Sculptor and stonecutter Frank Teich was born in Lobenstein, Germany, the son of the poet Frederick and Catherine (Horn) Teich. At the age of eight he began painting, and after his graduation from the University of Nuremberg he was apprenticed to the German sculptor Johannes Schilling; he probably worked on the German national monument, The Watch on the Rhine. He then studied a year under the Franciscan Brothers at Deddelbach am Main. Teich immigrated to the United States in 1878 and traveled in Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Missouri, and California.
In Chicago, in 1879 he contributed to the stone carving on the Cook County courthouse. By 1883 he was in Texas, locating first in San Antonio but working on different projects across the state. Teich worked under Gustav Wilke, superintending the granite cutters and inspecting the granite used in the state capitol building at Austin, and he also worked on the Tarrant County courthouse. In San Antonio in 1885 Teich opened a marble yard on the present site of the Medical Arts building, across from the Alamo, and worked on the construction of several buildings in the city including the city hall and the Kampman building. Shortly afterward, for health reasons, Teich left San Antonio for the hills around Fredericksburg.
In Llano County, Teich discovered a granite deposit and opened a quarry, but he soon left to spend time in Europe gathering ideas. He returned around 1901 and opened Teich Monumental Works two miles from Llano. Teich was responsible for, or worked on, many monuments throughout Texas and other states, many of them Confederate monuments in the southern states. He completed the Confederate monument and the Fireman's monument on the capitol grounds at Austin, the Sam Houston monument in Houston, the Luther Memorial Church in Orange, the statue "Grief" over the grave of Will Scott Youree in the Scottsville cemetery near Marshall, a carved Italian marble altar in a Durango, Mexico, church, the Governor Pease monument in Austin, and two Confederate statues in Dallas. He did much work in the San Antonio area, including the Mahncke Memorial in Brackenridge Park and the altar in St. Mary's Church. He was the sculptor of the bronze statue of René Robert Cavelier, Sieur de La Salle in Navasota and the monument to Abel (Shanghai) Pierceqv near Blessing, Texas. Teich was in an indirect way responsible for bringing the sculptor Pompeo Coppini to Texas. Frank Teich married Elvina Lang of San Antonio on October 12, 1887; they had three daughters. He died January 27, 1939, in Llano and was buried there. He has been called the father of the granite industry of Texas.
The original article and bibliography were prepared by the Texas State Historical Association, the Handbook of Texas Online. All photographs, unless otherwise noted, are from the original article and all image are available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107. Additional hyperlinks and public domain photographs have been added.
Note for students, teachers and researchers:
The Handbook of Texas Online is a digital state encyclopedia developed by the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA) that is free and accessible on the Internet for students, teachers, scholars, and the general public. The TSHA was organized in Austin on March 2, 1897, and the Handbook began as two printed volumes in 1952, with a supplemental third volume in 1976. Twenty years later, the Handbook expanded to a six-volume set. With the onset of the digital age, the TSHA chose to digitize the existing Handbook to create a user-friendly digital repository of Texas history that currently includes more than 27,000 encyclopedic entries. The Handbook consists of overview, general, and biographical entries focused on the entire history of Texas from the indigenous Native Americans and the Prehistoric Era to the state’s diverse population and the Modern Age. These entries emphasize the role Texans played in state, national, and world history. The TSHA continuously expands the Handbook through multi-year spinoff projects that focus on diverse topics to preserve all Texans’ history. The most recent additions include the Handbook of Texas Music (2003, 2012, 2015), Handbook of Civil War Texas (2011), Handbook of African American Texas (2013), Handbook of Tejano History (2016), Handbook of Houston (2017), and the Handbook of Texas Women (2020).
The TSHA is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization with a mission to foster the appreciation, understanding, and teaching of Texas history to encourage and promote research, preservation, and publication of historical materials. Handbook entries are written by volunteer historians and professionals, reviewed by TSHA staff, vetted by scholars, and approved by TSHA’s Chief Historian before appearing online. The development of new entries is driven by current events, user suggestions, and internal identification of missing topics, which are reviewed by the TSHA Chief Historian for consideration. Existing entries are continuously revised or updated according to user suggestions and a routine revision schedule. Authors utilize secondary and primary sources such as books, census records, newspapers, military service records, obituaries, diaries, and letters to craft historically accurate entries. The sources are compiled into a bibliography and updated regularly to provide readers with the most current scholarship. The Handbook editors fact-check, copyedit, and format entries using appropriate language for users ranging from middle school to college. The TSHA impacts the educational landscape in Texas by serving at least 1,467,724 students and 15,063 teachers through resources such as the Handbook, teacher workshops, and Texas History Day.