True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young. Page: 214
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214 TRUE STORIES OF OLD
on the first page of its old minute book its story is told in the
following simple and touching language:
"We, the undersigned, assembled this forenoon in Gable's
house, to confer in regard to the institution of a Turnverein. It
was the wish of all to belong to a society where each feels as a
brother to the other and lives for him and with him as a brother.
We have, therefore, associated ourselves under a brotherly pressure
of hands and promised each other to organize a Turnverein
with energy and love in the cause and assure its existence by
"(Signed) T. Heitmann, F. Reitmann, Marschall, Louis Pless,
John F. Thordale, Robert Voight, E. B. H. Schneider, August
Sabath, E. Scheurer and L. Scheihagen.
"Houston, January 14, 1854."
Captain Schneider was a great athlete and to him was assigned
the task of organizing a gymnastic class. He organized twoone
for the men and one for the ladies. He was most thorough
in his teaching and it was not long before the Houston Turners
gained name and fame for themselves in athletic circles.
At the beginning there were very few members, but it was
not long before the association grew to such proportions that
they were enabled to add other features to their gymnasium.
A fire company was organized, a good German-English school
was established and then, when war was talked of, the famous
military company was organized, composed entirely of members
of the Verein. It was of this company I started to tell you.
Captain Schneider was born a soldier and had had a thorough
military training, of course, before coming to this country. He
at once started in to apply the most rigid discipline and exhaustive
methods in training his men to be soldiers. He would
load them down with all their camp equipment, heavy guns and
cartridge boxes and march them for hours, away out in the
country and back again, and would put them through quick and
double-quick time for the amusement of people who had gathered
to see them drill.
It was while putting the men through one of these gruelling
marches that the soldier I speak of lost his life. The captain
marched the company down San Jacinto Street to the bayou.
The wharf was about eight feet high and the water was twelve
or fifteen feet deep right up to the wharf. The captain marched
the company right over the wharf into the bayou. He wanted
them to cross to the other side and march on as if nothing had
happened. After some floundering all the company except one
man got across. Strange to say the one who failed was considered
the best swimmer and all-round athlete in the company, but
he lost his life. The body was recovered' almost immediately
and was borne sorrowfully to the armory of the company, which
was a modest little building near the middle of the block about
where the hall is. The dead soldier was given a military funeral
which was probably the first that occurred in Texas at the
beginning of the war.
Here’s what’s next.
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Young, Samuel Oliver. True stories of old Houston and Houstonians: historical and personal sketches / by S. O. Young., book, 1913; Galveston, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth24646/m1/214/: accessed October 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .