From the small beginning in New York City, the Order had
grown to 800 members in six Northern states by 1847, and at a convention
held in Milwaukee on Christmas Day 1848, a Grand Lodge, with offices in
New York City, was organized. the newly created national Order
adopted the motto "Friendship, Love and Loyalty."
This motto lives on in the hearts and good works of the members of the
Order of the Sons of Hermann in the State of Texas.
The first permanent settlers of the Texas Hill Country were pioneers
who had come to Texas from Germany in 1845 and 1846. After
establishing such towns as New Braunfels, Fredricksburg, and Comfort, a
number of these settlers moved into San Antonio, which already a been a
frontier community of long standing. these settlers formed a society
and social life of their own in San Antonio. It was a society which
welcomed the extras which the Order of the Sons of Hermann was soon to
offer and thereafter perpetuate.
The National Grand Lodge sent John Lemnitzer of Rochester, N.Y., and
Jakob Goll, also from the Northern United States to San Antonio, and they
helped the San Antonians establish the first Hermann Sons Lodge in Texas -
Harmonia Lodge No. 1 - in 1860. The lodge was fully chartered on
July 6, 1861. The Order gave the pioneers much in the line of mutual
interest and protection, and the movement took off in other communities.
On March 27, 1890, with the Alamo, the Cradle of Texas Liberty, as a
backdrop, Texans from newly formed lodges in Austin, Tyler, Temple, Waco,
La Grange, Brenham and Houston met with Harmonia Lodge representatives to
form the Grand Lodge of the Order of the Sons of Hermann.
Within a year after this Grand Lodge Convention in San Antonio, 92
additional Texas Hermann Sons lodges were established.
Harmonia Lodge No. 1 in San Antonio was the first Hermann Sons lodge
anywhere to add life insurance on a non-profit basis to the benefits for
its members. This was first proposed in 1873 and put into
effect within approximately two years.
Since 1921, the Order of the Sons of Hermann in Texas, with its Grand
Lodge in San Antonio, has been completely autonomous and independent of
any National Grand Lodge affiliation. In 1921, when the Texas
Hermann Sons Order went on its own, it already was stronger financially
and had more members than all other Sons of Hermann lodges in all other