The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961 Page: 385
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Notes and Documents
The family settled near Roundtop, Fayette County, and early
the next year Wilhelm, who soon was being called William,
bought a small farm, which had been part of Nassau Plantation.
Here William farmed his land, meanwhile studying English, so
that in 1855 he was able to become a United States citizen.
A skilled draftsman, he was asked to draw a design for the
Fayette County courthouse in La Grange. He made the drawing,
and his work was so admired and appreciated that he was recom-
mended to the Commissioner of the General Land Office of
Texas. Consequently, in April, 1856, William sold his farm and
moved to Austin, where he occupied himself at various work,
including the execution of pencil sketches of homes and build-
ings, until he was appointed draftsman in October, when the first
vacancy occurred in the Land Office. At that time the agency was
housed in a small frame building in the capitol yard.
Among William's extant drawings are those of the Harrell
home (one of the earliest Austin residences), of the old Capitol,
and of the city of Austin. The latter two are now in the Eugene
C. Barker Texas History Center at the University of Texas. He
also designed a 7 per cent cotton bond, which had on it a picture
of the old capitol and on which was printed "Austin, 186-. Orig-
inal by W. von Rosenberg."
In 1861 William was appointed Chief Draftsman, and he con-
tinued in this position until 1863, when he resigned to join the
Confederate Army. There he served as topographical engineer
in the Corps of Engineers and was given the rank of Captain.
Returning from the war, he resumed his job at the Land Office
until the Reconstruction Period began, and then he opened a
land agency of his own. He prospered in this work and built a
stone residence on the corner of Sixteenth and Guadalupe Streets,
where he lived until his death in 19o01. He was buried in Oak-
wood Cemetery in Austin.
Of William's twelve children, the third was Ernst Johann, born
on the farm near Roundtop in 1852. After the family's move
to Austin, Ernst received a little schooling and later, following
in his father's profession, he became a draftsman in the General
Land Office in 1876, and eventually rose to the position of Chief
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 64, July 1960 - April, 1961, periodical, 1961; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101190/m1/422/: accessed April 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.