Spring Branch ISD Featured News

75th Anniversary Spotlight: Sauer family descendants continue to live, attend school and work in Spring Branch ISD

 

Six generations of descendants of Henry Sauer, who came to what is now the Spring Branch area of Houston from Germany in the late 1800’s, have lived, worked and raised their families here. This family has been part of the community longer than has Spring Branch ISD, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year.

Learn about the many spreading branches of this family tree:

The Sauers were one of a few German families who established a homestead in the Spring Branch area in the late 1800’s, with St. Peter’s church being the focal point of the community, and where children first attended school. 

The names Kolbe, Hillendahl, Rummel, Bauer and Beinhorn were among other family names of early Spring Branch settlers. These names now represent numerous streets, buildings, and neighborhoods around the area.

Henry Sauer married Lina Rummel, and they built a homestead of 100 acres in 1902 in the area currently bordered by Gessner, Beltway 8, Long Point Road and Katy Freeway. They raised their eight children here, one of whom was Conrad Sauer. Yes, the north-south road is named for him.  

One of Conrad Sauer’s five children was Georgia Eschberger who worked for Spring Branch ISD during the 1960’s through 1980’s in the cafeterias of Woodview Elementary, Westchester High School and finally at the Bendwood School, where there was a baking operation that provided cookies for all the district schools. They were particularly known for making what were called ‘Walk to School’ cookies.

Recipe from the 1974 Spring Branch ISD School Food Service Association cookbook

 

Eschberger’s daughter, Lanell Griffin, graduated from Spring Woods High School (SWHS) in 1976. She met her future husband, a graduate of Northbrook High School, in a class they had together at The Guthrie Center. Griffin spent her career working in Spring Branch ISD at Spring Oaks Middle School, Memorial High School and Pine Shadows Elementary. 

Griffin recalls that when her mother and father got married, they carved their names – Georgia and Werner -- into a tree on their home property. She is not sure where that tree may be at this time. 

Griffin’s three daughters also graduated from SWHS, and two of them currently work in the district: Jennifer Maynard works in the Talent Department and Melanie Traphagan teaches at Memorial Drive Elementary.  The third sister, Kristen Kennedy, is a social worker at Eagle’s Trace Senior Living. The husbands of all three daughters also graduated from Spring Branch ISD high schools. 

And it doesn’t stop there … Maynard’s daughter, EmmyKate, is currently a sophomore at SWHS. She also has a son who attends Spring Oaks Middle School, which is in the SWHS feeder pattern. And Traphagan’s two sons attend Terrace Elementary, also within the boundaries of the SWHS attendance zone.

When asked why her family continues to be embedded in the district, Maynard said, “It’s just home. We love the traditions and being near places that belong to our family.”

“It is neat all the history we have in the area,” Traphagan said. 

Maynard also commented on the small town feel of living and working in Spring Branch ISD, noting, “No matter where you go in this area, there is someone who is related to someone.”

It seems likely the network of connections across Spring Branch ISD, stemming from the early roots of the Sauer family, will continue for generations to come.