“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Austin in Travis County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)

German Free School

German Free School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Keith Peterson, November 18, 2007
1. German Free School Marker
Inscription. German Free School Education was a primary concern for the new German immigrants who arrived in Texas in the 1840s and 1850s. Although Texas did not have a system of free public education at that time, it did offer subsidies for students attending private tuition schools who could not pay. The German-Texans organized a number of schools under this system, paying for teachers and buildings with a combination of state funds, donations and tuition.

In September 1857, the German-Texans in Austin held a public meeting to establish a German school for the city. Civil engineer Wilhelm von Rosenberg donated land at this site for the school. Within a month, German-Texan volunteers began construction of the school building. The first school in Austin chartered by the Texas Legislature, the German Free School Association opened in 1858 with August Weilbacher and Julius Schutze as its first teachers.

The 1857 building with rammed earth outer walls contained two classrooms and a basement. About 1872, a two-story limestone section was added to provide four additional classrooms. Julius Schutze returned to teach in 1880 and moved his family into the schoolhouse. They continued to live in the building after the school closed in 1881 with the advent of Austin's public school system. Schutze (d. 1904) published the Texas Vorwaerts newspaper
German Free School image. Click for full size.
By Keith Peterson, November 18, 2007
2. German Free School
here for a time and eventually gained title to the property.

The German Free School building, damaged in a 1919 fire, remained in use as both a single-family and multi-family residence until 1991, when it was deeded to the German-Texan Heritage Society.
Erected 1962 by the Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12732.)
Location. 30° 16.22′ N, 97° 44.173′ W. Marker is in Austin, Texas, in Travis County. Click for map. German Texan Heritage Society. Marker is at or near this postal address: 507 E 10th St, Austin TX 78701, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Austin High School (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Saint Mary’s Cathedral (approx. 0.2 miles away); Site of Tenth Street Methodist Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Saint David’s Episcopal Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Central Presbyterian Church (approx. 0.3 miles away); Cactus Theater (approx. 0.3 miles away); Site of Samuel Huston College (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Archive War (approx. 0.3 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Austin.
Also see . . .
1. German-Texas Heritage Society. (Submitted on December 26, 2009, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas.)
2. Handbook of Texas Online - German Free School Association of Austin. (Submitted on December 26, 2009, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas.)
Categories. EducationNotable Buildings
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. This page has been viewed 591 times since then and 58 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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