Industry was the first permanent German settlement in Texas and is situated in the heart of natures most charming rural landscape, on rolling hills in western Austin County. Friedrich Ernst, Industry's founder settled here in 1831, and gained Industry the title Cradle of German Settlement in Texas. In a letter written to his family and friends in Germany in 1882 he wrote:
In February of the previous year we embarked on a brig in New Orleans. It was still winter on our departure from New York, then mild spring breezes blew upon us four days after our departure. Between Cuba and Florida, we had later real summer, and the whole sea voyage of a thousand miles over that part of the ocean, through the Bahama Islands, into the Gulf of Mexico, up the mouth of the Mississippi, we lay constantly against the wind and came somewhat back. On the Mississippi up to New Orleans, a hundred and twenty miles (five make a German mile) we received favorable news of Austins colony in Texas; we embarked again in the schooner of thirty-seven tons and landed after an eight-day voyage at Harrisburgh in this colony.
Each immigrant who wishes to engage in farming receives a league of land; a single person, a one-quarter of a league. A league of land contains four thousand, four hundred and forty acres of land, mountain and valley, woods and meadows, cut through by brooks.
The ground is hilly and alternates with forest and natural grass plains. Various kinds of trees. Climate like that of Sicily. The soil needs no fertilizer. Almost constant east wind. No winter, almost like March in Germany. Bees, birds and butterflies the whole winter through. A cow with a calf costs ten dollars. Planters who have seven hundred head of cattle are common. Principal products; tobacco, rice, indigo grow wild; sweet potatoes, melons of an especial goodness, watermelons, wheat, rye, vegetables of all kinds; peaches in great quantity grow wild in the woods, mulberries, many kinds of walnuts, wild plums persimmons sweet as honey; wine in great quantity but not of a particular taste; honey is found chiefly in hollow trees. Birds of all kinds, from pelicans to hummingbirds. Wild prey such as deer, bears, raccoons, wild turkeys, geese, partridges (the later as large as domestic fowls) in quantity. Free hunting and fishing. Wild horses and buffalo in hordes; wolves, but of a feeble kind; also panthers and leopards, of which there is no danger; rich game, delicious roasts. Meadows with the most charming flowers. Many snakes, also rattlesnakes; each planter knows safe means against them.
English the ruling speech. Clothing and shoes very dear. Each settles builds...a blockhouse. The more children the better for...field labor. Scarcely three months work a year. No need for money, free exercise of religion and the best markets for all products at the Mexican harbors; up the river there is much silver, but there are still Indian races there.
We men satisfy ourselves with hunting and horse races.
On account of the yellow fever, one should arrive some weeks before the month of July or after the first of October. It is good thing if one can speak English; only enough money is needed as is necessary to purchase a league of land. A father of a family must remember that he receives on his arrival, through the land granted to him, a small kingdom which will come to be worth in a short time from seven to eight hundred dollars, for which it is often sold here. The expenses for the land need not be paid immediately. Many raise the money from their cattle.