This is a featured article from Comal County Genealogy Society?s Family Footsteps, Volume XXIV, No. 2, June 2007, pp. 104-107. To obtain a copy of this issue, please see the Comal County Genealogy Society’s Publication list.
The Hoffman/Schaefer/Huebner Family
According to oral family history handed down, either two or three Huebner Brothers, two Schaefers, and one Hoffman landed in Galveston, Texas in the 1850’s or thereabouts. They were all family friends while they lived in Germany (Prussia). Some originated in Colblentz and some in Nauborn (the first is a larger city and the second a small town nearby) in what was then Prussia. There was also a sister, Johanna Huebner (who married a Bretzke) that came with August.
My great grandmother Anna Marie Hoffman was born in Coblentz, Prussia, on January 13, 1827. She was the daughter of Jacob Hoffman. She married Georg Schaefer in 1848 in Germany (Prussia) and gave birth to sons John in 1849 and Peter in 1851, both in Germany. John was left behind to live with relatives or friends in Germany when Georg and Anna Marie came to Texas. It is believed he never saw his father again and was a grown man when he came to the U.S. and was reunited with his mother. Georg Schaefer operated a dray in Galveston. He was a freighter who hauled supplies for the U.S. government, which was mounting a campaign against the Indians. He was supposedly killed by the Indians in 1859. Georg and Anna Marie Schaefer were probably living in Galveston at the time he was killed from the little bit of information that can be gleaned from court records and family stories. However, I believe from other documents that they also had made their home in New Braunfels for a time after they came to the U.S.
I found in the Galveston, Texas, library the tax records that show that George Schaefer was paying taxes on his property (lot 5 block 139) in Galveston and on his dray in 1857, 1858, and 1859. In 1860 the taxes were paid by Mary or Marie Schaefer, his wife. In that year there was no poll tax and no horse or dray included, which reinforces the fact that he died in 1859.
However, in our research in New Braunfels, Texas, we found Elizabeth and August Wilhelm, both children of Georg and Anna Marie, were baptized in the 1st Protestant Church in New Braunfels in 1854 and 1855. According to the church baptismal register, Elisabeth was born on January 16, 1854, and baptized on October 25, 1855. August Wilhelm was born on December 16, 1855 and baptized on Easter Sunday, March 23, 1856. We think Elisabeth died as a young girl and is probably buried in New Braunfels, but have not found any official record of that.
Anna Marie (Hoffman) Schaefer, my great grandmother, married my great grandfather August Huebner after the death of her husband Georg Schaefer. August Huebner’s naturalization papers state that he landed at Galveston, Texas, on December 26, 1853, aboard the ship Theressa Henrietta. According to the
Passenger and Immigration List Index, it also shows that his 17 year old sister, Johanna Huebner also came over on the Theressa Henrietta at the same time. Johanna and her husband Wilhelm Bretzke had a child beptized in 1855 in Comal Town ( New Braunfels) 1st Protestant Church in 1855 and August Huebner was listed as one of the sponsors in the church record. (Another account indicates that Wilhelm and Johanna were married at the time they came to Texas. I have no record of when and where they were married.)
I have heard that after Georg Schaefer’s death, August Huebner, the widow Marie, and her children left Galveston by boat to Powderhorn, Texas, which was about two miles from Indianola, and from there they went due West to New Braunfels where they settled. August and Anna Marie were married at New Braunfels, Texas in the Evangelical Lutheran Church on May 19, 1860, by T. Moegle, pastor. We have a copy of their marriage license and also of August’s immigration papers.
August Huebner was a wagoner according to the 1860 census of Comal County, Texas. He as also called a wagon maker, and he registered a brand in Texas in 1860. He had come to Galveston from Wetzler, Prussia, where he was born in 1828. Nauborn, Pussia, is also listed on some records, and all of these places are in close proximity in Prussia, Germany. By 1859 he was living in New Braunfels and that is where he was married to Anna Marie in 1860. Where he lived from 1853 until 1859, we do not know. Their first son and daughter, the twins Frederick Ferdinand and Wilhelmina were born on January 27, 1861, in New Braunfels.
In early 1861, August and Marie Huebner with their children and several other people left New Braunfels, Texas, for Illinois. Both the Huebner and the Hagemann families bought land near Silver Creek north of Lebanon, Illinois in St. Clair County. Huebner constructed a log house and as family tradition goes, soon after it was built, the 36 year old man was called to serve in the Union Army during the Civil War. On September 22, 1864, he joined the 43rd Regiment of Illinois Infantry volunteers. On November 4, 1864, he died of typhoid while at Fort Pickering in Memphis, Tennessee. He is buried in the National Cemetery in Memphis. His last child, August, was born after his death in December 1864. He died eleven months later of pneumonia.
His widow Maria (Anna Marie) had a very hard life supporting herself and providing for her family. Her grown son John Schaefer arrived from Germany and was last heard of in Mexico in 1901. Peter Schaefer died in 1876 at age 25. Wilhelm (William) Schaefer married Mary Fohne about 1881, raised a family of ten children, and died in 1941 in Illinois.
On their trip back to Illinois they said they had four or six teams of horses and about 100 colts following the wagons. Joseph Huebner, who owned what is now the Huebner-Onion Stagecoach Stop and Homestead in San Antonio ( that is being restored) owned a large acreage and kept a lot of horses. We are trying to see whether Joseph and August Huebner are from the same Huebner family and if there is a family tie that would explain the number of horses he took with him back to Illinois.
We are also trying to find out if August and his sister Johanna, who arrived in Galveston on the Teresa Henrietta ship, came to America alone or if their parents also were in the United States or what their parents’ names and birth/death dates were. Did August and Johanna Huebner (Bretzke) have siblings in Texas? Also, who were the parents or family of Anna Marie Hoffman (Schaefer) who married August Huebner and did anyone else from her family come to America?
These are a few of the facts and oral stories that we have gathered in our search for our roots. August and Marie Huebner are my great grandparents; their son Frederick Ferdinand Huebner was my grandfather.
We have been researching this family for about twenty years and would like to find the missing links. If anyone can give us any more information on our family, we would surely appreciate it.
Walter and Ruth Huebner
9415 West 10th Avenue
Lakewood, CO., 80215