Texas Day by Day
On this day in Texas history…
San Antonio piano teacher composes polka
September 3rd, 1847
On this day in 1847, San Antonian Simon Menger, musician and soap maker, composed the Mis[s] Paschal Polka. Menger, a native of Thuringia, taught in Europe for many years before immigrating to Texas as a member of Henri Castro's colony. In June 1847 he moved to San Antonio to teach piano. The next month he founded the San Antonio Männergesang-Verein, possibly the first formally organized male singing society in Texas. During this period he also composed several pieces for piano, including the Mis[s] Paschal Polka and simple études for his students. In 1850 he opened a soap and candle factory, San Antonio's first industrial enterprise. Though his time was increasingly taken up with his business affairs, Menger played an important role in the development of musical institutions in San Antonio. He died in 1892.