George Washington Maltsberger was born six years before the Alamo fell.  He was Lee’s great-grandfather.

GW MaltsbergerGeorge Washington MALTSBERGER was born on 6 Mar 1830 in Greenville, Green Co., TN. He owned land on 29 Jul 1861 in Denton Co., TX. He sold land to Thomas A. Wakefield. Michael Maltsberger was the notary public. He died on 1 Mar 1918 in San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX. George Washington Maltsberger was the son of Michael Maltsberger and Nancy (Newman) Maltsberger, the fourth child in their family of eight sons and two daughters. George was married 1 Mar. 1855, in Denton, Texas, to (1) Roxanna Allen who was born 28 Jan. 1837 in Atlanta, Ga, and died 23 Mar. 1888 in San Antonio, Texas. She in said to have descended from Scottish nobility, her father, Robert Allen, having emigrated from there. Her mother was a Stuart from Ireland.

George was reared on a farm but left that occupation at fourteen years old for a job with the Federal Government at Fort Leavenworth. He had a colorful, adventuresome career, as a pioneer, Indian fighter, soldier and stockman. He was located in Denton, Texas, by 1855 where he established a home and became a rancher and stockman, at which he was considerably successful. He was one of the first to drive herds of cattle through the Indian Nation to Kansas, before and after the Civil War. His herd consisting of 720 cows which sold for $30 a piece. His livestock and land made him a comfortable fortune before the War but the ravages of War left him practically penniless. After the War he arrived in San Antonio with $7.50 in his pocket.

George was a Confederate soldier but his four brothers who remained in Missouri joined the Union Army. He also served in the Indian Wars on the Northern Texas frontier. He first enlisted in Pyron’s Regiment, coming to San Antonio for that purpose. He later returned to Denton County. He joined Bowlin’s Regiment for service against the Indians in Cook, Montague, Clay, Jack and surrounding war damaged counties.

He proved his bravery and skill as an Indian fighter in Jack Co, when he assumed command of a squad because the Lt., fearing slaughter, had declined to lead the charge. The murder and mutilation of white people was revolting. On different occasions while out alone hunting for deer and other game, George had narrow escapes. He recalled on one occasion when bee hunting, he was chased over a high bluff by Indians. He landed in a dry bed of sand unhurt. One Indian with less fear than the rest, attempted to follow him and was shot and killed by Maltsberger. George hid for a day before managing to escape. He had two arrow wounds on his arm from various encounters with Indians.

Before the end of the War, George was under the command of Captain Throckmorton, who went up the Red River near the Kansas line and made treaties with 16 different tribes and bands of Indians. They recovered 12 white children stolen by the Indians. His life story is well described (but with many errors) in “A Twentieth Century History of Southwest Texas, Vol. 1,’ The Lewis Publishing Co., Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, 1907 page 463. Also, an issue of the San Antonio Express in March 1914.

Roxanna Jane Allen traveled to Denton, Texas, with the Maltsberger family who was removing there from Gentry County, MO. She was betrothed to George who had preceded his fiance and his family.

After their marriage they resided there for a few years before going on to San Antonio, Texas, where they remained, except for his war services, and took part in the development of that city and area. George was a highly energetic and resourceful man. Coming to San Antonio, he camped out along the ditch in the northern part of town. He had erected a pleasant home and was making money within four years.

The Double Heart Brand

On September 5, 1881 George Washington Maltsberger registered the Double Heart brand in Bexar County, Texas and described it as the “Maltsberger-Allen” brand.  We use that same brand today on the Double Heart Ranch.

For a few years he lived outside San Antonio on his ranch in LaSalle County, where he was one of the most successful stockmen, while in later years he handled a great deal of city property. They had 9 children: Alexander Perry “Alec”; Mary Ann (Jones); Martha Ellen ( (1) Slade, (2) Jones); John Terry; Margaret Emma (l) Ward (2) Rubottom; Sarah Belle (Scott); Van George; Dove (Warren); Dora (Congdon).

After Roxanna’s death, George married (2) Minnie Clark. All children are by first marriage. About 1889, he retired from active business life to a great extent, keeping just enough business matters on hand to partially occupy his time. He was well known to the general public of San Antonio by taking a citizens’s active part in its affairs. He was never interested in public office. George and Roxanna are both buried in City Cemetery No. 1. in San Antonio, Texas. Many of their descendants continue to reside and successfully participate in businesses and civic affairs, in San Antonio.


Newspaper Article

Text as it appears in article to the left.

G.W. Maltsberger, born Exactly Six Years Before the Alamo Fell, Celebrated His Eighty-Fourth Birthday–Recalls Exciting Experiences on the Frontier.

With an interesting career replete with incidents of danger and peril through which he passed while living a rugged life of hardship on the plains of Texas and on the frontier of the West, G. W. Maltsberger, of this city, still hale and hearty, has just celebrated his eight-fourth birthday. He was born March 6, 1830, exactly six years before the fall of the Alamo, and at present lives on North Flores Street, on the same location where he pitched camp on first coming to San Antonio many years ago when this city was still nothing more than a small-sized town.

There are chapters in Mr. Maltsberger’s life which, told in interesting manner by the aged pioneer, sound as though they might have been taken bodily from the most interesting parts of some book of fiction dealing with life on the plains during the early days of the South and the West. But the octogenarian has seldom read books. His own life has furnished enough material for interesting contemplation and he looks upon the fiction writings as puny, puerile attempts at depicting the life he knows so well.

He was born in Green Co., Tennessee, and was one of a family of seven children. At the age of fourteen he left home and took up work with the Federal Government at the Fort Leavenworth farm. While working in this capacity, he made several trips across the plains to the West and Northwest, each time passing through what was then a zone of danger for the traveler, without serious mishap.

One of these trips was made at the time of the emigration of the Mormons to Salt Lake, Utah. Mr. Maltsberger accompanied the Mormons part of the way and he graphically describes the sufferings and privations of the little band, telling of the hardships they endured during the slow stage of their journey. They were continually harassed by the Indians, he says, the depredations of the red men causing them the loss of many men. The colony was later infested with the scourge of cholera, which, added to the horrors of starvation and thirst, soon brought about a condition of affairs almost indescribably sad. The Mormons were forced to leave sometimes without burying their dead. Though accompanying them, Mr. Maltsberger suffered little of the ravages to which they were subjected.

On another trip the narrator tells of an incident in which there was a near fight with a large band of Indians. With other employees of the government, he had been out on the trail for a number of days and was in the heart of a seemingly unending desert, when a band of Indians swooped down upon them, demanding provisions, ammunition and whiskey. As quickly as possible the little band of white man formed themselves in a semi-circle, surrounded by their wagons, and answered that the Indians could have only what they could gain through fighting. Seeing the finality of the stand that the men had taken, and probably not having much of a desire to engage in a fight, the Indians withdrew.

In 1853 Mr. Maltsberger left the employ of the government and settled in Denton County, Texas, which was then on the frontier. A little money that he had saved up was invested in land, 500 acres being bought. This was later exchanged for cattle and the herd was driven to Jack County, Texas, where Mr. Maltsberger settled in the Lost Valley.

Nearby the place where he settled, Mr. Maltsberger recounts, there were two families, the Camerons and the Masons. It was the early spring, crops had been planted and everything was in a prosperous condition for the three families of settlers in Lost Valley. One morning Mr. Maltsberger left his home, going to Denton to secure a supply of provisions. On his return he found that the entire families of both the Camerons and the Masons had been murdered by the Indians and their places burned. Efforts were made to apprehend the Indians, but these were unsuccessful.

While he was absent, Mr. Maltsberger’s place had also been ransacked, and he now found himself in destitute circumstances. Leaving the Lost Valley, he traveled to Denton and started life anew. He joined Col. Bolen’s regiment, and while working in this connection had any number of interesting experiences. The purpose of the regiment was to protect the settlements from the attacks of the many bands of Indians that were almost continually prowling in that vicinity. The remarkable fact he engaged in almost daily fights in which men all around him, singly or in large numbers were killed, he always escaped serious hurt. This was soon noticed and he made a name for himself all along the Frontier as the man who was “immune to danger.”

Mr. Maltsberger tells of his meeting with the famous Quantrell, well-known desperado along the frontier of the early days.
“I was with Governor Throckmorton of Texas, Colonel Regan of Arkansas, and Captain Toddy of my company and we were on a trip to the head of the Canadian River to make a treaty with the Indians. One night while in camp, a party of strangers rode up and informed us that Quantrell was camped but a short distance away.

Having a curiosity to see this man of whom I had heard so much, I rode over to his camp. I had no sooner struck the place than a number of his men surrounded me and began to admire my horse. Quantrell himself then appeared and asked me if I would trade the horse. I told him that I would not, that I liked the horse and had no reason for selling or trading him. With my positive answer, Quantrell took hold of the bridle and commanded me to dismount, saying that if I offered any resistance it would be the last time I would ever have a chance to do so. In this predicament, I made the best of the situation and said I would accept a horse in trade as he had suggested. I was given a beautiful gray stallion, which greatly surprised me; as I had not expected that the animal given to me in exchange would be half the value of mine. This horse I later traded for a mule, a fine horse, and $300.00.

After disbanding of his Company, Mr. Maltsberger returned to his family, which he had left behind, and moved to a point between Fredericksburg and Boerne. He later moved with them to San Antonio, and camped on the ditch on N. Flores Street, in front of his present place of residence.

He was married to Roxanna Jane ALLAN on 1 Mar 1855 in Denton, Denton Co.,TX.

Roxanna Jane ALLAN was born on 28 Jan 1837 in Atlanta, Fulton Co., GA. One source said she was born in TN. She died on 23 Mar 1888 in San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX. She was described as AaSouthern Belle with dark brown curls.. Children were:

Alexander Perry MALTSBERGER was born on 17 Jan 1858 in Denton Co., TX. He died on 27 Apr 1927 in Higgins, Lipscomb Co., TX. He was a Rancher, Cattleman and Peace Officer. True West Magazine, June 1964 “Old Time Ranchmen of the Southwest.”  With brand ALX, Alex Maltsberger, was a pioneer cowboy who entered the Panhandle in 1880 as a trail-driver for Schreiner, Light, and Lytle, who were some of the largest South Texas trail outfits. In Lipscomb Co, he served as the first sheriff and worked for the Box T. Later he was a Cherokee Strip rancher on the John Chisholm Trail near the Cimarron. Some of his friends wer Sebe Jones, Alex Crawford, Charles Schreiner, Sam Cupp, John McQuipp and Charles Rynearson. Sebe Jones and Alex shot it out with and captured horse thieves in South Texas. Vigilantes took the prisoners and hung them in a pecan tree on Turtle Creek as Sebe and Alex were on the way to Kerrville with the men.

Martha Ellen MALTSBERGER was born on 19 Oct 1860 in Denton, TX. She died in 1947 in El Paso, TX.

Sarah Belle MALTSBERGER was born on 17 Jan 1863 in TX. She died on 4 Nov 1910 in Higgins, Lipscomb Co., TX. She was buried in Higgins, Lipscomb Co., TX.

John Terry MALTSBERGER was born on 18 Dec 1865 in San Antonio , Bexar Co., TX,. It is said that an old bachelor named Terence O’Toole said he would give George W. a heifer calf if he would name the new baby, Terry. He died on 12 Mar 1955 in Cotulla, La Salle Co., TX. Cotulla, La Salle County, TX newspaper – Friday, 18 Mar 1955

J.T. Maltsberger Pioneer Citizen Passes Away
J.T. Maltsberger, prominent retired pioneer cattleman of LaSalle County passed away at 1 am Saturday, March 12, at Myers Hospital from complications resulting from a broken hip he sustained in a fall at his home nearly a month before. Funeral services were held Saturday afternoon at 3 o’clock from the family residence with the Rev. Richard Urban, rector of the Episcopal Church in Laredo officiating. Interment was in the Cotulla Cemetery. Pallbearers were Hogue Poole, Bob Coquat, M. V. Brown, Dudley Storey, Frank Newman, and Bruce Tillen.

John T. Maltsberger was born in San Antonio, TX, on December 18, 1865, and came to LaSalle County in 1885 and entered the cattle business. He was married to Florence in 1899 and to this union one son and two daughters were born.
The Maltsbergers lived on the ranch until about 1920 when they built a lovely home and moved into Cotulla. Mr. Maltsberger retired many years ago, turning over the business to his son. Throughout the years, he had continued his daily trips to town where he met and talked with his friends until his unfortunate fall a few weeks ago.

He is survived by his wife, two daughters, Mrs. Howard Packett of Amarillo and Mrs. H.P. Gaddis of Cotulla; and one son, J. T Maltsberger, Jr., of Cotulla; and six grandchildren. He was a Rancher and cattle breeder in Cotulla, TX. The ranch was won by his father in a gambling debt. His very large and well known ranch of 13,000 acres is operated by his descendants. The Santa Gertrudis breed of cattle is foremost in the production of this stock, the only cattle breed developed in the United States. The first bull sold by the King Ranch at Kingsville, TX was bought by the Maltsbergers.

JTM had to follow his fathers plow and pick up rocks and put them in a wheelbarrow (He never owned a wheelbarrow as an adult). He then loaded the rocks into a wagon. The wagon was backed up to a cliff and he had to throw the rocks out of the wagon. One day he told his father to keep backing the wagon up until the wagon and horses fell off the cliff. He took his horse, saddle and a tarp to run away from home. He drove cattle up trail to Kansas. He told stories of the Indians he met as he went up through OK.

Dove MALTSBERGER was born on 22 Apr 1874 in San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX. She resided Sinton, TX in July 1937.
Dora MALTSBERGER was born on 27 Nov 1876 in San Antonio, Bexar Co., TX. She died on 10 Jul 1948.

14 thoughts on “History

  1. Jerry Loveday

    Lee & Gay,
    Your beginning ancestry (George Washington MALTSBERGER was born on 6 Mar 1830 in Greenville, Green Co., TN.) is just 23 miles from my farm. I live in Dandridge, TN, Jefferson Co. What a small world this is. The Gaddis name fills our old community cemetary.

    Jerry Loveday

  2. Zane Lewis Maltsberger

    Dear Sir/Ma’am,

    I stubled upon your website when looking for images or pictures of myself (Maltsberger Sheriff) just to see what would pop up. I was quite surprised to find that Im not the only Maltsberger in my lineage to become a Deputy or choose law enforcement as a carrer. I was curious if I had any relation to this man. I work for San Diego County Sheriff’s Department, but was born and raised in San Antonio. I called some relatives back home to find out the names of my kin as far back as they could remeber, and we came up with the following.
    My Father – John Samuel Maltsberger
    My Grandfather – Melvin Maltsberger
    My Great-Grandfather – Melvin Arron Maltsberger
    My Great-Great Grandfather – John Samuel Maltsberger
    (All born and died in San Antonio/Bexar County)

    I would like to know if you had any further information about this lineage and could help us figure out whos who!

    1. dean p. maltsberger

      i just got in contact with kristy maltsberger smith while looking up my ggfather george washinton maltsberger, it seems there may have been two ! i will post on face book my family tree asap. as far as i can trace it back two brothers and a son or a man and two sons named maltsberger imigrated here from europe in the early 1700’s we are all from those men at some point. look forward to hearing from you dean

    2. Pam Maltsberger Center

      I have researched the Maltsberger family for over 30 years and would be happy to trade info with you.
      Pam Maltsberger Center
      San Antonio, TX

  3. Jim Miller

    What a great write-up! I found this page while researching my family. My Great-Great Grandmother was Sarah Maltsberger, who would have been George Washington Maltsberger’s Aunt. Wonderful story to add to my files, thanks!

  4. Jessica Ballard

    I came across your site while trying to verify if ny Great Great Uncle George Washington Alexander Maltsberger is any relation to the one in your story. His parents would have been John and Isabella (Bales) Maltsberger. My Great Great Grandpa was Jacob Aaorn Maltsberger and Great Grandpa was Walter Herman James Maltsberger, subsequently my paternal grandpa was Harold James Maltsberger……any relation?

    Jessica Ballard (Maltsberger)

    1. dean p. maltsberger

      there may have been two georg washington maltsbergers i am going to post my family tree as soon as i can. as far as i know we are all decended from three men named maltsberger that imigrated in the early to mid 1700’s

  5. Pam Maltsberger Center

    Wonderful write up about George….Would be happy to trade info with you.
    Pam Maltsberger Center
    San Antonio TX

  6. Patrick Hale

    I stumbled upon your article with great interest, as my great grandfather drove cattle with Alex Maltsberger. His name was Will Hale and was mentioned in the True West magazine article: “Old Time Ranchers of the Southwest.”

    I was fortunate enough to acquire an original copy of the magazine (June 1964) from Bob Boze Bell when he purchased the magazine. There is a group photograph taken at a cattleman’s association reunion which accompanied the article. I would be happy to scan the material for personal use.

    Will and Alex remained close to each other, even later in Higgins, TX. Will was also a lawman in Lipscomb County, in office until after Prohibition.

    I would be happy to share what I know, although we are not related, our ancestors were very much connected.

    Best regards,
    Patrick Hale

  7. Mary Ann Stark

    I was looking for the ancestors of my grandmother, Roxana Jones Harrell. Her mother was Mary Ann Maltsberger who married Jonathan Moore Jones. Roxana Jane Allen was her mother. My mother’s name is Mildred Harrell Rowland. My mother was the 6th child of Roxana Jones and Billington Chapley Harrell.

    Does anyone know any history of the ancestors of Roxana Jane Allen? I would be interested to read anything you might have. Thanks! Mary Rowland Stark

    1. leegaddis Post author

      Hi Mary Ann,

      I’ll look for info tonight. As I recall Roxana Jane Allen came from Ireland and we have little, if any info. I think I have her parents’ names.


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