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

German Free School

German Free School Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Keith Peterson, November 18, 2007
1. German Free School Marker

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
Paid Advertisement
Click on the ad for more information.
Please report objectionable advertising to the Editor.
Click or scan to see
this page online
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 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 Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 12732.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Education. A significant historical month for this entry is September 1857.
Location. 30° 16.215′ N, 97° 44.176′ W. Marker is in Austin, Texas, in Travis County. It is in Downtown Austin. Marker can be reached from the intersection of East 10th Street and Red River Street, on the right when traveling east. The location is now the German Texan Heritage Society. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 507 E 10th Street, Austin TX 78701, United States of America. Touch for directions.
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. ¼ mile away); Site of Tenth Street Methodist Church (approx. ¼ mile away); General James Earl Rudder
German Free School and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Keith Peterson, November 18, 2007
2. German Free School and Marker
(approx. ¼ mile away); Central Presbyterian Church (approx. ¼ mile away); Saint David’s Episcopal Church (approx. ¼ mile away); The Price of Liberty (approx. ¼ mile away); General Land Office Building of 1856-57 (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Austin.
Also see . . .  German-Texas Heritage Society. (Submitted on December 26, 2009, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas.)
Credits. This page was last revised on February 1, 2023. It was originally submitted on December 26, 2009, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. This page has been viewed 1,074 times since then and 48 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on December 26, 2009, by Keith Peterson of Cedar Park, Texas. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.

Share this page.  
Share on Tumblr

CeraNet Cloud Computing sponsors the Historical Marker Database.
This website earns income from purchases you make after using our links to We appreciate your support.
Paid Advertisement
Apr. 19, 2024