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Struve, Henry Clay Von (1874–1933)

Richard D. English Biography Entry

Henry Clay von Struve, diplomat and lawyer, the son of Amand and Christiane Olga (Fisseler) Ebeling von Struve, was born on July 30, 1874, at Shovel Mountain, Texas. His father was of Swiss-German origin and had immigrated to Texas with his family in 1848. His mother was born in the German principality of Waldeck and had immigrated with her parents in 1852. Her first marriage to Edward Ebeling, a Burnet County rancher, ended in divorce. Struve's family employed a Professor Schaupp to prepare Henry, the oldest of six sons, for the University of Texas. He received a bachelor of laws degree in 1894 and a masters of laws in 1896. In 1895 he became the first law librarian at the University of Texas. He also prepared a digest and forms for ancillary proceedings in Texas courts. In 1896 Struve married Cora Louise Fuchs, the daughter of Benjamin and Emma Fuchs. They had three children. He practiced law from 1894 to 1897. From 1897 to 1898, he taught Latin and German at Brenham High School. He subsequently moved to Hermanna, Missouri, where he served as a high school principal and taught German in 1899–1900. After moving back to Texas he practiced law in San Antonio and Gonzales from 1901 to 1906. In 1904 he founded a German-language newspaper, which he edited for eight months. From 1906 to 1914 he served as assistant cashier in banks in Gonzales and Plainview. Henry's brothers Ben and Fritz influenced him to move to Abernathy, between Plainview and Lubbock, and there he purchased 120 acres and a quarter section of land from his brothers, which he farmed before joining Fritz in the mercantile business in Abernathy. On January 19, 1914, he passed a State Department examination and was appointed a United States consul. He served in a variety of foreign countries including Germany, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, Norway, Sweden, and Colombia. He also served as representative to the International Chamber of Commerce in Stockholm in 1927. He had a great facility for learning foreign languages quickly. His service at foreign posts did not prevent frequent visits to his nieces and nephews in Texas. It was reported that he would gather these relations in a borrowed Model-T Ford to visit his brothers George and Stephen. One story recalls how Struve, with a carful of nephews and nieces, plowed through a flock of chickens and guineas with the comment, "The road is no place to raise guineas!" He died on November 11, 1933, in the Canary Islands, where he was stationed.

Darrell Debo, Burnet County History (2 vols., Burnet, Texas: Eakin, 1979). Arno Struve, The Struve Family in Europe and Texas (Abernathy, Texas, 1979).


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

Richard D. English, “Struve, Henry Clay Von,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed December 01, 2020,

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.