The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970 Page: 57
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Notes and Documents
much later than the published accounts, yet she wanted to tell them
that their immediate family was alive.
Originally written in German, the letters were translated in 1956
by Mrs. E. Maury Robertson, the last of the eight Focke children,
and her daughter, Mildred M. Robertson, both of Galveston."
Mrs. Focke, a woman of forceful, yet generous, character, was the
former Anna Marckmann, daughter of George Marckmann, a La
Grange cotton factor and merchant. John Focke (a native of Bremen,
Germany, who had lived in England for a time) was a naturalized
American citizen. During the American Civil War, he was in business
with Henry Wilkens, a fellow German-American, in Matamoros, Mex-
ico, where they conducted a lucrative trade with Confederate quarter-
masters." In 1865, after the war, John Focke and Henry Wilkens
relocated their cotton business in Galveston.'
John Focke had also engaged in business in Matamoros during
the war with George Marckmann, and in the summer of 1866 they met
again aboard a steamer bound for Europe. The La Grange merchant
was en route to Paris to enroll his daughter in school. The ship-
board romance which developed between Marckmann's daughter,
Anna, and John Focke ended in marriage. The wedding took place
in the American Embassy in Berlin, Prussia, on October 3, 1866.'
They returned to the United States the same year to make their home
in Galveston. Eight children were born to Mr. and Mrs. Focke: Jane,
Anna Paula (Anita), Marie, Margaret, John W., Elisabeth (Lis),
Ellen, and George C.8 The family resided in a spacious three-storied,
Victorian frame house at 1228 Market Street in the east end of the city.
*Mrs. E. Maury Robertson, identified in the letters as Elisabeth (Lis), was the wife
of Emmett Maury Robertson, a clerk for the Texas Guaranty Trust Company of Gal-
veston. She died in January, 1967. Her daughter, Mildred M. Robertson, is presently
secretary for the alumni of the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.
Family records in the editor's possession; hereafter cited as Family Records.
6Mildred M. Robertson to W.M.D., interview, April 22, 1968. Wilkens resided with
his family in Galveston at 1212 Market Street, next door to the Fockes. Morrison and
Fourmny's General Directory of Galveston, 1899-zgoo (Galveston, 1899), 242.
7Original marriage certificate. Family Records.
Jane, the eldest daughter, was married to Julius Boehme, a partner in the Gustav
Feist Pickle Works, located across from the Union Passenger Terminal at Twenty-fifth
and The Strand in Galveston. Family Records. Anna Paula, also identified as Anita,
was married to Louis H. Runge, stockman and rancher. Mr. Runge was the son of
Henry Runge, once associated with John F. Torrey at New Braunfels, Texas. Family
Records; Henry C. Armbruster, The Torreys of Texas (Buda, Texas, 1968), 57. Marie
Focke, the first wife of Heinrich Mosle, a Galveston wholesale and retail grocer, was
deceased at the time of the 19goo storm. Family Records. Margaret Focke was the
second wife of Heinrich Mosle and was with her family at their own home at the
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 73, July 1969 - April, 1970, periodical, 1970; Austin, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117147/m1/73/: accessed April 20, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.