Fredericksburg in Gillespie County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)
Early History of Fredericksburg, Texas
Fredericksburg, 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 of 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 of Fredericksburg by the U.S. Army. The fort, only in use until 1853, consisted of a commissary, barracks, officers’ quarters, laundry, bake house and guard house. The soldiers’ needs for services and goods
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.
(Image captions, from top to bottom)
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 state-wide as the major effort in bringing about peaceful relations with the Indians on this part of the Texas frontier.
The original Vereins Kirche, built in 1847, was demolished in 1896 after the 50th anniversary celebration
Location. 30° 16.428′ N, 98° 52.05′ W. Marker is in Fredericksburg, Texas, in Gillespie County. Marker can be reached from the intersection of E. Austin Street and N. Lincoln Street, on the left when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located in plaza of the Fredericksburg Visitor Information Center. Marker is at or near this postal address: 302 E. Austin St, Fredericksburg TX 78624, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Fairwater of USS Pintado (SS-387) (within shouting distance of this marker); Main Mast from Destroyer USS Foote (DD-511) (within shouting distance of this marker); Birthplace of Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, USN (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Nimitz Hotel (about 800 feet away); Walch Home (about 800 feet away); Domino Parlor (about 800 feet away); The Schandua Building (approx. 0.2 miles away); Pioneer Schandua House (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fredericksburg.
Categories. • Settlements & Settlers •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 21, 2016, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas. This page has been viewed 211 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on April 21, 2016, by Duane Hall of Abilene, Texas.