Austin History Center

Maerki and Sterzing Families Papers

An Inventory to the Collection

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Sterzing, Minna Mae Maerki
Title: Maerki and Sterzing Families Papers
Dates: 1896-1992
Dates (Bulk): 1917-1936
Abstract: Henri Maerki immigrated to Texas from Windisch, Switzerland and worked at the Lundberg Bakery from 1895 until 1906 when the opened the Maerki Baking Company in Austin. His daughter, Minna Mae Maerki-Sterzing was a home economics teacher at John T. Allan (Jr.) High School from 1925-1931. The financial records associated with the bakery, the home economics teaching materials, the newspaper clippings, and correspondence contained in the Maerki and Sterzing Families Papers document their personal and professional lives.
Identification: AR.I.009
Quantity: 3.8 linear feet (8 boxes)
Location: Archive Stacks, qAR, Artifacts, Outer Vaults
Language: English
Repository: Austin History Center, Austin Public Library,
810 Guadalupe, PO Box 2287, Austin, TX 78768

Biographical Note

Minna Mae Maerki-Sterzing was born in 1902. She was the oldest daughter of Lillie Otting and Henry Maerki, a local Austin baker, She spent the first few years of her childhood in what is now the Old Lundberg Bakery. At the age of four Minna toured Europe with her parents, wherein Mr. Maerki learned more about the confectionary business. Upon their return to Austin, Minna's father opened a new establishment. As an amateur photographer, Henry Maerki took and developed many photos of family, friends, early Austin life and political events.

Minna Mae attended the University of Texas at Austin where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics in 1924. She continued her education at University of California Los Angeles and at Teacher's College, Columbia University in New York. She taught Home Economics at John T. Allan (Jr.) High School from 1925-1931.

Minna Mae Maerki married Carl Bruce Sterzing on July 22, 1931. Carl Bruce, also a member of a pioneer Austin family, was an engineer foreman for the Missouri-Pacific Railway. They had three sons, Carl Bruce Jr., Henry Keith, and Ross (Royce). Carl Jr. was appointed clerk for the Delaware-Hudson Railway. He later assumed control of the railway and made it prosperous. Henry Keith served in the military, and was stationed in Taipei, Taiwan. He and his wife had two children, Laura and Peter Alexander. Definitive information about Ross (Royce) is unknown. Sterzing genealogical relationships are incomplete and do not directly link Carl Bruce Sr. to his ancestors. Minna Mae Sterzing died in 1983 at the age of 81.

Scope and Contents

The Maerki and Sterzing Families Papers (1896-1992) is comprised of transcripts, report cards, high school and college assignments, PTA materials, receipts, home economics teaching materials, tax returns, correspondences, hand-written notes, hand-written recipes, newspaper clippings, licenses, permits, medical records, ration forms and cards, and certifications. The materials, in particular the home economics teaching materials, provide detailed insight the domestic material life of the middle-class in early-to-mid-twentieth century America, while the financial documentation of the Maerki Baking Company provides a detailed picture of running a business and bakery during this time, including during rationing in WWII. The collection is broken into three series: the Minna Mae Maerki Sterzing series, the Henry & Lillie Sterzing series, and the Sterzing Family & Friends series.

The bulk of the collection is in the Minna Mae Maerki Sterzing series (1901-1950), which is broken into subseries of personal and professional. The personal subseries includes her high school and college assignments, report cards, and transcripts. The subseries also includes items pertaining to the Travis Heights PTA, including a 1939-1940 yearbook. The professional subseries includes her teaching materials for home economics, which covers these topics: architectural elements, home appliances, housekeeping, interior furnishings, personal care, clothing design, home construction and care, and interior and exterior home design. The subseries also include materials provided by appliance, hardwood, furniture, and other related companies produced specifically for home economics teachers.

The second series, the Henry & Lillie Maerki series (1896-1972), is comprised of tax returns (1917-1936), correspondence in the form of telegrams, handwritten notes detailing business expenses, newspaper clippings, marriage licenses, and medical records. Henry Maerki ran the Lundberg Bakery on Congress Avenue from 1895 until 1906, when he left to open the Maerki Baking Company on the corner of West 6th and Rio Grande. The bulk of the financial documentation is comprised of the financial details of running the bakery. Henry immigrated from Windisch, Switzerland, in 1890 and consequently some portions of the material in the series are in German. There is also a receipt book that contains several handwritten recipes, including ones for marble bake, layer cake, molasses bake, and ginger snaps.

The Sterzing Family & Friends series (1899-1992) consists of licenses, permits, certifications, ration cards, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and assorted materials from various Maerki and Sterzing family members. The war-time rationing materials are extensive. The bulk of the newspaper clippings are concerned with Carl B. Sterzing and his work on the Missouri-Pacific and Delaware & Hudson railways. Of interest are a hand-written history of the Sterzing family immigrating from Germany, an account of the detestation of Hurricane Carla in Galveston in 1900 by Dr. Herbert F. Sterzing, and a hand-drawn Sterzing family tree. Much of the correspondence is concerned with rationing matters during WWII and sending rationed and hard-to-come-by items to Germany and Pakistan during and shortly after WWII. Some of the materials and correspondences are in German.


Arranged into three series:
I. Minna Mae Maerki Sterzing
II. Henry & Lillie Maerki
III.Sterzing Family & Friends


Restrictions on Access

Open to all users.

Restrictions on Use

The Austin History Center (AHC) is the owner of the physical materials in the AHC collections and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the AHC before any publication use. The AHC does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Index Terms

This record series is indexed under the following controlled access subject terms.
Allen, George.
Barnhart, Nelle.
Barnhart, Paul F.
Bysshe, Fred.
Bysshe, Virginia.
Crisswell, Dorothy Maerki.
Curry, Winifred Sterzing Whitener.
Eikenbury, Charles W.
Goldwater, Barry.
Gottfried, Rosa.
Hawkins, Gayle.
Holzman, H.J.
Inks, Aaron Michael.
Inks, Floyd B.
Inks, Marie Sterzing.
Inks, Floyd B.,Jr.
Inks, Floyd B.,III.
Inks, Mickie.
Inks, Robert M.
Inks, Riley Hartwell.
Inks, Robert Riley.
Inks, Robin.
Jaccard, J.
Johnson, Lyndon Baynes.
Johns, Margaret F.
Jones, Capt. Atwood J., Jr.
Lundberg, Annie Valz.
Lundberg, Charles.
Maerki, Lillie Otting.
Maerki, Stanley.
McGrath, Janice.
McHugh, Susan.
McKinley, President William.
Moffit, Nathan B, Jr.
Morris, M.L.
Petmecky, Adolphine (Fina) Sterzing.
Roche, Dave.
Schwab, Lt. John (J.G.) S.
Sheppard, Morris.
Sterzing, Agnes Pressler.
Pressler, Charles W.
Smith, Jeanna Inks.
Sterzing, Carl Bruce.
Sterzing, Carl Bruce, Jr.
Sterzing, Clara.
Sterzing, David.
Sterzing, Frederick.
Sterzing, Fred, Jr.
Sterzing, Mrs. Fred.
Sterzing, Helena.
Sterzing, Henry Maerki.
Sterzing, Henry Keith.
Sterzing, Herbert Frederick.
Sterzing, Herbert Frederick, Jr.
Sterzing, Ingmar.
Sterzing, Laura.
Sterzing, Minna Mae Maerki.
Sterzing, Peter Alexander.
Sterzing, Philip.
Sterzing, Ross (Royce).
Sterzing, Theodore.
Sterzing, Victor Edward
Sterzing, Victor, Jr.
Zimmerman, Mrs. Held.
Allan (Jr.) High School Parent Teacher Association.
Austin Teacher's Association.
Consulado General de Mexico.
Delaware-Hudson Railway.
Department of the Interior Bureau of Education.
Federal Board for Vocational Education.
Free Society Association.
Heritage Society of Austin.
Lundberg Bakery.
Maerki Baking Company.
Missouri-Pacific Railway.
Nobles of the Mystic Shrine.
Sinclair-Gulf Commissaries.
Texas State Department of Education.
Teacher's College of Columbia University.
Travis Heights Parent Teacher Association.
University of Texas at Austin.
Austin, (Tex.)--Social life and customs
Austin, (Tex.)--Commerce
Houston (Tex.)
Windisch (Switzerland)
Politics and government.
World War (1939-1945)
World War II.
Business enterprises--Texas--Austin.
Home economics--Study and teaching.
Document Types
Financial records.
Legal documents.
Black-and-white photographs.

Related Material

Austin Files

  • AF Biography - Theodore Sterzing
  • AF Biography - Maerki family
  • AF House/Building - 6th Street, W. 606
  • AF Subject - Bakers & Bakeries - Maerki Baking Company B0100 (3)

Separated Material

General Collection

  • University of Texas. Bulletin of the University of Texas, Catalogue 1912-1913.
  • University of Texas. General Information, Main University; 1946-1947.
  • State of Texas Department of Education. Texas High Schools: Directory of Classified and Accredited High Schools. 1924.
  • Austin Public Schools. Your Guide to Austin High School. 1949.
  • Nalle & Company. Bungalow Homes. 1926.
  • Calcasieu Lumber Company. Modern Homes by Southern Pine Association. 1921.
  • Austin Builders Exchange. Build a Home of Your Own-Now!


  • Austin Building (Austin Builders Exchange)- assorted issues from 1938-1939
  • Artistic Homes (Calcasieu Lumber Company)- issues from 1930, 1937-1939
  • Fulmore Flash (Fulmore Parent Teacher Association newsletter)
  • Austin Teachers' Association Bulletin - 4 issues from 1929-1930

Austin Files

  • AF Biography Photographs - studio wedding portrait of Henri and Lillie Maerki (qAF drawer PICB 06760)
  • A significant number of photographs were added to the Austin Files photographs collection-locations to be added.

Archives & Manuscripts

  • Allan High School PTA yearbooks (1928, 1929) added to AR.A.031

Administrative Information

Custodial History

In the 1960's and 1970's Minna Mae periodically donated family papers and artifacts to the Austin History Center. She had retained a sizable portion of material the family used during World War II. Minna Mae Maerki Sterzing died in 1983 at the age of 81

Preferred Citation

Maerki-Sterzing Papers (AR.I.009). Austin History Center, Austin Public LIbrary, Texas.

Acquisition Information

Donor #:DO/1960/056

Donation Date: 1970, 1917, 1972, 1973, 1974, 1981

Processing Information

Processing by Debra Doell & Cherie Allen Baker in 2002. Updated and encoded by Robyn Squyres 2015.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Minna Mae Maerki Sterzing, 1901-1950

Personal, 1916-1940, undated
Box Folder
1 1 High school, undated
2-3 Class notes and assignments - college, 1916, undated
4 Grades/Transcripts, 1926-1929, undated
Location BoxItem
qAR 14/038 University of Texas diploma, 1927
Box Folder
1 5 Travis Heights Parent Teacher Association, 1939-1940, undated
Professional, 1901, 1914-1950, undated
Curriculum, 1921-1950, undated
Box Folder
1 6 Student work, 1927, undated
7 Clothing contests, 1921-1925, undated
Teaching Aides, 1901, 1914-1949
Box Folder
1 8 Appliances, 1931-1950, undated
Location FlatFile
qAR 03/06/033 Baking, undated
Box Folder
2 1 Bathrooms, undated
2 Bedding, undated
3 Bedroom arrangement, undated
4 Catalogs, 1922, undated
5 Colors/Paint, 1926, undated
6 Electricity, 1926, undated
7 Exterior design, 1926, undated
8 Hard flooring, 1923-1930, undated
Box Folder
3 1 Hard flooring, 1923-1924, undated
2 Heating/Cooling, 1925-1928, undated
3 Clothing design, 1917-1929, undated
4 House construction and care, 1925-1949, undated
5 House construction and care (charts and diagrams), 1926-1939, undated
6 Housekeeping/Cleaning, 1924-1941, undated
Box Folder
4 1 Insulation, 1928, undated
2 Interior decoration, 1920-1929, undated
3 Interior furnishings, 1917-1930, undated
4 Kitchens, 1914-1930, undated
5 Personal care, 1925-1927, undated
6 Plumbing, 1922-1927, undated
7 Rugs, 1921-1929, undated
Box Folder
5 1 Upholstered furniture, 1922, undated
2 Wallpaper, 1927-1930, undated
3 Walls, 1926-1928, undated
4 Windows/Doors, 1927-1930, undated
5 Wood furniture, 1926-1943, undated
6 Teaching tools - assorted, 1901, undated
Certificates & Permits, 1924-1931
Box Folder
5 7 Teaching permits, 1924-1931
Professional Organizations, 1921-1940, undated
Box Folder
5 8 Austin Teacher's Association, 1928-1940, undated
9 State Board of Vocational Education, 1921-1928, undated
Subject Files, 1930-1945, undated
Box Folder
6 1 Assorted clippings, 1930-1945, undated
General School Printed Materials, 1928-1931, undated
Box Folder
6 2 Report cards, undated
3 School guides/Directories, 1928-1931, undated

Henry & Lillie Maerki , 1896-1972

Box Folder
6 16 Correspondence received, 1946
4-15 Tax returns, 1917-1936
17 Assorted financial documentation , 1921, undated
Box Folder
7 1 Marriage licenses and 50th anniversary sign-in book, 1896; 1956
Box Folder
qAR 05/033 Marriage certificate, 1896
Box Folder
7 2 Assorted biographical material and recipe book, 1899-1972, undated
Location ArchivesCollection
Outer Vault Shelf Portrait and travel photographs, 1914, 1926, undated

Sterzing Family & Friends, 1899-1992

Box Folder
7 3 Correspondence, 1940-1972, undated
4 Health records, 1928-1959, undated
5 Certificates, permits, licenses, 1921-1923, 1959, undated
6-7 Biographical, 1911-1928, 1942-1992, undated
8-9 Assorted ephemera 1899-1945, undated
Location BoxItem
qAR 11/055 and 11/057 War bond posters, undated
8 Assorted published books, 1885-1910, undated
Location BoxItem
Artifacts 114/016 Spatterdashes, undated
114/017 "I Like Ike" political button, undated
114/018 "Wallace for President" political button, undated
114/019 Austin Transit Company, San Antonio Transit Company, Missouri sales tax and Colorado sales tax tokens, undated