Texas Archival Resources Online

TABLE OF CONTENTS


Descriptive Summary

Biographical Note

Scope and Content Note

Organization of Collection

Restrictions

Index Terms

Related Material

Administrative Information

Description of Series

Series 1: Duerler family papers

Series 2: Herff family papers

Series 3: Albert Herff-Beze papers

Series 4: LaCoste family papers

Series 5: Zulime Herff Simpson papers

Series 6: Miscellaneous family papers

Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo

A Guide to the Herff and Duerler Families Papers, 1853-1995



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Herff and Duerler Families
Title: Herff and Duerler Families Papers
Dates: 1853-1995
Creator Abstract: Part of the mid-nineteenth century wave of German-speaking immigrants to Texas, members of the Herff and Duerler families have remained prominent in the professional and business life of San Antonio for generations.
Content Abstract: The collection contains documents, printed material, biographical material, and photographs associated with significant events and places in the lives of several family members.
Identification: Col 10441
Extent: 3.38 linear feet (2 document boxes, 2 oversize boxes)
Language: Most materials are in English; some are in German and one letter is in Spanish.
Repository: Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library at the Alamo, San Antonio, Texas

Biographical Note

Part of the mid-nineteenth century wave of German-speaking immigrants to Texas, members of the Herff and Duerler families have remained prominent in the professional and business life of San Antonio for generations.

Born into an aristocratic family in Darmstadt, Germany, Ferdinand Ludwig von Herff was trained as a physician before joining a group of Germans who immigrated to Texas in 1847 to form the Bettina commune on the Llano River. After the failure of that venture, Herff returned to Germany where he married Mathilde Klingelhoefer in 1849. Returning to Texas, the couple settled in San Antonio where Herff began a long and distinguished medical practice. His accomplishments were numerous, including the introduction of new medical techniques and the organization of local and state medical societies. He continued to practice into his eighties and was honored by medical schools at home and in his native Germany.

Two of Dr. Herff’s sons, John and Adolph Herff, followed their father into the medical field, as did three grandsons. Another son, Ferdinand Herff, attended school in France and Germany, returning to San Antonio and a career at the First National Bank, retiring as president of the institution. His marriage to another native of San Antonio, Zulema LaCoste, produced four daughters, including Ellen Herff, who married Alfred Duerler, and Zulime Herff Simpson.

Closely tied to the Herff family by marriage, the Duerler family established itself in San Antonio in 1849 when John Jacob Dürler and his family emigrated from Switzerland. His son, Gustav A. Duerler, attended local schools and apprenticed in the printing trade before the Civil War and his Confederate service interrupted his career. After the war, he built a small shop into a candy manufacturing and pecan shelling business that remained in the family until the 1930s. Two of the children of Gustav and Magdalena Werner Duerler married into the Herff family: daughter Minnie Duerler married August A. Herff, a son of Ferdinand Herff, and son Alfred Duerler married Ellen Herff, daughter of Ferdinand Herff, Jr.

Another allied family branch that had a significant impact on succeeding generations blended European and native Texan roots. In 1847 Jean Batiste LaCoste came to Texas from France and married Manuela Menchaca, daughter of a family prominent in the early settlement of San Antonio. Their daughter Zulema LaCoste became the wife of Ferdinand Herff, Jr.

Several members of the Herff, Duerler, and LaCoste families were musically accomplished, and some were frequent public performers. Zulime Herff Simpson in particular pursued a career as a vocalist, performing locally and nationally and in broadcast productions. Another family member, Albert Herff-Beze, was a well-known music educator, long associated with Trinity University in San Antonio, and Evelyn Duerler, a niece of Zulime Simpson, enjoyed a national career as a singer.

Additional genealogical information about the Herff and Duerler families is available as a PDF document, accessible through the DRT Library's online catalog at http://69.63.217.28/elibsql08_D92004_Documents/00045gen.pdf.

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Scope and Content Note

Documents, printed material, biographical material, and photographs are part of the Herff and Duerler Families Papers, gathering items related to some of the significant events and places in the lives of family members. The papers are grouped by family or individual name and arranged by document type within those series.

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Organization of Collection

This collection is organized into six series.
Series 1: Duerler family papers
Series 2: Herff family papers
Series 3: Albert Herff-Beze papers
Series 4: LaCoste family papers
Series 5: Zulime Herff Simpson papers
Series 6: Miscellaneous family papers

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

No restrictions. The collection is open for research.

Usage Restrictions

Please be advised that the library does not hold the copyright to most of the material in its archival collections. It is the responsibility of the researcher to secure those rights when needed. Permission to reproduce does not constitute permission to publish. The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming to the laws of copyright, literary property rights, and libel.

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Index Terms

Personal Names
Duerler family.
Herff family
LaCoste family.
Duerler, Alfred, 1876-1946.
Duerler, Ellen Herff, b. 1879.
Duerler, Gustav A., 1841-1928.
Herff, Ferdinand, 1852-1927.
Herff, Mathilde Klingelhoefer, 1823-1910.
Herff, Zulema LaCoste, 1855-1936.
Herff-Beze, Albert, 1902-1976.
LaCoste, Antonia Manuela Menchaca, 1831-1917.
LaCoste, Jean Batiste, 1824-1887.
Menchaca, Antonio, 1800-1879.
Simpson, Zulime Herff, 1888-1975.
Von Herff, Ferdinand Ludwig, 1820-1912.
Organizations
Daughters of the Republic of Texas.
Trinity University (San Antonio, Tex.)
Subjects
German Americans--Texas--San Antonio.
Swiss Americans--Texas--San Antonio.
French--Texas--San Antonio.
Women singers--Texas--San Antonio.
Locations
San Antonio (Tex.)--History.
Genres/Formats
Family papers.
Photographs.
Printed ephemera.

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Related Material

Gustav A. Duerler Papers, 1866-1938, Doc 11438, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.

Charles Adelbert Herff Reminiscences, circa 1860-1879, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

Leonard B. Plummer Collection, circa 1910-1961, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Herff and Duerler Families Papers, 1853-1995, Col 10441, Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library, San Antonio, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Eleanor Hill Lamb, 1998 November.

Processing Information

Processed by Warren Stricker, 1998 December.

Finding aid edited and encoded by Caitlin Donnelly, 2010 November.

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Detailed Description of the Collection

 

Series 1: Duerler family papers

Material associated with the Duerler family includes a few family documents, such as Alfred Duerler’s report card from the German-English School of San Antonio and stock certificates for the G. A. Duerler Manufacturing Co. Photographs are more extensive and depict several family members and the family ranch home near Leon Springs. Much of the material is associated with Gustav A. and Magdalena Duerler and Alfred and Ellen Herff Duerler.
Box Folder
1 1 Family documents, 1887-1928
2 Histories
3 Clippings, 1901-1995 and undated
Photographs
4 John Jacob Duerler
5 Gustav A. and Magdalena Duerler and family
Includes Alfred Duerler, Gustav A. Duerler, Jr., Ferdinand Herff, Jr. and Zulema Herff, and Minnie Duerler Herff.
6 Alfred and Ellen Herff Duerler
7 Gustav A. Duerler house
8-10 Buena Vista, Gustav A. Duerler ranch
11 Miscellaneous photographs
Includes Duerler Candy truck and Gustav A. Duerler in the San Antonio fire company, 1869.
Oversize photographs
Box Folder
Oversize 3 Alfred Duerler and family
Includes Dorothy Duerler, Ellen Herff Duerler, Evelyn Duerler, and Zulime Herff.
Box Folder
Oversize 4 Alfred Duerler and Ellen Herff Duerler

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Series 2: Herff family papers

Documents related to the Herff family include a military record regarding medical services provided by Ferdinand Herff, a letter from Ferdinand Herff, Jr. to his father, a marriage certificate, passport, and miscellaneous correspondence. Biographical sketches, published material, and newspaper clippings provide information on several family members, particularly Ferdinand Herff, Ferdinand Herff, Jr., and Adolph Herff. Printed material includes programs which commemorate family members or which feature performances by the family. Photographs are related to several family members.
Box Folder
1 12 Family documents, 1853-1925
Box Folder
Oversize 3 Oversize documents
Box Folder
1 13 Biographical material
14 Published material, 1954-1989 and undated
15 Printed material, 1877-1952 and undated
16 Clippings, 1927-1990 and undated
Photographs
17 Ferdinand and Mathilde Klingelhoefer Herff
18 Ferdinand Herff bust
19 Ferdinand Herff, Jr. and family
Includes Alice Herff, Ellen Herff, Mattie Herff, and Zulema LaCoste Herff.
20 Herff family
Includes Adolph Herff, August A. Herff and Minnie Duerler Herff, Juanita and Carolyn Herff, Augie Herff, Charles Herff, Ferdinand Herff, Jr., John Herff, Will Herff, Alice Herff Beze Heady, Max and John Krueger, Charlotte “Lottie” Herff Krueger and Max Krueger, and Mattie Herff Rees.
Oversize photographs
Box Folder
Oversize 4 Ferdinand Herff
Ferdinand Herff, Jr. and family
Includes Alice Herff, Ellen Herff, Mattie Herff, Zulema LaCoste Herff, and Zulime Herff.

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Series 3: Albert Herff-Beze papers

A small group of printed items, clippings, and a photograph are related to Albert Herff-Beze and document his career as a music educator and events held in his honor at Trinity University in San Antonio.
Box Folder
1 21 Miscellaneous material, 1966-1969
22 Clippings, 1927-1975
23 Photograph

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Series 4: LaCoste family papers

This small selection of documents, clippings, and photographs is related to the LaCoste family. Notable are two letters from Zulema LaCoste and a copy of the citizenship record of Jean B. LaCoste. Also represented is Manuela Menchaca LaCoste.
Box Folder
2 24 Family documents, 1861-1868
25 Clippings, 1914 and 1957
26 Photographs
Includes Jean Batiste LaCoste, Manuela Menchaca LaCoste, Nita LaCoste, and Zulema LaCoste Herff.

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Series 5: Zulime Herff Simpson papers

Much of the material of Zulime Herff Simpson reflects her musical activities and includes letters, programs, and photographs. Some personal letters, report cards, clippings, and items related to her membership in the Daughters of the Republic of Texas are also included.
Box Folder
2 27 Correspondence, 1899-1960
28 Report cards, 1896-1902
29 Programs, 1923-1944
30 General printed material, 1917 and undated
31 Clippings, 1917-1976 and undated
32 Miscellaneous papers, 1967 and undated
Box Folder
Oversize 3 Oversize documents
Box Folder
2 33 Photographs
Box Folder
Oversize 3 Oversize photographs

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Series 6: Miscellaneous family papers

A few isolated items representing other family members or individuals are grouped together as miscellaneous family papers. Most notable is a scrapbook apparently created by Celeste Rees Huffington which gathers documents, clippings, and printed items associated with the Herff, Duerler, LaCoste, and Menchaca families. Special events - particularly musical performances, marriages, and deaths - are noted. Individuals documented in the scrapbook include Ferdinand Herff, Ferdinand Herff, Jr., Albert Herff-Beze, Evelyn Duerler, Jean Batiste LaCoste, Zulema LaCoste Herff, Zulime Herff Simpson, Alfred Duerler, and Antonio Menchaca. Loose items from the scrapbook and items removed for preservation purposes have been placed in the appropriate family series.
Box Folder
2 34 Celeste Rees Huffington genealogy
35 Clippings
36 Photographs: Johanna Kloepper Steves
Box Folder
Oversize 4 Scrapbook: Herff, Duerler, LaCoste families, 1871-1961
Photocopies made by the donor of pages from the scrapbook and other documents are housed here for reference use.

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