Luckenbach, Jacob (1817–1911)

By: Garland Perry

Type: Biography

Published: March 1, 1995

Updated: April 21, 2016

Jacob Luckenbach, early settler, was born in Marienberg, Nassau, on October 6, 1817. He married Justina Ruebsam in 1839 or 1840. They had two small daughters and were classified as farmers when they signed with the Adelsverein in 1845. Accompanied by Jacob's two younger brothers and three sisters, the Luckenbachs sailed from Bremen in early December on the Johann Dethardt and landed at Indianola at the end of December 1845. In January 1846 the family was among first settlers to arrive in Fredericksburg, a new community carved out of the three-million-acre Fisher-Miller Land Grant, purchased by the German Immigration Company in 1844. Luckenbach was allocated a town lot in the new village and a ten-acre lot southwest of town, where he built the family's first home. The Luckenbach family became American citizens in 1852 and shortly thereafter sold both Fredericksburg properties and moved twelve miles southeast to the site that later became Luckenbach. During this time Luckenbach was deeded 640 acres of land through the state immigration program.

He aided in forming Gillespie County in 1848 and from 1854 to 1858 was county commissioner and school supervisor. He opposed secession but served in Capt. Engelbert Krauskopf's Home Guard during the Civil War. His youngest brother, August, joined a group of Union sympathizers and was killed by Confederate forces in 1862. Jacob's other brother, William, was appointed justice of the peace in Gillespie County in 1865 and served several years in that capacity. Jacob's son Albert was engaged to Sophie Engel when she was appointed postmistress at Luckenbach. She named the post office Luckenbach, in honor of her future husband. They later moved to a new settlement in eastern Gillespie County, where Sophie was again appointed postmistress. She named that post office Albert. Jacob and Justina Luckenbach raised three boys and nine girls. In 1883 they sold their property in Luckenbach and retired in Boerne, to be near six of their children who lived there. At the time of Mrs. Luckenbach's death on February 27, 1907, eleven of their children survived her. There were also forty-two grandchildren and twenty-two great-grandchildren. Jacob Luckenbach died on February 27, 1911, four years to the day after his wife's death.

Sara Kay Curtis, A History of Gillespie County, Texas, 1846–1900 (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1943). Gillespie County Historical Society, Pioneers in God's Hills (2 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1960, 1974).

  • Peoples
  • Germans
  • Founders and Pioneers
  • Pioneers

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

Garland Perry, “Luckenbach, Jacob,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 27, 2022,

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March 1, 1995
April 21, 2016