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Klein

Catherine Wunderlich

Catherine Wunderlich [Maria Katherina (Catherine) Hofius] immigrated to Texas in 1852 from her native Prussia at the age of 21. She settled in northwest Harris County, which was populated by numerous German families, and married Peter Wunderlich soon after her arrival. Widowed in 1864 when Peter was killed in the Confederate Powder Mill explosion, Catherine continued to manage their farm and made a home for their six young children. She purchased additional land in 1866, and added sheep and cattle operations to the farm. A founding member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Catherine continued to live in the Klein community until her death in 1904. (Designated as a Texas Historical landmark in 2002.)

Catherine Wunderlich Catherine Wunderlich  

Location
 

18202 Theis Mail Rd.
Klein, TX 77379

  GPS: Latitude: 30° 01.768'
Longitude: 95° 32.879'
  Key Map: 330 J

Klein Community

In 1845, a group of German immigrants settled on the banks of Cypress Creek and developed a farming community known as Big Cypress. In 1851, Adam Klein and his wife Friedericke (Klenk) immigrated to New Orleans from Germany. Shortly following their arrival in New Orleans, Adam and Friedericke moved to California: Adam wanted to stake a claim in the California gold rush. Later, Adam and Friedericke settled in Big Cypress and bought 640 acres of farm land. In addition to farming, the family operated a cotton gin and grist mill. Following Adam’s successful campaign for a post office that was established on September 8, 1884 and named the Klein Post Office, the community became known as the Klein Community. William N. Blackshear, the first postmaster, operated the postal facility in his general store until it was replaced by rural free delivery in 1906. Farmers in this vicinity raised cotton, potatoes, and corn, and marketed their produce in Houston, which was a two-day trip by wagon. The center of community life was Trinity Lutheran Church, organized in 1874 by the Bernshausen, Benfer, Brill, Kaiser, Klein, Lemm, Theiss, and Wunderlich families. The Klenk and Strack families joined soon after the charter was signed. Although never platted or incorporated, the Klein community formed the nucleus of a school district. In 1928, five districts were consolidated to create the Rural High School District Number One. Many early schools had only one room and one teacher. The district became Klein Independent School District in 1938.

Klein Community    

Location
 

16715 Stuebner Airline Rd.
Klein, TX 77379

  GPS: Latitude: 30° 01.236'
Longitude: 95° 31.422'
  Key Map: 330 L
  Tip: At intersection of Louetta in front of Klein High School

Kohrville Community

In the 1870s, former slaves from Alabama and Mississippi, who originally settled west of Houston, relocated to Cypress Creek near a store owned by German immigrants Agnes and Paulin Kohrmann. The Kohrville community centered on the farming, ranching, and lumber industries. When area schools consolidated, Kohrville became part of Klein Independent School District and offered education for African American students. Iin the late 1940s, Klein ISD financed a new school for the community. An architect, probably Alfred C. Finn, designed the new schoolhouse, which was later moved to the current site. The school district was desegregated in the 1960s. Kohrville and neighboring communities are now part of the ever-growing Houston suburbs. (Designated as a Texas Historical landmark in 2003.)

Kohrville Community Kohrville Community  

Location
 

18202 Theiss mail Rd.
Klein, TX 77379

  GPS: Latitude: 30° 01.789'
Longitude: 95° 32.589'
  Key Map: 330 J

McDougle Cemetery

In 1838, George McDougle (1786-1871) bought 100 acres of the John House survey and moved his family to the property on which he built a house, established a farm, and raised cattle. This small cemetery reflects the common 19th-century custom of burying family and friends near the family homestead. There are 15 marked graves in the McDougle cemetery and an unknown number of unmarked graves. Although there is no tombstone for her grave, the first burial is thought to be that of George McDougle's wife, Jane (Laughlin), who died in 1864. Similarly, there is no tombstone for George McDougle, who served as a Texas Ranger in 1839, but it is thought he was also buried here after his death in 1871. Their son James Ellison McDougle (1829-1892), a civil war veteran and Harris County commissioner from 1879 to 1881, is buried here in a marked grave. His wife, Joanah (Laughlin) (1834-1922), and their three sons are also buried here. One son, John Kaleb McDougle (1865-1934) served as a Harris County commissioner in 1902. Other family names that appear on grave markers in the cemetery are Bonds, Pevateaux, Weathers, and Spell. In 1938, George and Jane McDougle's grandson Robert (1857-1941) sold the 100-year-old family homestead, but retained the right of access to the cemetery. Robert and his wife, Elizabeth (1862-1935), are interred here, as is their son Virgil Kaleb McDougle, whose burial in 1956 was the last 20th-century interment in the historic graveyard. (Designated as a Texas Historical landmark in 2001.)

McDougle Cemetery McDougle Cemetery    

Location
 

17934 Stuebner Airline Rd.
Klein, TX 77379

  GPS: Latitude: 30° 02.113'
Longitude: 95° 31.948'
  Key Map: 330 B
  Tip: Behind the Faithbridge Methodist Church

Theis (Theiss) Family

Johann Heinrich Theis (b. 1800), his wife, Katherina (Benner) (b. 1804), and their four children were among the first German settlers in northwest Harris County when they arrived in 1846. The following year, Johann acquired 200 acres of land in the Rosehill community, where the Theis family joined other German settlers in organizing the Salem Lutheran Church. In 1854, Johann and Katherina's oldest son Jacob purchased 557 acres nearby, and settled among other German immigrants in what later was known as the Klein community. In the 1890s, some confusion developed in mail delivery to the Theis families in the Rosehill and Klein communities. As a result, Theis family members in Rosehill came to spell their name with a single "s" and those in Klein with a double "s." Buried in this cemetery at the edge of Jacob Theis' original acreage are Johann Heinrich and Katherina Theis, and their son Christian. Although the graveyard is small and the tombstones are missing, the site is a memorial to these early German immigrants. In the family tradition of community involvement and leadership, several descendants have served as trustees of the Klein Independent School District.

Theis (Theiss) Family Theis (Theiss) Family  

Location
 

Fernbluff Dr. at Mayglen Ln. in the Shannon Forest Subdivision
Klein, TX 77379

  GPS: Latitude: 30° 02.074'
Longitude: 95° 32.545'
  Key Map: 330 F
  Tip: On Fernbluff Dr. just past Mayglen Ln. on the left; look for the Historical Marker directional signs

Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery

Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery serves as a reflection of the German heritage in northwest Harris County. A number of German immigrants settled in the area in the 1840s when the community was known as Big Cypress. The community was later renamed the Klein community in honor of pioneer settler Adam Klein, who was instrumental in the first post office being established in 1884. A diphtheria epidemic in 1872 took the lives of three children of the Klein community. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kaiser buried their two-year-old son beneath an oak tree on their farm. Soon after, children of the Adam Klein and Conrad Krimmel families also succumbed to the disease and were buried next to the Kaiser child. The small cemetery became a community burial ground in 1875 when the Kaiser family deeded the one-acre plot to Trinity Lutheran Church. Subsequent land acquisitions have increased the size of the cemetery to 4.5 acres. The oldest gravestone standing in the cemetery dates to 1879. Among the pioneers buried here are five charter members of Trinity Lutheran Church: Adam Klein, Sr. (1826-1891); Henry Kaiser (1825-1892); Heinrich Bernshausen (1822-1892); Johannes Brill (1833-1905); and Jacob Theiss (1826-1912). Many of the tombstones bear German inscriptions.

Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery  

Location
 

On the left side of Klein Cemetery Rd. off of Spring Cypress
Klein, TX 77379

  GPS: Latitude: 30° 02.814'
Longitude: 95° 31.316'
  Key Map: 330 C

Wunderlich Farm

J. Peter Wunderlich (1828-1864) migrated from Germany to Texas in 1852. After he married Maria Hofius in 1854, he bought 120 acres of farmland in the Klein community. J. Peter was killed in the 1864 Confederate Powder Mill explosion. Following J. Peter’s death, his sons, Peter and William Wunderlich, continued to farm the family’s land. Peter bought 56 acres of land in 1887 and built a house in 1891 for his new wife Sophie Krimmel. The original house had four rooms, but four more rooms were added. The house was occupied by Wunderlich family members until 1995.

Wunderlich Farm Wunderlich Farm
  Wunderlich Farm

Location
 

18202 Theiss Mail Rd.
Klein, TX 77379

  GPS: Latitude: 30° 01.795'
Longitude: 95° 32.906'
  Key Map: 330 J
  Tip: At Doerre Intermediate School