The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 336
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
Karl Amsler, Jacob Wolters, Robert Kleberg, Louis von Roeder,
William Frels, Siebel, F. W. Grassmeyer, Joseph Biegel, and
some others came to live near the Ernst farm.7 Some of these,
as the families of Karl and Marcus Amsler, Ludwig Anton Sieg-
mund von Roeder, and Robert and Louis Kleberg, settled as far
away as Cat Spring. All of them, however, came to Texas as a
result of reading the enticing description of Texas by Friedrich
Ernst." The first man who went to Texas from Oldenburg after
reading the Ernst letter was Dr. John D. G. Varrelmann.9
Friedrich Ernst, who had been chief gardener for the grand-
duke of Oldenburg, chose an ideal location for a settlement. He
built his house in the friendly little valley of the Mill Creek.
The house was six-cornered, in the style of his summer-house in
Oldenburg, and hence was quite a departure from the conven-
tional pioneer log hut. A small wood formed a pleasing back-
ground for his cornfield. But the family suffered often from
the lack of corn meal and flour. Since San Felipe de Austin
was some distance away and at times could not be reached on
account of bad roads, the family improvised its own grist mill in
the form of a mortar shaped out of a stump. Softened corn was
placed in this mortar and ground into meal, from which small
cakes were baked and served for bread. Coffee and sugar were
luxuries seldom served. Dried or smoked meat was at times the
only article of food in the house. The prices of the plainest
kinds of cloth were almost prohibitive. A yard of domestic cost
fifty cents, a yard of calico even seventy-five cents.10
By 1838 Ernst had a large orchard planted with peach trees,
and a vegetable garden with all kinds of vegetables. His former
employment under the duke of Oldenburg was serving him in
good stead. He had become interested in the cultivation of
tobacco and had been fairly successful in his first trial with the
Havana variety. B. Scherer, who accompanied Detlef Dunt to
Texas, taught Ernst how to make cigars."1
'Tiling, German Element in Texas, 19.
8Trenckmann, Austin County, 16. Other families listed in the sources
are those of George Dannker, John Heinike, George Herder, John Reiner-
mann, R. D. Stoelje, Pettus, Benninghof, Kleekaemper, William Schneider,
and Peter Pieper.
9Dunt, Reise nach Texas, 95.
ODunt, Reise nach Texas, 93-95; Trenckmann, Austin County, 16, 22-23.
uWrede, F. W. von, Lebensbilder aus den Vereinigten Staaten von Nord-
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931, periodical, 1931; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101091/m1/358/: accessed October 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.