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Miriam York
Life of German Pioneers in Early Texas
"Life of German Pioneers in Early Texas," by Caroline Ernst von Hinueber. Image courtesy of the University of North Texas. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

HINUEBER, CAROLINE ERNST VON (1819–1902). Caroline Friederike Wilhelmine Ernst von Hinueber, early nineteenth-century settler who wrote a classic account of pioneer life in Texas, was born in Oldenburg, Germany, on February 13, 1819, to Louise (Weber) and Johann Friedrich Ernst. In 1829 she immigrated to the United States with her family, and in 1831 they moved to Texas. Granted a league of land several miles northwest of San Felipe de Austin, presently in northwest Austin County, Ernst settled his family and established the first permanent German colony in Texas, later called Industry. Caroline lived with her family in a six-sided hut made of moss, covered with straw, and without either windows or doors. In her brief chronicle "Life of German Pioneers in Early Texas" (1899), she described the primitive conditions of her family's lives as subsistence farmers and their attempt to join the Runaway Scrape. She also wrote about her family's boarding house, which became a central way-station for immigrating German colonists. When she was eighteen years old Caroline married Louis von Roeder, on May 21, 1837. The couple had three children during their short marriage; Roeder died in 1840. On August 6, 1841, Caroline married her brother-in-law Albrecht von Roeder, and the growing family moved to DeWitt County to join the Klebergs and other Roeders. Caroline and Albrecht had seven children before Albrecht died in 1857 in one of the battles of the Cart War. Caroline was subsequently forced to sell hundreds of acres of land at twenty-five cents an acre in order to support herself and her nine children. Caroline married a third time, on February 20, 1861. Her new husband, Werner von Hinueber, fathered twin boys with Caroline but deserted the family a few years later. Caroline lived in Yoakum with the younger; later she and her daughter Rosa moved to Lockhart to be near one of her grown sons. Rosa was an invalid, probably because of childhood polio, and Caroline cared for her all her life. Caroline von Hinueber died in Lockhart on May 12, 1902.


Gilbert Giddings Benjamin, The Germans in Texas: A Study in Immigration (Austin: Jenkins, 1974). Rudolph L. Biesele, The History of the German Settlements in Texas, 1831–1861 (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1930; rpt. 1964). Caroline Von Hinueber, "Life of German Pioneers in Early Texas," Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association 2 (January 1899). Flora L. von Roeder, These Are the Generations (Houston: Baylor College of Medicine, 1978).

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

Handbook of Texas Online, Miriam York, "HINUEBER, CAROLINE ERNST VON," accessed July 09, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fhi61.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on April 18, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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