- Gustav Schmeltzer
- submitted by Linda Wolff
May I offer you a Texas contribution ... That
information about a Schmeltzer who once owned the Alamo, and in fact it
was he who sold it to Clara Driscoll who made it the shrine it is today.
Smeltzer is not a common name here, even among Texas Germans. I did find
in Clear Springs and Limestone Ledges, A History of San Marcos and Hays
County, Hays County Historical Commission, 1986, there is a reference to
a Hugo Smelzer:
"The Alamo fell on March 6, 1836 and it took sixty-nine years before
the Legislature recognized it as a Texas Shrine. While the Catholic
Church owned the property, it was used as a quartermaster post from
1847-1879. In 1879 the church sold the property to a merchant and it
became a whole sale grocer. It later became a whole sale liquor
dispensary. In 1905, it became a shrine with Clara Driscoll and the
Daughter of the Republic of Texas as owners." .... "The Alamo was
purchased from Hugo Schmeltzer of San Antonio." For this entry, the
bibliography refers to The Kyle Centennial, October 11, 1980.
Intrigued, I went through shelves of books looking for any other
reference to Hugo Schmelzer, merchant of San Antonio and had nearly
given up when I found With the Makers of San Antonio, Genealogies of
Early San Antonio Families by Frederick C. Chabot, 1937.
I didn't find the firm of Hugo Schmeltzer, I found the firm of Hugo
& Schmeltzer. First the Hugo family:
"The Hugo family, according to their own tradition, were of French
"Carl Guenther Von Hugo, "Forstmeister" in Hannover, was the father
of Carl Adolph Von Hugo (b. Hannover, d. May, 1828, on the way to
Darmstadt), who m. Christinane Wilhelmine (1763-1825), her third
husband, of the house of Malitsch ("aus dem Hause Malitsch"), Freuen Von
Richthofen, daughter and 4th child of Wilhelm Dibrand Von Richthofen
(1732-1808), son of Johann Praetorius Von Richthofen (b. Sept. 20, 1661
and d. May 29, 1739). "Carl Adolph Von Hugo and his wife, Christiane
Wilhelmine Freuen Von Richtofen had four children: The oldest Hermann
Carl G. Von Hugo b. 1804 m. Oct. 18, 1835 Baronesss Ernestine Von
Zedlitz Neukirch and their daughter Elfriede Anna (who eventually came to
San Antonio, Texas) married Baron Oscar Von Lorenz; their daughter
Elfriede Von Lorenz married Herbert Deyo and they had a daughter
Elfriede. The second, Carl Ottomar (1805-1875), follows. The third,
Elfriede, m. Herr Von Redern. The fourth and last, Nathalie m. Albrech Ruhnke (in
"Carl Ottomar, second son of Carl Adolph Von Hugo and his wife
Christiane Wilhelmine Freuen Von Richthofen, married Albertine Graefin
zu Dohna, of the house of Malmitz, of Schlesien (1813-1890) They
emigrated from Bromberg to America in 1856. They were of Glogau,
Germany. There is a family tradition that one of the ancestors made a
loan to a German prince. He died and the heirs attempted to claim the
sum in question from the prince. They thus came into unfortunate
relations, the consequences of which was their decision to leave
Germany. "Carl Ottomar Von Hugo and his wife Albertine zu Dohna had
three sons and three daughters (1) Paul, m. Elise Von Clauswitz: four
children., Pearsall, Texas; (2) Emmie m. Marslay "Bulwer: (Anglicized
from French): four children., Yoakum, Texas: (3) Carl Guenther Hermann, who
follows (4) Adolphine m. Fritz Von Clausewitz; seven children., Pearsall; (5)
Ottomar, m. 3 times; Dilley, Texas: his son, Vane, by his 2nd wife, is
m. and is now living in San Antonio; (6) Hedwig, m. Kurt Von Boenigk;
nine children., Yoakum. "Charles Guenther Hermann Von Hugo, b. 1849, at
Glogau, Germany, came to Galveston in 1858, and settled in DeWitt
County. In about 1866 he came to San Antonio. He married here, Elise
Haseloff, daughter of Hermman Haseloff and his wife Bertha Eigendorff,
b. 1848, Berlin; adoptive daughter of the Iwonski, whose son, the
artist, painted her portrait in oil; she came with her parents to
Indianola and then to Comal County near New Braunfels. When she was only
twelve years of age her parents died, and she, with her grandmother, nee
Eigindorff, one sister, and two brothers, came to San Antonio in about
1860; she died here September 4, 1911. Charles Hugo and his wife Elise
Haseloff had: "1) Lillian Elise, b. Sept. 27, 1872; m. 1894, at St.
Mark's Episcopal Church, Charles J. Chabot, his second wife. "2) Viola
Frida, b. Nov. 25, 1874; m. Nov. 16, 1903 (St. Mark's), William Durrell
McCarty: (i) Elizabeth Viola m. Jack Dwavours by whom: Lola Beth,
William and Viola Ann. (ii) Orin, m. (Sept. 1933), Mildred Waite,
whose mother is a Mayflower descendant. 3) Wanda B., m. 1897, Adolph C.
Shell; both dead.: S.P. 4) Victor, (d); m. Lucile Wilson, (i) Victor Jr.
5). Elfrieda, d.: S.A. 6) Erna H., d. Feb. 13, 1897, aged 16 years; 7)
Ralph H., Grad. Univ. of Texas., Elk, Pres. of Hugo, Schmelzer & Co.; d.
Aug. 31, 1931, Aged 47 years; m. 1912, Alice Beatrice Clarkson: S.P.: 8)
Lola Felice, b. Aug. 18, 1892 (bapt. at St. Mark's) m. Murray Brooks:
"Charles Hugo and Gustav Schmeltzer founded the firm of Hugo &
Schmeltzer in 1871. They moved their wholesale and retail business to
the Callaghan Bldg. in December 1872. William Heuermann became a member
of the firm in 1873.
"According to the Free Press, the first shipment of pecans, packed
in empty beer barrels, March 7, 1877. The store on Commerce Street, near
Presa St. on the river burned in August 1883, with heavy loss, two dying
of their injuries. Mr. Hugo was in Europe at the time.
"In July 1884 the firm was located in the Alamo property which
property they purchased from Grenet for $28,000 in 1885 and subsequently
sold to Miss Clara Driscoll for $75,000, for the Daughters of the
Republic of Texas (the 29th Legislature, 1905, appropriated funds for
"In 1907 the firm was removed to the location on E. Houston St. at
the railroad tracks. In 1910 the business was taken over by the Collins
Co. (wholesale grocers) and in the following year the liquor business
was discontinued. Charles Hugo was one of San Antonio's foremost business
men. He was appointed to a committee in April, 1877, to reorganize the
Chamber of Commerce, and to discuss the high freight rates prevailing at
the time, with Col. Pierce and the agent of the Morgan Steam Ship Line.
"He was a founder and the first president of the Alamo National Bank
of San Antonio. The first meeting of the subscribers to the capital
stock, $250,000., was held Nov. 20, 1890: Charles Hugo, W. Heuermann, A.
Meerscheidt, G. Schmeltzer, Col. W.B. Hamilton, E. Steves, S. Halff,
P.H.Swearingen, N.S. Graham, J.N. Brown and E. Schramm. The charter was
dated March 2, 1891. Mr. Hugo was Pres. of the Board of Trade, 1891."
And now for the Schmelzer family:
"Gustav Schmeltzer, merchant of Walenbrueck, Westphalia, landed in
New Orleans in December 1849. He was in Indianola for Christmas of that
year. He remained a few months with Keitel family on a farm near Port
Lavaca. He arrived in San Antonio in May 1850. He was a clerk in the
Menger Hotel from 1859 until the outbreak of the Civil War. In 1861 he
joined the Confederate Army and was in Sibley's brigade. After the war
he returned to his work at the Menger Hotel. Later, he was with the firm
of Carl Nauwald Co. In 1871 he started the firm of Hugo & Schmelzer,
which was located in the old convent property adjoining the Alamo Church.
"Gustave Schmeltzer m. Oct., 1866, Emilie Victoria Eckhardt,
daughter of an early settler from Hessen-Naussau. They had: 1.)
Gustav, b. 1867; m. Sophie Heutze: 4 children; 2) Louise, m. George
Hederer: 3 children; 3) Emily, m. William August Wurzbach ; 4)
Ida, m. Pat Dwyer; 5) Hermann, m. Bertha Ingenhuett 6) Antoinette,
m. Sam Dwyer, Pat's brother."