YARP' M AIU'H iQ.Od
tation except for a wagon driven by mules. So by this means they traveled from Smyre to San
Angelo. All cooking was done out of doors and they slept in the wagon. When they got to San
Angelo, the cotton crop was coming in, so they rented out as cotton pickers After the crop was
picked, they continued their journey and finally decided to rent a farm in Brady, Texas.
The farm they rented at Brady was owned by some people by the name of Cotrell. It
was here that Albert saw his first radio. He said they often went to the Cotrells after work to
listen to the radio. It was while in Brady that an old German lady invited the family to the
Lutheran church in Brady. Albert was confirmed there and was so taken by the message for the
Gospel that he determined to study for the ministry.
Concordia Academy in Austin was a preparatory school for students who wanted to
study for the Lutheran ministry. It was a high school with quite high standards. But, it
required tuition. So Albert worked a five acre plot of land, planting and picking cotton, so that
he could earn enough money to start at aConcordia. One he difficulties that he faced upon
attending Concordia was that he had to take Latin. Most of the other students had had the first
year of Latin. Albert had to take first and second year Latin in the same year. And it was at
Concordia that Albert took his first indoor bath with running water
Having graduated from Concordia with high marks despite the difficult curriculum and
despite having had to work outside jobs to pay for his tuition, Albert now set his sights on
college. He would attend St. John's Lutheran College in Winfield, Kansas. This was the next
step in following through on this goal of the ministry. He attended two years and the Great
Depression of the 1930's took its toll. No longer could he afford the tuition.
From Winfield, Albert went back home to live with his father who was farming in
Pretty, Texas. After a while, a man whom he had known in Austin offered him a job there.
He worked for the man for a while and then took another job with a bottling company making
$14 per week. He purchased an old car and rented a room with Hugo and Alwina Horn. One
time Hugo and Alwina wanted to go visit Hugo's parents who lived in Manheim, Texas, but
they had no car. So they asked Albert if he would drive them. It was there that my grandfather
Albert met my grandmother Helen. In 1936, they were married.
Albert pursued several occupations, but ultimately became a pipe fitter/welder. He
even taught welding in a vocational school for several years.24
My grandfather was a great man. He was kind and really lived out his Christian faith.
He died of cancer on February 18, 1987. I miss him.
My Great-great-great grandfather. Ambrose Reitzer
When Ambrose Reitzer came to Texas, it was not yet a state. It was still the Republic
of Texas when a man by the name of Henri Castro, of France, entered into a contract with
President Sam Houston to settle a colony in Southwest Texas west of the Medina River. Castro
purchased the river-bordered land from private sources. Between 1843 and 1847, Castro succeeded
in chartering twenty-seven ships in which he brought 485 families and 457 single men
to settle in Texas.25 The main settlement would be called Castroville. Several other small
communities would be established from Castroville. Among the family brought to Texas was
Ambrose Reitzer, his parents and his siblings. They left France on October 6, 1844, aboard the
ship Probus. They first went to New Orleans and from New Orleans went to Galveston.26
They arrived in Castroville in March of 1845.
24 Albert Goeke, Narrative on tape recording. Recorded in 1985, one year prior to his death.
25 Ibid.. Castro Colonies, p. 218.
26 Ship's Passenger Lists of Vessels entering the Port of Galveston, Texas, 1845. L.D.S. Library, San
Texas State Genealogical Society. Stirpes, Volume 34, Number 1, March 1994. San Antonio, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth39868/. Accessed August 31, 2015.