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Family of George Berg



More About the Men Who Blazed the Way and their Decendents

The Bergs

Among the first settlers in Matagorda, and that means of course all of Matagorda county, was George Berg, whose descendants are yet living at Matagorda, and one of the most remarkable experiences in the history of the county and the hurricanes from the Indies was the escape of the Berg family when their house was washed from under them into the Gulf.

George Berg was born in 1824, and when he arrived in Texas was about 19 years old and came direct from Hamburg, Germany in 1843, landing on the peninsula opposite Matagorda in the fall of that year, after brief stops at Galveston and Indianola.

Mr. Berg engaged in farming and stock raising, and in few years was married to Miss Elizabeth Franz, a daughter of Conrad Franz who came over from Germany the year after Mr. Berg. Miss Franz was a sister of Conrad Franz who was many years a well known contactor and builder of this county, and also a sister of Mrs. Zipprian still living with her daughter, Mrs. Gus Gottschalk, at Matagorda, and reputed to be the oldest living native of the county.

George Berg built him a home on the peninsula, facing the Gulf, and lived there till after the fearful storm of ’75. In that storm his house was washed into the gulf, the family barely escaping with their lives. Sam Berg, merchant at Matagorda, tells us the story, in substance as follows: The wind from the east blew the gulf water over the peninsula till it covered almost every portion of the land, and as it got two and three feet deep it washed drift in the land similar to the two cuts across the peninsula by the storm of last August. One of these happened to be under the edge of the Berg home. The family becoming alarmed, escaped to a knoll near by which was still above water, and just in time to see the two story house drift away into the gulf, in the moonlight, and away out on the rolling deep they could see the light in the windows from the lamp which in the hurry was left burning on the table.

John Berg, at the time was with Mr. Eidlebach, moving cattle over across the bay on the mainland, about the mouth of Caney, and starting home, encountered many difficulties. He couldn’t get further than the Sargent place, and the cattle drifted so, he finally had to let them go and made his way home to find the house gone, and the family at the home of Mr. Williams. Next morning he secured a boat at Mr. Peter Duffy’s and went up to the Williams home where he found his parents and brothers, all rejoiced to realize that none had been lost in the frightful storm.

After 31 years’ residence in the town of Matagorda where he was engaged in mercantile business, Mr. Geo. Berg died at Matagorda in 1906, aged 77 years, his wife having preceded him several years. There are four children surviving; John H., of the Bay View Hotel, Samuel J., merchant, Will, and Mrs. Richmond. John H. has four daughters and Will a son, Will, Jr., Sam’s friends are still hopeful.

The Bergs have been useful and prominent in the life of Matagorda since the town was the commercial and shipping point for all South and West Texas.

The Matagorda County News and Midcoast Farmer, Tuesday, December 19, 1916


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Jan. 31, 2008
Feb. 3, 2008