ST. NICHOLAI LUTHERAN CHURCH, CAT SPRING, TX

CONFIRMANTION DAY, OCT. 28, 1923 ST. NICHOLAI LUTHERAN CHURCH, CAT SPRING, TX.

Front Row: Hilma Luedecke Schaffner, Ollie Blaschke Huebner, Myrtle Kveton Luedecke, Rev. and Mrs Scaer, Elfrieda Luedecke Kveton, Georgia Kollatschny Owens, Ivy Bell Eckelberg Kveton, Second Row: Erwin Grabow, Frieda Kollatschny Conner, Erna Kersten Kinkler, Ethel Kveton Goebel, Zadie Zachas Reibenstein, Viola Wilke Theumann, Charles Kersten. Third Row: Leander Kollatschny, Erwin Bischoff, Erwin Wilke, Herbert Kersten and Alfred Luedecke. Back Row: Gustov Bender, Fritz Schwanbeck and Arthur Stuessel.

 

 

THE EARLY CHURCH IN CAT SPRING

By HERBERT KOLLATSCHNY

Only bits and pieces are known about the churches in the Cat Spring area before 1870, however we do know that worshipping God was available in Cat Spring as early as 1840 through an organized church and an ordained minister.

The book The Cat Spring Story published in 1956 by the Cat Spring Agricultural Society tells about a Rev. Louis Cachand Ervendberg and a church in Cat Spring.  Ervendberg relocated from Chicago, Ill and moved to the Houston area in early 1840 where he established a Lutheran congregation. His stay in Houston was less than a year before he and his family moved deeper into Texas.

According to records that Ervendberg kept it was pretty obvious why he left Houston as in the year he was there, only one baptism is recorded. Hoping to fine better support for his mission, along with finding a drier climate because of his health, Ervendberg relocated to the Frelsberg area (Cummins Creek) and established churches in both Cat Spring and Industry.

Those areas in Austin and Colorado County had growing German settlements and he felt it was favorable for Lutheran congregations. While the Ervendberg family found the climate much more suitable to their health, they found far less interest in religion than he had hoped for. Reluctantly, Ervendberg was forced to acquire a small farm and work the land in order to make ends meet.

Records from Ervendbergís Kirchenbuch (Church record book) and published in the Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal a book of Colorado County history, three Kleeberg (Kleberg) children were baptized Aug. 1841 in Wildcatspring.

The Cat Spring Story indicates that the early settlers in Cat Spring could have descended from religious parents, but in their new land they showed very little interest in organized religion. Many left their native land in order to gain freedom and own land and to some extent devoted their attention and worshipped those rights and may have thanked God individually for those blessings instead of through an organized church.

But God also provided the area with early settlers like the families of Amslers, Stoeltges, von Roeders, Klebergs (Kleebergs) and Dannikers who were members of First Evangelical Church in Cat Spring that was started by Rev. Ervendberg in 1840. So it appears that an opportunity and a place to worship God has been available in the Cat Spring area since around 1840. If there was a church building in Cat Spring during Ervendbergís time here, it isnít known where. Chances are church services were held in homes.

On Jan. 27, 1844 the Congress of the Republic of Texas granted Ervendberg, F. Ernest, H. Schmidt, H. Amthor and others a charter to establish a university somewhere between the Cummings Creek and Mill Creek. However the charter was cancelled because these people werenít able to raise the necessary funds to build the college.

Ervendberg left his flock in Austin and Colorado Counties for what seemed like a more lucrative offer to help establish a German settlement on the Comal River, which is now Comal County.

In 1846 an epidemic in New Braunfels, the principal town in Comal County, left 16 children orphans, so Ervendberg and others established an orphanage in the small town of New Wied. That in turn was the undoing of Ervendberg as nine years later in 1855 he left his wife and ran off to Mexico with a 17-year old girl who was entrusted to him in the orphanage.

In 1863 when he was 62 years old bandits broke into his house, stole a considerable amount of money and murdered Ervendberg in the process.

 

REV. ERNEST (JOSEF ARNOST) BERGMANN

One of the most influential early settlers in the Cat Spring area was the Rev. Ernest (Josef Arnost) Bergmann. He and his family left Europe in 1849 and arrived in Cat Spring in March 1850 where he preached, in German, his first sermon to the congregation that called him in a tent on Easter Sunday and also had a Communion Service. Bergmann was offered and accepted the job in Cat Spring for $78 a year. He taught classes in both German and Czech in Cat Spring as early as 1855 according to articles in the Texas Almanac.

Bergmann sent glowing letters back to his former homeland Bukowein, Schlesia encouraging his former parishioners to join him in Texas and some accepted the offer. Bergmannís letter was published in the Moravsk» Noviny (Moravia News), and offered opportunity for families suffering from overcrowded farmlands in Central Europe. Also, it offered hope to merchants and craftsmen left frustrated after the failure of the 1848 social uprisings on the European continent.

In the early 1850s, Cat Spring could scarcely be considered a town. It consisted of farms and a single store, owned by businessman and land speculator Jan Reymershoffer. Reymershoffer also sent back letters to Europe extolling the virtues of life in Texas. Many responded.

Their journey to Texas was long and grueling, taking anywhere from 10 to 17 weeks. The first group of 16 families who left Moravia in 1851, only about half of the 74-person party survived the trip. Czech ťmigrťs typically left Europe from the port of Bremen, Germany and sailed to Galveston, Texas. From there they took a steamship to Houston, loaded their children and belongings into oxcarts and walked the 60 miles to their destination: Cat Spring in Austin County. One disappointed new arrival described Cat Spring as "not much more than a prairie and a heavy forest that was full of wildcats."

Bergmannís 21-year stay in Cat Spring was a very fruitful one as he left a huge impression. In 1856 Bergmann, Mr. E. Kloss and Mr. A.F. Trenckmann invited men from the surrounding area and 40 of them met at 3:30 in the afternoon at the Church in Cat Spring on June 7, and organized the Cat Spring Agricultural Society. Bergmann was the introductory speaker and opened the meeting to explain what their purpose was. That organization continues to exist and they celebrated their 150th anniversary in 2006.

Bergmann, Robert Kleberg and Trenckmann also applied for a charter to start a college in Cat Spring, but like Ervendergís group it fell through because of lack of funding.

Not only was Bergmann a theologian, he was also well learned in other areas, as he was fluent in five languages Czech, German, Latin, English and Polish; he played the violin and flute, conducted choirs and taught gymnastics. Bergmann was also sort of a doctor as he set broken bones and generally treated the sick. He also taught the early settlers how to graft trees and the minutes of the Cat Spring Agricultural Society indicate his contributions in many other farming endeavors.

Rev. Bergmann, like Rev. Ervendberg, was forced to purchase a small farm and work the land as his salary for teaching and preaching wasnít enough to sustain his family. The Bergmanns owned the property that is now the Cat Spring Cemetery (Kollatschny Cemetery) and according to The Saga of Ernest Bergmann published in 1981, it is believed that the log cabin used as a school and church stood at the front part of the Cat Spring Cemetery just west of where the two large pine trees stand.

Bergmann enrolled in the liberal arts college in Breslau, Prussia and in Jan. 1827 he joined the Protestant Church. He completed the three-year curse of study and became a Protestant Minister Jan. 1830.

During the 19 years he was minister at Strausny and Bukovina in Silesia (now Poland) Bergmann built up the congregation as well as the church building, he found very little hope for the future by staying in Europe and decided to come to Texas.

On the second Sunday in October 1849 Bergmann preached his farewell sermon at the church in Strausny. He preformed the rites of the Lordís Supper and a wedding. He married Josef Sirlu and Voronika Kolacny (Kollatschny).

Since most of the settlers in the Cat Spring area were German speaking and had a Lutheran background Bergmann was Czech, ministered to all, but while he was Protestant, it isnít know if the congregation was actually Lutheran but he preached in German.

Bergmann set out to become a Catholic Priest, but the training and teachings he received while studying for the Priesthood were disagreeable and not in his opinion the true Christian way of life, so he obtained his discharge from the Roman Catholic order.

Since 70-90-percent of the Czechs who came to Texas were of the Catholic faith, they made Cat Spring their dispersal point before moving to New Ulm, and Nelsonville in Austin County and Fayetteville in Fayette County. Many settled around Fayetteville, which is often referred to as the cradle of Czech immigration in Texas.

Hardships were common among the early settlers and the Bergmannís were not excluded as three of the Bergmann children are buried in the Cat Spring Cemetery. A premature daughter died after two days of birth and a nine- and a 12-year old daughter died in 1855 from yellow fever.

After 21 years in Cat Spring the Bergmanns left and settled in the Corsicana, TX area. It is believed that because of his age, 71, and wife Marie 61, they were too old for the heavy work on the farm and a daughter lived in Corsicana, the Bergmanns moved to that city. He may also have gotten a call to another congregation.

No doubt Bergmann baptized and confirmed many in the Cat Spring area his record book has never been found, however, according to records of marriage in Austin County he preformed 105 weddings.

While he was an acknowledged leader of men, and his accomplishments were many, because of the German element in Cat Spring and the predominance of the Roman Catholic religion among his Czech descendents, in life Bergmann never really gained the distinction of a key position in the community. Bergmann died in 1877 and was 79 years old. He is regarded as the father of Czech immigration in Texas.  So now after death, Bergmann has been given the recognition this fine, dedicated Christian man so richly deserves.

(Information for the above articles was gathered from The Cat Spring Story, The Texas Almanac, Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal and The Saga of Ernest Bergmann.)

 

NICHOLAI EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH

CAT SPRING, TX

NOVEMBER 18, 1870

In 1870 the Stuessel family initiated the idea to see if it was possible to build a German Evangelical Lutheran Church for the residents of the Cat Spring area.

The project would be financed through free-will offering and Messrs E. Stuessel and Karl Michaelis volunteered to work on the project and secure underwritings to see if it could become a reality.

In attendance on Nov. 18, 1870 were E. Stuessel, H. Siebert, F. Peters, C. Hinhson, A. Hinhson, L. Michaelis, F. Schwanbeck, H. Wilke, L. Ertelenberg and W. Schwarz.

Elected to serve on the Church Council were E. Stuessel, President; J. Schwanbeck, Treasurer; and W. Michaelis Secretary.

A vote was called for to see if there was enough interest and support to carry on and all voted in favor except two people.

As a result efforts continued and it was decided that the church building should be 20í X 30í and built on land west of Cat Spring donated by E. Stuessel. The Church Council was instructed to oversee the building of the church.

E. Stuessel and Karl Michaelis worked on getting underwritings of cash and material and on Dec. 2, 1877 the Church Council was authorized to get the property surveyed with two acres a gift and another two acres for $6.00.

The contractor was to be Mr. T. Kraemer who was to get help from builders who could complete the project as quickly as possible. Members were asked to contribute their time on a free-will labor basis.

On Dec. 6, 1877 the contractor and the council members laid the foundation for the building and several days later another group of men cleared the underbrush and fallen trees from the surrounding area.

On Dec. 12, with help from T. & E. Schwanbeck, L. Meier, T. Keding and W. Michaelis the outside walls were raised. On Dec. 28 the building was finished and Sunday, Dec. 30, 1877 at 11 a.m. the building was dedicated with Pastors Gerstmann of Frelsberg and Tuedhels from Rose Prairie combining for the church service and dedication. The total cost of the building was $222.98.

On Dec. 22, 1878 at the annual meeting 14 members were present and E. Stuessel and J. Schwanbeck gave a report of the accounts through Dec. 7, 1878.

Income was $273.75 with expenses of $223.75 leaving a balance of $50.75. That amount along with the collection from the next church service was to be put into the church treasury.

Elected, as officers for the next year were, E. Stuessel, President; J. Schwanbeck, Treasurer; and W. Michaelis, Secretary.

Church members at the end of 1878 were, J. Bade, H. Baten, A. Brast, C. Brast, A. Briedel, A. Brohatke, Widow Brune & George, Widow Cornelius, F. Dabelgott, C. Dettloff, F. Dorenbreck, Eckelberg, Feller, Froebel, G.F. Findeisen, G.H. Findeisen, El Glaser, W. Glaser, W. Geddecke, L. Grabow, H. Hassler, H. Hehse, J. Hornung, A. Hingst, C. Hinhsen, A. Hinhsen, C. Hartmann, C. Howe, S. Gloor, J. Iselt, J. Kroner, H. Kroner, J.Kolloff, A. Kinkler, Widow Kinkler, W. Kaiser, J. Keding, C. Kordt, A. Kroner, F. Kinkler, W. Michaelis, C. Michaelis, L. Michaelis, A. Meyer, J. Meyer, S. Meyer, S. Meyer II, F. Maahs, W. Mau, Widow Meyer Nee Kind, Matthes, Mel. Meyer, C. Necker Jr., J. Palm, H. Palm, T. Peters, J. Peters, Widow Roth, Ch. Schwanbeck, J. Schwanbeck, Fr. Schwanbeck, Widow Schwanbeck, Widow Schiller, H. Siebert, J. Suhr, J. Schaffner, Severin, F. Schroeder, W. Schulz, H. Strauss, H. Schutte, H. Wilke, C. Wolter, J. Wittenburg, F. Wittenburg, Huber, Vieraht.

Joining in 1879: J. Vorbeck, Carl Meyer, J. Roth, Hoppe, F. Mernitz.

Joined in 1880: Jacob Keding. Fr. Luedecke, A. Luedecke, Dollisthar, Buechmann, Cornelius, Fr. Schlabotta. Joined in 1881: John Kulow, Buchtin, H. Eckert, C. Necker, Sr, H. John, Gebert, Sechting, A. Amthor, H. Rath.

1882: A. Brast, Jr., H. Vorbeck, Jr., W. Stuessel, W. Quitton, A. Nateszeche, J. Strauss, Jr., R. Michaelis, A. Schutte, Reinhardt, Meister, Wolter, Jr., Druger, A. Ludke, Ch. Ludtke, D. Meyer, Dr. Williams, Rich Kretschmann, Fritz Palsow. C. Stuessel, Marten, E. Hartmann, Thiel, A. Hartmann, and L. See. A total of 124 members.

On Sept. 28, 1879 the first confirmation class was confirmed and consisted of six boys and five girls: Adolph Brast, Joachim Dobelgott, Wilhelm Howe, August Biermann, Wilhelm Mau, Werner Michaelis, Marie Biermann, Marie Dobelgott, Frederike Kramer, Anna Schiller, Minna Naas.

Confirmed Dec. 26, 1882 were, Theodor Brast, Fritz and Henry Dobelgott, Hermann Meyer, August Meister, Arnold Kirsch, Karl Rath, Heinrich Schiller, August Schulz, Louisa Eckardt, Louisa Kramer, Karoline Palm, Anna Palm, Anna Schwanbeck, Bertha Stuessel and Bertha Vorbeck.

Confirmed Sept. 2, 1885 were, Johann Palm, Hermann Meister, Ernst Wilke, Elsie Thiele, Emma Thiele, Emma Stallbaum, Oliva Eckelberg, B. Eckelberg, Kroener, Alma Vorbeck, Auguste Michaelis, Anna Michaelis, Auguste Stuessel, Ernestne Dobelgott.

Pastor Gerstmannís pay for 1879 was $20 out of a total collection of $32.75 leaving a balance of $12.75.

In 1881 Pastor Gerstmann was paid $25 for his services, which left a balance in the treasury of $2.15 after income and expenses were figured. It was decided to use that balance to start an organ fund.

Under the guidance of Pastor Gerstmann, A. Stuessel, President; J. Schwanbeck, Treasurer; and Wilhelm Michaelis the congregation flourished and it was decided to look at the cost of an organ.

It was learned that the cost of an organ was $60. The congregation felt that they could afford it, so Pastor Gerstmann was instructed to order the organ. Grestmann volunteered to return the $3.00 for his services to the organ fund.

In order to compensate Pastor Gerstmann a bit more it was decided to pay the pastor fifty cents extra for a service when he has a baptism as well as conducting communion.

Rules were established that non-members, not belonging to either the church or cemetery association, couldnít be buried in the cemetery. However, for .50 a person can become a member of the cemetery association.

The new organ arrived by rail on April 20, 1882 at the cost of $72.70; freight 3.10; boards for reinforcement under the organ 1.10; a 3 X 3 stand .40; and nails .25. The total cost of the organ and the expense of setting it up totaled $77.55. As a result the organ fund fell $20.00 short so A. Stuessel loaned the congregation that amount and the congregation was able to reimburse Stuessel before the end of the year.

During the Dec. 30, 1883 annual meeting several decisions were made that looked as though they may have caused a bit of a division in the congregation. An earlier motion to charge .50 for each baptism was rescinded, and one adopted where members pay $1.00 for each child baptized and non-members pay $1.50 for each child. The pastor gets .50 and the rest goes into the church treasury. A charge of $1.00 for the burial of a non-member was also set, but if the family is poor and in need the charge will be dropped.

With a new organ and a nice sized confirmation class each year one can only speculate about the next part of the minutes of Dec. 30, í83. (On the Sunday after Easter, at 2 p.m. there will be an unusual Congregation meeting in which the continuation of the Congregation will be discussed.) 

It appears that there was some division as to the charging a fee for being a member and the membership took sides on this issue. Some members just werenít in favor of putting pressure on people to give, if they werenít able to, and felt that charging a fee for membership applied such pressure.

Pastor Gerstmann also pushed the congregation to join a Synod as well as to adopt a constitution. The second Sunday after Easter a meeting was called and it was voted on and passed that a member was required to contribute at least .50 a year by Oct. 1. The constitution that was written Dec. 6, 1885 was passed. However, there was no record of a vote on joining the synod.

But after the church service on Sept. 25 Pastor Gerstmann announced that a meeting was going to be held Nov. 27 to discuss joining a synod and which synod to join. But heavy rain during the night and an icy north wind and ice the next day prevented anyone from coming to church that Nov. 27 Sunday.

On the general meeting on Dec. 2, 1888, at the election of officers President Stuessel and J. Schwanbeck, treasurer did not wish to run for re-election, so Christian Schwanbeck was elected president and Henry Wilke treasurer. Wilhelm Michaelis stayed on as secretary and held the office from 1870 until 1892.

It was also decided not to join a synod as Pastor Gerstmann proposed.

This must have been a somewhat heated issue as the minutes read (That those who opposed Pastor Gerstmann during his stepping up in behalf of joining a Synod and the opposition against it by the members, that it should never happen again as it was very unruly and it was only his good intentions.) Editorís note: While it was not recorded in the minutes, the big issue was that many of the early Germans were dedicated followers of the Sons of Hermann Lodge. And early Lutheran denominations wouldnít allow members of secret organizations as members.

While the vote on joining a synod was defeated the constitution was adopted.

The synod issue was settled when it was pointed out, according to synod rules that a congregation must belong to a synod. As a result the synod they joined was the Evangelical Lutheran Synod. It is presumed that in order to get a pastor to serve its congregation that congregation needed to belong to a synod.

A yearly organist salary of $8 was set and it didnít matter if there were many or few services the fee would be $8 and a fee of $2 a year was set for cleaning the church.

Pastor Gerstmann left the congregation in 1889 and a search for a new minister was at hand. A pastor Mueller served as maybe a supply pastor as he was paid a fee of $5.00 for night services and a Mr. Schroeder in Sealy was paid $1.00 to look for a new minister.

In 1890 pastor Mueller was paid $8.00 per service for five services and a Pastor Heckel received $55.00 for his services.

A fee of $1.00 each was paid to J. Schwanbeck 2/22; W. Michaelis 2/23; W. Schuldz 4/12; F. Schwanbeck 4/13; Christian Schwanbeck 6/7; W. Schultz 6/8; F. Schwanbeck 8/2; W. Michaelis 8/3; unknown 9/20; and Christian Schwanbeck for looking for a pastor during 1890.

In 1892 a plot of land was purchased from W. Michaelis for $200 and a $327.10 cost for a Pastorís house was also recorded in the expenses during 1892. The pastorís salary was also upped to $120 a year as well as the cleaning of the church was increased from $2.00 a year to $3.00.

A loan from E. Stuessel was made to the congregation $175.00 for the expenses concerning the parsonage in 1892. The interest rate back then was very similar to today as Stuessel was paid 4-percent interest on the note.

In 1893 a Pastor Hickel was doing the church services on a supply pastorís basis along with others as there were also expenses recorded for unnamed pastors receiving a salary on Sundayís other than when Hickel preached.

In 1894 the Nicolai Congregation got its new pastor, as Pastor Frenssler was paid $7.00 for installing Pastor Wenzel as the new minister. Evidence is that Pastor Wenzel became the resident preacher because members J. Schwanbeck and Herman Wilke were paid for Wenzelís moving expenses.

Payment was also made to Schwanbeck for building a board pen and setting up a garden plot. There was also expense for a rope, which along with the building of a pen could very well indicate a milk cow and a buggy horse.

Due to the added expenses of setting up the household, moving and the new pastor left the church treasury $2.95 short for the year 1894. However, thereafter the congregation operated in the black from then on.

Some of the indebtedness on the note to A. Stuessel was repaid and Pastor Wenzel asked for and received a salary of $70.00 for the year 1897.

Pastor Wenzel stayed on until November of 1897 when a Pastor Rogutz began supplying the congregation.

Pastor H. Schmidt took over in 1898 and the Nicolai church flourished as giving increased to the point where in spite of added expensed the treasury continued in the black and the pastorís salary was upped to $110.00 a year for 1900. And for the first time there was an entry of giving to various missions the amount of $5.50.

A Pastor Husemann became Nicolaiís new minister after Schmidt and the congregation continued to do very well under Husemannís guidance as the first year a Mission Fest was held and it raised $33.64 for missions. That year the income exceeded the operating expenses by $44.22 as a result the mission for outreach amounted to 76-percent of the congregationís balance for the year.

In 1904 Pastor Heinemeier was called as the new minister. Railroad moving expenses were $8.00 and H. Stuessel and Louis Michaelis were paid $1.00 each for delivering his belongings from the depot to the parsonage. August Dittert was paid .75 for providing lodging for Heinemeier.

The pastorís wages were set at $125.00 a year. Outreach continued as a donation of $7.00 was sent to the needy in San Francisco as well as a benevolence offering to the synod.

The Mission Festival of 1906 again became a special event as J. and F. Schwanbeck got tables and chairs from the Cat Spring Agricultural Society hall for the mission crowd that raised $37.25 for missions and was 72-percent of the church balance after expenses for the year. H. Stuessel and Gus Bender brought the tables and chairs back to the hall.

Pastor Heinemeierís name remained prominent throughout 1910, at which time a Pastor Szillatís name also became on the scene. Szillat took over sometime during 1910 and it looks as though he was the fulltime pastor, but not a resident of Cat Spring because there were expenses of letters sent to him.

In 1912 Charles Theumann was paid $1.00 for writing a deed as some of the church land was sold. It doesnít indicate to whom, but it brought $315.00 with $150.00 of it deposited in the Bellville State Bank and $165 in the Bellville National Bank.

It appears that at one time the church property ran all the way to the railroad, as 1897 there was payment to the church from the MK&T Railroad as well as from the Southern Telegraph & Telephone companies for rights-of-ways.

The congregation progressed nicely, doing Godís work in the area, and in 1920 included in the pastorís salary was an additional $3.50 for further education expenses.

On Oct. 3, 1920 Pastor M.J. Scaer was paid for preaching and for the rest of the recorded minutes there is not a pastorís name mentioned. However, church services continued because there were payments to pastors for preaching sermons.

The ending of Nicolai Evangelical Lutheran Church coincides with the beginning of St. John Lutheran Church of Cat Spring and St. John started in 1927. Many of the same people that were prominent in Nocolai are also instrumental with the beginning of St. John.

There is no record of the transaction, however, it is a known fact that the Nicolai church building was sold to the Edmund Eckardt family and moved to where Wilfred and Audrey Eckardt now live.

The Edmund Eckardtís (parents of Ruby Goodman) remodeled the structure and divided it into rooms added to it and it became their home until around 1942 when their property was sold to the Henry Eckardt family (parents of Wilfred Eckardt and Bernice Eckardt Wahlberg).

The Henry Eckardts lived in the church building until their new home was finished and then it became a barn. The building stood until a few years ago when aging took its toll and it was torn down.

While Earlene Goebel was president of St. John an effort was made to restore the building and move it back to the cemetery property. The Eckardt family offered it back to St. John as a gift, but because of its deteriorated condition and a lack of interest the project was dropped.

For those with longtime ties to the Cat Spring area, the names such as Andreas, Brast, Cornelius, Dittert, Dorenbrock, Froebel, Hassler, Grabow, Hartmann, Gloor, Iselt, Kroner, Kinkler, Batla, Briedel, Suhr, Eckardt, Schwanbeck, Strauss, Dethloff, Michaelis, Bender, Gloor, Keding, Wittenburg, Luedecke, Theumann, Bischoff, Kersten, Mau and many others bring back fond memories.

However, in reading this story and by chance the minutes of Nicolai Lutheran Church as well as the minutes of St. John Lutheran of Cat Spring the name you will find repeated more times than any other is Stuessel.

It doesnít appear as though there was a period when a member of the Stuessel family wasnít an important part of the Lutheran Church dating back to at least 1870 when E. Stuessel and Karl Michaelis planted the seed of starting a German Lutheran Congregation in Cat Spring.

That trend continues as Burnita Stuessel Dittmar and the Clifton Stuessel families remain as active members of St John.

This story was taken from minutes of Nicolai Evangelical Lutheran Church minutes that were written in German and translated to English by Hildegarde Stegert Gebert, 17401 Stegert Ln., Manor, TX 78653 in the year 2000. The effort to get the translations done were made by local historians Larry Uhlig and Gilbert Kollatschny and monetarily underwritten by St. Johnís Men in Mission and Gilbert Kollatschny.

   

Our thanks to Herbert Kollatschny for providing this information for our website!

 

 

 

 

If you are aware of other records or can provide us with such records, please contact Joy Neely or Steve Alvarez  .

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