Wahrenberger, John (1812–1864)

By: Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell

Type: Biography

Published: 1952

Updated: July 4, 2019

John Wahrenberger, early Austin resident, was born in Switzerland on March 16, 1812. He immigrated to the United States in 1836, lived in New Orleans for three years, and in 1839 moved to Austin, Texas, where he worked for a time as gardener for Louis P. Cooke. In October 1841 Wahrenberger was attacked by hostile Native Americans while returning home with a sack of meal. An arrow pierced his arm, which left him crippled for the remainder of his life. In December 1842 Wahrenberger learned that messengers were approaching Austin to transfer the Republic of Texas archives to the temporary capital at Washington-on-the-Brazos. He hastened back to Austin to give the alarm for the so-called Archives War and was a member of the group of men who forced the return of the archives to Austin. He owned a bakery, a hotel and cafe, and considerable Austin real estate. His fellow citizens called him "Dutch John." He married Caroline Klein on May 11, 1848, and they had five children, three of whom lived to adulthood. Wahrenberger died near Austin on March 9, 1864, and was buried at Oakwood Cemetery.

Austin American, October 8, 1931. John Henry Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas (Austin: Daniell, 1880; reprod., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). History of Texas, Together with a Biographical History of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson Counties (Chicago: Lewis, 1893). J. W. Wilbarger, Indian Depredations in Texas (Austin: Hutchings, 1889; rpt., Austin: State House, 1985).


  • Peoples
  • Swiss
  • Business
  • Ranching and Cowboys

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

Randolph B. "Mike" Campbell, “Wahrenberger, John,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed October 19, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/wahrenberger-john.

Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

July 4, 2019