Caroline and Wilhelm Bruckisch
Oil on walnut portraits of German immigrants to New Braunfels
Wilhelm and Caroline Bruckisch immigrated to New Braunfels from Silesia with their five children in 1853. In Europe, Bruckisch was a beekeeper and president of the Silesian Bee-Keeper’s Society. At the time, a lack of bees was preventing fruit pollination and growth in the Guadalupe River valley. Bruckisch was asked to come to Texas and bring several hives of Italian black bees with him.
The family settled near Hortontown where Wilhelm continued to work as a beekeeper and horticulturalist until his death in 1877. He contributed greatly to the scholarship of bee keeping. Back in Europe, Bruckisch had been a friend and associate of Pastor Johann Dzierzon, who was considered the bee master of Europe. Bruckisch brought with him to Texas Dzierzon’s writings on bee keeping. He also edited Dzierzon’s writings, publishing six editions of his adapted methods between 1847 and 1861.
As a result of the bees Wilhelm brought with him, and his skill as a beekeeper, the New Braunfels area was able to grow and harvest larger and more abundant crops.
The Bruckisch family remained in Texas for the remainder of their lives. Their three sons all died during the Civil War. Their two daughters each married German Texans, and their descendants remain in Texas today.
Courtesy Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture, New Braunfels
Time Period: 1845 - 1861
This artifact is currently on view.