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STEINHAGEN, CHRISTOPHER FRIEDERICH CARL

STEINHAGEN, CHRISTOPHER FRIEDERICH CARL (1814–1893). C. F. Carl (Charles) Steinhagen, early Texas cabinetmaker, was born on December 21, 1814, at Warkstorf (Warekstoff, Warckdorff), Mecklenburg, Prussia, and was baptized in the Evangelican Lutheran Church at Goldebee, the son of Hans Heinerich and Maria Dorothea (Behncke or Benecke) Steinhagen. In 1844 Carl was a wagon and wheelwright apprentice in Königsberg, Prussia. He arrived in Galveston from Bremen aboard the Galliott Flora on May 21, 1849, and was naturalized in Anderson, Texas, on April 13, 1855. He was a wheelwright by trade but made wagons for the Confederacy during the Civil War. Charles Steinhagen and Emma Friedericke Schatz were married on November 27, 1850, in Houston and settled in Anderson, where he built his home in 1853. Twelve children were born, three died young, and the surviving children were educated to speak and write in English and attended churches of their choice. B. A. Steinhagen Lake in Tyler County bears the name of his eldest grandson. C. F. Carl Steinhagen died on February 19, 1893, and was buried on February 21, 1893, in the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Cemetery at Anderson, where his monument still stands.

The University of Texas Winedale Properties at Roundtop was founded by Miss Ima Hogg in 1965 to reflect the cultural influence of early Texas immigrants who settled in that area, and the restoration of the McGregor-Grimm House was completed in 1973. The house is furnished with pieces collected largely by Miss Hogg to represent the many Anglo-American and German cabinetmakers in the mid-nineteenth century. Particularly notable are the parlor and bedroom suites by Carl Steinhagen, who made furniture for his family as a hobby. In the parlor is his 1850 upholstered sofa with a pair of sturgeons across the back rail and swan's heads for armrests, an 1870 upholstered rocker with matching armrests, an elaborate drum table with an acanthus-leaf carved pedestal, and two candle stands. The sofa and rocker are reminiscent of the 1830 bourgeois Biedermeier style of furniture in Prussia. The bedroom holds his 1850 four-post bed with leaf-carved posts and large acorns for finials, a walnut wardrobe with leaf-carved pilasters, and a trundle bed. An 1861 wardrobe, in the home of a descendant, matches the four-post bed with free-standing, acanthus-leaf columns and claw feet of bois d'arc wood. The furniture was found in the homes of his heirs, and Miss Ima Hogg described C. F. Carl Steinhagen as "one of the most outstanding-if not the finest-cabinetmaker who came to early Texas."

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Ethel Hander Geue, New Homes in a New Land: German Immigration to Texas, 1847–1861 (Waco: Texian Press, 1970). Lonn W. Taylor, Texas Furniture: The Cabinet Makers and Their Work (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1975).

Elinor Steinhagen Burrus

Citation

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Elinor Steinhagen Burrus, "STEINHAGEN, CHRISTOPHER FRIEDERICH CARL," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fstjt), accessed September 17, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.