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Wendish Heritage Museum Receives Manuscript Copy of Rare Book

Saturday 10 October 2015 at 05:43 am

This news article was apparently printed in the Giddings Times and News sometime in 1982.

Note: Both Proske and his apprentice, Albert Miertschin, were of Wendish descent.


The Texas Wendish Heritage Museum has been given the manuscript copy of the book, "Wendish Language Printing in Texas" by the author Jack D. Rittenhouse. Mr. Rittenhouse first visited the office of the former Giddings Deutsches Volksblatt in 1952, and acquired one of each of the eight special Wendish characters which were used in combination with German type to print it in the Wendish language. In a junk yard in Bastrop he found the Volksblatt sign and an advertising blotter and in 1962 wrote and printed in his own press a small book about the Wendish aspect of the tri-lingual Giddings Deutsches Volksblatt. Only 128 copies were printed, but each one contained an example of a Wendish hymn on cards printed up by Mr. Albert Miertschin from a form set up by the late J. A. Proske. One copy of the book is located in the Rice University Rare Book Collection.

At the Society meeting on Sunday, May 16, 1982, Daphne Garrett, member from Warda and Houston, reported on her meeting in Albuquerque, New Mexico with Mr. Rittenhouse, and presented plans for an exhibit at the Museum about the Volksblatt. This newspaper, Texas' only trilingual paper, was founded in 1899 by J.A. Proske, sold to Albert Miertschin and Theodore Preusser in 1938, and merged with the Giddings Star in 1949. The eight characters acquired by Mr. Jack Rittenhouse are the only known surviving examples of the Wendish type. They are presently in the Institute of Texan Cultures, but are promised to the Wendish Museum for their exhibit.

Mrs. Garrett also announced her plans to co­author a reprint and expanded version of the book, which would include biographies of the Proskes, Preusser, and Miertschin and a more detailed history of the newspaper and their job printing. Mrs. Garrett is an active worker at the Heritage Museum, and also a contributing Editor for the newspaper, Deutsch Welt-U.S.A., writing primarily on Texas history.

Anyone wishing to assist the Wendish Museum by donating or loaning copies of the Volksblatt or examples of the job printing (announcements, programs, invitations) or provide any other information or pictures, is invited to contact Daphne Garrett, Box 35, Warda. Phone 242-3822. Or Evelyn Kasper, Museum co-ordinator.


[Current Exective Director of the Wendish Museum is Joyce Bise, 979-366-2441, wendish@bluebon.net. Copies of the Giddings Deutsches Volksblatt or any Lee County newspaper are still wanted and accepted.]


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Where's the Beef?

Friday 09 October 2015 at 11:35 pm

This article by Suzie Freeman appeared first in the Lee County Weekly, August 6, 1987. Just about everybody mentioned in the article is Wendish.


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Wends Trade Ethnicity for Freedom, Prosperity

Friday 09 October 2015 at 11:27 pm

This story by Samuel Hudson first appeared in the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Tuesday, May 24, 1983.

Note: The Wends did not enter England via London but rather via Hull.

Note: The Wends bought their land, called the Delaplain League, for $1/acre, not 50 cents/acre.

Note: The Wendish wedding dresses were still black into the early 1900s.

Note: Almost every Wendish family with a male between the ages of 18 and 30 had someone serving in the Confederate Army.


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Wends: The Story of a Dying Heritage

Friday 09 October 2015 at 11:19 pm

This article by John Makeig first appeared in the Houston Chronicle.

Note: the Wends bought the Delaplane League for $1.00/acre not 50 cents/acre.


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Wends Draw Strength From Their Heritage: Harsh German economy, orders to conform, prompted migration to Texas in 1854

Friday 09 October 2015 at 11:11 pm

This article by David McLemore first appeared in the Dallas Morning News, Sunday, October 16, 1983.

Note: A handful (35) of Wends migrated to Texas in 1853.


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Wendish Christmas

Friday 09 October 2015 at 11:03 pm

This article by Victor Vogel was printed in an unknown newspaper date unknown. The article by Sigman Byrd, Advance Man in Wendenland, for the Houston Chronicle on 9 Sep 1960 is remarkably similar. Vogel's article states "122 years ago" which would have made the date of publication 1976.


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The Wends in Texas

Friday 09 October 2015 at 10:51 pm

This article by L. S. Imm, Ph.D. was written in 1974 for an unkown publication which may have been something similar to The Lutheran Digest.

Note: The 35 Prussian Wends of 1853 did not settle in East Texas but in Central Texas in Austin, and Fayette counties.

Note: The Wends arrived in Galveston in December 1854, and while they had a church and services it was not known as St Paul Lutheran church until 1870. The original settlement in Bastrop County was known initially as the Low Pinoak Settlement or Rabbs Creek and was not known as Serbin until 1860.

Note: The two men who set out ahead of the group were John Dube and Carl Lehmann. They found that the Delaplain League had a clear title and purchased in for $1/acre, not 50 cents.

Note: Rules for decorum in the church were necessary because of the lawlessness that pervaded the Serbin area during the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War.


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St. Pauls, Serbin Presents Colonial Items to U of T

Friday 09 October 2015 at 07:24 am

This news article first appeared in the Giddings Star, April 16, 1964.


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Looking Back

Friday 09 October 2015 at 07:20 am

This article by Paul Freier appeared in "Looking Back" in the Port Arthur Wave, November 13, 1980.


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The Wends of Texas

Friday 09 October 2015 at 03:56 am

This article by Sydney Scout Sorenson first appeared in the Houston Chronicle on July 17, 1949.

Note: The land was purchased for $1/acre not 50 cents/acre and the original plots ranged from 25 to 286.5 acres.


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Six Old Luther Books Found in Attic

Friday 09 October 2015 at 03:49 am

This article by Lee Kelly first appeared in the Austin American Statesman, Centex Section, Friday, January 26, 1979.


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