52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks: Success
Karl Emil Edwin Alexander Lorenz Hermann Rogalla von Bieberstein was born on March 12, 1823, in Brieg, a town in the province of Silesia in Prussia (present-day Poland). He was the son of Royal Prussian Lieutenant Colonel Friedrich Rogalla von Bieberstein and Auguste Lorenz.
Bieberstein studied law, finance, and philosophy at the University of Wroclaw from 1843 to 1845. As widespread revolt against European monarchies spread across the continent, university students and educated men began to leave their homelands and come to Texas. On August 28, 1846, Bieberstein and his cousin of the same name left Bremerhaven on the Eliza & Charlotte, under the command of a Captain Wendt. They sailed to Texas, along with 118 other Germans. 29 were headed to Galveston and the others to New Braunfels. The ship arrived in Galveston on October 20, 1846, just one year after Texas joined the Union of the United States. Upon arrival, the two Biebersteins parted ways. The older Hermann, described here, moved to Winedale in Fayette County, where he met the German artisan Rudolph Melchoir. They, along with Victor Witte, Bernard Witte, Carl Gieseke, Carl Groos, Hermann Cornitius, Albert Eversburg, and Henry Brandt, went on to found Latium. Latium was one of five “Latin Settlements” in Texas, where educated European immigrants could gather to enjoy common interests in music, literature, philosophy, and politics.
Bieberstein lived briefly with the brothers Ludwig, Rudolph, and Albrecht von Roeder before visiting his family in Silesia in 1850. Back in Texas, he received American citizenship on November 14, 1850. From then on, he lived as a farmer near Brenham.
On September 24, 1855, Hermann married another German immigrant, Adele Hagedorn, daughter of Carl and Marie Louise Hagedorn. The two had eleven children. In 1866 Bieberstein became the Washington County surveyor, a post he kept until 1871.
As a member of the Democtatic Party, he was elected to Texas House of Representatives on December 2, 1873 as a member of the 14th legislative period (January 13 to May 4, 1874). During that time he was instrumental in orchestrating laws establishing Lee County , improving the tax system, and registering births and deaths. He served on several committees responsible for immigration and land allocation. He was nominated by his party for a second term. He was thought to have lost the election on February 15, 1876 against his Republican opponent, Allen Wilder. After some back and forth, however, Bieberstein was ultimately installed as a member of the 15th legislative period on May 13, 1876. But on August 18, 1876, in protest against irregularities in parliamentary votes, he and three others announced their resignation.
After resigning, Bieberstein retired to his 390 acre farm. In 1880 he was re-elected as the county surveyor of Washington County and held this post until at least 1900.
Hermann von Bieberstein died in Brenham on March 18, 1906 at the age of 83. His obituary appeared in several German language newspapers throughout the country. He is buried next to his wife Adele and sons Fritz and Rudolph in the Jaeger Witte Cemetery. He is registered as a member of the Texas State Historical Association, as having held an important role in the development of Texas.
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