July 13, 1939 – Your Sons Will Come From Afar, Part 2

This article is the conclusion to the one started on July 6, 1939 in the Giddings Deutsches Volksblatt. It was translated by Ray Martens, grandson of Rev. Gotthilf Birkmann.


List of the Members in Fedor, 1876-1879

Andreas Noack
Wilhelm Wolf, gin operator at Bluffcreek
Andreas Melde, resident at Bluffcreek since 1856
Karl Michalk, grandfather of Rev. Adolf Michalk
Andreas Pillack, father of Eduard Pillack
Joh. Krautschick
John Schubert, father of Karl Schubert

Those named all residents on the right side [facing downstream] of the West Yegua.

The following on the left side, between the West Yegua and the Middle Yegua. 

Jakob Moerbe
Karl Dube
John Wuensche
August Dube—these were all closely related 
Ernst Lehmann
Matthes Domann
Christian Jacob
Heinrich Schneider
August Polnick, his brother Andreas Polnick
Andreas Falke, the father of John Falke and of Andreas, Jr., and of August F. Falke
Andreas Symmank, the father of Andreas Symmank, Jr., and of Peter Symmank
Peter Pahn
Karl August Patschke, father of August Patschke and Heinrich Patschke
Traugott Patschke, brother of the former
Ernst Winkler, father of Hermann Winkler and other children
Ernst Drosche, father of August Drosche in Lexington
Andreas Richter, who died in Giddings about ten years ago and who was for a time a blacksmith near Fedor and a  renter in the Middle Yegua bottom
John Zschech, father of Hermann Zschech and other children
Karl Wagner lived a mile and a half east of our church, and not far from him toward the east
Peter Urban and his sons Herman and Otto Urban, still several miles farther east
Andreas Handrick, who died in 1884, father of John Handrick
Joh. Kunze with his sons John and Ernst (still resident in Warda)
The widow Ssuck with her two daughters, Hanna and Helene 
Christian Richter, who later moved to Walburg and whose descendants now live in The Grove 
The Biehle family
Christoph Wuensche, father of John Wuensche, was in Fedor for a while
Heinrich Meier, son-in-law of C. A. Patschke

This is the list of those families or individual persons who belonged to our congregation in Fedor—as far as I remember.  The number of communicants may have amounted to about 150.

List of those who arrived later, after 1879

The greater majority by far were immigrants from Germany and Austria, certainly between 1880 and 1885.

August BenofskyJ. Schimmank
Andreas Handrick (from Serbin)
Joh. Jank and his brother Georg Jank, who soon left for Goliad County, Texas
Zieschang (son-in-law of John Zschech)
Karl Jenke, father of Hermann Jenke and of Karl Jenke, who is now in California, and other sons
Wilhelm Melcher, father of Wilhelm Melcher, Jr., and other sons and daughters
Matthes Heintze, who soon moved to Thorndale
[August] Nutschan, father of August, Jr., and Heinrich Nutschan 
Andreas Zschech, who died in 1893, was married to a widow Richter
John Lehmann, the so-called leather worker Lehmann, who came to us from the neighboring congregation
Then a second John Lehmann, not related to the former, father of Emil Lehmann
Joh. Kaiser, father of August and Karl Kaiser
[Joh.]Faltus, [Franz] Nitsche, and Paul Schubert, all three from Moravia and Austria, Catholic by background.  They were taken into our congregation after instruction.  This Paul Schubert married the widow of Herman Roentsch.  Herman Roentsch bought the farm of Andreas Polnick.
A Mann family, the first name no longer in my memory.  Father Mann soon died and left behind his children Gustav and Christiana, who became the wife of Ernst Schneider in Fedor.
The widow of Mr. Mann married a man named Geier, who lived for a time in Fedor. 

Traugott Faske, father of Hermann Faske. From Lexington came Brade, Lerche and Karl Krueger, and for a time a son-in-law of Karl Krueger lived in Fedor, at Rev. Maisch’s time.  He was named Diestler; he moved north.  Taffelt, Ender, father of Gustav Ender.  Pratho, father of John Pratho and other children.  Boensch, the father-in-law of John Pratho.  Boensch soon moved to Winchester and died there.  August Schneider, father of August Schneider, Jr., still living in Thorndale.  Bertha, a daughter of August Schneider, Sr., married a Paul Noack, who died in Port Arthur.  A Mr. Schneider came to us for Holy Communion from the McDade area in 1882.  He soon died and left behind a number of children who sided with us.  August and John Schneider both perished wretchedly after a while.

Gustav Schultz and his brother, Julius Schultz, and an older Her. Schultz, whose son Paul later lived in Thorndale.  The parents later moved to be with him.  Eickelhorn and Samuel Kaspar, both renters one after the other with John Wuensche.  A grandchild of Sam. Kaspar was adopted by Gustav Schultz, named Daniel Schultz.

John Herzog, who died in 1906, father of many sons and daughters.  John Becker, living with his children in Fedor.  Ernst Weiser, son-in-law of Jakob Moerbe, died in Thorndale.  His brother, August Weiser, father of Otto and Ernst and Gustav Weiser and a number of daughters.

Petzold, whose family joined us, did also at last, as far as one can determine, die in Christian faith.  The same applies to Karl Jatzlau [The Birkmann and Jatzlau families concur in the story that Jatzlau quit going to church in protest of the pastor’s criticizing him for something he felt was none of the pastor’s business.], whose wife and family always rightly proved themselves to be lovers of the Word of God.  Ernst Jatzlau, Sr., the brother of the former, both Jatzlaus from Warda.

Menix, the father-in-law of Andreas Richter, who still lives in Fedor, though father Menix and his wife are buried in Lexington.  The brother of Andreas Richter, August Richter, now in Thorndale, was a member in Fedor for a while.  Reinhold Gruellich, now here in Giddings.  A Mr. Symmank, father of the widow of Ernst Winkler, who operated a gin temporarily in Fedor and died in 1882 at the home of his daughter in Fedor.

Niemtsch rented from Mr. Andreas Melded, then moved to Thorndale.  Traugott Faske rented from the widow of Ernst Winkler, had also lived on Wooley’s place, where his wife died. Gust. Kube, one of whose daughters is the wife of Ernst Noack.  His son lives in Farwell, Texas.  Two brothers were named Sobe-Noack, one called Andreas and the other John, both from the Lincoln congregation, attached themselves to our church, especially in their last years, lived on the Middle Yegua, and have both died.  John Iselt, a family that also came from a neighboring congregation.  Symm, whose wife was a daughter of the old Mr. Andreas Symmank and his second wife.

Winter, whose wife was Ernestine Dube, daughter of Karl Dube.  Winter also soon moved to Thorndale and was one of the founders of the congregation there in 1890.  A man named Meyer had as his wife a daughter of Ernst Drosche and rented from Lee Riggs.

Herklotz, whose wife and children attached themselves to us.  One of his daughters married Karl Melde.  Ernst Dube, father of Teacher Dube, came to Fedor from Serbin in 1884.  John Pillack, also from Serbin.  J. Nerettig, now in Copperas Cove.  Juergen Polnick, Hermann Polnick.  Mr. Foehr and Mr. Klaus, both sons-in-law of father Melcher, who died in 1918.

Karl Exner, from Lincoln, and Oswald Walther, from Warda, the latter a brother-in-law of Karl Jatzlau.  Penkert, father-in-law of Herman Winkler, lived in Fedor already in the 1880’s, later traveled to The Grove, but then came back to Fedor.

An unmarried man named Mros was a faithful member, but in 1883 was killed along with Keuffel, in whose business he worked.  He left behind his mother in Germany.

A son of John Schkade, who married Anna Nutschan, was also in our congregation for a short time, but then went to Albany, Texas, where he still lives.  The couple has a son who is a teacher in Port Arthur.

This list is long, and, yet, it is feared that some names will be missing because they would not come to me just now—that is to say, I have nothing in writing to consult, nor could I use written notes without the help of another.  [In 1939, Birkmann was totally blind.]

These lists were not made for the broader readership of this newspaper, but more nearly for the readers in Fedor and for those who were acquainted with the relevant persons.  Yet, I am also of the opinion that such lists have worth for the future, perhaps wanted by some readers for that very purpose.  One has the list also in the books of the church, perhaps in the Communion records, but looking things up in these books is not proper for everyone.

This list surely includes almost all the names who came to us before the end of the last century, two thirds of them in the 1880’s, especially in the years named above, 1880-85.

It is true that our congregation toward the end of the century and the beginning of the new century issued many letters of release to other congregations in Texas, especially to the one in Thorndale; yet, it grew well from within itself through the rather good number of children and young people, and the school enrollment has grown in the last twenty-five years, for, since that time, the Fedor congregation always has had two teachers, first a male or female helper alongside the regular teacher, but then two regularly called teachers.

May God continue to help and bless our schools and congregations everywhere.

[Translator’s note:  The names in bold print (102 in all) purport to be all or most of the family heads at Trinity Fedor, between 1876 and the end of the century.  In spite of Birkmann’s disclaimer about forgetting names, it is unlikely that he missed many, if any.]