Joannes (John) Fritscher Family (1857)

Joannes Fritscher, arrived in America in 1876, the nineteen year old son of Anna Fritscher and the deceased Johann Fritscher.  He, his older brother, Joseph, and sister, Anna, all arrived with their mother on May 28, 1876 in New York City.  They had left their home in Kaltenlautsch, Austria, and  traveled aboard the S.S. Oder from Bremen, Germany.  After landing in New York City, they continued on from New York, and traveled to southwestern Minnesota where they settled in the little community of Hersey near Adrian, Minnesota. 

John worked hard farming with his brother in their new homeland.  And when he was twenty-eight years old, he married Francisca Pelzl at Sacred Heart Church in Heron Lake, Minnesota.  Francisca was born in March of 1864 in Austria, and was a part of the German Catholic community near Heron Lake.  Several Pelzl families are found on the 1880 Census of La Crosse, Jackson County, Minnesota, and one Pelzl family was aboard the S.S.Oder traveling with the Fritschers.   

In 1894, the John Fritscher family moved to Texas from Jackson County, MN,  and followed brother Joseph in the hope of escaping the severe Minnesota winters.  On April 21, 1894, John bought 97 acres from Mr. Anton Steiger for $1,876.00. The land was located about seven miles east of Pilot Point, in Denton County, Texas.  It was September 25, 1894, when Francisca arrived by train with their two sons, John and Frank. The day after her arrival, their third child, Emma, was born, September 26, 1894.  The family lived in a small building and in 1896 they began constructing a larger home.   Grandson, Henry Fritcher, said that John had dug the cellar which was to be under the house and had lined the cellar with rock and placed loose bridge planks over the top.   The cellar saved the family on May 15, 1896, when a tornado struck, and the family took cover in the cellar. The tornado continued traveling in a northeasterly direction and struck the city of Sherman Texas, causing much destruction and the loss of many lives.  They continued working on the house and by 1909 they moved into a house that was 1 1/2 stories high with 1/2 size windows placed in the upper story.  Francisca said the house was built this way so that the family would be able to get out of the house on top of the snow.

John built a large and prosperous farm.  And their family grew in size to eight children in all.  John and Francisca are found on the 1910 Federal Census for Pilot Point, Denton County, Texas.  John is age 52, Francisca is 48, and their children are: John 23, Frank 22, Emma 16, William 12, Tillie 8, and daughter Minnie ,age 5.  Their son, Henry, had died prior to 1910, and daughter, Ida, was born after 1910. 

Many years later, John and Francisca handed the land down to their daughters, Tillie and Minnie.  Andrew and Minnie (Fritscher) Heuman later reared their family there.  

Johann (John) is buried with his wife, Francisca, at St. Thomas Cemetery, Pilot Point, Texas.  Many of John and Francisca's descendants remain in the Pilot Point area today.