Fuchs, Adolf (1805–1885)


By: Lota M. Spell

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: October 10, 2015


Adolf (or Adolph) Fuchs, a Lutheran minister, musician, teacher, and pioneer German settler, was born at Güstrow, Mecklenburg, Germany, on September 19, 1805, to Adolf Friedrich Fuchs and Dorothea Margarete (Schroder) Fuchs. He was educated at Jena, Halle, and Göttingen. He married Louise Johanna Rumker on July 10, 1829, and they had a total of nine children, though one died as a child. After serving as pastor in Kölzow, Mecklenburg, from 1835 to 1845, he immigrated, with his wife and seven children, to Texas. In honor of his departure A. H. Hoffman von Fallersleben wrote a farewell song, "Der Stern von Texas" ("The Texas Star"). Fuchs settled at Cat Spring, where copies of Hoffman’s Texanische Lieder (Texas Songs) arrived. The book, partly inspired by the pastor, bore the false imprint "San Felipe de Austin Bei Adolf Fuchs & Co."

Finding himself unprepared to cope with pioneer conditions, Fuchs became a music teacher at Baylor Female College in Independence. He was given credit for founding the first state-supported public school in Texas. In December 1853 the family located on the Lüder grant near Marble Falls, Burnet County. In spite of hardships, Fuchs’s love of freedom made him enjoy frontier life. A good singer and great lover of music, he wrote settings to many outstanding German poems and both the text and music of other songs; at his home he and his family and friends frequently gathered for sing-songs around his piano, one of the first west of the Colorado. Fuchs died at the Goeth Ranch near Cypress Mill in Blanco County on December 9, 1885, and was buried in the Fuchs Cemetery in Burnet County.

Rudolph L. Biesele, The History of the German Settlements in Texas, 1831–1861 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1930; rpt. 1964). “Carl Friedrich ‘Adolf’ Fuchs,” Find A Grave Memorial (http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=22953525), accessed October 16, 2015. Adolf Fuchs Family Papers, 1845–1846, 1882–1885, 1906–1942, 1969, Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin. Ottilie Fuchs Goeth, Was Grossmutter erzählt (San Antonio: Passing Show Printing, 1915; trans. Irma Goeth Guenther as Memoirs of a Texas Pioneer Grandmother, Austin, 1969; rpt., Burnet, Texas: Eakin Press, 1982). Vertical Files, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

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

Lota M. Spell, “Fuchs, Adolf,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed August 19, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/fuchs-adolf.

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1952
October 10, 2015

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