Overview and Summary: The Mitchell/Mauermann Cemetery

San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas

Prepared by Maria Watson Pfeiffer, May 2007

Asa Mitchell was born in Somerset County, Pennsylvania, on December 1, 1795.  He married Charlotte Woodmancy in 1816, and they had one child, Nathan, before moving to Christian County, Kentucky, and then to New Orleans.  They traveled to New Orleans with a group of twenty-eight other settlers.  From there, the group crossed the Gulf of Mexico and landed on Matagorda Bay near Galveston in 1822. Mitchell then joined Stephen F. Austin’s first colony (the “Old Three Hundred”) and received one league and labor of land. Mitchell established a salt-refining works at the mouth of the Brazos River and became a planter, stock raiser and trader.  In July and August 1824, he was granted land in present day Brazoria County.  A census in 1826 listed Mitchell with his wife, two sons, daughter, and eight servants.[1] 

 Mitchell was an active participant in the revolt of Texas against Mexico.  Appointed customs boarding officer at Velasco in 1830, he participated in the battle of Velasco on June 26, 1832, a pivotal event leading up to the Texas revolution. He was elected a regidor of the new municipality of Washington-on-the-Brazos in July 1835, and represented the municipality as a member of the General Council that governed Texas from late 1835 until the convention of 1836.  He served on the committee that prepared the declaration of San Felipe de Austin. With his son, Nathan, Mitchell fought in the Battle of San Jacinto.[2]

 After the death of Charlotte Woodmancy Mitchell at Velasco in 1830, Asa Mitchell married Emily Brisbin (1818-1863) in Austin County in 1835.  By his two marriages, Asa Mitchell had fourteen children. Five children were born to his first wife— including Nathan, Theodore, William and Caroline.  Nine children were born to by his second wife—Hiram, Milam, Ellen, Martin, Medora, Laura, Asa, Emily, Wallace.  Several of Mitchell’s children died young and/or never had children of their own.

 Following Texas’ independence, Asa and Emily Mitchell and their family moved to Bexar County.  Mitchell bought 14,000 acres of land at the confluence of the Leon Creek and Medina River in 1839, built a house, and established a farm and ranching operation.  He was enumerated on the 1850 census as a farmer with holdings valued at $52,000.  Mitchell also held eight slaves—four males and four females—ranging from 4 to 56 years old.[3]  Asa Mitchell also became interested in local politics and was active in San Antonio’s Presbyterian, and later, Methodist congregations.[4]  During his affiliation with the Methodist church, he was instrumental in procuring charters for both Alamo College and San Antonio Female College.[5] 

 In 1860, on the eve of the Civil War, Asa Mitchell was elected captain of the home guard.  He was 66 years old at the time.  Though still listed as a farmer, Mitchell was living in San Antonio when the census was taken in July 1860.  His son, Hiram, also listed as a farmer, was apparently living on the ranch property.

 Emily Brisbin Mitchell died during the Civil War on July 25, 1863, and Asa died two years later on November 6, 1865.  Both Emily and Asa were buried in the small cemetery established near their ranch house.  Their son, Milam, who died in 1853, had already been buried there.  Another son, Wallace, was buried there in 1927. 

Asa Mitchell willed his homestead to his son, Hiram, who later deeded it to his three daughters, Julia, Ella and Lenora.[6]   After Ella Mitchell married Gus A. Mauermann, they acquired full title to the property.  Mauermann was active in local politics, serving as police chief under his friend, Mayor Bryan Callaghan, from 1906-07, and as the city’s market master, a position he held at the time of his death in 1920. 

 Gus Mauermann was killed when a car driven by his son-in-law, Dr. George Constance Wurzbach, collided with a train.  Ella and Gus Mauermann had moved to the family ranch several weeks before his death. Though Mauermann’s obituary states that he is buried in the Confederate Cemetery, his grave is marked in the family cemetery.  His widow, Ella Mitchell Mauermann continued to live at the ranch and was buried in the cemetery when she died on October 20, 1936.[7] 

 Ella Mitchell Mauermann deeded the ranch to her children including Marie Mauermann Wurzbach and Gus B. Mauermann.  The family continued to use the ranch as a country home.  Marie Wurzbach was one of the local organizers of the Girl Scouts, YWCA and 4-H Club.[8]  Her husband, George Wurzbach, served in the Spanish American War and World War I and was dentist for the San Antonio Public Schools.  He and his wife were living in the ranch house when he died in 1937 and was buried in the family cemetery.[9]  Marie Wurzbach later moved into town to live with her daughter and son-in-law.  She died in 1955, and hers is the latest marked burial in the cemetery.  Gus B. Mauermann filled Mayor C.K. Quin’s unexpired term in 1943, and was elected to a second term, serving until 1947.  He entertained at the ranch during his years in office.[10]

 Unfortunately, the two-story ranch house, together with family papers, paintings and photographs, was destroyed by fire on November 24, 1949.[11]  At some time, a one-story structure was reconstructed on the site from materials from the old house.  This structure was used as a ranch office. 

 The Cemetery

The property remained in the family until 1968 when Julia Mauermann sold 1,042 acres of land to Dwight and William English.  The conveyance noted a dedicated cemetery “of approximately ½ acre which is enclosed by a wall and which is excepted from the operation of this conveyance.”[12] 

 Subsequent deeds also referenced the cemetery.  A 1993 warranty deed from English Packing Company to Donald R. Vestal for three tracts totaling 1,039 acres stated:

 “There is however a private cemetery enclosed within a stone wall within the boundaries of the 150.152 acre tract [Tract C] but not included in acreage of conveyance.”

 The deed notes that the cemetery is “.164 acres more or less” and also states that the conveyance is “subject to additional grave sites outside the excluded .164 acre cemetery site within the 150.152 acre tract…”  The title is also subject to “rights to seputure and rights of ingress and egress.”[13]  The reference to additional grave sites outside the wall is consistent with family sources that maintain African American slaves were buried in this area.  Family members also recall that Hispanic workers were buried separately in a Catholic portion of the cemetery.[14]

 There are eleven marked burials in the Mitchell/Mauermann Cemetery.  As discussed above, it is believed that other unmarked burials are located outside the cemetery wall.  It is also possible that there are other marked (or unmarked) burials within the walls that are obscured by thick vegetation.  A masonry mausoleum within the cemetery wall is badly deteriorated.  Burials in the mausoleum were removed and reinterred in another cemetery many years ago. Research is ongoing to identify those burials.

 Through the efforts of the Mauermann Family, the Mitchell/Mauermann Cemetery was designated a historic Texas cemetery in 2007.  In 2017, the cemetery is located on land owned by Texas A&M University San Antonio. 

 Marked burials in the Mitchell/Mauermann Cemetery are as follows:

 Asa Mitchell

Born Somerset, Pennsylvania December 1, 1795

Died San Antonio November 6, 1865


Emily Brisbane Mitchell

B. St. Louis, Missouri, June 13, 1818

Died San Antonio July 25, 1863


Milam Mitchell

Born Bastrop, March 2, 1832

Died Bastrop April 6, 1853


Wallace Mitchell, son of Asa and Emily

August 18, 1852- March 7, 1927


Sara Elca Belvin 

May 4, 1849- November 22, 1863


Charlotte Woodmancy Belvin

November 12, 1851- July 26, 1857, San Antonio


(Sara and Charlotte Belvin were children of Asa and Emily’s daughter, Caroline Mitchell Belvin.)


Gustav Adolph Mauermann

Born San Antonio November 18, 1854

Died June 20, 1920


George Constance Wurzbach

October 4, 1877-April 7, 1938


Marie (Mauermann) Wurzbach

December 13, 1883- December 4, 1955


Emma- 1862


End grave- plaque missing




Mitchell/Mauermann Cemetery

 “A Man of Vision, Gus B. Mauermann, Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, 1943-1947.”  Unpublished typescript, n.a., n.p.

 Bexar County Deed Records

 Mauermann, Gus B. Mitchell Ranch, Bexar County, Texas: An Anthology.  Privately published, [1950].

 San Antonio Express, various issues

 San Antonio Light, various issues

 Tyler, Ron (ed.). New Handbook of Texas. Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1996.

 United States Federal Census, various years.

 Photo List

Mitchell/Mauermann Cemetery

1.  Entrance looking southwest

 2.  Looking north toward mausoleum

 3.  Looking southwest

 4. Mausoleum looking west

 5.  Detail, graves of Marie M. Wurzbach and George Constance Wurzbach

 6.  Detail, grave of Emily Brisbane Mitchell on left

[1] Isbell, George. “Asa Mitchell,” New Handbook of Texas vol. 4, edited by Ron Tyler (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1996) 778; “A Man of Vision, Gus B. Mauermann,” n.a,.n.d.  One source says that Mitchell arrived in 1821, while a second source states 1822.  Asa Mitchell’s brothers, Eli and William, also were members of Austin’s colony.  Mitchell County is named for Asa and Eli Mitchell.

[2] Hailey, James L. and John Leffler. “Washington County.” New Handbook of Texas vol. 6, edited by Ron Tyler (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1996) 834-836; Ibid. Mauermann’s history states that Company H of the volunteer army was organized at Asa Mitchell’s house on March 1, 1836, the day before his son, Milam, was born.

[3] United States Federal Census, Bexar County, Texas; United States Slave Census, Bexar County, Texas; Bexar County Deed Records, A2:155, March 7, 1839.

[4] Mauermann, Gus B. Mitchell Ranch, Bexar County, Texas: An Anthology.  Privately published, [1950], 4.

[5] San Antonio Female College later merged with Westmoreland College and then with Trinity University which still operates in San Antonio. 

[6] Mauermann, 3, 5; Bexar County Probate Records, Case 724.

[7] San Antonio Light, June 21, 1920, 1; Mauermann 1.  It is possible that Gus Mauermann was first buried at the Confederate Cemetery and was reinterred in the family cemetery at the time of his wife’s death. 

[8] San Antonio Express, December 5, 1955, 1. 

[9] San Antonio Express, April 8, 1937, 18 & April 9, 1937, 5. George Wurzbach’s brothers were Texas Congressman, Harry M. Wurzbach and Bexar County Judge W.A. Wurzbach.

[10] “A Man of Vision,” 1-2.

[11] Mauermann, 1.

[12] Bexar County Deed Records, 5981:923-32, June 26, 1968. The total acreage varies, but it is generally about 1,040 acres.  Discrepancies between documents are likely accounted for by differences in surveys, easements, etc.

[13] Bexar County Deed Records, 5636:1438-56, April 26, 1993.

[14] Personal communication, Keidel to Pfeiffer, June 1, 2007.