Father of Henry Bernard Feldhaus Jr. Born: November 28,1818 Died: February 18, 1901 Wesphalia,
Married on 6 November 1849 Maria Catharina Holstiege, born 15 September 1821 in Roxel, Germany to
Johann Heinrich Holstiege and Theresia Wulf. She died 10 February 1901 in Wesphalia, TX. Both are buried in St.
Mary's Cemetery, Westphalia, TX.
This Feldhaus family came to the U.S. from the town of Roxel, outside Munster Germany, in the Province of Westphalia
(Westfalen) where they had lived for hundreds of years. They attended the Pantaleon Catholic Church in Roxel.
While his son, Henry Bernard Feldhaus, Jr., eventually settled in Lawrenceburg, TN, he and his wife and daughter stayed there
until 15 August 1884 when they moved to Texas where they eventually settled in the small town of Westphalia, TX
between Dallas and Austin, just below Waco, TX. See more about Wesphalia, TX below.
The map below is interactive. You can click on the icons on the map for more information and
move the map around or enlarge or shrink it. Enjoy!
According to Kathleen Sudduth Niedergeses, who obtained this information from the church they attended in Germany, Bernard
Heinrich and Maria Catharina Holstiege Feldhaus had two children who were born in Germany and died in Germany at a young age.
Bernard Anton Feldhaus was born on 5 June
1852 in Roxel, Munster, Germany,
and baptized on 5 June 1852by
the church Chaplain Schafmann.He died on 29 May 1863
in Roxel, Munster, Germany,
and was buried on 1 June 1863 in Roxel,
Munster, Germany.The cause
of death was typhoid fever.
Catharina Elisabeth Feldhaus was born on 24 September 1854
in Roxel, Munster, Germany,
and baptized on 26 September 1854 in Roxel,
Munster, Germany, by the church Chaplain Baune.She died on 9 May 1862 in Roxel,
Munster, Germany, and was buried on 12 May 1862 in Roxel, Munster,
Germany.The cause of death was scrofula – a
disease affecting tissues in the young causing them to be susceptible to consumption, swelling of glands, etc.
This sister ship, the SS Deutschland, was built a year later and
sailed the same route as the SS Hermann described below and looks closer to that description.
Bernard Heinrich Feldhaus came to the US from Germany aboard the ship SS Hermann, arriving at Castle Garden, NY
on April 27, 1868. His occupation was listed as Maurer (Bricklayer) . According to Clara Feldhaus, his father
was a butcher. However, his army records indicate his father was a weaver.
B. H. Feldhaus 49 (Bernard Heinrich) Cathr
46 (His wife Mary Catherine) Henr
17 (Their son Henry Bernard Jr.) Gertrude
9 (Their daughter Gertrude Paulina) Threse
8 (Their daughter Anna Theresa) Bernh
4 (Their son Johann Bernard)
They left Germany on April 11, requiring 14 days to
make the passage. We have heard that they came to the US so their son would not have to fight in the wars of German
unification that Bismark was undertaking at that time.
He was 49 when he arrived in the U.S. The family came
to Cincinnati, Ohio, where there were a number of German Catholics. They lived in Boone County, KY, across
the river from Cincinnati, and then bought land outside Lawrenceburg Tennessee, and moved there with their families
According to Kathleen Sudduth Niedergeses, who obtained this information from the church they attended, two of the children
died before they reached Lawrenceburg.
Gertrude Paulina Feldhaus was born on 12
October 1856 in Roxel, Munster, Germany,
and was baptized on 14 October 1856 in Roxel,
Munster, Germany, by the church Chaplain Baune.She died between 1868 and 1871 in Kentucky or Ohio,
and is buried there.
Johann Bernard Feldhaus was born on 8 July 1863 in Roxel, Munster, Germany,
and was baptized on 11 July 1863 in Roxel,
Munster, Germany, by the church Pastor Poppe.He died between 1868 and 1871 in Kentucky or Ohio.
Heinrich's daughter Annie Feldhaus, photo below, married Joseph Sutter August 27, 1882 in Lawrenceburg. On
15 August 1884 Annie, Joseph, and Henry's parents moved to Wesphalia, TX. I believe they were drawn to the town
by the large number of Germans who had immigrated from their home, Westphalia, in Germany, finally settling in this area.
In 1879 several immigrants from the Westphalia province in Germany moved from
Frelsburg Texas ("A" in the map above) into the area they named after their homeland province, Westphalia ("B" in the map
above).There were thirteen families on 270-acres of homestead plots by 1884 when Annie arrived with her
husband and parents.
of the Visitation was completed in 1895 on 100 acres of land high on a hill.Its picturesque twin towers
can be seen for miles.A three-room school was built in 1896.It operated as a parochial
school until 1935, when it was consolidated with the public school. (Source: Wonderful Wesphalia
Waltz http://texasdancingnews.com/Polka_in_Texas.html .)
Annie Feldhaus was born 25 February 1859 and died on 13 June 1935. She is buried in the Sacred Heart Catholic Cemetery,
Lott, TX, about ten miles north east of Westphalia.
Annie's children are John Henry Maria, Henry Bernard Joseph, Hohn Melchoir William, John William Maria, Franz Joseph,
Hermann, Joseph Henry Alfons, Henry Anthony, Alfons Alois, Bernard Alois, and Anna Maria.
The following was taken from headstones in the Saint Mary's Cemetery, Church of the Visitation, Westphalia, TX
Bernard Henrich Feldhaus Born: November 28,1818 Died: February 18, 1901 Wesphalia, TX
Feldhaus Born: September 15,1821 Died: February 10,1901 Wesphalia, TX
Joseph Sutter Born: April 6,1857 Died:
March 6,1911 Wesphalia, TX
Following is the information from the St. Mary's Cemetery.
The Church of the Visitation was burned to the ground on 29 July 2019. The cause of the fire
is not known, but the parish continues to meet with hopes of building a new church soon.
Soon after they settled in the area, Westphalia's first families
named their community after the Westphalia province in Germany from which many of them had immigrated. They began having Sunday
prayer meetings in the home of Theodore Rabroker, the first settler. These were times of worship and fellowship, and because
they were pleased with the soil and location, the German natives purchased 100 acres of land for a church and school. Their
efforts were thwarted, however, when the first two structures were destroyed by storms in the early 1880's. During a meeting
on Christmas Eve in 1893, Rev. Michael Heintzelman recommended building a new and larger church. After Rev. H M. Simoni drew
the plans and Andreus Fuchs of Tours was hired as contractor, work began shortly after the new year. All the stone for the
foundation was shipped by rail to Lott from a quarry in Muldoon, Texas, and the timber was brought from Waco. Parishioners
volunteered to haul, without charge, all building materials from the nearest railroad. As many as 80 loads were hauled with
wagons from Lott in one day - a distance of eight miles.
The church was designed in the shape of a Latin cross with
a bell tower on each side of its center area, it measures 120 feet long and 52 feet wide. To tolerate a strong wind, six inches
of sway was built into the towers. The towers are covered with copper sheeting and each is topped with a nine-foot stainless
steel cross. The middle section carries a six-foot cross.
The church contains more than 20 stained glass windows, all
shipped to Westphalia from Germany. The largest stained glass window is directly the main altar and depicts the Visitation
of the Blessed Virgin. The two side windows depict images of St Monica and the Archangel Michael. The main altar was purchased
for $700 and was shipped from Germany. The 11-foot pews are pine, and are hand planed and hand joined with screws. Several
pioneer families donated three large bells in the towers. Interior painting and decorations were originally done by H. A.
Sokolowski, an artist From Bernardo Prairie, Texas.
The Church of Visitation was completed in February of 1895
at a cost of $8,000, as most of the carpentry was done by parishioners. The Most Rev. N. A. Gallagher, D.D., Bishop of Galveston,
dedicated the new on May 23, 1895.
In 1914, a large, arched, dome-shaped structure was added to
the east end of the building, enlarging the sanctuary.
Donated by Mrs. Theresia Bockholt, the large pipe organ was
built in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1914, by Kilgen and Son, Inc. The choir loft was enlarged and the organ was installed in
March of 1921. It was refurbished in 1979 and is played each Sunday as well as on special occasions.
On December 31, 1978, the historical Church of the Visitation,
one of the largest wooden churches in the State of Texas, received official recognition with the erection of an official Texas
Historical Marker. On May 15, 1996, the community was recognized as a Rural Historic District, which encompasses 5,500 acres
of farmland, the church and many other historic sites in the area. The district is now listed in the National Register of
The religious character of the community
is evidenced from the 14 priests and 38 sisters who originated from the community. Today, the parish consists of 185 families
with 500 parishioners. Just as in the beginning, the church continues to be the center of all community activities. The annual
homecoming and picnic is held the second Sunday of October each year with a chicken and sausage meal along with games and
fun for the entire family. This event provides the major support for the church. Contributions are always accepted to defray
expenses of maintaining this historic church.
The below videos are of news reports the day the church burned to the ground.
Westphalia is dissected by State Highway 320, the shortest state highway in Texas, in western Falls County. In the summer
of 1879 several immigrants from the Westphalia province in Germany moved from Frelsburg, Texas, into the area. Early settlers
included Theodore Rabroker, John Bockholt, Casper Hoelscher, Frank Glass, Fritz Schneider, and Theodore Schneider. There were
thirteen families on 270-acres of homestead plots by 1884. The Church of the Visitation was completed in 1895 on 100 acres
of land high on a hill, and its picturesque twin towers can be seen for miles. A three-room school was constructed in 1896
and operated as a parochial school until 1935, when it was consolidated with the public school. The school received a historical
marker in 1982 and in 1989 held classes for kindergarten through eighth grade. The post office and the first store were opened
in 1887. P. A. Heckman was the first postmaster. The post office was closed in 1906, and mail was sent to Lott. Westphalia
had four businesses and a gin in 1892. By 1933 the population was 100; it was 300 in 1964, and in 1990 it was estimated at
324. The population dropped to 186 in 2000.
The map below is interactive. You can click
on the icons on the map for more information and move the map around or enlarge or shrink it. Enjoy!
The following documents have to do with the release
of Bernard Heinrich Feldhaus from the German military service and granting permission for him and his family to emigrate to
the United States. I received this document from my mother.
To the certificate of discharge of the bricklayer Bernhard Heinrich Feldhaus to Roxel district Munster
Munster, March I9 -1868
No. II20 I P
The undersigned royal government does hereby verify, that the bricklayer Bernhard Heinrich Feldhaus, born November
28,1818 to Roxel district Munster, where ha is also living now, has granted permission for leaving the Prussian subject ship
of the community as he requested for emigration to North America with his wife Catherina Holtstiege (maiden name) born September
16,1821 and his children.
1) Heinrich born June 7, 1850
2) Gertrud born October l2, 1858
3) Anna Theresa born December 1859
4) Johann Bernhard born June 6,1863
The certificate of discharge declares for those persons whose names are listed, that the rights of being a Prussian
subject have been taken away from the moment this document is received.
Munster, March 19,1868 Royal Prussian Goverment
No.1120 v. P.
November 28,1818 born
5 feet 6 inches
color of face
normal to large
Special characteristics scar-- left forefinger from a cut
the land Doctor
The owner of this document, the foot-soldier Bernhard Heinrich Feldhaus called Hobbelts from the first battalion Munster
13th militia-Regiment was born in Roxel district Munster, deserves the service honor, which is donated to the militia by the
king subjects, on the l/16/1842.
Lieutenant-colonel and battalions-captain
Bernard Heinrich Maria, the legitimate son of the weaver Johann Heinrich Veldhus called Hobbelt and of Cathrina
Gilmans was born 11/28/1818 and baptised on the 30th, Godfathers: Bernard Heinrich Kramer and Mar. Cath.. Zumbrock,
Maria Catharina the legitimate daughter of the weaver Johann Heinrich Holstiege and of Theresia Wulf was born 11/15/1821
and baptised on the 16th. Godfathers: Maria Christina Wulf and Johann Heinrich Reifke.
The son Bernard Heinrich Feldhaus (look Velthus) married with the agreement of the mother in the age of 31 years the
daughter Maria Catherina Holstiege in the age of 28 years. The wedding was on the 11/6/1849. Witnesses: Henrich Brinkert and
Children from the marrige between Heinrich Feldhaus and Catharina Holstiege:
1) Bernard Heinrich was born June 8th 1850, baptised
on the 9th. Godfathers; B. H. Holstiege
and M.A.Volker, lady Feldhaus.
2) Gertrud Paulina was born October l2th l856, baptised
on the 14th,
Godfathers: Gertrud Feldhaus and brother Wilhelm Feldhaus.
3) Anna Theresa was born February 25th l859, baptised
on the 27th.
Godfathers: Bernard Heinrich Kramer and Theresia Wulf, lady Holstiege.
4) Johann Bernard was born July 8th 1863; baptised on the 11th,
Godfathers; Johann Bernard Brinkert and Dina Holstiege.
Compendium for non-industrial activity out of the ministery register.
The minister Simon.
13 th Infantry - Regiment
The owner of this, Bernhard Heinrich Feldhaus called Hobbelt. from the 7th Company of the above named regiment from
Roxel district Munster of the administrative Munster 5 feet 6 inches tall with strongly built body and fair hair was born
November 28,1818. Entered the military for an active service on the first of November 1838 and reached till now an active
service time of one year and eight month, was released with unlimited vacation to Roxel. district Munster and while he shouldn’t
be drafted to his old company, he will switch over to the first draft of the militia on November 1st.1843.
After arriving at the before named town chosen by him he has to present himself at once to the first sergeant of this
militia district and show this document. Also to leave this area like to travel he has to report every time. He is allowed
to leave his district but he has to announce this to the first sergeant of the old and the new district, in which he wants
He moved to Roxel
Comnander-in-chief and regiments captain
At the time of leaving he received the following clothes,
He will receive food up to and including 10/24/1840
He left in time
The foot - soldier L. H. F. called Hobbelt born November 28th 1818
in Roxel district in the administrative district Munster is dismissed to the veteran reserve from now on after going through
the time of compulsory military service.
Munster, October 29th l857
The commanding officer of the first battalion of the 13th militia
7. Army Corps
Thirteenth Miilitia Brigade
Thirteenth Militia Regiment
First Battalion (from Munster)
Born November 28th 1818
entered the 13th infantry regiment November 1st 1838
discharged and put on the veteran roll at August 25th 1840
Transfered to the first draft on November 1st 1843
Transfered to the second draft
The militia man B. H. F. called Hobbelt November 1st 1838
from Roxel born in district Munster administrative district Munster is with this dismissed to Roxel d.M. d.M. and has to give
notice to the district sergeant with this record at once.
1. The military man is allowed to leave his home town without
anouncing it within the first four weeks, if there is to be no roll-call or no drilling in this time.
In the last case or if he stays away longer than four weeks he has
to inform his sergeant. He can change without problem his residence within the border of this state, but he must announce
every move, in the company from one town to the other, to the Sergeant and he has to give a report to the sergeant of the
new district within 114 days.
2. Every announcement can be made written or spoken or through
the magistrate, but the passport has to be sent with it for recognition. If a military man makes his announcement in
the written form, he must write on the address “ militia-announcement “ and the letter must be stamped with the
village police seal, then the letter has the right to go by mail.
13th Infantry Regiment
The presenter of this the B.H.F. called Hobbelt from the 7th company
of the above named regiment, from Roxel district Munster in the administrative district Munster. 5 feet 6 inches tall
with the normal to large build and the fair hair, who was born November 28th 1818 and entered the active military service
November 1st 1838 and who has reached now an active service time of one year and eight months, hasn’t been punished
in this time and has shown a good behavior and is trained well as a soldier.