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Martin Donell Kohout

PENNIGER, ROBERT G. (1864–1930). Robert G. Penniger, newspaper editor and publisher, son of Heinrich and Albertine (Kaesdorf) Penniger, was born in Burgbei, Germany, on July 30, 1864. He studied forestry and worked as an printer's apprentice before coming to Texas. He arrived at Galveston in the mid-1880s and worked on a farm for a few months before joining the Neu Braunfelser Zeitung Neu Braunfelser Zeitung. He became a compositor for the Fredericksburg Wochenblatt in 1888 and married Louise Reich of New Braunfels the following year; he and his wife had one child.

Fredericksburg, Texas ... The First Fifty Years
Photograph, Fredericksburg, Texas ... The First Fifty Years, by Robert G. Penniger. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

Penniger worked as a bookkeeper and solicitor for the Freie Presse für Texas before buying the Wochenblatt in 1890. Through the Wochenblatt he advocated progressive local projects, such as the building of highways and of a railroad, paving Main Street in Fredericksburg, and quarrying granite on Bear Mountain. In 1896, for Fredericksburg's fiftieth anniversary celebration, he published a book in German, Fest-Ausgabe zum fuenfzigjaehrigen Jubilaeum der deutschen Kolonie Friedrichsburg, a history of the town's first half century. He was a cofounder of the Fredericksburg Publishing Company, which acquired the English-language Fredericksburg Standard in 1915, and published it and the Wochenblatt until 1920.

Freie Presse für Texas
Front page of Freie Presse für Texas from March 9, 1893. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

During World War I a number of Fredericksburg residents repudiated Penniger's editorial position as pro-German. In 1920 he sold the Fredericksburg Publishing Company and bought the Freie Presse für Texas in San Antonio. In 1925 he merged two papers from Hallettsville and La Grange with the Freie Presse, which he changed from a weekly to a semiweekly publication and edited until his death. He died on July 14, 1930, and was buried in San Antonio.


Gillespie County Historical Society, Pioneers in God's Hills (2 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1960, 1974).

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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, Martin Donell Kohout, "PENNIGER, ROBERT G.," accessed June 02, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpe28.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on May 4, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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