Our Second Grand President
Friedrich Leopold (Julius) Schuetze, judge, German-language newspaper publisher and music teacher, was born in Dessau, Anhalt, Germany, on March 29, 1835. He was the son of Heinrich and Louise (Seelman) Schütze. He arrived at Indianola with his family on Nov. 2, 1852, on the ship, Diana. His brothers Louis and Adolf had preceded him to Texas.
Julius lived in Yorktown and hauled freight between Indianola and other points. He also lived in Meyersville, where he founded the Texas Sängerbund, a German singing society, and in 1853 he participated in the first state Saengerfest held in New Braunfels. In 1854 he moved to San Antonio. There he taught speech and music and married Henrietta Heinz of Seguin, one of his music pupils. They had one child, Julia.In 1858 he moved to Austin, where he taught at the German School and tuned pianos.Schuetze tutored the children of Governors Sam Houston and Pendleton Murrah, studied law under Judge Wooldridge and was admitted to the bar. He was named a Texas Music Pioneer by the Texas State Music Office.
Upon the death of his first wife he married Julia Ohrndorf Brügerhoff on Oct. 22, 1863.They would have nine children - Albert, Edward, Hugo, Julius, Adolf, Nono, Henrietta, Alvina and Clara. In 1864 he moved to Bastrop, where he taught at the Orgains School. After the Civil War he became chief justice of Bastrop County.
Judge Schuetze served in the 12th Texas Legislature from Feb. 9, 1870, to Jan. 14, 1873, as a federal tax collector and was an Indian agent with a tribe in Colorado. He was a Republican (Radical Party) and worked actively against prohibition.
From 1870 to 1873 he and O.H. Dietzel published Texas Vorwärts (Forward), a German-language newspaper, first in New Braunfels, and in 1883 Schuetze published Wochenblatt in Austin. Like his father, who had been a silk grower in Germany, Schuetze raised silkworms, which he exhibited and took first prize with at the State Fair of Texas. His article "Seidenbau in Texas" ("Silk Farming in Texas") was published in the Jahrbuch für Texas in 1884. He also was director of the Austin Sängerbund.Schuetze was active in the Order of the Sons of Hermann, which he served as Grand President from 1891-1892 and again from 1893-1897, and as National President from September 1897 until his death. He died in Austin on April 23, 1904, and is buried in Oakwood Cemetery in Austin.
Schuetze’s diary can be found in the Victoria College Regional Library Archives and The Schuetze Family Papers in the Austin History Center of the Austin Public Library.