877, 1878
Wagner, Johanne Sophie Rahele, 1896
Wagner, Julius Wilhelm and Klara Therese Geyer, 1877, 1881, 1883, 1885, 1886, 1888, 1889, 1891, 1893, 1895
Wagner, Matthaus and Maria Kschidel, Rabbs Creek, 1871
Weise, August and Augusta Stahmer, 1899, 1903, 1905, 1907 (Teacher)
Weise, Ernst and Anna Busch, 1905
Weise, Wilhelm and Maria Symm, 1908, 1910, 1912
Weiser, Andreas Herman and Anna Maria Clara Menzel, 1900
Weiser, Johann Ernst and Maria Bertha Menzel, 1894
Wendenmeister, Oscar and Emma Wobus, 1900
Wernicke, Friedrich and Maria Sinnatschk, 1887, 1888
Wiederänders, Carl Emil and Bertha Froehlich, 1892, 1900, 1901, 1904
Wiederänders, Carl Gottlob and Johanna Dorothea Zein, 1871, 1874, 1890, 1899
Wiederänders, Emil and Bertha Froehlich, 1896
Wiederänders, George Edward and Maria Schuddemagen, 1884
Wiederänders, Johann Andreas and Anna Helene Biar nee Zschech, 1893, 1894, 1896, 1897
Wolf, Johann(deceased) and Henriette Stephan, 1871
Wolf, Johann, Pine Creek and Wilhelmine Emilie Eike, 1871
Woyto, Johann August and Auguste Preis, 1884
Wukasch, Agnes nee Wieder, 1891
Wukasch, August and Emma Fehr, 1879, 1880, 1882
Wukasch, Carl August and Anna Ottilie Selma Mertink, 1903, 1905, 1907, 1910
Wukasch, Ernst Gustav and Emma Luise Malke, 1909, 1911
Wukasch, George and Marie Knippa, 1874, 1875
Wukasch, George and Johanna Maria Pillack, 1878, 1880, 1882, 1884, 1887, 1889, 1892, 1895, 1899
Wukasch Jr, Johann and Maria Kurio, 1871, 1875, 1877, 1879, 1881, 1883, 1886, 1888
Wukasch Sr, Johann and Anna Willenberg, 1875, 1877, 1879, 1881
Wukasch, Matthes and Anna, 1874, Rosina Schatte 1874
Wünsche, Andreas, 1893
Wünsche, Christoph, 1891
Wünsche, Johan and Ernestine Dube, 1871
Zieschang, Johann and Rosina Paulick, 1875
Zindler, Carl August and Maria Schneider, 1877, to Warda
Zindler, Johann Gottlieb and Wilhelmine Friedricke Emilie Kieschnick, 1877, 1879
Zindler, Traugott and Hanna, 1897, 1898
Zoch, Johann August and Anna Therese Urban, 1897, 1901
Zschech, August, Rabbs Creek, and Magdalena Richter nee Hempel, 1872, 1875, 1877
Zschech, August and Magdalena Hattass, 1873, 1875
Zschech, Johann and Anna, 1871
Zschech, Johann Ernst and Hermine Birkmann, 1889, 1890, 1892


St Peter Constitution – in English as it was written

This document was found in the papers of Arthur C. Repp, located in the archives of Concordia Historical Institute located on the campus of Concordia Theological Seminary in St Louis, Missouri. Rev Repp collected this document and others while researching the articles he wrote in the 1930s and 1940s for the Quarterly publication of the Concordia Historical Institute.

Constitution of the German Evangelical Lutheran St Peter’s Congregation, Unaltered Augsburg Confession in and around the colony Serbin, Lee County, Texas.

I. Name

Our church and congregation shall bear the name The German Evangelical Lutheran St Peter’s Congregation, Unaltered Augsburg Confession (U. A. C.) in and around the colony of Serbin, Lee Co, State of Texas.

II. Creed

In our congregation all canonical books of the Old and New Testament are acknowledged as the revealed Word of God and the Collective Symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, contained in the Book of Concord, as that form and rule, drawn for the Word of God, according to which, because it is taken from the Word of God, not only the doctrine shall be taught and tried in our congregation, but also all occurring controversies in doctrine and religion shall be judged and regulated.These are: The Three Chief Symbols,
1)The Apostle’s Creed, 2) the Nicene Creed, 3) The Athanasian Creed, 4) The Unaltered Augsburg Confession, 5) The Apology for the same, 6) The Smalkald Articles, 7) The Small Catechism of Luther, 8) The Large Catechism of Luther, 9) The Formula of Concord.

III. Pastorship

The office of Pastor in this congregation can at any time be committed to such a minister only, who professes himself to all those confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church (as named in section II), without reserve, to which the same as well as the schoolteachers are bound in the call.

IV. Of Divine Service and School Teaching

In public worship only pure Lutheran Hymns and in all performances of ministerial duties only pure Lutheran Forms are to be used. And in school, besides the Holy Scriptures, the Unaltered Small Catechism of Luther and only such books are to be used for instruction in the Christian doctrine, which are pure Lutheran. Parents, who are church members, are obliged either to send their children to the parish school, or to provide otherwise for the education on their children in the pure doctrine.

V. Of Catechetical Exercises

Those members of the congregation, who are yet minors are obliged to attend catechetical exercises, which are to be instituted with them in church.

VI. Of Languages

Our divine services are to be conducted only in the German language.

VII. Of Conditions in Regard to Admission

No one can become a member, still less an officer in the congregation or participate in the rights of a church members, except who, a) is baptized, b) confesses himself to all canonical books of the Old and New Testaments, and to those confessions, as mentioned in Paragraph II without reserve, and whole he may perhaps be yet deficient in the Knowledge of the collective Symbolical Books, before named, at least know and acknowledges the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, and Dr Luther’s Smaller Catechism, c) Does not live in manifest works of the flesh (Galatians 8:19-20) and maintains a Christian deportment, d) often partakes of the holy communion, provided the same belongs to the grown persons; e) signs the church constitution and subjects himself to all these regulations, which are thus far jointly established or which are to be established by a legal resolution of this community, in as much as they are not contradictory to the Word of God and who allows to be advised in brotherly love, whenever he has failed, f) the applicant is also to be asked, whether he belongs to any secret organization.

VIII. Of Exclusion and Seceding

If a member shall be excluded from the congregation, after all degrees of admonition as prescribed in the Word of God (Matthew 18:15-20) had been unsuccessfully applied, the same loses thereby as such all the rights of a member and all claims to the property of the congregation, so long as the same is not readmitted into the congregation. The same shall also hold good in reference to those members, who voluntarily withdraw from connection with the congregation, or who bring about this withdrawal by moving away, if they thereby annul their connection with the congregation.

IX. Of Church Powers

The congregation, as a holy body, has the highest power in the management of all the external and internal ecclesiastical and congregational affairs. No arrangement or decision for the congregation, or for church members as such, has any validity, whether it proceeds for an individual or from a body in the congregation, if it is not made in the name of and according to all general and particular authority, given by the congregation, and whatever is arranged or decided by individuals or smaller bodies in the name of the congregation and according to an authority, given to the congregation, can at any time be brought before the congregation has no right whatever to arrange or decide anything contrary to the Word of God and all the Symbols of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, should she do this, all such arrangements and decisions are null and void.

X. Qualifications in Regard to Voting and Eligibility to Office

a) Qualified to vote are only those male church members, who have arrived at the age of 21 years.
b) Eligible to all offices, that are given the ministry for assistance, are only those, who have already been members qualified to vote for one year.

XI. Of Power Concerning Elders (Wardens)

The present church elders and their legal successors, who are to assist the Pastor, have no more power in the congregation, and have it only so far and so long, as they are commissioned with it by the congregation. The instructions given by the congregation may at any time be altered or repealed by a legal resolution.

XII. Of Privilege to Elect and Call

The right to call and to receive the minister or ministers, the teacher or teachers in the congregation, shall at all times remain with the congregation, and can never be transferred to an individual or to a smaller body in the congregation. All other officers to wit: 1) Trustees are elected on Michaelmas Day for the term of three years; 2) Moderators (presiding officers) and Elders are elected on New Year’s Day for the term of one year by a majority of votes.

XIII. Of Removing from Office

The pastor, schoolteacher and all other officers of the congregation may be released from their office in Christian order. Good causes to remove pastors and schoolteachers are: constant and firm adherence to false doctrine, objectionable deportment, willful unfaithfulness in the discharge of official duties.

XIV. Of Management of Church Property

All property of the congregation is committed to the successive Trustees, elected by the congregation in such a manner that they are to manage the same in the name of the congregation as property belonging to other persons, but entrusted to them, to make contracts in reference to it. To disburse funds, to levy money, to receipt the same, sign documents, appear before court and transact all business, which the congregation as proprietress otherwise would herself have to do – yet in such a manner, that they are authorized to dispose of and manage this property according to their own will and judgment, but to carry out the said transactions only according to legal decisions and instructions of the congregation. And for that, which the Trustees do upon the resolution and instruction of the congregation, the latter has to stand with her property and indemnify the Trustees in every case; but if the Trustees deal with the church property without a resolution or instruction of the congregation, according to their own will, they are personally responsible for the same to the congregation.

XV. Of Proprietorship in Case of Separation in the Congregation

Should a separation arise in this congregation, which may God mercifully prevent – the property of the congregation and all the benefits, connected therewith, shall remain the property of this congregation and those members of it, who abide by the confession of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession, and who want their minister to be bound by without reserve to the Collective Symbolical Books (as stated in paragraph II).

XVI. Of Church Meetings (Altered see below)

For a consultative (advisory) – or also for a so called necessary – congregational meeting, it shall be necessary, that at least one fourth of the church members holding the right of suffrage be present; but for a legal (authentic) resolution the agreement of at least two thirds of those present shall be necessary. Each church member is in duty bound, to attend the meetings, if possible, and the absentee renounces on such occasion by his non-appearance his right to vote. A regular meeting shall be announced at least one week previously, that is on two successive Sundays, by the minister or (sermon) reader of the congregation after the sermon, with specification of the main reasons for the same for sufficient consideration; a so called necessary church meeting shall be announced only once with specification of the reasons. As a rule a congregational meeting shall be held on every first Sunday in each month.

XVII. Of Signing Church Documents

All writings proceeding from the congregation, except those mentioned in Paragraph 14, shall be signed by her Elders in office at the time, in her name.

XVIII. Of Preservation of Church and School

Every member is obliged to contribute according to ability:
1) to the support of church and school,
2) to the remittance of all congregational debts, etc.

XIX. Of Admission

Those wishing to be received in to this congregation, have to make known this to the Pastor of the congregation, in order that he many examine them in their Christian knowledge. Hereupon they have to make known their desire for admission to a church Elder, of which the same has to inform the congregation. And if two members, qualified to vote, except the pastor, who has to bear testimony to the orthodoxy of the person to be admitted, can give a good report as to the deportment of the applicant, admission follows by signing these church regulations by the applicant, if the applicant be a male person. The above shall also be valid in regard to single and widowed female persons. If a person from another congregation acknowledged as orthodox asks for admission here, the same as to present letters dismissory.

XX. Unalterable Paragraphs

Unalterable paragraphs in this constitution shall be the following: II, III, IV, VII, VII, IX, X, XI, XII, XIII, XIV, XV, XVII, and XX.

XVI. Of Church Meetings

A regular meeting is announced twice with specification of the main reasons, in which at least one fourth of the church members having the right of suffrage have to be present. For legal (authentic) resolutions it shall be necessary, that two thirds of the present church members, who have the right of suffrage, agree; the latter shall also hold good for extraordinary meetings. The absentee renounces on such occasion by his non-appearance his right to vote. As a rule, a congregational meeting is held on every first Sunday in each month.