The Klein Family History involves many German families who settled in Texas and California in the 1800s, including Dreyers, Neddenrieps, and Heimsoths.
Stephan Klein and his family were among the First Founders of New Braunfels, arriving with Prince Solms and the first wave of German settlers in 1844 to the Republic of Texas. The Kleins were from the village of Hattenheim, Germany on the Rhine River, famous for its wines.
Stephan was born in 1785 in Roxheim, Bad-Kreuznach, Germany, the son of Jacobi and Margaretha Klein. He married Margaretha Hoffmann, and they had a large family of 12 children.
Stephan's request to be considered for immigration is displayed in the Sophienburg Museum:
"The request of the carpenter and vine-dresser, Stephan Klein, from Hattenheim, at the office of the Duchy at Eltville, for the release from the present trade for reasons of immigration to Texas, is granted for the asked for immigration for the petitioner and his wife and five children which shall emigrate with him and comprise his family. Request granted in' Wiesbaden on the 9th of September, 1844, by the Government of the Duchy of Nassau."
The five children who emigrated were Joseph, Anna Maria, Jacob, Peter Valentin and Elisabethe. The family came to America on the brig Herschel in 1844. They spent the winter on the Texas coast and then made the trek inland to the site that would become New Braunfels. Daughter Katharina had already married Heinrich Schumann in Hattenheim, and they arrived later on the B. Bohlen brig in 1847.
Stephan received Town Lot # 41 and a 10 acre farm lot, # 107. The house is there today, next to the Naegelin Bakery on Seguin St. Soon after Comal County was established as separate from Bexar County, Stephan Klein was elected one of the four County Commissioners.
The settlers traded with the friendly Waco Indians, and one family story relates how young Elizabeth took one of her father's guns and aimed it at an Indian with whom her father was trading, nearly causing a riot and a stampede. Stephan explained it was only a prank, all was fine, and she almost got a spanking.
The Klein daughters were mothers to pioneer families. Katharina was the grandmother of a large Schumann family. Anna Marie first married politician Carl Bellmer, and then married Johann Jahn, who became famous in the area for his furniture. Barbara married Andreas Eikel, a prominent citizen. Elizabethe married Dietrich Voges and also raised a large family.
The Kleins moved to the banks of the Santa Clara Creek, with several other families, near the present town of Marion. Stephan's wife, Margareta, died in 1855, and Stephan died in 1857. Both were buried on the Klein farm along with their son Peter Valentin.
Joseph raised a large family, as did his son Rudolph. Rudolph's wife was Sophie Dreyer. Sophie's mother was Margaretha Heimsoth, and the Dreyers and Heimsoth families were from Hanover and settled in Texas and California.