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McCradic, James

January 16th, 1871- June 8th, 1951

Teamster, Laborer

McCradic, James

After we published an article about our project in the 2019 newsletter of the Texas German Dialect Project, we received an email by Fritz Weigl. The Weigls are a renowned German Texan family of welders, black smiths and iron workers from Austin. Fritz pointed out that his family owed its economic recovery after immigrating from Bavaria to Texas in 1913 at least in part to a black German speaker. Fortunat, Fritz’ grandfather, had arrived in Austin with his wife Anna, and initially lived in Northeast Austin on a piece of land near today’s St. David hospital. A freedmen’s village was nearby. To alleviate some of their food supply problems the Weigl family bought a cow and had it graze on a rented piece of pasture. James McCradic who lived on Swisher Street with his family, was a black neighbor who spoke German and showed the Weigls how to take care of their cow. Below you can hear Fritz' father Herbert remembering the first encounter between their family and James McCradic. We have not been able to find out where exactly McCradic lived in Pflugerville and with which family he learned German. We did find out, however, that he previously lived in downtown Austin and worked as a teamster. Many of the business families there at the time were also German. Because we have no pictures of James McCradic, we chose a figure of an iron worker likely created by Herb Weigl. The Weigl family still had pictures of the cow McCradic helped them with. We posted them in the gallery below along with examples of Weigl artifacts. As Herb Weigl said, the acquisition of the cow and the encounter with McCradic was an economic turning point for the Weigl family.

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