German Settlement of the Texas Hill Country by our own Jefferson Morgenthaler is a work of exceptional importance to those who live in the Hill Country, the sweet spot of Texas. Jeff’s non-fiction account of the story of the founders begins in 1845 with the first wave of German immigrants. These émigrés founded New Braunfels, with subsequent settlers moving on to establish Fredericksburg and the other towns of the Hill Country.
Morgenthaler makes history come alive in his telling of the individuals who struggled to build these communities. He examines, in fascinating detail, each element of their world; from the German fatherland’s politics and economy that instigated migration, the trials of travel, the hardships overcome of disease and weather, the faith, and traditions kept sacred by those who came. Morgenthaler explores the conflicts with native Indians, the reasons they left everything and risked coming to these shores, and in the telling, Jeff puts a human face on those pioneers. He does this in such a way that each character becomes a person you may have known.
Much in the style of historian David McCullough, Morgenthaler’s writing is personal and insightful. Making that history live and be significant for today, marking the path that those earlier men and woman fashioned which leads to our doorsteps; this is a talent that only a few great authors demonstrate. Morgenthaler tells this sweeping, fascinating story with power and intimacy, bringing us into the lives of remarkable men and woman.
Morgenthaler’s epic – it is a 9 hour read – follows are forefathers through the significant history of Texas and that of her component counties. Throughout the book Morgenthaler draws comparisons to cause and effect that we live with today. He ends the tale with a report of the last days and demise of the central characters, putting each in their final identified resting place.
I highly recommend German Settlement of the Texas Hill Country for the joy of entertainment in addition to the knowledge of our past which it intelligently delivers. You will be glad that you experienced this brilliant work of literature.
Until then, keep on reading and learning!
*German Settlement of the Texas Hill Country by Jefferson Morgenthaler – Kindle edition, Published 2011 by Mockingbird Books