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Johann "Jean" Schneider

Johann “Jean” Schneider was from the town of Welgesheim, Hessen Darmstadt (Germany) and arrived at the port of Galveston on 8 April 1846, Texas had joined the Union. He receiving both 320 acres of free land and lot #120 in the original layout of the new German town of New Braunfels. After becoming established he wrote to his fiancée in Germany to join him in Texas. They were married sometime in 1849-1850.

In 1858-1959 Jean and family moved from New Braunfels to Austin. At that time, the population of
Austin was about 400. Jean acquired property and began work on his “Beer Vaults”. An ad in the Austin State Gazette newspaper on 14 April 1860 shows Jean operating a brewery from the rear of Kirchberg’s Saloon on Congress Avenue.

On 18 January 1862 Jean was killed when he was thrown from a wagon and broke his neck while gathering sand at the river bank in Austin. His widow and children continued to live on their property on the NW corner of 2nd and Guadalupe in Austin. The completed beer vaults were in their back yard and served as a 2-room root cellar.

Jean’s eldest son, Jacob Peter “JP”, became a merchant and prominent citizen of Austin. His
first store was a simple wooden building next to the family home. Later, JP built a two story brick general store building across the street from the family home. That building still exists (currently it houses Lamberts restaurant) and has a Texas Historic Marker.

It is unclear whether Jean ever used the vaults for brewing, since he died shortly after their completion.

-Thanks to Micheal Schneider, Jean's great-great-grandson, for this information