Henry Louis Joseph Sporrer
Henry Sporrer was one of 8 children born to Michael and Klara Wenzina Sporrer. He was born in Ebersbrunn, Hollabrunn, Niederösterreich, Austria on July 8, 1843. He attended school in Vienna and had an excellent education, speaking 7 languages. He was a talented artist and could accurately sketch an image quickly. His parents hoped he would become a priest, but instead he chose a path with the military, joining with Maximilian's army when he was 19. He was an officer in the expedition to Mexico, possibly a captain. After Maximilian's capture and execution, Henry and a friend boarded a boat and sailed to New Orleans. While in New Orleans, he became Superintendent of the German-American School.
In 1874, he moved to Victoria, Texas to become the German and penmanship teacher. He later founded the Duetsche Zeitung fur Texas newspaper for German readers.
On May 20, 1876, Henry married Mary Sitterle. Mary was the daughter of Stephan and Marie Magdelena Gaba Sitterle. She was 16 years his junior, but very mature for her age in that she had overtaken the care of her younger siblings after the death of their mother. Because of this, her formal education had been limited to only 6 month.
It was recalled that Henry was an involved citizen and was well-known in social, political, and educational aspects of Victoria. He advocated for the establishment of the water works system of Victoria, was President and one of the founders of the Yorktown Mutual Aid Association, was an active member of the Republican party, and was appointed to the office of Postmaster by President William McKinley shortly before his death. Henry was known to keep a diary, writing in it daily. Sadly, the journal has been lost.
Henry died as a result of a liver problem on February 23, 1898. He is buried in the older section of the Evergreen Cemetery. Mary eventually remarried to Eugene Thuett. She died as a result of heart problems on October 8, 1913.
Henry was survived by three children: Gisella, Max, and Louise. A young daughter, Henrietta, died at the the age of 2.
In 1923, he was commemorated with a bronze plate on a lamp post at DeLeon Plaza along with others pioneers who contributed to the development of Victoria: L.F. Jecker, J.D. Mitchell, W.L. Fly, T.D. Wood, B.F. Williams, Henry Sporrer, H. F. Rathbone, A. Goldman, W. J. McNamara, T.M. O'Connor, F. Linwood Goldman, and G.O. Stoner.
Based on the recollections of daughters, Mrs. Gisella Pettit and Mrs. Louise Ernst (July 1935).
"It is with much sorrow we mention the death of Editor Henry Joseph Sporrer, of the Zeitung, which occurred at his residence Wednesday morning. His funeral was attended by all the white school children, the procession was one of the longest ever seen in the city. Prof. Sporrer was a good man and by his death the republican party loses one of its strongest members. The entire populace is grieved over his demise."
(Obituary thought to be from Victoria Advocate)