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Gus L. Gottschalk



Gus L. Gottschalk

The basic industry is agriculture, and the world over those who are engaged in it are rendering their kind a service none can dispute. In Texas the ranching interests are among the heaviest, and some of the most substantial men of the commonwealth have given their lives to the work of tilling the soil and raising cattle, and one of them worthy of special mention is Gus. L. Gottschalk, of Matagorda, a man of marked efficiency and high standing with his neighbors. He was born in his present county, October 20, 1856, a son of Conrad and Forona (Drylam) [Dreyling?] Gottschalk, natives of Germany, who came to the United States in 1840, landing in New Orleans, Louisiana, from whence they came to Texas. Four children were born to them, of whom Gus L. was the eldest, the others being: Mary, who married C. F. Baker of Bay City, had seven children; and Minnie, who married W. A. Franz, a carpenter and builder, had four children.

During his boyhood Gus L. Gottschalk attended the public schools of his home country, such as they were at the time, and his first work was performed on a stock ranch. So congenial was the work that he continued it actively to within the past few years, when he began to take life a little easier. However, he still owned all of his land, which adjoined that of the Gulf Sulphur Company, and he had his mineral rights leased for $5,500 annually. Here was a time in his career when things went hard with him, and it took courage and constant work to keep his head above the financial waters, but his industry and far sighted vision were justified and  he became a man of wealth and influence.

Mr. Gottschalk married Miss Katherine Zipprian, a daughter of John and Katherine (Sheppard) Zipprian, and they became the parents of ten children, namely:

Emma B., who was born March 9, 1880, married Philip Yeamans, a fish and oyster merchant of Matagorda, and they had thirteen children;

Gustave, born Aug. 20, 1883, who was a stock man of Matagorda County, unmarried;

Lela who was born March 9, 1885, married William Waltham, an employee of the Gulf Sulphur Company, and they had two children;

Arthur, who was born Sept. 15, 1886, married Vera Burke of Matagorda and was employed by the Gulf Sulphur Co.; Minnie, who was born May 14, 1888, married Clarence Gilmore, a rice farmer and stock man and they had one child;

Henry, who was born Sept. 21, 1890, employed by the Gulf Sulphur Co.;

Bertha, who was born Aug. 1, 1891;

Johnnie, who was born May 21, 1892, was employed by the Culver Shell Co., Matagorda;

Herbert, who was born Apr. 7, 1894, married Jewell Kelly and they had one child; and

Willie, who was born April 27, 1900, was unmarried and postmaster at Gulf.

In political faith Mr. Gottschalk was a Republican, but he did not seek public office. He was an Episcopalian. His ranch of 930 acres was not his only property; he also owned a very desirable town residence in Matagorda. Both he and his wife were very proud of their children, all of whom did well and were a credit to their parents and community in which they were born and reared.

Texas Under Many Flags, Clarence W. Wharton, American Historical Society, 1930

Matagorda County Genealogical Society Publication, Oak Leaves, Vol. 8 #4, August 1989

Mrs. Frona Gottschalk Dead

Mrs. Frona Gottschalk died at the family home in Matagorda Sunday morning at __ o’clock, aged 63 years. Interment took place at the Matagorda cemetery…by a large assemblage of those who had known this good woman and maternal head of a most…

Death came suddenly, at a time when she was thought to be greatly improved after a long illness. Mrs. Gottschalk had suffered for years of rheumatism, and recently had been with Mrs. Chas. Baker, her daughter, here. Under skillful treatment and tender care she had grown much better, and a few days ago had asked to be sent back home saying that she believed another breath of the sweet sea air of old Matagorda would make her wholly well. Her wish was granted, and for a day or so in the atmosphere of the beloved old place she revived and grew hopeful of complete recovery. But yesterday morning a call from her summoned a nurse to her side, and she died within a few minutes, presumably of heart failure.

Mrs. Chas. Baker and Mrs. Wm. Franz, daughters of deceased, went down yesterday. Gus Gottschalk, a son, lives at Big Hill. All are among the best citizens of our county, worthy descendants of a good mother.

Unknown newspaper, June 20, 1904

Gus Leopold Gottschalk

In the passing of Mr. Gus Gottschalk, Friday night, May 22, 1936, another Matagorda pioneer landmark has gone to his reward. He had been in ill health for a number of years and a few days before his death he became seriously ill and was in such agony with pain in his right side that he begged for an operation which was the only way to give him relief. The operation was a success but diabetis had the upper hand and to that malady he succumbed. Life had never been the same for "Mr. Gus" as his many intimate friends called him, since his wife died last August and he seemed to realize that he would soon join her.

He was a descendant of substantial German parentage, his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Gottschalk having come here from the "Old Country" in their young days. Mr. Gus was the oldest of the children and was born in Matagorda October 20, 1856 and has lived in this vicinity all his life with the exception of a short while that his parents lived in Indianola. His father soon after returning here with his wife and small children had to return to Indianola for important business reasons. He promised his wife to come home at the earliest possible moment but instead in a very short time the sad message came to her that he had died there of yellow fever and was buried. The youngest, Minnie Gottschalk, was their only child born in Indianola. Mr. Gus grew to manhood here and married Miss Catherine Zipprian and their happy home was blessed with ten children, all of whom survive. They are Mrs. Phillip Yeamans, Mrs. Minnie Gilmore, Miss Bertha Gottschalk, Gus, Arthur, Henry, John and Herbert Gottschalk, all of Matagorda; Mrs. Davidson of California. There are a number of grandchildren most of them being present when he was buried.

The subject of this sketch has lived an upright exemplary life following the vocation of stockman as most Matagorda County people did in the early days and in that capacity he amassed quite a nice income along with the sulphur land and other real estate he has accumulated. His parents dedicated him to the Lord in his infancy by having him baptised in the Episcopal faith and Saturday afternoon Rev. Paul Engle read the Episcopal funeral service at the home where gathered many relatives and friends, several of whom were his comrades but most were of younger generations who knew and held high their esteem for him. His devoted sons and all of Matagorda are to miss his kindly face for many years to come. A large cortege followed the hearse to the cemetery where he was laid to rest by the side of his life-mate, from whom he was not parted long. The floral offerings that were heaped on the grave were very beautiful and manifested the sympathy of the family and other dear ones among whom was his only surviving sister, Mrs. E. J. Savage and the only surviving member of that immediate family. Even though her grief is deeply poignant, as that of his children, she knows "that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose."

Houston relatives attending Mr. Gus Gottschalk's funeral here Monday afternoon were Mr. and Mrs. Theodore Dreyling, Mr. Albert Dreyling and Mrs. Blanche Dreyling Fuller.

Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, June 4, 1936

Annie Gottschalk

Mrs. Annie Catharine Gottschalk, wife of Mr. Gus Leopold Gottschalk, passed away at their home in Matagorda August 25, 1935, after a long period of illness caused by paralysis.

She was a descendant of the old Zipprian family of pioneer days of this section and was born December 14, 1860, on Matagorda Peninsula, when that place was populated with a colony of all good people, most of whom moved to Matagorda after the tropical hurricane of 1875. Three years later, April 18, 1878, she was married to Mr. Gottschalk at the home of her mother, who lived five miles from town and west of the settlement known as Big Hill, now Gulf. Rev. Norman Savage, a Methodist divine of that day, performed the ceremony. Of this union there are ten children, Mrs. Phillip Yeamans, Mrs. Minnie Gilmore, and Miss Bertha Gottschalk of Matagorda; Mrs. W. R. Davidson and Mrs. Will Watkins of Gulf; Gus Gottschalk, Arthur, Henry, John and Herbert Gottschalk, all of Matagorda. There are fourteen grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Her husband and all of the above survive. This couple have lived within a radius of five miles of Matagorda all their married life and moved to town from their ranch home above Little Boggy 28 years ago into the nice residence they occupied at the time of her passing.

At the age of 16, when a girl, Mrs. Gottschalk united with the Episcopal faith and has always lived up to it. She and her husband have always been good, substantial citizens, quite and unassuming, doing good whenever an opportunity presented itself, and she was ever gentle and kind in her manner to all alike. Everyone coming in range of her sweet Christian friendship loved and esteemed her. What better tribute can be paid her than this? Before a large gathering the services were held at the family residence Monday afternoon at 4 o'clock and concluded at the grave. Rev. Paul Engle officiating. The sorrowing procession wended its way to the family burial ground in the Matagorda cemetery, where the tired and worn body was laid to rest and covered with a profusion of magnificent florals contributed by relatives and friends.

"A jewel has dropped, a race is run, a book of life is through. From out it's setting the days of sunshine and of darkness have passed along, their skies are blue. But we, as mortals, can not fathom this justice issued from the Highest One. With aching heart and tear-dimmed eyes we murmur in weak response, 'Thy will be done.'"

Matagorda County Tribune, Thursday, September 5, 1935

Annie Jewell Gottschalk

Services will be held for Annie Jewell Gottschalk, 75, of Matagorda, 10 a. m. Thursday at Christ Episcopal Church of Matagorda.

Officiating at the services will be the Rev. Jack Stephen Lowery.

Gottschalk died July 20, 1982 at the home of her daughter in Fresno.

Survivors include husband, Herbert M. Gottschalk of Matagorda; daughter, Evelyn Deyoe of Fresno; brother, Jessie Smith of Matagorda; sisters, Mary Ueckert and Fleda Cantin of Bellville; grandson, Anthony Mireless of Iowa Colony; great-grandson, Greg Mireless of Iowa Colony.

Gottschalk was a member of the Christ Episcopal Church of Matagorda.


Burial will follow services at Matagorda Cemetery.

Services under the direction of Dick R. Elkins Bay City Funeral Home.

Daily Tribune, July 21, 1982

Bertha Gottschalk

Bertha Gottschalk, 75, a resident of Matagorda, passed away at the Matagorda   General Hospital December 30. Survivors include: 1 brother, H. M. Gottschalk of Matagorda; numerous nieces and nephews. Funeral services were held January 1st at 10:30 a. m. at the Christ Episcopal Church in Matagorda with Rev. James Abernathy officiating. Interment was at the Matagorda Cemetery with pallbearers being: A. V. Smith, Joe Smith, Doug Yeamans, Neil Yeamans, Clancy Baxter, and Savage Watkins. Taylor Brothers Funeral Home in Charge of arrangements.

Daily Tribune, January 2, 1973

John C. Gottschalk


The family and other relatives were crushed, and friends were shocked when Sunday the early morning brought the sad tidings of the sudden passing of John C. Gottschalk, 46, who was in the grocery business in Bay City.


His death was caused from a heart attack and his wife was the only one with him at the time, 4:00 a. m.

The Duffy Undertakers brought the remains to Matagorda and here prepared for burial and the casket taken to the family home where the remains lay in state until Monday afternoon. Rev. Paul Engle conducted the funeral rites before a large assemblage of relatives and friends.

The floral offerings were beautiful. There were relatives and friends here from Newgulf, Boling, Bay City and other towns, that followed the remains to their last resting place in the Matagorda Cemetery in a deluge of rain. His wife and near relatives surviving him are: four brothers, G. D., A. E., H. R. and H. M Gottschalk; five sisters, Mrs. Will Watkins, Mrs. W. R. Davidson of Newgulf, Mrs. Phillip Yeamans, Mrs. Minnie Gilmore and Miss Bertha Gottschalk of Matagorda. He was the son of the late Mr. and Mrs. Gus Gottschalk.

He was a native Matagordian where all his life was spent until a few months ago he went into a grocery business for himself at Bay City. Previous to his going to Bay City he and J. B. Hawkins were in the grocery business together here for several years.

The subject of this sketch was a thorough gentleman in every sense of the word and made many friends by his ever courteous treatment to everyone alike and he will be missed for a long time by all who knew him. With sadness the deepest sympathy of their friends are extended to the bereft ones.

Matagorda County Tribune, November 31, 1937

Vera Burke Gottschalk


Funeral services for Vera Burke Gottschalk, 89, of Matagorda, will be held 11 a. m. Thursday at Christ Episcopal Church, Matagorda, with the Rev. Jack Lowery officiating. Burial will be in Matagorda Cemetery.

Mrs. Gottschalk was born April 27, 1895, in Matagorda County and died at 1 p. m. Feb. 19, 1985, at Matagorda House.

She was a lifelong resident of Matagorda County.


Survivors include a granddaughter, Martha Jo Smith of League City, Texas; two great grandchildren, Sarah and Adam Smith of League City; and a son-in-law, Joe Smith of Matagorda.


She was preceded in death by a daughter, Barbara Smith, on Dec. 9, 1984.

Arrangements are with Taylor Brothers Funeral Home, Bay City.


Daily Tribune, February 20?, 1985


Copyright 2007 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
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Apr. 11, 2007
Oct. 24, 2011