New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 26, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
Settler describes N.B. in 1845
By MARFORI! COOK
INDIAN VICTIM - U. Oecar von Claren, SS, who eventually was killed by Indians on his way back from Austin to the young New Braunfels settlement leas than eight months after the town’s founding, wrote his sister a letter of life here during the first few weeks.
A translation into English by Amelia Honig Cowan of Uano County appeared in the San Saba Star September SO, lots, from which the following excerpts are taken.
Bach immigrant was presented with a town lot IOO x MO feet In addition to IO acres outside of town. Von Claren’s lot was the present site of the telephone building at Comal and San Antonio Streets. At present, IOO Iota had been distributed, he wrote.
Although the letter is dated May S, 1040, It obviously was written earlier since he opened by saying it had been almost four weeks since making the "wearisome Journey into a country completely uninhabited." Than Journey was on March a, 1040.
The young lieutenant had begun to spade up his garden and was finishing his fencing, having built first the "moat necessary" thing which was called in Texas "a cow pen ... a large court of timber, six to seven feet high."
Here cows were "kept in the lot during the night while calves are turned out to graze until morning, when they return and the cows are turned out” to forage on the prairie and returned voluntarily at night. Hie young settler was impressed by the fact that thus feed did not have to be provided.
There were many people in Texas who did not own a house; "only a cow pen and several hundred cows for commercial purposes," he wrote his sister. "Anyone who owns over 25 head of cattle has to pay the state a small tax which increases with the number of stock.
"I have two cows with calves now; each cost M. One is very gentle and is easily milked; the other one is a Mexican cow and has to be tied before she can be milked."
Von Claren was expecting more hens any day. Four could be had for $1; a rooster coat 34 cents.
Still living in a tent, the lieutenant was working on a Mexican shack, hoping to move in within eight days "and enjoy the comforts of shelter again after so long a time."
He looked forward to acquiring conventional bedding — "several bedspreads and pillow cases... I am lying on animal skins and have a woolen blanket for cover.” He had acquired skins from Indians the day before, having traded a little gunpowder. Among the furs was that of a "leopard," he wrote.
When Ids shack, garden, chicken yard and fencing were completed, the young settler would begin to build a house, "a roomy comfortable one which I hope to finish by fall and then slowly proceed to improve and furnish.”
Anyone who owned cows, chickens and a little house "does not have to expend much effort to make a living, for everything grows without much labor.
"I have become adapted to moat things — to cut timber, drive oxen. The hardest problem still is carrying and loading heavy timbers, but this also is becoming easier for me.
"When I am in the forest and fell my building timber and come to a mighty cypress, which finally falls under blows off my axe, I always think, if I had this tree at home, how much money I could make from it’ — or a cedar with its lovely odor which reminds one of a pencil.
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Subscription Rates m Comal, Guadalupe, Maya, Blanco and Kendall Caundoe 3 months, 48 56; 6 month#, 416; one
year 477 rn Tense 6 months, 424; one year, 446.
Our af aa** • months, 430; one year, 450 feme* Omens Discount Guadalupe, Mays, Basat. Blanco and • months, 412; on# year. 422. [Sand address changa# to P.O. Drawer 361 Raw Braunfels, TX 78130
"AU this valuable timber is being cut hare to ba turned into paling fences, houses and cow pans or perhaps to ba burned as fuel
"This tent Ufo, thank God, will soon be over, and by Bis time you receive these lines, I wUl ba living in my aback of wicker work and perhaps have a tabla and a pair of chairs, for now I an sitting on the ground, and my desk is a box."
Von Claran regretted the demands of housekeeping which kept him from his building.
"If I only did not have to do the cooking, beking and (Hahwashing — that is miserable work, trp—**ny the last ... Up to now, it baa been im-poesible to hire a girl, and I have not enough money to buy a slave."
Cooking was so time consuming.
"I rise at 5 a .rn., make a fire, dress, make tea, bake bread, and then I eat breakfast and afterward go to work, either into the woods or on the aback.
"We only work until ll a.m., for the heat becomes iimnd unbearable here at this time. I cook my dinner, and at 3 p.m. - when the heat become* Ieee oppressive, we return to our work until dark. Then I prepare my supper.
"The cooking becomes more extensive as we have to make bread for each meal; the bread made of meal tastes very badly when old, and they claim that it is also unhealthy."
Eggs, milk and butter were the chief sources of subsistence, wrote von Claren.
Leaders of cultured society in the settlement, wrote von Claren, were "we, the Hanoverians ... although another shipload of emigrants la expected within a few days, and it may be possible that some other nationaUty (of Germans) will be in the majority.
"If only more ladies end girls of the higher class were here, the social part of our life would be much improved. As long ss all the cultured society of the population is single, we are dependent upon each other. We hope that a few families will come with whom we would feel et ease socially," wrote the young officer.
He kinged for a piano. "It would be such a pleasant pastime for the evening hours."
At the time of his writing, only one death had occurred among 400 immigrants; that (rf a child who had been ill before leaving Germany and had died en route.
"We cannot thank God enough for health as I never felt so well in Germany. Moat remarkable is that I am compelled to live a very irregular life — sleeping under the sky and oft times when I awake I am lying in water and no place to change into dry clothing; still, well at all times.”
(To be continued)
mm rn rn rn rn Member* present. O.A. Stratemann Jr., Jos Royers B— Levsrns Ebsrhsrd. Barbara Tieken, Jose Valdamar ^l/MI f wff SS s mjm IGI Espinoza. Betty Lou Rushing Absent Donnis Seay.
Rezoning, Shtdow Park Subdivision.
Approved Ural reading of an ordinance rezoning 5 783 acre* from R 2 (two family) to 8-3 (mufti family) district Public hawing wa* held before the vote, in which developer Al Pricks spoke in favor of the throning No one spoke against
Renew perklend meintenence contract.
Work confract wrth Comet County Mantel Health Mantel Pet or (1st ion Center extended one year City Manager E N Deleshmutt said the program wee very beneficial, both to MHM# clients and the Parks and Recreation Department
Amend 1963-34 budget to purcheee truck for code enforcement division.
Transferred 111.000 from contingency fund to code enforcement to buy a second truck, with radio, for budding inspectors City presently hee two in ■peelort sharing a vehicle
Advertise for bids on budgeted equipment and services.
Bide we be opened at 2 p rn Nov 22 for the following items three 1984 half ton pickups, one articulating, compact wheel loader one riding turf mowing unit one emergency generator, sa 1964 petrol cars. one 1984 tandem dump truck cat) and chases, one 1984 27.500 GVW cab end chem tractor with pull mower, janitor service contract end radio communications maintenance service
Nominate candidate for Comal County Appraisal District board of director*. Vote: Unanimous.
Courted is nominated George ti ben who has served as city representative on the board for the peat two years
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