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Streeruwitz, Wilhelm H. Ritter Von (1833–1916)

Keith Young Biography Entry

Wilhelm H. von Streeruwitz, geologist, was born in July 1833, in Mies (presently Střibro) in the Plzeň district of Bohemia, seventy kilometers southwest of Prague. Little is known of his family; an elder brother was chief of staff of the Austrian Army and a Graf (count). Streeruwitz studied mining at the University of Prague, but how long he studied and whether he received a degree are unknown. He immigrated to the United States around 1867. He was employed as a mining engineer in the coal fields of Pennsylvania for some nine years before he arrived in Houston, Texas, in 1876. At some time he returned to Austria to receive the title of count when his elder brother died childless. After kneeling at the feet of Emperor Franz Joseph, Streeruwitz abdicated to a younger nephew and returned to the United States, saying "Nephew, I leave it all to you. I am going back to America, where a man is his own." In Houston he became acquainted with Edwin Theodore Dumble and published articles in the Geological and Scientific Bulletin. He was a fellow of the Texas Academy of Science from 1892 to 1899, became a member of the Houston Natural History Society, and was a charter member of the Texas Geological and Scientific Association. When Dumble became director of the Geological and Mineral Survey of Texas he appointed Wilhelm von Streeruwitz one of the geologists for the Trans-Pecos District. The Dumble Survey first completely described the basic geology of Texas, and the Trans-Pecos part of this work is largely that of Wilhelm von Streeruwitz. In 1893 when the legislature reduced the appropriations of the survey, Streeruwitz was released. After living in Austin until 1900, he moved to Houston, where he lived the remainder of his years and died in poverty on April 19, 1916.

Samuel W. Geiser, "William H. von Streeruwitz (1833–1916), Geologist on the Dumble Survey of Texas," Field and Laboratory, January 1957. James R. Underwood, Jr., "Wilhelm H. von Streeruwitz," in Geology of the Eagle Mountains and Vicinity, ed. James R. Underwood, Jr., and Donald F. Reuser (Permian Basin Section, Society of Economic Paleontologists and Mineralogists, 1975).


  • Peoples
  • Austrians
  • Science
  • Inventors
  • Scientists and Researchers

Time Periods:

  • Late Nineteenth-Century Texas
  • Progressive Era


  • Houston
  • Upper Gulf Coast
  • East Texas

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

Keith Young, “Streeruwitz, Wilhelm H. Ritter Von,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed June 13, 2021,

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July 1, 1995
July 1, 2017

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