German Americans in Early San Benito

The Buesing Family by Tootie Madden

Joseph Herbert Buesing moved to San Benito in 1909 when he was 9 years old. His parents were William Frederick Buesing, the son of a German immigrant, and Mary Emma Vanderheider, second generation Dutch, who had previously lived in Goliad, Yoakum, and Halletsville. After getting settled,. William operated a saloon on Rowson St. and a general store combination grocery on S. Sam Houston. The passage of Prohibition caused him to close the saloon. William died in 1931 and Emma in 1959.

Herbert graduated from San Benito High School in 1917. After graduation he attended the University of Texas and was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity. When World War I broke out he came home to help out, being too young to serve in the armed forces. In 1924 he married the former Eugenia Estelle Harvey, also from San Benito. They leased land near Lyford for cattle raising to supply meat to their family's meat market. It was during this time that their first daughter, Mary Jacqueline, was born in 1925. Soon after Herbert acquired land near Holly Beach and led one of the last cattle drives in the state from Lyford to the Laguna Madre coast. In addition to ranching, Herbert farmed, growing cotton and grain on unirrigated land east of Bayview. He managed Buesing Grocery & Meat Market after the death of his father. Others who, at times, managed this store were James Stegal and Tony Kashouty. Joe & Oscar's presently occupies this site.

Herbert Buesing


The family lived at 101 N. Dowling during which time second daughter, Jean Maurine, was born. Sadly, divorce separated Herbert and Genie in 1931. Herbert later moved to 775 N. Crockett with his mother and daughters. Herbert never remarried.

Mary Jacqueline-Jack- as she likes to be called-was Most Beautiful Girl or runner-up every year she was at SBHS. She worked in her father's grocery business, rode horseback and had a passion for dance, performing often and teaching later. She attended St. Mary's College in South Bend, Indiana for two years then married L.T. Boswell, Jr. in 1948.

Jack and Tol have three children, Jean Arline (Tootie) Madden, of San Benito, William Tol, of Houston, and Christopher Herbert of Harlingen. Jack was a member and served as Presidnet of Junior Service League as well as President of the International 300 Club. She belongs to the P.E.O. sisterhood and All Saints Episcopal Church.

Jean Maurine attended University of Texas where she was a Bulebonnet Belle. She married Jim Biggs of Amarillo in 1952 and they returned to San Benito to live. Jean taught at Frank Roberts for several years and also helped to manage the ranch her father had started. Being tall and beauriful as her mother before her, and having been trained at the John Robert Powers School of modeling, she was in demand as a model for nearly every style show held in this area. Her marriage to Jim Biggs ended in divorce without having produced any children. Soon after she built El Camino Real Mobile Home Park on family farmland that she bought from her Uncle Harry. Her second marriage was to Ralph Jenkins who helped her run the park until his death in 1991. Jean sold the park in 1997.

Herbert died unexpectedly of a heart attack soon after in 1959 ending this line of Buesings.