Triumphing Over Tragedy - The Danz Family Story


“My memory does not begin with happy things.”
– Mathilda Gruen Wagner, daughter of German immigrants, 1860s

In 1845, hundreds of hopeful German immigrants came to the Texas Hill Country in search of land, political freedom and adventure. Johann “Casper” Danz, his wife Elisabeth and their baby boy Frederick were among them.

Tragedy struck the Danz family many times. Soon after they arrived in Fredericksburg, Elisabeth and her son died from an epidemic. Casper’s second bridge, Johannette Margarethe Knaup-Flick, died during childbirth.

In 1857, Danz married his third wife, Johanne Dorothea Bock. This time the family flourished with eleven children. In 1860, the couple purchased the land you stand on today. Their descendants lived here until 1966, when the land became a park.

Danz Cabin - Take a short walk up this trail to see the earliest German cabin in the park. The Danz family built this two-room (dogtrot) home in 1860. It is the second cabin they built (“Cabin B” marks the spot of the first). One room of the cabin served as both a bedroom and living space, and the other was a kitchen. Fireplaces provided heat for warmth and cooking. Outdoor stairways leading to the sleeping lofts save much needed space indoors.

Cabin B - This cabin was moved here from a nearby community in 1974 to provide space for living history demonstrations and storage. This building sits atop a stone cellar that is believed to be the foundation of the Danz’ first cabin.

Corral - Reconstructed of stacked split cedar posts.

Well - About 30 feet deep and lined with hand-laid limestone.

The Danz cabin is the oldest example of a German Hill Country home in the park. These humble cabins contrast sharply with the Sauer-Beckmann Farm’s Victorian refinements.

Near Ranch Road 1, near Stonewall, (On the right when traveling east)
Official (Historical Marker Database)
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