Teich, Frank (1856–1939)

By: Susan Teich

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: October 23, 2019

Frank Teich, sculptor and stonecutter, was born in Lobenstein, Germany, on September 22, 1856, the son of the poet Frederick and Catherine (Horn) Teich. At the age of eight he began painting, and after his graduation from the University of Nuremberg he was apprenticed to the German sculptor Johannes Schilling; he probably worked on the German national monument, The Watch on the Rhine. He then studied a year under the Franciscan Brothers at Deddelbach am Main. Teich immigrated to the United States in 1878 and traveled in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, and California. In Chicago in 1879 he contributed to the stone carving on the Cook County courthouse. By 1883 he was in Texas, locating first in San Antonio but working on different projects across the state. Teich worked under Gustav Wilke, superintending the granite cutters and inspecting the granite used in the state capitol building at Austin, and he also worked on the Tarrant County courthouse. In San Antonio in 1885 Teich opened a marble yard on the present site of the Medical Arts building, across from the Alamo, and worked on the construction of several buildings in the city including the city hall and the Kampman building. Shortly afterwards, for health reasons, Teich left San Antonio for the hills around Fredericksburg. In Llano County Teich discovered a granite deposit and opened a quarry, but he soon left to spend time in Europe gathering ideas. He returned around 1901 and opened Teich Monument Works two miles from Llano. He traveled extensively soliciting commissions, with particular success in Houston. Hermann Park includes his Pioneer Monument, a fifty-foot obelisk, as well as his statue of Dick Dowling, and the base of the Sam Houston Monument. The World War I cenotaph with Teich’s granite base was placed in Heritage Park. Teich sculpted many of the granite angels in Houston’s Glenwood cemetery, including one for James Addison Baker, Sr. He provided memorial stones at the cemetery, including one for Frederick Allen Rice. By 1936, Teich opened an office in Houston to focus on his works. Just outside of Houston on the San Jacinto Battleground, he provided commemorative boulders that identify significant events in the battle. His other Texas works include the Confederate monument and the Fireman's monument, both on the capitol grounds at Austin, the Luther Memorial Church in Orange, the statue "Grief" over the grave of Will Scott Youree in the Scottsville cemetery near Marshall, the Governor Pease monument in Austin, and two Confederate statues in Dallas. He did much work in the San Antonio area, including the Mahncke Memorial in Brackenridge Park and the altar in St. Mary's Church. He was the sculptor of the bronze statue of René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle in Navasota and the monument to Abel (Shanghai) Pierce near Blessing, Texas. His work outside of Texas includes a carved Italian marble church altar in Durango, Mexico. Teich was indirectly responsible for bringing the sculptor Pompeo Coppini to Texas. Frank Teich married Elvina Lang of San Antonio on October 12, 1887; they had three daughters. He died January 27, 1939, in Llano and was buried there. He has been called the father of the granite industry of Texas.

Barrie Scardino Bradley, Houston’s Hermann Park, A Century of Community (College Station:  Texas A&M University Press, 2014). Jan DeVault, ed., The Ladies and the Battlefield (Houston: San Jacinto Chapter, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, 1999). Esse Forrester-O'Brien, Art and Artists of Texas (Dallas: Tardy, 1935). San Antonio Express, March 31, 1937. Glenwood Archives, Glenwood Cemetery, Houston, Texas. Houston City Directory (Houston: Morrison & Fourmy Directory Company, 1936). Frank Teich, Teich Monument Works, Llano, Texas (Llano: n.p., undated). Frank Teich, Teich’s Studio Memorial Art (Llano: n.p., 1926). Frank Teich, Teich’s Book of Mausoleums (Llano: n.p., 1929). Suzanne Turner and Joanne Seal Wilson, Houston’s Silent Garden, Glenwood Cemetery, 1871-2009 (College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 2010). Clarence R. Wharton, ed., Texas under Many Flags (5 vols., Chicago: American Historical Society, 1930). Witte Museum Files, San Antonio.


  • Architecture
  • Architects
  • Peoples
  • Germans
  • Visual Arts
  • Arts and Crafts
  • Sculpture

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

Susan Teich, “Teich, Frank,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 27, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/teich-frank.

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October 23, 2019