Search For The Answer
Click here to access our database of
Plant Answers
Search For The Picture
Click here to access the Google database of plants and insects
Information Index
Alphabetical Listing of Topics, Recommendations and Plants

Milberger's Nursery and Landscaping
3920 North Loop 1604 E.
San Antonio, TX 78247

Open 9 to 6 Mon. through Sat.
and 10 to 5 on Sun.

Three exits east of 281, inside of 1604
Next to the Diamond Shamrock station
Please click map for more detailed map and driving directions.

Click here

Meusbach.jpg (359508 bytes)John O. Meusbach (1812-1897)

     A skilled gardener, the former Baron Otfried Hans Freiherr von Meusebach was the second commissioner of The Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas and an accomplished student of natural sciences. Upon arriving in Texas he dropped his noble title and became simply John O. Meusebach. He is also widely known for founding the town of Fredericksburg, forging a lasting peace treaty with the Comanche Indians of the Texas Hill country, and serving as a sate senator. He later moved to Loyal Valley where his farm, garden, and nursery became a showplace.
Visiting in 1877, N.A. Taylor wrote: "Loyal Valley is indeed a garden in a wilderness; a garden in which one can linger and be happy. Here is a nursery in which sixty varieties of roses grow, and hundreds of the finest flora of three continents; sixty varieties of pear, forty of peach, and an array of apples, plums, and grapes-all cultivated and arranged with taste and skill that cannot be excelled. It is curious to see such an industry in so isolated and remote a region; and nothing could possibly indicate so well the higher civilization of the people of the valley, as the fact stated to me by the proprietor that he had liberal and profitable customers. I am sure, said John O. Meusebach, that our valley will soon have as fine vineyards, orchards and gardens as any country in the world, and I feel some little pride in the thought that it is I that am doing it.
John O. Meusebach held that people could not be happy and really blessed until they had vineyards and which view I heartily concurred..." (13). In a letter dated March 14, 1884, Meusebach stated "...We have planted onions, (German) potatoes, beans, and sugar corn in the garden. We had plenty of turnips, and sold about $30.00 worth. As I bought no new trees this year, I trimmed all the old trees severely, and made 2000 cuttings of grape-vines, as well as 1000 of crepemyrtle and other
shrubs..." (17) His crapemyrtles were evidently quite a spectacle.
Describing the garden in her book, John O. Meusebach (1967), Irene Marschall King, his granddaughter, states: "The avenue of crape-myrtle shrubs leading to the family residence had a graduation of color that would have pleased an artist. The path to the cow pen had rows of lilacs on either side, and Vitex (American lavender) surrounded the outhouses.  Bamboo plants grew near the pond, and jujube plums or Texas dates, with their thick, thorny growth served as fences. Meusebach tended carefully a small-leafed boxwood, so that his wife could use the miniature leaves to decorate cakes for special celebrations. Trumpet vines flourished to attract hummingbirds. Bachelor buttons were made into dried bouquets for the winters; a pot of Parma violets usually stood in a sunny window to give fragrance to the winter air. The flowering willows provided thimbles for the children..." Offspring from these flowering willows (Chilopsis linearis, related to catalpas not willows) and jujubes (Ziziphus jujube, also called chinese date) can be seen naturalized on the old property today. His outdoor Roman bath constructed of whitewashed native stone
beneath a bathhouse covered with purple and white wisteria was also quite a novelty.
        The Germans loved life, gardening, and most of all their new home. In a final show of typical German-Texan pride and unity, John O. Meusebach had the strongest forces behind his existence inscribed on his tombstone...TENAX PROPOSITI (Preserverance in purpose) and TEXAS FOREVER.
    Meusebach died at Loyal Valley in 1897 and was buried nearby at Cherry Springs.
    For more information on John Meusebach, see the following books.
King, Irene Marschall. John O. Meusebach. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1967. Thousand Miles in Texas on Horseback. New York, Chicago, and New Orleans: A.S. Barnes and Co., 1877.

McDaniel, H. F., and Nathaniel Alston Taylor. The Coming Empire; or Two Wurzbach's Memoirs and Meusebach Papers. San Antonio: Yanaguana Society Publications, 1937.

Revised 03/19/09