On Saturday, October 25, 2008, at 11:00 A.M. the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Fort Concho Chapter of San Angelo, Texas will have a Citizens of the Republic of Texas Medallion Marker Service for Ludwig “Lohie” Schneider at the Pioneer Rest Cemetery in Menard, Texas on Highway 83. The service is being hosted by his great great grandaughters Tammie Dietz Smith, President of the Fort Concho Chapter, and Mary Louise Schneider Chapman of the Alamo Heroes Chapter of San Antonio, and family, friends, and the public are invited.
Ludwig Schneider was born in Herzogtum Nassau, Germany in 1815 and along with his wife Anna Catharina and their three children were among the courageous German immigrants who came from Germany to the Republic of Texas in 1845-1846 to claim their land in the Fisher and Miller Land Grant and make a better life for themselves and their families.
Ludwig and his family arrived in Galveston on the ship Washington on December 5, 1845 after over two months at sea, and made their way to Fredericksburg where his wife Anna who had become ill during the voyage died shortly after arriving, leaving him to care for their three young children.
Needing to provide shelter for his family, Ludwig soon forged on to the Fisher and Miller Land Grant and by the spring of 1847 had completed the first known house in Llano County at Leiningen near Castell, a two-room log cabin on the north side overlooking the Llano River. He and Anna’s three children, Wilhemina (Mina) Hissgen who married Frederick Oestreich, Christian Schneider Sr. who married Dora Schmidt, and Friederich Wilhelm Schneider who married Dina Vasterling all remained and made their homes in Castell.
Over the next few years other German families began settling on the banks of the Llano River and on September 13, 1855 Ludwig married Katherine Honig, the daughter of one of his nearest neighbors who had come from Germany in 1854.
Ludwig and Katherine had seven children born in the two-room log cabin in Leiningen; Bertha Schneider married Herman Dietz and they resided in Menard, Charles George Schneider married Bertha Miiller and they resided in Castell, Emma Schneider married William C. Henke and they resided in Fredericksburg, Elfrieda Schneider married Heinrich Probst and they resided in Fredericksburg, Richard Schneider married Frieda and they resided in California, Louis C. Schneider married Anna Birk and they resided in Menard, and Adolph Frank Schneider married Sophie Miiller and they resided in Castell and Menard.
To support his family Ludwig tanned hides for leather shoes and buckskin clothing for the settlers, he was a pioneer shoe cobbler in the Castell community, and later worked in Fredericksburg as a watchmaker and stone mason. He was very interested in precious metals and mining and would “dig” anywhere he thought to be promising.
Ludwig or “Louis” as he was often called, was very involved in Llano County politics, and in 1857 was elected as the first Justice of Peace of Castell Precinct 4 in Llano County, and was reelected for several terms, remaining in that office until 1865. One of his first official duties as Justice of the Peace in October of 1857 was officiating the marriage of Amalia Markwordt and his friend Emil Von Kriewitz who had worked for the Adelsverein under John O. Muesebach. and had lived with the Comanche Indians for several months as part of the 1847 peace treaty signed with the Comanches in Fredericksburg.
During that time the remote settlements in Texas were under constant attack from hostile Indian tribes and Mexican marauders, and on February 7, 1861 the Legislature of the State of Texas passed a bill authorizing Llano County and other Texas counties to form companies of Texas Ranger Minute Men to help with frontier defense.
The Germans from Castell were the first group from Llano County to organize under this Act, and on April 6, 1861, Ludwig Schneider and twenty-four other German Castell volunteers enlisted in a Texas Rangers company and served intermittently under the command of Captain C.W. Dorsey until 1862. The officers of the Company were elected by a vote of the members and Ludwig was elected to the position of 1st Lieutenant and his two first born sons Wilhelm and Christian Schneider Sr. and son in law Frederick Karl Oestreich served under him as Privates.
During the Civil War, at the age of 48, Ludwig joined Captain James S. Bourland’s Company No. 1, 3rd Frontier District, Texas State Troops commanded by Brigadier General J.D. McAdoo that was called into action in 1863 by Govenor Murrah, and he also served as a Sergeant.
In 2003 Ludwig and his two sons and son-in-law were honored by the Former Texas Ranger Association at the first Texas Ranger Marker Dedication in Llano County. The marker ceremony for Ludwig was held in Castell, Texas and his great great granddaughter Patty Schneider Pfister placed a Texas Ranger Marker Cross at his grave in Menard.
Ludwig Schneider was a loyal resident of the Republic of Texas and the State of Texas and the first known to settle in Llano County in 1847. He raised ten children who were honest, hard working, loyal and productive citizens who did their part in the colonization of Texas. Ludwig served and fought for his family, his Community, his County, and his State with honor and integrity, and he was a true Texas pioneer in every sense.
Ludwig died in 1897 in Menard while visiting his daughter Bertha Schneider Dietz, and is befittingly buried in the “Pioneer Rest Cemetery” in Menard.
Ludwig’s legacy lives on in hundreds of descendants who hail from many parts of Texas including Castell, Llano, Menard, Fredericksburg/Gillespie, Mason, Midkiff, San Antonio, Brownwood, San Angelo, and Austin as well as many other cities, counties and states. His only surviving grandchild lives in Fredericksburg, 95 year old Dora Bertha Schneider Burton, born July 22, 1913 in Llano County near Castell to his youngest son Adolph Frank and Sophie Miiller Schneider.