Many German immigrants to the United States joined the Sons of Hermann, a fraternal insurance society, so that if they fell on hard times, became ill, or lost a loved one, they could enjoy some financial security. The first Sons of Hermann chapters were in New York City in 1840, and were reserved for German men. Texas’s first chapter launched in San Antonio in 1861. That same year, member Heinrich Werner died, and the San Antonio lodge paid for the funeral expenses and supported his widow financially for a time.
Hermann Sons Life still offers its insurance policies to Texans – of any ethnicity – today. Its headquarters in San Antonio are open to the public and contain exhibits showcasing the society’s history.
Watch our German Settlement of Texas video to learn more about German Texan cultural heritage in Texas. This video was produced for inclusion in our German Texans mobile tour.