Round Top


Von Rosenberg Hotel and General Store

Johannes Carl Johann von Rosenberg owned and operated a Hotel and Store on the north side of the square. The building still stands today.
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From Fayette County, Her History and Her People by F. Lotto, 1902:
This little city is quite an historic place. It was formerly called Townsend's. Two miles from it is the former colony of the "Nassan [Nassau] Adelsverein," founded in the forties.

Round Top is situated about sixteen miles from La Grange on the La Grange-Brenham road. It is built on top of a hill which overlooks the Cumming's Creek bottom lands. Northeast is the rich La Bahia prairie. North towards Ledbetter is postoak.

Round Top used to be in olden times quite a considerable place. Even after the arrival of the Texas Central and the building of Carmine, it held its own for a long time. Lately, Carmine being situated on the railroad, has cut off some of the trade of Round Top on account of its more favorable location. Still, the traditions and old established business relations of the place will always retain for it a considerable trade.

The population of Round Top is now entirely German, very few of the old American settlers having remained in its neighborhood. Among the old settlers of Round Top may be mentioned Geo. Fricke, a veteran of the Mexican War who served in that war under Gen. Winfield Scot; C. E. Bauer, the Weyand family, Dr. Rankin, ___ White, ___ Taylor, John Bell, I. C. Hill, Joel W. Robison, Wm. v. Rosenberg, Ferd., Henry and Ad. Kneip, C. W. Rummel, Chas. Schiege, Robert Zapp, C. Henkel, ___ Weikel, Rev. A. Neuthard, the late pastor of the Lutheran church who for a generation worked faithfully at that place in the vineyard of Our Lord, highly respected and beloved by all who knew him.

Round Top has two churches, the Lutheran and a colored Baptist church.

The city of Round Top was known in earlier times for the splendor of its feasts. Governors and state officers thought the place important enough to deliver their public addresses there before intelligent audiences.* These feasts are still very famous and always attract a large crowd. They are generally arranged by the Round Top Shooting Club, an organization known throughout South Texas. The president of this organization is Fritz Fricke, the secretary is Hy. Pochmann.

There are two lodges at Round Top: Knights of Honor, G. Froehlich, sr., secretary; and Sons of Hermann, H. C. Rummel, president, Fritz Fricke, secretary, (membership 32).

The Round Top school has been for a number of years under the able management of Prof. G. Froehlich and has retained under him its old established reputation for high grade of scholarship.

As remarked before, Round Top is, for a town not connected by any railroad, on account of its surrounding rich agricultural county, a very considerable trading place. Of the business men who appreciated the work of the writer on their home county to such an extent as to place with him a small ad. and to whom, therefore, the friends of the book should feel kind, because it enabled the writer to get out such a work, he mentions Ernst Fricke, the accommodating postmaster of Round Top, who is the proprietor of a good sized mercantile establishment, dealing in groceries, crockery and hardware; W. J. Dippel & Bro. in the general merchandise business; Wm. Ginzel, the old popular tin man of Round Top; O. H. Helmecke, who is the proprietor of one of the largest blacksmith and wheelwright shops in the county and a skillful workman; Gus Bender, whose saloon is the popular meeting place of the Round Top people; and Dr. A. Posch, a skillful and learned physician and surgeon, a man of high standing among his colleagues and the people. Round Top has four stores, three saloons, one drugstore, one tinsmith shop, one gin, one blacksmith shop, one cigar factory, one photograph gallery, one physician and one shoemaker. Quite a considerable place. It is the seat of justice for the precinct. A nice court house and calaboose stand on the public square.

Round Top has daily mail, a money order postoffice, and is connected with the outside world by telephone.

A fire company has been organized to protect the city against fire. The president of the fire company is Hermann Rummel, the captain of the hook and ladder company Otto Poppe.

The town was incorporated in 1865. Otto Poppe is the present mayor of the town; P. Klar, marshal. The population numbers about 250.

*NOTE. - In those early times Round Top was quite a political center. It was the home of the two leading politicians of the north side of the county, Judge C. Henkel, a democrat, and Robert Zapp, a republican. Both took an active interest in politics and were great campaigners.

Pictured from top are the Otto Heinririch Helmecke home, the home of Peter Carl Von Rosenberg and Amanda Fallier Von Rosenberg in Round Top (Zapp-Von Rosenberg home now at Henkel Square), Bethlehem Lutheran Church in the late 1800s, Adolph Heinrich Kneip's gin (he was from Laubach, Oberhaussen, Germany and married Emilie Amanda Von Rosenberg), another Von Rosenberg family home. Below is the Round Top State Bank, chartered in 1912 with the Hermann Eugene Von Rosenberg home in the background.
All building photos on this page, except the Bethlehem Lutheran Church, were contributed by Jon Todd Koenig. The church photo was contributed by Carolyn Heinsohn.
Carl Siegismund Bauer
14 Sep 1792 – 27 Jan 1873
Immigrated from Wiese in Saxony in 1848. Built St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church in Houston and the Bethlehem Lutheran Church in Round Top.
Carl Ergott Bauer
Born 8 Mar 1828 ay Wiese, Saxony.
Died 28 Oct 1906, Round Top.
All Bauer photos ontributed by Lauren Jodoin
Wilhelmine Siedentopf Bauer
1824 - 1905
Wife of Carl Ergott Bauer.
Both are buried at Hill Cemetery.
Sled in front of Alex Von Rosenberg Store in Round Top, 15 February 1895
Mrs. Friederike Recknagel took this photo after eight inches of snow fell on Round Top.
Pictured in no particular order are Wm. and O. McCormick; Max Michaelis; Max Heinrich; Herm. Rummel; C. Schiege; Geo. Weyand; H. von Rosenberg and children, Walter, Ernst, and Anna; Theodora (Dorchen) von Rosenberg; Bruno Helmecke, Herman von Rosenberg, Jr.; and W. H. Saunders, teacher.
Photo contributed by Jon Todd Koenig

Related Links

Round Top Chamber of Commerce

City of Round Top


Festival Hill

Mayer Cemetery, Washington County

Winedale Photograph Collection, University of Texas Center for American History

View of Round Top ca. 1860s
Photo of Prof. George Etzel's Round Top Band, Round Top, Texas, 1893
Round Top baseball team, ca. 1910.
Woman carding cotton, Round Top, ca. 1907
Kneip House
Portrait of Rudolph Melchior, ca. 1850s
Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Related articles at Fayette County TXGenWeb Site

Bethlehem Lutheran Church
Running the Rings

German Festival Planned
Schiege Cigar Factory
Peter Carl Johann Von Rosenberg
Connersville Primitive Baptist Church African-American Museum
The Era of the Colored School in Round Top
Who Found the 1939 Round Top Meteorite
The Recknagels of Round Top
Gustav Froelich, Early Round Top Photographer
Fayette County's Precinct Courthouses

Becker Cemetery
Bethlehem Lutheran Church Cemetery
Connersville Primitive Baptist Church Cemetery
Florida Chapel Cemetery
Hill Cemetery
Hill Cemetery on Hinze Farm
Kraus Family Cemetery
Nassau Cemetery
Nassau Black Cemetery
Richters Cemetery
Weyand Cemetery

Related articles at the Handbook of Texas Online

Round Top, Texas
Round Top Academy
Nassau Farm
International Festival-Institute at Round Top
Isaac Lafayette Hill
Neuthard School
John Friedrich Meinhard Ernst
Rhone Family Papers
Amanda Fallier von Rosenberg
Peter Carl Johann von Rosenberg
Charles L. Bybee
James Donald Painter
Friederike Caroline Elise Michaelis Recknagel

See Round Top history, architecture and attractions at the site

Go to Page 2 of Round Top, Texas