When Bertha Bauer was born in 1857, her parents, Philipp and Marie Peters Bauer, lived in Comal County. Her father was an experienced carpenter. As soon as he acquired land, he probably built a small log cabin for his family. Like most Germans who came to Texas, her father was a farmer. When she was born, he owned 160 acres of land along Curry’s Creek. She grew up living and working on the farm. It was self-sufficient with cows for milk, chicken for eggs, pigs and cattle for meat, a vegetable garden, and most likely fruit trees.
It took several hours by horse and buggy to travel to New Braunfels for supplies. New Braunfels was the fourth largest city in the state when Bertha was born. The Bauer farm became part of Blanco County In 1858, and in 1862, it became part of Kendall County. Her brothers and sisters, Otto, Louise, Ernst, and Emma, were all born in Kendall County.
Bertha married Eduard Georg on 3 September 1879 in Comal County. Eduard parent’s Philipp Carl “Charles” Georg and Sophie Georg traveled on the same ship as her father. According to the ship manifest, they came from the same town, Enkirch in Prussia. Bertha and Eduard probably knew each other as children growing up. When Bertha and Eduard married, they moved to Bexar County and lived in Precinct 2. They had been married nine months when the 1880 census was taken. Eduard was 26, and Bertha was 23. Eduard is farming, and she is keeping house.
In 1882, Edward George applied to receive a pre-emption land patent for 160 acres in Bexar County, stating he “settled upon vacant public domain” land in accordance with the Homestead Donation Act approved by the State of Texas in 1870. In 1894, two citizens, B. D. Shield and J. P. Payton, stated in a swore Proof of Occupancy affidavit that Edward George lived on this land.
In 1888, their property was valued at $420.00. Edward owned two mules valued at $25.00 and 15 head of cattle valued at $90.00. He paid a total of $4.90 for state and local taxes, plus he paid .38 for a railroad subsidy. Six years later, their property was valued at $480.00. Edward owned two wagons valued at $40.00, tools and machinery, valued at $20.00, one mule valued at $90.00, and five head of cattle valued at $25.00. He paid $6.24 in state and county taxes plus .41 for a railroad subsidy. Included in his state and county taxes, he paid $1.50 for state poll tax and .25 for county poll tax.
Edward and Bertha had four children, two boys and two girls. Amanda (Robert Reynolds Goins, Albert Padier) was born 27 February 1882, Hugo (Olivia McGraw), 13 May 1885, Lillie Mary (George McGraw), January 1891, and Oscar, 10 July 1896.
In 1900, the family lived in Precinct 6 in Bexar County on Rockport Road near Pleasanton Road. They owned their farm, and it was free of mortgage. Everyone could read and write except for Lillie and Oscar. In 1910, Mary Georg was recorded as living with George and Lillie McGraw. She is listed as the mother-in-law to the head of household and her marital status is widowed. Her son Oscar, age 14, is also living with them.
In 1919, Bertha agreed to lease their 160 acres for five years to Fred Maule. The lease stated it was “for the sole and only purpose of mining and operating for oil and gas, and of laying pipe lines, and of building tanks, powers, stations and structure thereon to produce, save and take care of said products…” She was paid $85.00 for the five year lease. Her husband, Edward, was with her when she signed the document so I am unsure why she is listed as a widow in 1900.
She was not living with the McGraw family in 1920. They are living in Atascosa County. In 1930, Bertha and her son Oscar live next door to her oldest son Hugo and family on Campbelton Road in Precinct 6. She owns her home valued at $1600.00. In 1940, the census stated she lives on 66 Hi-way next door to her daughter, Amanda Padier, and husband Albert and family. Her son Oscar lives with her.
Her husband Edward died on 12 March 1926, and Bertha died on 16 February 1947. They are both buried in George Family Cemetery in Bexar County.
When Bertha died in 1947, her son Hugo was the executor of her will. Bertha authorized and empowered her executor to sell and distribute all her real property. Oscar, her son, purchased the property for $1.00.
Although, their address changed on each census, Bertha did not move. As San Antonio grew, the addresses and roads changed, but Bertha continued to live on the land her husband acquired for them.
Note: Georg was originally spelled without an e. The spelling was “Americanized” in the 1880s by adding an e at the end. The spelling of Eduard changed to Edward. This happened to many German names.
Bertha is my Grandma Lillie Adam’s aunt.
Do you have a story to tell about Bertha? Please share it in the comments. I would love to hear a story about her.
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Bertha Bauer George, DC, Ancestry.com.
Bertha George Estate, Bexar County Deed Records, Vol. 2675, p167.
Edward George, #1079, Land Patent, Texas General Land Office.
1880, 1900, 1910, 1930, 1940 Bexar County Census Records, Ancestry.com.
Oil and Gas Lease, Bexar County Deed Records, Vol. 565, p178.
Philipp Bauer, 1860 Non Population Census, Ancestry.com.
Texas County Tax Rolls, 1837-1910, FamilySearch.com.