Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Clara Gruetzmacher (1857-1930s)
Clara Gruetzmacher was born about 1857 in Prussia to Louis Gruetzmacher and Matilda Schuler. She arrived in Galveston aboard the ship "Fortuna" out of Bremen, in either June or November of 1858 with her mother and 3 siblings.
On the 1860 census, she is found with her parents at Hollandale (renamed Navasota), Grimes Co., Texas, about 3 years old.
In the 1870 census, Clara is aged 13 and living with her mother Matilda and her siblings at Galveston, probably at 324 Market Street, which I think was between 18th and 19th Streets.
On April 24, 1876 in Galveston, Clara married Henry Lang, who was born about 1848 in Galveston to John Lang (1807-1859) and Christiana Ungerer (or Ongerry) (1823-1867). John and Christiana Land are both buried in Indianola
It is interesting to speculate how these two people met. Henry was most likely living in Indianola before 1860, which would be before the Gruetzmacher's had even moved to Galveston. Had he met her when he came to Galveston on business? Or did he have family still in Galveston, and they met through those relations?
Around 1877 Clara and Henry had a child, Sarah M. Lang. Her birth location is unknown at this time.
In the 1880 United States Census for Indianola, Calhoun Co., Texas (Page Number 303D), we find that Clara, her husband, and child:
Henry M. LANG Self M Male W 31 TX. Bookkeeper GER. GER.
Clara A. LANG Wife M Female W 23 GER. Keeps House GER. GER.
Sarah M. LANG Dau S Female W 3 TX. TX. GER.
The 1890 US census was destroyed by a fire, so there are no record of this family in this time period.
In 1875, the city of Indianola, located on Matagorda Bay, was then the county seat of Calhoun Co., and had a population of 5,000. On September 15 of that year, a powerful hurricane struck, killing between 150 and 300 and almost entirely destroying the town. Indianola was rebuilt, only to be wiped out on August 19, 1886, by another intense hurricane, which was followed by a fire.
It is currently unknown to me when and where Henry Lang died, but it must have been sometime between 1880 and early 1900's.
I have found no record of Henry and Clara Lang in the 1900 census. It is unknown if Henry Lang was even alive then. Neither Clara or Henry are listed in the lists of the dead from the 1900 Galveston Storm. Where Clara (and Henry, if still alive) were living from the destruction of Indianola in 1886 to 1901.
On September 4, 1901 in Galveston, Texas, Sadie Mathilde Lang, the daughter of Clara and Henry, married Oscar Andrew Tryon of Crockett, Texas. Family tradition says that she died in childbirth. She was certainly dead before June of 1909 when her husband remarried.
Oscar Tryon married for the second time on June 17, 1909 to Viola B. Bilger, in Chicago, Illinois. His occupation in 1911 and 1913 was listed as a "Telegraph Operator" and in 1915 as a "Test Board Man", whatever that is. They had several children.
Grace Newton told me that Clara died in San Francisco in 1924 or 1930. I believe Grace was mistaken as to the location, as a letter exists from Clara living in Los Angeles. I have not been able to verify her death date, as yet.