Raunick, Selma Marie Metzenthin (1877–1954)

By: Margaret Schade Schulze

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: July 5, 2017

Selma Marie Metzenthin Raunick, author and teacher, was born in Berlin, Germany, on May 17, 1877, the daughter of Ernst Ferdinand and Marie Theresa (Pank) Metzenthin. She emigrated from Germany with her family in October 1886 and lived in Austin, Texas, from 1886 to 1894 while her father was pastor of St. Martin's Lutheran Church. The Metzenthin family moved to Steelton, Pennsylvania, in 1894, where she graduated from high school in 1897. She was married to G. A. W. Raunick in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, in 1909, and they were divorced in 1920; they had no children, although later, after the death of her sister, Else Metzenthin Schade, Selma reared the three Schade children. She returned to Texas in 1911 and taught in the Austin Academy (a prep school located in the former home of Governor James Stephen Hogg) before receiving her B.A. degree in 1919 and her M.A. degree in 1922 from the University of Texas. She did graduate work at the University of Pennsylvania and at the Université de Strasbourg (France). She later taught at Allen Junior High School, Kenilworth Hall (a private girls' school), and Texas Wesleyan College Academy (all in Austin), Sul Ross State Teachers College, and the University of Hamburg, Germany. She was associated with choral groups in Mason, where she lived for a time, and in 1930 in Austin she founded the Friends of German Pioneers of Texas. She also lived at various times in New Braunfels and San Marcos.

Mrs. Raunick's numerous writings, which brought attention for the first time to the large number of Texas-German writers in various fields, include "A Survey of German Literature in Texas" (from 1820 to the 1920s) in the Southwestern Historical Quarterly (1929–30) and two volumes (in German) of Texas-German poetry and prose, Deutsche Schriften in Texas (1935, 1936), which had appeared earlier in article form in the San Antonio Freie Presse für Texas, Her articles on German settlers and their culture and her stories and poems appeared in both English and German language periodicals and newspapers, such as the Freie Presse für Texas, the Southwest Review, the American-German Review (1940–50), and the Taylor Herald. Several of her serialized novels, including the semiautobiographical "Die Familie Metter in Amerika" (1944), were published in the Neu Braunfelser Zeitung. She died on February 12, 1954, in San Marcos and was buried in the San Marcos cemetery.

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

Margaret Schade Schulze, “Raunick, Selma Marie Metzenthin,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed May 19, 2022, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/raunick-selma-marie-metzenthin.

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July 5, 2017

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