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The Texas Schladoers

On February 20, 1815, Gerhard Caspar Diderich Schladoer was born to the wife of Frederich Schladoer, a mill owner in Hemer, Germany. Mrs. Schladoer's first name is not known. She may have had many children, but the only two found so far are Gerhard and his younger brother, Frederich Heinrich Schladoer, who was born in 1827.

No documents have been discovered about Gerhard's early life, but on December 2, 1837, at the age of 22, he married Christiane Lotheisen Schneider, the 30-year-old widow of Georg Schneider, an innkeeper in Arolson, Germany. They were married in Saint Hubertus Catholic Church in Heddinghaus en, Germany. Witnesses to the ceremony were Johann Friederich Lotheisen and Sophia Sauer. It was noted in the marriage register that "the parents of the couple have given their approval".

Christiane had three children with Schneider, about whom nothing is known. She and Diedrich had a total of six children; Friderica Catharina Sophia born in 1838, Johann Carl born in 1840, Johann Christian (known in America as Robert) born in 1843, Christiana Carolina Amalia Theresia born in 1844, Emilie Rudolphine born in 1846, and Johanna Gertrud born in 1851. All the children were christened in the same Catholic church where their parents were married. Nothing further is know about the two oldest; when their parents came to America in the mid-1850's, they chose to stay behind in Germany. However, it is possible that Johann Carl died as a child; it was customary in German families to give the name of a deceased child to another child born at a later date, hence (possibly) the name Johann Christian given to Johann Carl's younger brother. On the other hand, maybe the parents just liked the name Johann!

On October 24, 1852, the ship "Oceanus" put into the port of Galveston, Texas, after a two-month voyage from Bremen, Germany. One of the passengers on board was 37-year-old Diderich Schladoer, on his way to join his younger brother, F. H. Schlador, in the Texas Hill Country near the present-day town of Comfort. F. H. had come to America in 1845, had married and moved with his wife, children and brother-in-law from New Braunfels to a location on Cypress Creek near the Guadalupe River.

Diderich must have had mixed feelings about his arrival in America. His excitement at seeing a strange, new, promising land must have been tempered by regret; since he had left behind him his wife and four youngest children, with the understanding that they would join him as soon as possible.

Nothing is known about Diderich's life in Texas. What is known is that in 1853 or 1855 (sources disagree on the date), Christiane and her four children arrived at a Texas port, either at Indianola or Galveston. One can only imagine her feelings as she looked around for her husband, whom she expected to meet her after the arduous voyage. Diderich never arrived, and his fate remains a mystery to this day.

According to the 1917 obituary of Christiane's daughter, "The slender funds which Mrs. Schladoer had brought with her soon became the spoils of designing persons, and the family finding itself without money, made its way with much hardship to Comfort where F. H. Schladoer, a brother of the missing man, gave them a home, but one without any of the comforts they had known in the old country." In the 1860 federal census, the younger Christiana is shown as a servant (rather than as a neice) in the household of her uncle and his family. Her mother and three younger siblings lived in the dwelling next door.

Christiane must have taken in boarders to try to make ends meet; the 1860 Kerr County census shows, besides herself and her children Robert and Emilie, a 40-year-old farmer named Constant Haerter, and a 26-year-old named Edmund Holland. In 1870, the Kendall County census shows Constantin Haerter, aged 52 and Christiane Schladoer, aged 61 living in dwelling #57. In 1880, still in Kendall County, the census shows C. Haerter, Ch. Sleidier (how's that for a spelling variation?), Chas. Bergmann, Annie Siebeneicher, and George Wren all living in the same household. One can't help but wonder about Mr. Haerter, and if his extended residence with Christiane raised some eyebrows in late 1800s Kendall County society. In any case, Constantine C. Haerter died in 1900 and is buried in the Comfort Cemetery. One might also wonder if the "Chas. Bergmann" listed in the 1880 census is the same as Karl Bergmann, who had married Christiane's daughter Emilie. Emilie died in early 1880, so it isn't unreasonable to think that Karl/Charles may have lived for a time with his mother-in-law.

Some time in the late 1860's, Christiane's brother-in-law, F. H. Schlador and his family left Comfort and moved to Bandera. From there, the F. H. Schlador family moved west to Oregon, leaving Christiane on her own.

Beside the loss of her husband, Christiane apparently also endured the death of her youngest child, Johanna. Born in 1851, she is not listed in the 1860 federal census, and no further mention of her can be found. Her burial place is unknown. Then, in 1880, daughter Emilie (Emma), who had married Karl Bergmann in 1867, died at age 33. Christiane herself died in 1888 at the ripe old age of 81. Christiane and Emilie are buried closely together in the Comfort Cemetery in Comfort, Texas.

In October of 1860, daughter Christiana married Louis Strohacker, a resident of Comfort, and gave birth to five children. One of the children, a son, died when he was very young. Christiana and Louis lived to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary in 1910, then, in 1917, the devoted couple died within a few months of each other.

Robert Schladoer, son of Diderich and Christiana, enlisted in the Confederate Army at the outbreak of the Civil War, but deserted, fled to Mexico, then returned and enlisted in the Union Army. After the war was over, he married, in 1866, Miss Carolina Mohrhoff of Comfort. The couple had eight children, three of which died in infancy. Little is known about Carolina, except that she died in 1905 at the age of 59. Robert lived on until 1929, dying in Comfort at the age of 85.

According to the book "A Hundred Years of Comfort in Texas" by Guido Ransleben, "Mrs. Robert Pfeiffer and her daughter Martha were rescued by boat from their home which was endangered in the September 1900 flood. Their rescuers were the "Schladoer boys, who lived nearby". These would have been Robert's sons.

The Robert Schladoer Farm is listed as a Texas Family Heritage Farm, meaning it has been in the same family for over 100 years. The citation, listed in Volume 12, issue 1 of the 1991 Texas Family Land Heritage publication, reads as follows

SCHLADOER FARM.................................................................Kerr County
Three miles west of Comfort on Old Cypress Creek Road
Dates of Ownership Names
1891 - 1891 Robert and Lina (Mohrhoff) Schladoer 1921 - 1961 Henry Schladoer
1961 - 1991 Paul and Florence Schladoer
Robert Schladoer came from Fuerstentum Waldeck, Germany with his mother when he was 10. He cleared the land and planted wheat from seed he imported from Germany. He and his wife, Lina (Mohrhoff) had five children.

His son, Charles, continued to operate the farm, adding horses, mules and cattle. He and his wife, Emma (Doehne) had three children. Their son Henry, who acquired the ranch in 1921, raised wheat and oats, horses, mules, cattle and sheep. Henry and his wife, Minnie (Pfeiffer), had five children. The great-grandson of the founder, Paul Schladoer, his wife Florence, and their son, Scott, now raise cattle, sheep and hay on about 2,200 acres.
Acres in original parcel 90 Acres held today 2,200
Crops or livestock raised 1891 - Cotton, corn, wheat 1991 - Cattle, sheep, hay

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The descendants of Diderich and Christiana Lotheisen Schlador still live in Texas, many of them within a few miles of the land settled by their ancestors.


Submitted by Donna Schulte Loth
Seguin, Texas; May, 2005
Researching Britsch, Carrigan, Doehne, Farmer, Gass, Gerdes, Gray, Hartman, Heyen, Joiner, Loessberg, Mohrhoff, Reitzer, Schladoer/Schlador, Schulte


The Western Schlador's

Tragic Schladoer