Fredericksburg History – A Small Texas Town with a Rich Past

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Historic Fredericksburg draws tourists and travelers each year, but few realize just how many stories this town has to tell. Travel back in time to see how this town went from a German outpost in Texas to its own place as an icon of Texas Hill Country heritage. Discovering Fredericksburg history will make a trip to this Hill Country town even more meaningful.


Fredericksburg history includes sites such as the vereins kirche This is a replica of one of the churchs built in the town in 1847

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Fredericksburg history begins with the town’s founding. In 1846, John O. Meusebach created Fredericksburg, then called Friedrichsburg, as the second of a pair of settlements for those brought to Texas by the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas, also known as the Adelsverein. The city was named for Prince Frederick of Prussia, who was the highest member of the Adelsverein. The townsite was situated perfectly in a well-timbered area between Barton and Town Creeks, which would provide the supplies for the settlement to get started. Those who came to the area largely were German immigrants from intellectual, liberal classes, but worship services remained an integral part of their lives. The Vereins Kirche was the hub of the community, and this building served as the church, community center, and school.

The Civil War

Fredericksburg history includes its role in the Civil War

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Though Texas joined the Confederacy in the Civil War, bastions of dissidents remained in the German towns, including Fredericksburg. German immigrants generally did not have plantations and many morally opposed slavery. As such, these groups sided with the Union, but still, a large group of Gillespie County residents supported the South. Among these was Charles H. Nimitz, grandfather of Admiral Chester Nimitz, who got together the group the Gillespie Rifles in support of the CSA. Another group called the Fredericksburg Southern Aid Society collected more than $5,000 worth of clothing and food supplies for the Confederacy.

The 20th Century

Fredericksburg history National Museum of the Pacific War
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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