leifeste weekend

i forgot to mention in the previous entry that on saturday i got extremely close to buying a 1966 chevy c-10 custom with a straight-6 and 3-on-the-tree manual. it was part of an estate auction, and i could have probably gotten it for $3k. that’s not a great price for what it was, but a fair one i thought. in the end i decided it wasn’t particularly practical for me to buy it at this moment, especially since i already have a 1965 f-100 i’m planning on getting a lot of work done on. but it was the chevy age and style i’d like to have (other than a 6 instead of a v-8), and it was right there. oh yeah, and it still had the custom bumper from the dealer — duncan motors in brady, Texas. that alone is worth some money. oh well. something else should come along one of these days, and hopefully it’ll be when i’m solidly in the market.
saturday on their way to brady from austin, my brother stopped at the church in art and asked heather to marry him. she said “yes”. they’re probably going to be getting married this fall or winter sometime. i have agreed to be a groomsman at his wedding. (he was one at mine.) i hope their marriage works out better than mine. but i am happy for them.
sunday was the leifeste reunion. it took place at the library in mason. there really isn’t much excitement to report about it. last year i had volunteered to receive updates to our part of the leifeste family tree, so i was asked about that. i still need to finish some of that up and make it live.
going to family events in general, and especially with my brother’s fresh engagement, is sometimes difficult for me because it makes me think about the failure of my marriage. i just don’t think it was necessary for things to play out like they did, and it makes me sad that such is the way things are. i think about the things that i’ve lost — past, present, and future — because of what happened, and it makes me feel disappointed and crave things i no longer have or have the access to or ability to realize. that’s life, i suppose.
afterward, my parents, myself, and linc and heather headed down to beaver creek, then over to art. there i saw the new park and benches they’ve put up by the church. the park is dedicated to the families who settled the area and helped start the church there, and each concrete table has the names of family members that were involved back then etched into the table top. they also planted a tree near each table. i think it’ll all look nice in a few years when the trees are bigger and some grass has started to grow around the area. (they cleared most of it with a bulldozer to get rid of the small mesquite trees and cactus and such, i think.)
monday i spent some time with my grandmother, ate lunch with my parents at a cool little restaurant on the square in brady, then headed off. i stopped in mason where i spent a couple of hours looking through the old deed/grant records. i was trying to find a couple of things: 1) the original land purchases in mason county by my relatives, so i could figure out where that land is, and 2) whether my grandfather bought/owned land and if he lost or sold it. my grandfather was very tight-lipped about some stuff that happened in his life, and we’ve wondered about business ventures and loss of land. after looking at some of the records, i couldn’t figure out much definitively about the original land purchases, but i think my grandfather may have bought some land in 1928 or 1929 and then lost it in the mid or late 30’s. i only spent a couple of hours there though, so i didn’t get too much research done.
from there i headed to art. i checked out the new sign and gate at the west art cemetery. it looks really nice. but my main goal was finding the grave of my great-great-grandfather, friedrich (fritz) leifeste, who came from germany to Texas in the winter of 1845, arriving in galveston in january of 1846. there is a leifeste cemetery i don’t recall ever going to, but i’d talked about it with my dad and he looked it up and said that was where he was buried. a lot of the early cemeteries from that time period are family plots, in fields beside old roads or near where a family house, or they’re where a church (long since gone) used to be.
i turned down the dirt county road (north art road) by the art store and starting scanning the sides of the road, since i had no idea how far it was or how far off the road it might be. after half a mile, i saw a very small plot with two markers and a metal wrought-iron fence around it, along the fence-line on the right. i stopped and looked, but it actually turned out to be the grave for daniel hoerster. he was a cattle brands inspector in mason and was killed in 1875 during the hoo doo war. not my ancestor, but an interesting and cool thing to stumble upon. a little further down was a ranch entrance, bearing the hoerster name.
a mile further down (1.5 miles total from highway 29), after cresting the tallest hill, i saw a small cemetery off to my right (probably 50 to 75 yards off the road). i turned and drove through the field to it. i got out and immediately saw some leifeste markers. i went in and looked around, then took a few pictures of the markers for my great-great-grandfather and -grandmother — sabine (molzberger) leifeste. i then got in my vehicle and headed back to houston.
and finally, i can’t fail to mention that while i was poking around online sunday night at my parents’ house doing some preliminary online research about land ownership of my ancestors, a search variation on the Texas general land office turned up something particularly cool:
this is a scanned copy of the agreement my great-great-grandfather signed, giving half of the 320 acres he got for being a single man as part of the fisher-miller colonization agreement over to the german emigration and railroad company for their cost in transporting, feeding, etc. him. (and they gave him $1.) this was part of the agreement the germans made in order to get passage to Texas. this document was signed by him on july 15th, 1848.
it also shows information about his arrival in Texas: it says he arrived at the port of galveston on the gerhard hermann from bremen germany on february 20th, 1846. oddly, the ship records for the gerhard hermann show it arriving at galveston on the 10th of january, more than a full month before the date given on this document. january is also the date given by numerous other sites related to the immigration of germans on this specific ship. it’s possible february 20th may have been the date he arrived at indianola. or they may have just picked a date at random. or it was a misunderstanding. or they wanted to make his arrival date after Texas ceased to be the republic of Texas (when they raised the u.s. flag over the capitol building, feb 19th, 1846) for some reason. i don’t know.

6 comments on “leifeste weekend”

  1. I think it’s neat that you’re able to trace your family so far back. With all of the divorces in mine it would be impossible.

  2. Wonderful job on the research! My husband and children are descendants of Fritz Leifeste’s brother August. With all your research, you’ve probably found the web site: http://www.augustleifeste.com/ written by August’s grandson. I wondered if you’ve come across anything particular to August in your research.
    Also, are the reunions just for Fritz’ descendants, or to his extended family, i.e., his siblings’ descendants?

    1. My gr. gr. grandfather was Johann Friedrich “Fritz” Leifeste. Md. Sabina Molzberger.
      Their son Henrich Wm. “Henry” Leifeste md.
      Wilhelmina “Minnie” Hoerster are my great
      Their son Daniel Felix Leifeste md. Sarah
      Frances Richards. They are my grand parents.
      Their daughter was Myrtle Joy Leifeste md.
      Wiley Sanford Armstrong my parents.
      If anyone needs dates & places E mail:

  3. Very strange, if you read this–we have the same great, great, grandparents, and the same great, great, great grandparents.
    I think your Grandfather, and my Grandmother were brother and sister.

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