|HOME | TV SCHEDULE | SUPPORT KLRU|
German Heritage of Fredericksburg
By Kenn Knopp
of the first German immigrants who come to the Texas Hill Country were
a very curious group. The German dictators, the various kings of the
independent lands that were loosely called Germany, were becoming very
paranoid about the learning that was going on at the universities, particularly
about representative forms of government, constitutionalism and voting.
At the same time such philosophers as Hegel
Meanwhile, Texas needed citizens desperately. Only in East Texas around Nacogdoches and Galveston on the Gulf of Mexico was the population dense enough to prevent Mexican troops from running over them. Representatives of Texas urged Germans to send emigrants to Texas. Free town lots and land grants were offered as enticements.
The royals set up the Adelsverein, the Society of Noblemen, as a stock company to attract German investors, but no commoner could buy stock in it. Its purpose would be to get troublemakers, or any other dissatisfied Germans, to emigrate to Texas. More than 45 ships were contracted. From 1844 to 1850 more than 12,000 people came to Texas.
group of settlers to stay and to develop Fredericksburg reached the Perdernales
Valley and the location between the Town Creek and Baron's Creek surrounded
by seven hills on May 8, 1846. Others followed almost daily. Most of them
were highly educated, Latin-speaking idealists excited about living under
the US Constitution and being able to vote. Of the practicing Christians,
most were Lutherans. There were only a few Catholics among the first founders
of Fredericksburg. But most of the initial waves of settlers were a combination
of Freidenkers or freethinkers: Anticlerical atheists or agnostics
openly hostile to organized religion.
Fredericksburg then grew steadily. Little by little, the Christ-centered and practicing Lutherans and Catholic Christians began to far outnumber the agnostics and atheists. Many of those not wanting to be around churchgoing people moved to Sisterdale, Tusculm (now Boerne), and then founded the town of Comfort in 1854. Today, the numbers are proportionately the same: 40 percent Lutheran, 30 percent Catholic, with the remainder of practicing Christians making up the balance. It was not until 1894 that the citizens of Comfort allowed a Christian church there, Immanuel Lutheran. In 1999, the nonbelievers of Comfort erected a large monument there attesting to their heritage they call "freethinking."
The German language was predominant in Fredericksburg even through the 1940s until pastors properly trained in German began to be hard to find. The same was true with the German language newspaper which gradually was printed entirely in English. German heritage days are commemorated in the churches in which German prayers, hymns and scriptures are presented during the year.
|©Copyright 2009 Sacred Ground. All rights reserved. Legal Information|