June 7, 2011

Gustav Woltmann, 1861-1940

Gustav Ferdinand Woltmann was born November 29, 1861, in Wronczyn, Posen Province, Prussia, Germany. He was the son of Michael Woltmann and Henriette Heth.

All of Gustav's siblings were also born in Posen Province, Prussia, Germany. They were Julius Theodor Woltmann (July 11, 1854 to March 30, 1935); Caroline Ottilie Woltmann Reinke (December 23, 1856 to March 25, 1917); Auguste Emilie Woltmann Grams (August 17, 1859 to September 23, 1925); Michael August Woltmann (July 25, 1869 to after June 1, 1930); and Emma Woltmann Jahnz Grams (January 8, 1872 to February 23, 1949). Gustav's parents, siblings, and other close relatives all immigrated to the United States, specifically to Texas, at various times. (After the world wars, country boundaries were shifted; the area in which Gustav and his siblings were born became Prov. Poznan, Poland).

Gustav immigrated to the United States aboard the S.S. Donau, arriving at the Port of Galveston in 1884. The woman who was to become his wife, Mathilde Emilia Sauter, arrived alone at the Port of Galveston about 1885 at the approximate age of 17. Gustav and Mathilde met while both were working for a wealthy farm family by the name of Vogelsang, and Gustav and Mathilde married on January 14, 1890, in Austin County, Texas.

Gustav and Mathilde soon rented their own farm, and by 1900 they had had six children, four of whom were living. By 1907, they had nine living children: Alma Woltman Zipperlen (February 6, 1890 to May 19, 1949); William "Will" Woltman (October 1, 1895, to May 7, 1991); Olga Juliana Woltman Bletsch (September 11, 1897, to May 4, 1982); Wanda Augusta Woltman Hamby (June 18, 1899, to June 1982); Arthur Guss Woltman (July 18, 1901 to April 18, 2001); twins Eduard Erick Woltman (December 26, 1903 to March 30, 1982) and Meta Sophie Woltman Van Dyck (December 26, 1903, to March 25, 1990); Bernhard "Ben" August Woltman (December 4, 1904, to April 16, 1982); and Albert William Woltmann (May 5, 1907 to unknown).

In 1910, Gustav moved his large family to Falls County, where he continued to farm on rented land. He became an American citizen on June 2, 1914, and by 1920 he owned a farm with a mortgage. Seven children were still at home. In 1930, all Gustav's children had left home, but his daughter Alma and son Albert lived on neighboring farms with their families.

On May 6, 1939, Gustav's wife of 49 years, Mathilde, passed away from a cerebral hemorrhage caused by hypertension. Less than a year later, on February 5, 1940, Gustav died of tuberculosis. They rest together in the cemetery of St. Paul Church in Falls County.

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