Schertz’s original settlers came from the French region of Alsace-Lorraine. In October of 1843, Joseph and Anna Schertz boarded the Jean Key De Teau and sailed to Texas with six of their ten children. Council General of Texas to France, Henri Castro, had convinced Joseph Sr., Sebastian, and Johann Jean to leave France with the promise of lower taxes, cheaper land, and better pay than they were receiving in their home country.
They landed in Galveston, Texas, in 1844, and then continued on to the port of Indianola and finally San Antonio. The Schertz family’s journey was exhausting and tragic when their mother Anna and sister Affre died of an epidemic illness. The Schertzes decided to return to Europe after another year of struggle and unfulfilled promises of land and money. They met Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, on his way to found a colony that would later be called New Braunfels. Prince Solms-Braunfels, moved by the plight of the Schertz and other families, offered them a half-acre town lot and a ten-acre farm parcel in exchange for their allegiance to his colony. On Good Friday, March 25, 1845, the Schertz family did just that, and they arrived in the area that would later become New Braunfels. The Schertzs were early pioneers in the region. Don’t forget to learn about Seguin, Texas here too.
For the sum of $600, Sebastian and Johann Jean bought 600 acres of land in Guadalupe County on January 3, 1849. The future town of Schertz could be traced back to these humble beginnings. There were many watershed moments in the Schertz family’s history during the decade of the 1850s and 1860s.
In 1850, when the census was taken, Joseph Sr. was living with Sebastian’s family. We don’t learn much more about him until 1870, when he died on the way to see a relative in the hill country. His age was given as 89.
Joseph Jr. moved his family from New Braunfels to an area near the future site of Universal City. While hunting cattle in 1858, he was bitten by a rattlesnake and tragically lost his life in the area that would later become Randolph Air Force Base.
In 1851, Johann Jean settled down with his bride and became one of the first settlers in the area that would become Boerne. In the year 1860, he passed away from complications related to appendicitis.
In 1849, Sebastian tied the knot. He split the decade between 1850 and 1860 between two homes in Comal County. Gold mining was a popular profession in the 1860s, and it is said that Sebastian decided to test his luck in the industry. He uprooted his family and set out for the Sunshine State of Missouri. The Schertz family relocated back to Texas because of the severe winters. Sebastian Schertz bought 307 acres in what is now the southwestern part of Guadalupe County and established the city of Schertz there in 1866. Cut-Off was once a sleepy farming community, but Sebastian’s farming and business ventures soon became its lifeblood. Adolph, Martin, and William, three of his sons, were there to back him up.
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