The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949 Page: 60

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A texas literary Society of
Pioeer Days
MONG the early settlers of Fayette County, Texas, was
Johannes Nathanael Romberg (1808-1891) . He came to
Texas in 1847 from the grand duchy of Mecklenburg,
Germany, and settled at Cat Springs in Austin County but
moved to Fayette County a few years later and established his
home in the prairie a few miles southwest of La Grange. Among
the manuscripts which he left behind was a sheaf of papers
wrapped in the New Yorker Staatszeitung of February 23, 1861,
and consisting of some sixteen sheets sewn together with white
thread. This small sheaf contained poems and short stories in
different types of style and handwriting, the original contribu-
tions to the Prairie Blume (Prairie Flower), a literary society
that flourished in Fayette County ninety years ago and one of
the first literary societies in Texas.'
Under the leadership of Johannes Romberg this society was
organized about 1857 by the young men and women of the Black
Jack Creek settlement.2 As a part of their literary endeavors the
members usually wrote about a subject previously agreed upon.
All this material was turned over to one person who read it to
the group. Whenever possible, the material was handed to one
member early enough for all of it to be copied so that even the
handwriting could not give a clue as to what each one had con-
'The writer's chief sources of information regarding this literary society of
pioneer days are four numbers of the Prairie Blume, Mrs. Caroline Perlitz Romberg,
Mrs. Louise Romberg Fuchs, J. D. Romberg, and Mrs. Anna Willrich Gross of
San Antonio, who in her ninety-fourth year still had a remarkably vivid recollec-
tion of persons and events connected with the Prairie Blume.
It is definitely known that the following were active members of the Prairie
Blume: Carl and Anna Perlitz, Louise and Johannes Romberg, Julius and Ann
Willrich, Clemens and Liane deLassaulx, Adele and Emma Riechers, and Louis
von Struve. Younger family members of these, such as Caroline Perlitz and Clemen-
tine deLassaulx, also attended and made some contributions. Probably Herbert
and Bertha von Zawisch and Marie von Buttlar were also regular attendants. This
list of members is doubtless incomplete.
2By 1872 the post office of this community was called Black Jack Springs.

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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 52, July 1948 - April, 1949, periodical, 1949; Austin, Texas. ( accessed January 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.