Conrad's Stories

The life and times of the Conrad Adam family in Kendall County, Texas

Philipp Bauer

When did Philipp Bauer arrive in Texas?  A question I have tossed around for quite a while.  1854 is the date used for his arrival to Texas, and I have also used it, but I do not know where the date originated.  I am unable to locate a ship manifest with an 1854 arrival date.  I did find a manifest for a Philipp Bauer who sailed on the ship Ammerland and landed in Galveston, Texas, on 28 October 1851.   On board ship there were eight families from the same town of “Eenkirch.”  The translator was uncertain of the spelling of the town.  I looked in Meyers Gazetteer for the “Eenkirch,” but one was not listed.  However, there was an Enkirch, Zell, Coblenz, Rheinland, Preussen. 

Many of the people who settled in the Texas Hill Country were from the Rheinland area.  There were other families or single persons from the same town aboard the ship.  They were Georg Hant and his wife, Phil. Jac. Wagener, wife and three children; Joh. Carl Georg, wife and two children; Phil. Carl Georg; Sop. Elisab. Georg; Dan Mueller, wife and four children; and Philipp Kunz.  The specific destination is not recorded for these families, but Hant, Wagener, and Georg families from Enkirch settled in Comal County. Phillip Bauer’s oldest daughter, Bertha, married Eduard Georg, the son of Phil. Carl (Charles) and Sophie Georg,  in 1879 in Comal County.  The 1900 Census lists the year of immigration for Philipp as 1850.  I feel the 1851 Ammerland manifest lists my Philipp Bauer.

1900 Kendall County Census, next to the word Germany is the year of immigration

Philipp Bauer was born on 21 June 1820.  He married Marie Peters in Comal County on 10 August 1855.  I obtained a copy of the marriage license in 1999, and that is when I realized Philipp had not married Marie Busch.  A grand aunt told me he married Marie Busch when the Kendall County Historical Commission was putting together the book Rivers, Ranches, Railroads, Recreation: A History of Kendall County.  I did not double-check Marie’s maiden name.  The deadline was fast approaching, so I went with it.  That mistake has haunted me. 

The family story is Philipp and Marie knew each other in Prussia.  She arrived in New Braunfels and wrote Philipp telling him there were jobs available.  He decided to immigrate, and then they married.  I recently located another version of this story.  Marie arrived two years before Philipp and was working in a hotel in New Braunfels.  She wrote Philipp about work available in the area.   He was a carpenter by trade.  Present day Enkirch, is known for its historic timber houses. The 1900 census states Marie arrived in 1846.  She would have been twenty-one.  Did Marie come with her parents or another relative?  I do not know.  I have not been able to connect her to the Peter/Peters families living in Comal County at the time.  She may have come with relatives and then had to work at the hotel to support herself.

In the fall of 1859, two men, Herman Seele and John Schumacher*, spoke on Philipp’s behalf, stating they had known him for five years and he was a man of good moral character.  Philipp became a citizen of the United States and received a naturalization certificate.

Philipp Bauer’s naturalization in the Comal County District Court Minutes, Vol C, 243p.

On the Comal County 1856 Tax Roll, Philipp Bauer had 160 acres of preemption land on the Guadalupe River from Survey 72.  He owned one horse valued at  $50.00, 1 buggy valued at $150.00, merchandise on hand valued at $250.00.  The total value was $3500.00.  He paid .75 for poll tax, $5.221/2 for state tax, and $2.91¼ for county tax. On the 1857 Tax Roll, he owned 160 acres, one horse, and ten head of cattle.  He must have sold the buggy and decided not to have merchandise on hand.   The stream nearest his land was Curry’s Creek.  Sam Houston was governor at the time and signed land patent.  It was here Philipp built a log cabin.  He later received two more land patents in Kendall County, 156 5/10 acres in Survey 306 and 160 acres in Survey 730. 

In 1893 Philipp and Marie sold their land to their son Ernst for $1500.00.  The couple placed a stipulation in the deed stating, “reserve to ourselves from this conveyance for the full term of our natural life the use and ownership of our present dwelling house, also the use and enjoyment of five acres of farming land now in cultivation in our field or farm.  At the death of both of these grantors the property and premises hereby reserved shall become the possession of the grantee Ernst Bauer…” Philipp was 73 and Marie 66 years of age.  Rosa Bauer, Ernst’s wife, sold the land in 1934 to Max Hofheinz.   The house and property are now part of the Guadalupe River State Park in Spring Branch, Texas.

Indians were roaming the area when the Bauer family moved to their land. It makes me wonder what kinds of experiences they had.  In 1855 at Judge William E. Jones‘ place along Curry’s Creek,  two men searching for oxen were attacked by Indians.  These Indians had stolen several horses from Sisterdale and the surrounding area the night before.  Raids in upper Comal County along the Blanco and Guadalupe Rivers were a common occurrence.  Groups of men would pursue them when these raids occurred, but there is no record showing Philipp took part in them.  Eyewitness accounts at the time stated all persons needed to be armed even if they were going to the barn because they never knew when a raid would occur.

Phillip’s land had initially been in Comal County.  In 1858 it became part of Blanco County. The 1860 Agriculture Schedule gives an idea of how his farm operated.  He had 10 acres of improved land and 150 unimproved lands.  His farm’s value was $300.00, and he owned $50.00 worth of farming implements and machinery.  He had two milk cows, two working oxen, 18 other cattle, and ten swine.  He grew Indian corn, and when the census was taken, he had 40 bushels on hand.

Ph. Bauer selling corn, recorded in J. F. Stendebach’s log book, undated

After the Federal troops left the state at the beginning of the Civil War, Indian raids occurred with renewed vigor.  The State of Texas organized troops to help with the Indian situation. Philipp’s name does not appear on any surviving lists.  After the war, while Texas was under military rule, any man who wanted to vote had to register in 1867.  Philipp does not show up on the Kendall, Blanco, or Comal voter lists.  In previous years he paid his poll tax, so it seems he voted prior the war.

By 1900, Philipp and Marie lived with Carl and Louise Wessely, their daughter, son-in-law, and family.  In this time, older people generally lived with one of their children, so they had someone to care for them.  When the family could not take care of them any longer and were exhibiting irrational behavior that could not be controlled, a family member could petition the court for a lunacy hearing.  This is what happened to Philipp Bauer.  We can only speculate what was happening, maybe dementia.  The case was brought forward by his son-in-law Carl Wessely, Jr.   On 8 November 1901, Kendall County Judge Henry Theis heard the case State of Texas vs. Philipp Bauer. These seven questions and answers were presented to the court.

  1. Is Philip Bauer, the Defendant, of unsound mind?   Ans. Yes
  2. If the Defendant is of unsound mind, is it necessary that he be placed under restraint?  Ans. Yes
  3. If you answer both the foregoing questions in the affirmative, then what is the age and nativity of the Defendant? Ans. Age 82 years, native of Germany
  4. How many attacks of insanity has he had and how long has the present attack existed?  Ans. Off and on, for the last six mths. Ans. The last attack lasted 8 days.
  5. Is insanity hereditary in the family of the Defendant or not?  Ans. No
  6. Is the Defendant possessed of any estate, if so, of what does it consist and its estimated value? Ans. $300 note
  7. If the Defendant is possessed of any estate, are there any persons legally liable for his support, if yea name them.  Ans. According to the evidence   none

This document was signed by the jurors,  F. W. Horner, Wm. Vanderstratten, Willie Stendebach, J. S. Crist, G. Forshon, R. Schwarz.

The decision of the court: “Whereupon it is adjudged, that the said Phillip Bauer is a lunatic and it is ordered by the Court, that he be conveyed to the Lunatic Asylum at San Antonio County of Bexar, for restraint and treatment, and that the costs of this proceeding be agrudged against.” H. Theis, County Judge Kendall

Lunatic Asylum in San Antonio

Philipp Bauer died at the asylum six weeks later, on 5 January 1902.  He was buried in the Kreutzberg Cemetery in Kendall County.  According to his wife, Marie’s obituary, she “had been ill since the death of her husband three years ago.”  I wonder if she ever saw him again.

*John Schumacher arrived in New Braunfels in 1845 with his wife, Margarite.  In 1860 he was a landlord.  John is from Rosdorf, Hesse-Cassel.  Could he be the owner of the hotel where Marie Peters worked?

Do you have a story about Philipp Bauer? Share it in the comments. I would love to learn more about my great-great-grandfather.

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Bauer, Mrs. Mary. San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) 15 March 1905.

Bauer-Peters.  Comal County Marriage Records. County Clerk’s Office. New Braunfels, Texas.

Bauer, Philipp. Kendall County Probate Minutes, Vol. 4, 79p.  County Clerk’s Office. Boerne, Texas.

Carmack, George. “A New Park in Our Future.” San Antonio Express-News, 13 August 1977.

Comal County Tax Rolls, 1856, 1857, 1858.

District Court Minutes, Vol C, 243p. Comal County District Clerk. New Braunfels, Texas.

“Enkirch”, Meyers Gazetteer. Meyers Gazetteer – An online, searchable version with historical maps

Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association.

Kendall County Deed Records, V. 14, 426-429p.

Kneuper, Bernard F., translator,  Allegemeine Auswanderer Zeitung, 13 December 1851. Sophienburg Archives. New   Braunfels, Texas.

1860 Comal County Census.

Stendebach, J. F. logbook. Dietert Historical Archives, Patrick Heath Public Library

2 thoughts on “Philipp Bauer 1820-1902, German Immigrant

  1. Susie says:

    That is so sad Philipp had to go to that place, I never knew that. I heard a lot of bad things as a kid growing up back in the day, about that asylum. It has a very bad rap with things that happened there, in the old days. I would bet it was dementia that he had, my dad had it, and my older brother got it very young at age 53. It was very hard to watch him the most, because it was a long 7 years before it took him. And my dad because of his age three months. But think God they were both in great places, and treated very good. But in Philipp’s time it was really bad, the treatment they got from such places as this place. I hated, hated that name lunatic, insane asylum, and glad it was changed to the State Hospital. It’s really a blessing he was able to go after 6 weeks because of being in such a place, with some of the things they did to people there. Is there a death record on him I wonder? I’d like to see what it says. A lot died because they didn’t feed them well, and just tossed them around like a ball, and the doctors there in that time could put anything. If he had dementia which it sounds like he did, I don’t blame the family because even today there comes a time where they just can’t be at home anymore, you might as well live in a house with nothing in it that they can get into or trash, even you. They are in a unknown place, and can’t help themselves. That Hospital has been on a show I watched one time on TV, calling it the Ghost Hospital. It would seem a lot of the workers there have seen ghost, and strange things. Good work on Mary working in a hotel never knew that one, and maybe one day we can find out how she got over here, and with who. Would love to get a trail on them from the old Country of Germany.

    1. Kathryn says:

      I haven’t found a death certificate for Philipp. I even tried to find medical records for the asylum but haven’t had any luck. It is really horrifying to think he had to go to the asylum. I’m sorry to hear about your brother and father. I had a grandaunt who had dementia is it was terrible to watch her spiral down.

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