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Families of Joseph and Carl Nolte


Seated: Hannah Elizabeth Sterry Nolte holding Bertha Lee, Carl Nolte and Albert.
Back: Lorena, Mabel, Martin J. Funk, Carrie and Fannie

Joseph and Carl Nolte Families

The earliest record of the Joseph Nolte family in Matagorda was 1854 when Joseph's wife Christina Berghard Nolte and her three-year-old son Joseph, Jr., died. Franz Joseph Nolte was born on June 18, 1816, in Werxhausen, Germany, the son of Joachim and Caroline Fredrich Nolte. Christina Berghard Nolte was born in Germany about 1821. Her parents were Andreas Georg and Catharina Wustefeld Berghard. Joseph Nolte and Christina Berghard were married on January 22, 1844, according to the Catholic Registers of Werxhausen, Germany.

The Nolte's first child Caroline Amelia was born in 1845 at Werxhausen and was married on February 28, 1860, to Sebastian Dietrich in Matagorda. She died on May 12, 1906, and was buried in Matagorda.

Ellen, their second daughter, was born about 1846. She married Charles W. Pipe on September 9, 1865, in Matagorda and moved to South Dakota.
Carl "Charles" Nolte only surviving son of Joseph Nolte, was born on April 16, 1848, and married Hannah Elizabeth Sterry on May 8, 1873.
Bertha Frances was born about 1849, and married Martin Jacob Funk on March 4, 1869. She died on March 7, 1875, at Indianola.
Joseph, Jr., (1851-1854) was buried in the Matagorda Cemetery.

The Nolte family were Catholics; however, since there was no Roman Church in Matagorda, they became members of Christ Episcopal Church. The name of Joseph Nolte on a nameplate marked his family's pew in the historic church.

On October 4, 1861, Joseph Nolte enlisted in Company D., Six Regiment, Texas Infantry, Captain E. A. Pearson's Company, at Victoria, Texas. He was captured on January 11, 1863, at Arkansas Post and transferred to Camp Butler prisoner of war camp in Illinois. Due to illness, he received a 60 day furlough on May 5, 1863, and signed the Parole of Honor on July 14, 1865, in Matagorda.

Joseph Nolte became a naturalized citizen on August 6, 1867, when a "Letter of Citizenship" was issued to him at the Matagorda County Courthouse. He married Anna Shown, a widow, on May 26, 1870. The Texas Business Directory for 1878/9 lists him under Justices of the Peace, Ex-Officio Notaries Public of Matagorda County. Family tradition related that he was elected County Judge the day he died, November 9, 1880. He was buried in the Matagorda Cemetery.

Carl "Charles" Nolte was six years old when he came to Matagorda from Germany with his family. He was, according to some family members, already trained in the shoemaker trade. Although it was not proven, he was said to have been captured by the Yankees during the Civil War and taken to New Orleans. Charles was a carpenter, and many monuments of his labor remain. His family was residing in his first home by October 4, 1876, when his second daughter Carrie was born there. This story and a half home with its dormer windows and covered front porch was still occupied in the 1980s. When his family outgrew these quarters, he built his two-story home on Matagorda's Main Street about 1899. This home withstood many hurricanes and the tidal wave of the early 1940s when the North living room wall opened up in the corner and the piano floated out. The house was remodeled by later occupants.

On May 8, 1873, Carl Nolte married Hannah Elizabeth Sterry, daughter of James and Nancy Wright Sterling Sterry. They were the parents of eight children:
1. Annie Mable ( August 20, 1874-September 8, 1961) married first Oscar George and had Oscar Ezekiel and Albert Lamar. Annie Mable married second Weston Bailey  and they had two daughters Rena Elizabeth and Dorothy Nolte.
2. Caroline Amelia "Carrie" was born on October 4, 1876, and on August 15, 1901, married Clarence Dietrich, her first cousin. Their romantic elopement took place while the prospective groom, with the assistance of his friend Robert Phillips, "spirited" her trunk out the upstairs window, down a ladder, and onto a waiting buggy. All the while her unsuspecting parents were sitting on the front gallery. The trunk was then loaded on this skiff and rowed to Clarence's sloop in the bay, where the couple set sail for Port Lavaca and were married by Judge Mahon in the lobby of the Lavaca Hotel at midnight. Carrie died in San Marcos, Texas, on February 4, 1956, and Clarence died on September 28, 1924. They had no children and were buried in Matagorda Cemetery.
3. Emma Louisa was born on July 31, 1879, and died on July 31, 1881.
4. Arthur Pelton was born on July 14, 1881, and died on February 27, 1884
5. Lorena May "Rena" ( March 21, 1883-September 17, 1959) was united in marriage on January 4, 1906, to James Arthur Bruce, son of Charles David and Margaret Jane Yeamans Bruce, in the parlor of her parents.
6. Fannie Elizabeth was born on April 9, 1887, and married Frank Duffy on January 6, 1927. They were childless, but she was a beloved favorite "Aunt Fannie" to all her nieces and nephews. Her death occurred on March 13, 1975. She was the last surviving child of Charles and Hannah Nolte.
7. Carl Albert was born on June 25, 1891. He attended Texas A & M College, and was an early employee of the Matagorda Bank. He also served as a teller in the Markham Bank. For many years he was the office manager of Matagorda Shell Company. On June 12, 1935, he married Ben Brookshire, a teacher in the Matagorda school from Timpson, Texas. They had no children. He died on November 8, 1954. His widow moved from Matagorda in 1982.
8. Bertha Lee was born on February 3, 1894, and married Lemuel M. Blair on October 16, 1912. He died on March 28, 1928. They had one son William Nolte Blair.

Following the death of Carl Nolte's sister Bertha Funk in Indianola in 1875, Carl and Hannah reared his nephew Martin Jacob Funk.

Carl "Charles" and Hannah Nolte both died of flu in December of 1927. They and all their children were buried in the Matagorda Cemetery.

Historic Matagorda County, Volume II, pages 377-378


Copyright 2010 - Present by Carol Sue Gibbs
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Dec. 26, 2010
Dec. 26, 2010