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People with brains,  panache, or character. Sometimes all three.


Solid Citizens of Gonzales:
Gerhard and Rosina Behlen


by Norman Conquest

With celebrity, fame and notoriety being what they are, we doubt if Gerhard and Rosina would be comfortable if they were to visit Texas today. We do know it's unlikely they would have voted for Bill Clinton. If they were to be comfortable anywhere, we're sure it would be Gonzales, where the values and traditions they helped establish are still evident. We chose this couple from the many families mentioned in the History of Gonzales County because they typify the spirit of the pioneers who settled this part of Texas.

We offer their humble biography as a counter-balance to the notoriety of John Wesley Hardin, Gonzales' most mentioned former resident.

Born in Germany, Gerhard immigrated to Weimar, Texas, via Indianola. He attended school in Weimar and College in Brenham. He married Rosina Carolina Gloor in 1903 and their wedding picture shows a beaming bridegroom, unusual for the wedding photos of the period. They acquired 101 acres and then later 120 acres more. They planted extensive orchards and supplied their neighbors with fruits and produce. They had an extensive rose garden as well. Gerhard wrote to Texas A & M University and kept up to date with the latest Agricultural advances. He introduced the planting of mung beans between rows of corn to help replenish the soil. 

The Behlens had seven children, although three were lost to childhood deseases. Rosina became a midwife, helping other families in the Doctor-deficient County. Gerhard rode into town to give music lessons and was instrumental (no pun intended) in organizing a county band. True to his Teutonic nature, he kept detailed accounts of everything, down to the cost of seed. So here they lived their lives, not exciting in the way of John Hardin, and we doubt their names will become household words. The Gentleman-Farmer and his Wife, in the purest Jeffersonian sense.

Gerhard died in 1960. Rosina followed ten years later.

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