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Martin Donell Kohout
John Peter Tatsch's home
Photograph, John Peter Tatsch's home in Fredericksburg. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Building plans for John Peter Tatsch's home
Illustration, Building plans for John Peter Tatsch's home. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Historical marker for John Peter Tatsch's home
Photograph, Historical marker for John Peter Tatsch's home. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

TATSCH, JOHN PETER (1822–1907). John Peter Tatsch, master cabinetmaker, son of Peter and Hanna Elizabeth Tatsch, was born in Irmenach, in the Hunsrück region of western Germany, on July 26, 1822. He married a distant cousin, Maria Elizabeth Tatsch, on January 26, 1847; they had two daughters. The family sailed to Texas in 1852 with Tatsch's brother and sister-in-law and with Heinrich Ochs, an Irmenach schoolmate of Tatsch's. In Fredericksburg Tatsch opened a workshop and began producing furniture made of a number of local woods, including cherry, oak, walnut, and hackberry. His wardrobes remain a desirable item for collectors of Texas primitive furniture. He built a barn and stone house, apparently the first such structure in Fredericksburg; the house featured an inside stairway to the attic, rather than the outside stairway that had been characteristic of Fredericksburg houses, and a huge fireplace and chimney in one corner. The house was recorded by the Historic American Buildings Survey of the United States Department of the Interior and its plans placed in the Library of Congress during the Texas Centennial in 1936; it was made a Texas historic landmark in 1965. In Fredericksburg Tatsch and his wife had three more children. They were educated at the Zion Lutheran Church school and in the Fredericksburg public schools. During the Civil War Tatsch served as a Minute Ranger. He later joined the Fredericksburg Workmen's Association, founded in 1874, and was a charter member of Terry Post No. 64 of the Grand Army of the Republic, founded in 1892. Tatsch's wife died on November 20, 1885; he died on May 1, 1907, and was buried in the City Cemetery, Fredericksburg.


Don Hampton Biggers, German Pioneers in Texas (Fredericksburg, Texas: Fredericksburg Publishing, 1925). Gillespie County Historical Society, Pioneers in God's Hills (2 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1960, 1974). Elise Kowert, Old Homes and Buildings of Fredericksburg (Fredericksburg, Texas: Fredericksburg Publishing, 1977).

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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, "TATSCH, JOHN PETER," accessed July 03, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fta13.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on May 11, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
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