Paul John Gerhard was born at Winchester, Winnebago County, Wisconsin, March 9, 1895. His mother, Marie Schmidt was the daughter of Heinrich Schmidt and Augusta Seifert whose mother was from a family of nobility of France, named De Bastide; Baron De Bastide and his family, who were Huguenots, left France during the religious persecutions in the seventeenth century and went to Germany. Paul's father, Dr. Herman Gerhard, was a son of Carl Gerhard and Fraulein Steiger. There were six children born to Dr. and Mrs. Herman Gerhard,--three boys, Erwin, Paul and Werner and three girls, Karola, Adela and Minnie.
In 1903, Paul went with his father and mother and family to Wiesbaden, Germany, a health resort, to spend the summer. Here in July of the same year, Paul's youngest sister was born. All the other children of Dr. and Mrs. Gerhard were born in the United States. From Wiesbaden, the family moved to Berlin, where Dr. Gerhard filled the responsible position of foreign correspondent for an American newspaper syndicate. In 1903, Dr. Gerhard, specializing in journalism and national economics, took his Ph. D Degree at Heidelberg. During the time Paul's mother studied art under the renowned artist, Huffman.
Happy memories of Paul's childhood belong to the time between his ninth and fourteenth year when he went to the Royal Prince Henry Gymnasium. While he was in this school, he learned the fundamental processes of education, did historical research work and studied French and Latin. However, it was his mother who taught him to appreciate art, literature and opera and his father who taught him philosophy and the high ideals of Christianity. In school and social life, Paul was a leader, to the admiration of his many friends. But a desire for freedom stirred within him, and in 1909, he returned alone to the United States by way of Hamburg, Baltimore, Chicago and Winonia, Minnesota. For a short time he made his home with Dr. and Mrs. Hans Leichtenstein of Winonia. He attended the Winonia High School for the special purpose of studying English grammar, rhetoric and literature. In the meantime, Dr. Gerhard with his family returned to the United States to accept the editorship of the Lincoln Free Press of Nebraska. At the Nebraska State Fair in 1910, Paul was responsible for his mother's art work having been exhibited at the Fair.
In 1911, Dr. Herman Gerhard came to Jackson County, made a settlement and named it Deutschburg. He influenced many of his friends to make their homes in this part of Texas. Among those who came, we find such famous names as Dr. Eichman, Count Naglo, Lindoff, Pohlenz, Fisher, Koenig, Wendt, Tschersich, John Rampmeier, Frederich Schmidt, Henry Schutte, Herman Rhoda, Dick Schmidt, E. Johs, F. W. Schmidt and Charles Egger.
The first site for the Gerhard home was located near the east Caranchua River. Several homes were built on the tracts of land laid out by the Valley Fruit Farm and Garden Company. Bath houses and diving boards were built along the river; boats were made for fishing. For the first few years, crops were good. Development took place rapidly.
In 1913, Paul, then a boy of eighteen years, left Deutschburg to take a position with the McCade and Steen Company of Victoria. In 1919 he enlisted in the United States Army to fight in the World War. After one month of training, he was sent to France. There he served for eleven months. After the Armistice, Paul returned to the United States by way of New York, Canada and Chicago where his family then resided. He was honorably discharged from the army at Camp Grant, Illinois, June 24, 1919. Paul returned to Deutschburg in July, 1919, and on November 7 of the same year he married Anna Eloge.
Anna Eloge, born December 5, 1895, near Syracuse, Nebraska, was the youngest child of the family of three girls and three boys. When she was eleven months old, her mother, Marie Eloge died. From that time, she made her home with her uncle and aunt, Mr. and Mrs. Henry Schutte. Anna attended the Twin Oak School near Elk Creek, Nebraska. On April 4, 1909 she received a diploma of confirmation. On October 10, 1913, with her uncle and aunt, she arrived in Deutschburg where she has made her home ever since. On January 29, 1920, Anna's father died in Deutschburg.
On February 16, of the same year, Mr. Henry Schutte died. The third loved one to be lost to the family within the year was Dr. Herman Gerhard who died September 5, in Chicago; his body was cremated, and his ashes were buried in Deutschburg Cemetery. At present Mrs. Herman Gerhard is residing in Berlin, Germany.
After the death of Mr. Henry Schutte, the farm was left in charge of Mrs. Henry Schutte and Mr. and Mrs. Paul Gerhard.
Mrs. Henry Schutte was born November 11, 1857, at Booknop, Germany; came to the United States in 1892; settled in Talmadge, Nebraska; bore one son who died at the age of nineteen in Nebraska; came to Jackson County, October 10, 1913, with her husband and the two children, Anna Eloge and Louise Schmidt, whom she had taken to rear; bought land at her present home; and became a permanent resident of Deutschburg.
Louise Schmidt was born January 13, 1910 in Auburn, Nebraska; went to live with Mr. and Mrs. Henry Schutte after the death of her mother; at the age of three, accompanied the Schutte family to Deutschburg; lived in the home with Paul and Anna Gerhard after the death of Mr. Schutte; was graduated from the Palacios High School in May, 1928; attended the Texas Business institute of Houston in 1928; returned to Deutschburg, in August 1933, where she became an ardent supporter of the church, school and 4-H Club.
To Paul and Anna Gerhard seven children have been born, Martha, born August 10, 1920; Emma, Adele, Bertha, Anna, Paul, Jr., and Irene.
Martha, a beautiful and talented girl, has brought many honors to the Deutschburg School. Several times she has won first place in declamation at County Meets. In 1935, she wrote a perfect spelling paper in the senior contest at the Interscholastic Meet in Edna. She is now a senior in the Palacios High School.
Emma, who is artistically inclined, is able to give many interpretations of classical dances. In 1934, at the Interscholastic Meet, she led the Rhythm Band and won first honors in the contest. In 1935 she won the junior spelling contest at the county meet. She is now a sophomore in the Palacios High School.
Adele, who is characterized by her quiet and gentle manner, took the leading part as Goddess of Music in the musical concert at the Edna Centennial Fair. She is now in her last year of the grammar grades.
Bertha, who is talented in all the lines of learning, is characterized by her untiring efforts which have always led to success. In 1935 and 1936 she directed the Rhythm Band which won first honors. At the Edna Centennial Fair, she gave a beautiful interpretation of a Spanish dance. Her grades are always high. Her beauty and intelligence point the way to future success.
Anna entered her first term of school in 1935. Her ability in learning to write was remarkable. She did her other school work equally well. She gave an interpretation of the Minuet Dance at the Edna Centennial Fair which was admired by everyone.
Paul, Jr., will enter the first term of school this year. He is a healthy and strong child. At his early age, he shows tendencies of being like his father.
Irene, the youngest child, is strong, healthy and beautiful.
From 1924 to 1925, Paul Gerhard worked in Hood River, Oregon, where he made contracts with fruit ranchers. Since that time he has resided permanently in Deutschburg. At present, due to the requests of his friends, he is running for Commissioner of Precinct Number four.
Throughout the years, has been a steady supporter of the community, the church and the school. With his broad experience and background, he is able to exercise unerring judgment in many problems that my arise. He is noted for his good will and kindness and may be written "as one who loves his fellow men."
Copyright 2007 -
Present by Family of Mary Elizabeth Reid Bell
May 4, 2007
May 4, 2007