Among the early settlers in North Harris County was the German family of Carl Theodore Wilhelm Mittelstadt, who arrived in the USA in 1870 with his wife Wilhelmene (nee Horn) and 5 of their six children: Johannah, Albertina, Anton, Fredricka and Carl. They left from Bremen, Germany and crossed the Atlantic on the ship Wesser. The crossing took a month and the ship arrived in Galveston on July 2, 1870. They settled in the Spring, Texas area on land which today is at the southwest corner of Spring-Stuebner and Rhodes Road. They built a house here which still exists. It was bought and restored by a local native who moved it to the Klein Cemetery Road.
Carl and Wilhelmeme's oldest son, August, remained in Germany two years after his parents had come to Texas. Carl and August were both blacksmiths, as well as farmers. The family story is that August inherited his father's blacksmith shop when Carl left Germany. One day when August was shoeing the horse of a prince, a spark flew up and hit the prince. August was forced to flee! He and his wife, Wilhamena (nee Kohn) and their 2 daughters and one son immigrated November 12, 1872. They first landed in New Orleans, then took a cattle boat to Galveston, and finally they came to Spring by wagon.
The Mittelstadts became self-sufficient farmers in Spring. Anton Mittelstadt's farm had once been among numerous cotton fields. Cotton, corn and potatoes and fruit trees were grown along with vegetable crops for the family. Cattle, hogs, goats, sheep, geese and chickens not only provided meat, eggs or milk for the family, but were sold at market. Feathers from the fowl were used to stuff mattresses and pillows; cowhide was used for chair seats. Wool from sheep was spun into yarn by the women; cotton thread was also spun on the farm. A use was found for almost everything; the saying arose that the only thing that went to waste was the hair and the squeal of a pig.
Anton Mittelstadt operated a horse-powered cotton gin for his family and neighbors. On Saturdays Anton shut down the cotton gin and operated his steam-powered grist mill to grind corn into meal. Timber was harvested off the land, and for a time the family had a contract with Spring I.S.D. to supply firewood.
The Mittelstadt family has been a musical one, and many family members have played instruments for the local dances that the early families had. Many have also been a part of the Trinity Lutheran choir and small singing groups.
Longevity also seems to be a Mittelstadt trait, with many living healthy, useful lives well into their nineties!
Involvement with education has also been important to the Mittelstadts. H.C. Mittelstadt, grandson of the original Carl, served in the Spring school board for a time. H.C.'s daughter, Margaret, taught school 45 years and was an early principal of Klein High School before teaching at Blinn Junior College. H.C.'s grandson, Arthur, is also in Klein's administration.
As of 1986, there were 1,908 direct descendants from the Mittelstadt immigrants. Every 2 years a family reunion is held and attended by 450 to 500 family members.