While our physical offices are closed until further notice in accordance with Austin's COVID-19 "stay home-work safe" order, the Handbook of Texas will remain available at no-cost for you, your fellow history enthusiasts, and all Texas students currently mandated to study from home. If you have the capacity to help us maintain our online Texas history resources during these uncertain times, please consider making a 100% tax-deductible contribution today. Thank you for your support of TSHA and Texas history. Donate Today »


Diana J. Kleiner
John George Woldert
Photograph, Portrait of John George Woldert. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
Grave of John George Woldert
Photograph, Grave of John George Woldert in Tyler. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

WOLDERT, JOHN GEORGE (1814–1887). John George Woldert, surveyor and civil engineer, was born in Adorf, Saxony, on July 18, 1814. After serving as a civil engineer in the German army, he arrived in New York on November 5, 1838, seeking refuge from military tyranny. Woldert worked for a time as a foreman for the Marton guitar establishment in Maiden Lane, visited Charleston, South Carolina, then returned to New York, where he used his knowledge of four languages to help Henry Fisher organize a colony for Texas. Ultimately, Woldert set out alone for Texas, arriving in Galveston November 5, 1839. With George W. Smyth, land commissioner at San Antonio, he surveyed the boundary between Texas and Louisiana. En route he was captured by Indians in Jasper County and carried near Bastrop, where he escaped. Woldert located at San Augustine as a surveyor, accumulated lands in East Texas, and attended the 1850 London World's Fair. On January 25, 1853, he donated 160 acres of the Jesse Stockwell league and labor for the county seat of Van Zandt County, which became Canton. He married Alma Edilina Richter in 1850, and they had six children. From 1851 to 1859 he lived in San Antonio; he then moved to Tyler, where he died on April 3, 1887.


Sid S. Johnson, Some Biographies of Old Settlers (1900; facsimile, Tyler, Texas: Smith County Historical Society, 1965). Wentworth Manning, Some History of Van Zandt County (Des Moines, Iowa: Homestead, 1919; rpt., Winston-Salem, North Carolina: Hunter, 1977). Van Zandt County History Book Committee, History of Van Zandt County (Dallas, 1984).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Diana J. Kleiner, "WOLDERT, JOHN GEORGE," accessed July 11, 2020, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fwo01.

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on May 12, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
visit the mytsha forums to participate

View these posts and more when you register your free MyTSHA account.

Call for Papers: Texas Center for Working-Class Studies Events, Symposia, and Workshops
Hi all! You may be interested in this call for papers I received from the Texas Center for Working-Class Studies at Collin College...

Katy Jennings' Ride Scholarly Research Request
I'm doing research on Catherine Jennings Lockwood, specifically the incident known as "Katy Jennings' Ride." Her father was Gordon C. Jennings, the oldest man to die at the Alamo...

Texas Constitution of 1836 Co-Author- Elisha Pease? Ask a Historian
The TSHA profile of Elisha Marshall Pease states that he wrote part of the Texas Constitution although he was only a 24 year-old assistant secretary (not elected). I cannot find any other mention of this authorship work by Pease in other credible research about the credited Constution authors...