Parents of Albert Block
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Marriage Record

George and Augusta Block

By W. T. Block

George Frederick Block (b. 1802 in Brandenberg-Prussia-d. at Orange March 25, 1893)Will Block Sr.’s paternal grandparents were George Frederick Block (b. 1802 in Brandenberg-Prussia-d. at Orange March 25, 1893) and Augusta Wippenitz (b. Prussia in 1817-d. Orange, TX in 1885). They were married in Berlin about 1832, but moved some years later to Stralsund, Mecklenberg. The Blocks sailed from Bremen on February 10, 1846 and arrived in New Orleans about May 1846, before sailing west to Grigsby’s Bluff, now Port Neches. Augusta’s mother, Maria C. E. Wippenitz (b. Prussia 1793-d. ?) came with the family and lived with them in Beaumont in 1850. In 1848, the Block family moved to Beaumont, living about where Riverside Drive becomes Park Street, where they remained until 1854, when they sold out and returned to Port Neches. Several of their deed records can be found in the Jefferson County archives. They are recorded in the Beaumont 1850 census, which was published in Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, VII #2 (May 1972), page 128.

G. F. Block’s obituary appeared in Galveston Daily News (also Weekly News) of March 28, 1893, reading as follows:

Orange, Texas, March 27-- G. F. Block, aged 90, died here Saturday night... He was born at Berlin, Prussia, and served with Bismarck at Potsdam in 1836 and 1837. He landed at New Orleans in 1846 and came to Jefferson County, Texas in 1848. Later he moved to Orange. He had a classical education and spoke several languages; was a quiet, unobtrusive, and thoroughly refined gentleman. He leaves several sons all grown and married. He was made a Mason fifty years ago and was laid to rest by that order...

The genealogical history of the George F. and Albert J. B. Block families appeared on pages 366-368 of Dorothy Ford Wulfeck’s Master’s thesis, Wilcoxen and Allied Families, published in 1958 by Commercial Service of Waterbury, Connecticut. The Wilcoxen thesis reads much like the obituary, that G. F. Block "was a former citizen of Stralsund on the Baltic Sea, Mecklenberg, Prussia, sailed from Bremen 10 February 1846. He spoke seven different languages. His first wife died, leaving him with a daughter Emile, who came to America with the family... Block was an interior decorator (muralist), painter, and a Mason, who landed with his family at New Orleans in 1846, and settled on the banks of the Neches, Grigsby’s Bluff..."

Augusta Wippenitz (b. Prussia in 1817-d. Orange, TX in 1885)After moving back to Port Neches in 1854, George Block moved his family once again to Pavell’s Island (LA), the delta island in the Sabine River, where he began a cypress shingle mill about 1859. In 1866, G. F. Block bought a 100-acre tract of land in Port Neches, which included all of present-day Port Neches Park. From 1866 until 1882, he operated his shingle mill there, and according to Sch. IV, Products of Industry census for 1870, he manufactured 333,000 cypress shingles in the census year of 1869-70. The old G. F. Block home was built at the intersection of Merriman and Lee Streets, across from the park and near the shingle mill on the river. In 1882, G. F. Block sold out to Grandma Block’s sister, Emeline and John Kline (who later sold out to M. B. Merriman in 1886), and all the Block parents and brothers (except Albert) moved to Orange.

The first five Block sons, Frederick Wm., Charlie, Albert, George Lewis, and Leopold, were all born in Germany. The last three sons, Uncles Adolph, August, and Joseph, were all born in Beaumont. The four oldest Block brothers, Frederick W., Charles, Albert and George L., were all Confederate cannoneers in Co. B. Spaight’s 11th Texas Battalion, serving at one time aboard the Confederate cottonclad gunboat Uncle Ben, and otherwise at Fort Grigsby at Port Neches and Forts Griffin and Manhassett at Sabine Pass.

In 1866, the military governor of Texas appointed George Block county commissioner, and he was reelected to that office as well as justice of the peace (that was permissible then) for each year between 1869 and 1882.

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