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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

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


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Apr. 11, 2007
Oct. 24, 2011