Fredericksburg in Gillespie County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Early History Of Fredericksburg, Texas
the county seat of Gillespie County,
is steeped in history.
Deriving its name from Prince Frederick of Prussia, this Texas town was founded on May 8, 1846, by 120 German immigrants under the auspices of the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas or "Adelsverein."
The Vereins Kirche, the first public building in frontier Fredericksburg, was constructed in the summer of 1847 and served as a church for all faiths, a school and meeting hall. The original eight-sided building was located in the middle of San Saba Street, later re-named Main Street.
Lyman Wight founded a Mormon colony on the Pedernales River, four miles outside of Fredericksburg, which became known as Zodiac. The Mormons with their gristmill and sawmill were instrumental in helping the Germans settlers survive and begin the development of Fredericksburg. However after flooding of the Pedernales in 1850 destroyed their mills, the Mormons abandoned Zodiac.
Fort Martin Scott was established on the bank of Barons Creek southeast
During these early years, over 5,000 colonists from Germany landed at the Texas port of Indianola, also called Carlshafen. The trip from the Gulf Coast to the sites of the German colonies of New Braunfels and Fredericksburg was made in two-wheeled ox carts and on foot. Transportation was scarce due to the war between Mexico and the United States, which involved almost all available teamsters. Sickness and lack of food took a great toll on human life. However armed with perseverance, hard work, belief in education and their faith, the German settlers went about creating a new life for their families on the Texas frontier, later to be known as the Texas Hill Country.
Upper Right: John O. Meusebach
The Commissioner General of the Society, also known as the "Adelsverein," was Baron Otfried Hans von Meusebach, a German nobleman who took the name of John O. Meusebach once settled in Fredericksburg.
1847: The historic treaty Meusebach made with the Comanche Indians on the San Saba River was hailed
Middle Right: Vereins Kirche
The original Vereins Kirche, built in 1847, was demolished in 1896 after the 50th anniversary celebration of the founding of Fredericksburg. In 1934-35, a replica was constructed in the middle of Fredericksburg's town square, known as the Marktplatz, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Lower Right: Fredericksburg Parade
Fort Martin Scott
Photos provided by the Gillespie County Historical Society
Erected by City of Fredericksburg.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Churches & Religion • Education • Parks & Recreational Areas • Settlements & Settlers. A significant historical date for this entry is May 8, 1846.
Location. 30° 16.519′ N, 98° 52.337′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Texas, in Gillespie County. Marker is at the intersection of West Main Street and North Adams Street, on the right when traveling west on West Main Street. The marker is located at the north corner of the intersection. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 112 West Main Street, Fredericksburg TX 78624, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this markerMarket Square (Marktplatz) (within shouting distance of this marker); The F.W. Arhelger Shop (within shouting distance of this marker); Gillespie County Armed Services Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Gillespie County (within shouting distance of this marker); In Memory of Otfrid Hans Freiherr von Meusebach (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Vereins Kirche (about 400 feet away); Old Central Drugstore (about 400 feet away); Gillespie County Country Schools 1846 to 1970's (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
More about this marker. There is a second identical marker like this one located at the Fredericksburg Visitor's Center.
Also see . . .
1. Adelsverein. Texas State Historical Association (Submitted on April 23, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.)
2. Meusebach, John O. (18121897). Texas State Historical Association (Submitted on April 23, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.)
Credits. This page was last revised on April 23, 2022. It was originally submitted on April 23, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 260 times since then and 128 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on April 23, 2022, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.