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it, "by hard knocks."

He is a representative of the Southern gentleman
and dispenses that hospitality which has rendered
his section famous from time immemorial.

While feeling a deep interest in the cause of
popular government and all that affects the destiny
of mankind, he has never sought nor desired, nor
would he accept, office. He is content to follow
out the lines of life that he has laid down for him-
self. He was one of the original projectors of the
Hearne & Brazos Valley Railroad, and is now a
stockholder in the company, Charitable, generous,
and public-spirited, he has been a potent factor for
good in his section of the State.



A son of the late lamented pioneer, Julius Voelcker,
was born on his father's farm near New Braunfels,
July 24th, 1859 ; enjoyed the advantages of a good
business training ; pursued farming until 1890, and
then established himself in the furniture business
in New Braunfels, in which he has since continued.

He was elected to the City Council in 1893, and
re-elected in 1895.

He married, in 1872, Miss Caroline Zuehl, daugh-
ter of William Zuehl, a farmer of Guadalupe

They have two children : Louise and Herbert.



Was born in Macon County, Ala., October 15,
1853. His parents were E. G. and A. W. Simp-
son, of Macon County, Ala. His father died at
the old home about eight years ago, and his
mother two years since (1893) at Temple, Texas.
They had four children, none of whom arrived at
maturity except Dr. Chas. T. Simpson, the subject
of this notice. Dr. Simpson completed his literary
education at the University of Georgia ; graduated
in medicine at the Alabama College, at Mobile,
Ala., in 1876 ; moved to Texas the following year
(1877), and settled in Bell County, near the pres-
ent site of Temple, where he has since made his

home, except during a period of three years, in
which he lived in San Antonio, where he moved on
account of ill-health in his family. He practiced
his profession while there, meeting with much suc-

After the inauguration of Hon. C. A. Cul-
berson as Governor of Texas, Dr. Simpson was
tendered and accepted the position of Superin-
tendent of the State Lunatic Asylum at Austin, an
office which be is filling in a manner worthy of his
high reputation as a physician. Dr. Simpson mar-
ried Miss Ida B. Williams, daughter of Dr. Duke
Williams, at Temple, Texas, in 1883. They have



three children: Edna, Kennedy, and Kate.
Learned in his profession, ripe in experience, firm
yet kind, and possessed of rare executive ability^

the Governor could have selected no better man
for Superintendent of the Lunatic Asylum, located
at the capital city.



Born July 2.5th, 1850, in Comal County, Texas,
son of Ernest Gruene, a venerable Texian pioneer
still residentnear New Braunfels ; grew up to stock-
raising and trading, which he engaged in for several
years after reaching maturity, shipping large num-
bers of cattle to Kansas City and other Northern

In 1872 he married Miss Bertha, daughter of

F. Simon (deceased) a well-known pioneer who
came to New Braunfels in 1846. He has four
children, two sons and two daughters, viz. : Paula,
Otmar, Ella, and Max. Since going gyit of the
stock business he has resided near Goodwin, Comal
County. Has engaged at various times in milling,
merchandising and other enterprises and now owns
valuable property interests.



Alvin Morgan, an estimable citizen of South-
eastern Texas, was born in Vermillion Parish,
La, July 15th, 1842 ; moved to Texas in 1855,
followed various occupations, and in 1879 was
employed by the railroad company to run the
pump at the water tank situated at the point on
the line where the thriving town of Alvin now

Impressed with the natural beauty and the rich-
ness of the soil of the surrounding country he, in
1882, purchased 1,280 acres of land from the State
and twelve acres from a non-resident owner. Upon
this tract the first part of the town of Alvin, named

in his honor, was built. Mr. Morgan was the first
Justice of the Peace for the place, and was for two
years engaged in merchandising. He married at
Victoria, Texas, Miss Sarah E. Hayes, daughter of
Rudolph Hayes, a stock-raiser of Brazoria County.
She died in 1861, leaving two children, Olivia and
Alvin Morgan, Jr. His second marriage was to
Miss Ecephaney Hoffpauer. They have one child,
a daughter, Mary Alice, now Mrs. T. M. Savell, of

Alvin has become famous as the center and ship-
ping point for the finest fruit-growing region of






The late Judge Wesley Ogden, deceased June
16th, 1896, was for many years a prominent figure
in Texas as pioneer, lawyer and judge. He was
born in Monroe County, N. Y., the year 1817,
and was the fifth child of Benjamin and Lucy
(Johnson) Ogden, both of Pennsylvania. His
paternal grandfather was William Ogden, also a
Pennsylvanian by birth, whose father was one of
two brothers who came from England and settled
in that State. The other brother located in New
York State, where he became the founder also of a
large and influential family. William Ogden was a
soldier of the Kevolutionary War, who finally located
a large tract of land in Pennsylvania at the head-
waters of the Ohio river. Judge Ogden's maternal
ancestors were of German descent. His maternal
grandfather, Moses Johnson, was born in Pennsyl-

Benjamin Ogden was married in Pennsylvania
and soon after settled in Monroe County, N. Y.,
then a new and almost uninhabited section of
the country. There he pioneered as a famer. He
served as an officer under Gen. Winfield Scott in
the War of 1812 and participated in the battle of
Luudy's Lane and other historic engagements. He
_died in the year 1833. His wife, Mrs. Lucy Ogden,
died while her son, Wesley, was yet an infant.

Born on what was then the Western frontier, of
thrifty, yet humble parents, reared in a wild
country as one of the common people, he proved,
however, to be of no common mould. He was
accorded and took full advantage of such schools
as the country' then afforded, after which he
attended the local district school, then took an
academic course of study, and later rounded off
his studies with a brief course at Brockport College,
N. Y.

He began life for himself as a school teacher in
Summit County, Ohio. Later he studied law at
Akron, Ohio, and was admitted to the bar of that
State in the year 1845. He soon thereafter returned
to New York and taught school in the city of
Rochester from 1845 to 1849.

Owing to poor health, he then, upon the advice
of a physician, sought a milder climate, and in so

doing landed at Port Lavaca, Texas, late in 1849.
The change proved most beneficial and he there
soon entered upon the practice of law. In 1866 he
was appointed United States District Attorney for
the Tenth Judicial District of Texas. He filled
that position for about one year and was then made
Judge of the District, the duties of which office he
most ably and acceptably discharged until the fall
of 1870.

The following January he was appointed an Asso-
ciate Judge of the Supreme Court of Texas by Gov-
ernor E. J. Davis. He sat on the Supreme Bench
four years, the last year as Presiding Justice.

He then retired from the bench and in 1874 loca-
ted at San Antonio and there successfully practiced
law until the year 1888 when he retired to the
shades of a quiet, peaceful and attractive home in
that city. Judge Ogden was twice married, first in
1845 to Miss Jane Church, of Albion, N. Y., a
sister of Hon. Sanford E. Church, for many years
the Chief Justice of the Court of Appeals of New
York. She died in Texas in the year 1853, leaving
three children, viz. : Helen, who is the wife of Hon.
Sam. M. Johnson, of San Antonio ; Henry, who died
in 1865, and Hon. Charles W. Ogden, an able mem-
ber of the Bexar County bar, resident at San
^ His second wife was Miss Elizabeth Chester, of
New York, whom he married in 1858. Of this
union five children were born, viz. : Lillian, who is
the wife of Mr. Edward F. Glaze, of San Antonio ;
Miss Mary S., who is living at home; Alma, who
is the wife of Lieut. Wm. Brooke, United States
army, a son of Gen. Brooke; Wm. B., in the
Government employ in the Alaska Sealing Service,
and Miss Ida, living at home. Judge Ogden was
a life-long and consistent Republican. His father
a member of the old Whig party, he imbibed its
doctrines and faithfully adhered to the main
features of its political faith to the last. He
began the practice of law with ample qualifications
and steadily advanced to the attainment of high
professional eminence. He was a lawyer of splen-
did abilities and a judge of clear and profound





A leading member of the Bexar County bar, was
born in Calhoun County, Texas, April 6th, 1852,
and is a son of the late Judge Wesley Ogden, a
biography of whom appears elsewhere in this work.
Mr. Ogden completed his literary education at
the Tex:as Military Institute at Austin, afterwards
read law in his father's ofSce, and was admitted to
practice in 18 . He located in San Antonio in
18 , and is one of the foremost lawyers, of South-
west Texas. He is a Republican in politics and
one of the leaders of his party in the State.

Mr. Ogden was united in marriage to Miss Cora
Savage, a lady of domestic and social culture, who
presides over one of the finest homes in San
Antonio. They have two children, Ira Charles and
Herbert Savage.

No citizen of San Antonio is more highly re-
spected than Charles W. Ogden and his influence
in matters of public concern is always exerted in
the interests of good government and modern

L. H., D. H., AND W. A. ROWAN,


Pleasant Bayou Rancho is situated in Brazoria
County, twenty-five miles southwest from the city
of Galveston, and fronts upon the bay. It is
bounded upon one side by Hall's bayou and on the
opposite side by Chocolate bayou, navigable for
twenty miles. Ten and one-half miles of the best
wire fence, running from Chocolate to Hall's
bayou, completes the inclosure, which embraces
31,540 acres of land, 3,000 of which are heavily
timbered. A number of never-failing streams
water the place, among the number Pleasant
bayou, from which it derives its name.

The line of the Mexican Central R. R. passes
directly through the estate, and a depot is situated
six miles distant from the dwelling house, which is
a typical and beautiful old-time Southern home.
The barns, sheds, corrals, cross-fencing and all
other appurtenances are fully up to the best
employed by the most scientific and progressive
stock-raisers in other sections of the country. The
land consists of a variety of soils, from sandy loam
to dark, rich, chocolate-colored alluvial soil,
adapted to the growth of sea-island cotton, corn,
oats and all kinds of grasses, grains, vegetables,
berries and fruits known to a semi-tropical clime.
Oranges, lemons and bananas could be grown.
Each month of the year could be made to yield its
delicious fruits.

The rancho is centrally situated in the famous
sugar-raising district of Texas, than which there is
none better in the Southern States. The topog-
raphy of the country is practically level, the ground
rising from the sea toward the interior with
a gentle slope. The drainage is superb, the
mean temperature about 68° and, in conse-
quence of these facts and there being no local
causes for disease, the rancho is considered one of
the most salubrious spots in the State. The nights
are alwaj's cool, and a grateful and refreshing
breeze throughout the warmest summer days blows
continuously from the Gulf of Mexico. Shell fish
and game are abundant. Boats land within a short
distance of the mansion house, and from the
balcony of its second story can be viewed wide ex-
panses of Galveston Bay, and the Gulf of Mexico
beyond, with ships passing and repassing, with
their snowy sails spread to favoring gales like the
wings of swift-flying and graceful birds.

The house is surrounded by a magniflcent grove
of fig trees that bear two crops a year. There are
about three thousand head of cattle on the place.
The rancho was established by Stephen F. Austin,
the father of Texas, and was purchased by the
present owners, Messrs. L. H., D. N. and W. A.
Rowan, from his heirs. He had all the country,
from Red river to the Gulf and from the Sabine to



the Rio Grande, to select from. He chose this fer-
tile and ideally romantic and beautiful spot in
preference to others, which he considered less at-

The early Texians confined themselves mainly to
raising stock and such crops as were absolutelj' es-
sential for the subsistence of man and beast. They
little dreamed of the possibilities of the soil of the
section in which Pleasant Rancho is situated. It and
all the country contiguous to the town of Alvin has
developed within the past five years into'a horticul-
tural region more wonderfully prolific than any in
California. Thousands of dollars have been in-
vested, fortunes have been and are being
made in this line of industry, and it is probable
that the days of Pleasant Rancho as a stock farm
are numbered, as orchards, strawberry fields and
the establishments of florists who raise rare flowers
for Northern markets are encroaching upon it
from all sides except that laved by the languorous
waters of the Gulf. L. H., D. N. and W. A.
Rowan are sons of Mr. James and Mrs. Jane Rowan
(of Irish parentage and natives of Lisbon, St. Law-
rence County, New York), and were born respect-
ively in Newburg, Lenox and Adlington counties,
Canada. Mr. James Rowan was a member of the
Lisbon Rifles, and as such participated in the battle
of Ogdensburg during the War of 1812. He was for
a time the owner of a saw mill and flouring mill
plant and engaged in general merchandising in
Canada, and thereafter moved to New York, where
he engaged in the manufacture of lumber at Wood-
hull, Oneida County, and conducted a wholesale
and retail lumber business in the city of Brooklyn.

His wife's father was Maj. Armstrong, a gallant
soldier of the War of 1812, who, like himself, faced
the British and burnt gunpowder at the battle of
Ogdensburg. In 1876 D. N. Rowan, a lawyer in
the city of New York, where he still resides, visited
Texas and, seeing Pleasant Bayou Rancho, was
much pleased with its situation and various advan-
tages, and bought an interest in the property from
the heirs of Austin for himself and brothers L. H.
and W. A. Rowan, and later purchased the re-
mainder of the tract.

L. H. Rowan, also an able lawyer, came to Texas
in 1877, and so well pleased has he been with his
new home that, save for occasional trips to the
North, he has since remained here and practiced
his profession. His wife was a Miss Gray, of
Lisbon, N. Y. They have one child, a daugh-
ter, Mrs. G. B. Philhower, now living at Nutley,
N. J.

W. A. Rowan moved to Texas with his family in
1878 and has since made this State his home. He
has been twice married, first to Miss Golden, of
Virginia, by whom he had one child, a daughter,
who died in Alvin, Texas, in 1894 ; and second to
his present wife. Miss Ford, a native of Texas and
a daughter of Judge Spencer Ford, of Bryan. She
has borne him four children : Spencer Ford, Charles
Louis, Robert Livingston, and Archibald Hamilton

The Messrs. Rowan are wide-awake, progressive
men who are thoroughly in sympathy with all
movements designed for the upbuilding of the
country, and few gentlemen land-holders in South-
eastern Texas have a wider circle of friends.



A well-known and esteemed citizen of Comfort, is a
son of Andrew Fischer, deceased, a native of Prus-
sia, who came to Texas in 1868, bringing with him
his wife and five children, viz. : Caroline, Frilz,
Dora, Amelia and Augusta. His other children,
William, Elizabeth, and Andrew, came in 1871.
William and Andrew (the latter the subject of this
sketch) were soldiers in the Prussian army, and
therefore could not come with the family in 1868.
The journey was made by sea froni Bremen to Gal-
veston and Indianola and overland to Sisterdale,

Texas. One year later the family moved to the
present Fischer home near Comfort. Andrew
Fischer, Sr., died in 1874, at about fifty-six, and
his wife in 1883, at sixty-three years of age. Caro-
line Fischer married Joseph Guissler. She is now
a widow and lives at Waring. Dora is Mrs. Charles
Ochse, of San Antonio ; Amelia is Mrs. Charles
Roggenbucke, of Comfort, and Elizabeth is Mrs.
Gottleib Fellbaum, of Comfort. Andrew Fischer,
Jr., was born June 27, 1848. He married, March
8, 1875, Miss Willhemina Boerner, daughter of



Henry Boerner. She was born in Texas, February September 29, 1876 ; Lena, born March 3, 1880,
25, 1857. They have three sons and one daughter, and Alexander, born December 4, 1882. Mr.
viz. : William, born December 6, 1875 ; Henry, born .Fischer has a good farm of 145 acres.



The late William Dietert, of Boerne, was borne
June 21, 1830, in the province of Bradenburg,
Germany ; landed at Galveston in 1855, with his
brother. Christian, and at once proceeded from that
place to Comfort, in Kendall County, where they
found work as wheelwrights. Two years later Mr.
Dietert went to Boerne, where he established a saw-
mill and grist-mill, run at first by water power, which
he developed by the construction of dams across the
stream and later by steam. The mill burned some
years since. In his milling enterprise he was joined
by a younger brother, Henry, still a resident of
Boerne. The later years of Mr. Dietert' s life were
devoted to agriculture. His father was Frederick
Dietert, a wheelwright, who came to this country
from the Province of Bradenburg in 1856, bringing

with him four sons: Christian, now a resident of
Kerrville, in Kerr County; William, the subject of
this notice; Fritz, a citizen of Comfort, Henry,
a citizen of Boerne ; and a daughter, Lena, now
Mrs. Joe Wiedenhammer, of San Antonio, all born in

William Dietert married, in 1860, Miss Rose Berg-
man, a daughter of Joseph Bergman, a deceased
pioneer of Kendall County, mentioned elsewhere in
this work. Mr. Dietert died in March, 1894, leav-
ing a wide circle of friends, a bereaved widow and
nine children to mourn his departure. His children
are: Theodore, Annite, Ida, Edward, Ernest, Olga,
Minnie, Alma, and Rosa, all born in Kendall
County, this State. Ida is the wife of Joe Dinger,
a merchant of Boerne.



Came to Texas in 1845 as a passenger aboard the
'■' Johann Dethard" on her first voyage to this
country, with one of the first party of German colo-
nists who settled in Texas. The ship was laden with
two-hundred and twenty-eight passengers, gathered
from the kingdom of Hanover, and other portions of
Germany, by the German Emigration Company,
which was then under the direction of Prince Solms,
who accompanied the voyagers to their new homes.
Frederick Holekamp was born in Hanover, January
22,.1812. After completing his education at the Uni-
versity he engaged in the manufacture of brick, and
farming, in his native land. His father, Daniell
Holekamp, a builder and contractor, never came to
America. Frederick Holekamp, subject of this
notice, married, March 17, 1844, Miss Betty Wilheli-

mena Abbethern, a daughter of Henry Christian
Abbethern, who was a member of the household of
King Ernest August, then King of Hanover, holding
the position of Ministerial Accountant, which he
filled until the time of his death. Mr. and Mrs.
Holekamp set sail for America in the full glow of
youth and hope to make for themselves a home in
the new world. They landed at Galveston, Novem-
ber 24, 1844, and proceeded overland to New
Braunfels, where Mr. Holekamp was among the
first to have a head-right allotted to him by the
colony. Here he remained for about two years and
then went to Fredericksburg, where he also lived for
two years. He later lived for three years at Sister,
dale and still later for a time near San Antonio on
a farm. In 1854 he located with his famiy at



Comfort, which lias since been his home. During
•the late Civil War Mr. Holekamp served the Con-
federacy as a member of Capt. Kampman's Com-
pany and died in September, 1862, of wounds
received in the service. His remains were interred
near the camp ground where he expired. The
exact spot is now unknown. He left a widow and
seven children: George, Justice, Daniell, Dora,
Ernest, Johanna, and Bettie. George now lives at
Comfort and is one of Kendall County's most pros-
perous and influential farmers. He was born at
New Braunfels, Comal County, August 7, 1846;
married Miss Fannie, daughter of Oscar Von Rog-
genbuske in Kerr County, in 1871, and has eight
children: Ida, Dora, Fritz, Moritz, Elsie, Oscar,
Kurt, and Richard. Mr. Von Roggenbuske was an
early Texas pioneer and died in 1887.

Julius, the second oldest of the family, was born
at Sisterdale, June 10, 1849. He married Miss
Susan Fricke at Roundtop, Fayetteville, in 1 876 , and
has eight children: Paul, Bodo, Norman, Louis,
Ella, Alma, Erna, and an infant. He is a farmer
and lives at Comfort.

Daniell, a well-known and influential business
man at Comfort, was born at San Antonio, April
13, 1851. He married Miss Frames, a daughter
of Theodore Wiedenfeld, of Comfort, in 1884.
They have five children: Otto, Edgar, Clara,
Agnes, and Daniell, Jr.

Dora was born August 9, 1864, in Nevr Braun-
fels. She married Paul Karger, a farmer living
near Comfort, and they have five children : Otto,
Elizabeth, Alfred, Bettie, and George.

Johanna, born at Comfort, August 21, 1856, is
now the widow of the late F. G. Harner, and lives
at Comfort. She has three children : Alex, Minnie,
and Chester.

Ernest is a merchant of Johnson City, Texas.
He was born at Comfort, March 2, 1859, and mar-
ried Miss Dora Muegge at San Antonio, in 1835.
They have four sons: Julius, Edwin, Walter, and

Bettie was born at Comfort, February 14, 1862,
and is now the widow of the late Henry Sehmelter.
She lives at Comfort and has two children : Matilda
and Mjrtha.

To Mrs. Frederick Holekamp belongs the dis-
tinction of having made the first American flag that
floated to the breezes at the old colonial town
of New Braunfels. It was made from the cloth of
various old garments of suitable colors, gathered
from settlers. It bore the lone star in the blue
fleld and wa? about two yards long and of propor-
tionate width. Its unfurling on the public square
gave offense to Prince Solms, the then governor
and dictator of the colony, indicating as it did the
appreciation of the fact by the immigrants that they
had found a home in a free and independent coun-

Mrs. Holekamp still survives, a quiet old lady
whose life has been devoted to the welfare of her
children and grandchildren and crowned with their
love and veneration.

Her home is in the peaceful and romantic little
town of Comfort, where she has passed so many
years of a busy life. -



Is one of the substantial farmers of the moun-
tain district of Comal County. His father, Frede-
rick Weidner, came to Texas in 1854 from Saxony,
Germany, where he was born, reared and learned
the trade of a weaver of linen fabrics. After
coming to Texas he engaged in farming on rented
land near New Braunfels until 1858 and then pur-
chased 160 acres of land, a portion of the present
home of his son, Charles Weidner. Here the
family grew up. William Weidner, the subject of
this notice, had already attained manhood when his
parents came to Texas.

The names of the children of Frederick Weidner
(all born in Germany except Joseph, who was born
in New Braunfels), are as follows: William,
Christine Liberecht, Adolf, Charles, Emilie,
Auguste, and Joseph. Auguste died at twelve
years of age in 1856.

Frederick Weidner was twice married. William,
Christine Liberecht and Adolf are children by his
first wife, whose maiden name was Christine Waner.

Online LibraryJohn Henry BrownIndian wars and pioneers of Texas → online text (page 93 of 135)