Personalities

Johann Georg Elterlein (1806 – 1882)

Mayor (1870-1882) of Vienna’s Suburban Municipality of Hernals –
today’s 17th District of Vienna

Johann Georg Elterlein, born March 29, 1806 in Gunzenhausen (Bavaria), died 15 July, 1882 in Hernals/Vienna. As a young man, he immigrated to Vienna from Southern Germany, where he made a remarkable career within short time.

J.G. Elterlein started out leading a large beer bar in Naglergasse, a small alley in Vienna’s 1st District. In 1861, he bought the premises of “Casino Unger” (thereupon named “Kasino Elterlein“) on what is today Hernalser Gürtel. It was a popular restaurant for day trippers and dancers at which Johann Strauß the Elder played and even premiered some of his musical works, sometimes in the presence of Franz Liszt. In 1864, the well-liked restaurant owner was appointed representative of the municipality of Hernals (at that time a suburban municipality of Vienna – today, Vienna’s 17th District). Between 1870 and 1882, Elterlein was active as Mayor.

Bürgermeister J.G. Elterlein

The activities of Mayor Johann Georg Elterlein ranged from numerous social measures to significant improvements of the infrastructure of Hernals.

He built both an additional school and a pre-school, founded the local fire brigade and a public hospital, opened up a pharmacy and initiated infrastructural improvements for the citizens of Hernals by building roads, over-tunnelling the Alserbach, installing new street lighting and sewers, constructing 30 spout fountains of the mountain spring water pipelines as well as enlarging the cemetery (Hernals Cemetery).

Johann Georg Elterlein was Protestant, but nevertheless supported the foundation of a “church building association” as well as the enlargement of the Catholic church on Kalvarienberg. He also distinguished himself by organising charitable parties for the benefit of needy pupils as well as by establishing what was called “fathers for the needy” or “guardians of the poor” in charge of the relief of the municipality’s poor.

Johann Georg Elterlein’s efforts were rewarded with his appointment as honorary citizen of Vienna. The popular representative of the people was also awarded a high imperial distinction – the „Grand Cross of Merit with Crown“– at that time the highest civilian order of the Monarchy. In 1883, Elterleinplatz was named after him.

J.G. Elterlein rests in an honorary grave at the Hernals Cemetery (Gr. AR. Nr. 28).

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Babara Uthmann, née von Elterlein (1514 – 1575)

Entrepreneur in Annaberg and Elterlein in the Erzgebirge (Erz Mountains)

German mining entrepreneur, braids (decorative woven bands) trader

Barbara Uthmann, née von Elterlein, (* around 1514 in Annaberg; † 14. January1575 in Annaberg) was a German entrepreneur in the Erz Mountains. Barbara was a daughter of Heinrich von Elterlein and his wife Ottilia, née Arnold. Whether she was born in Annaberg or Elterlein is a matter of dispute in the local history research of the Erz Mountains.

In 1550, Saigerhütte Grünthal (a mining operation) passed into the ownership of the family of Christoph Uthmann, to whom she had been married since 1529. Upon his death, the operation was led by his sons and his wife Barbara from 1553 to 1567, whereupon it was sold to August, Elector of Saxony. Even though Barbara successfully continued to pursue the business of Saigerhütte, she eventually failed on account of intrigues by competitors.

Consequently, Babara Uthmann (mother of 12, according to some sources 15 children) set up a new business for herself and the women and families of the Erz Mountings with lace-making and trading of lace and braids.

The fact that she actually had bobbin lace produced on the basis of the putting-out system (workshop system) cannot be historically proved. What can be proved, however, is her activity as a producer of decorative braids. At some times, she employed 900 braid weavers. She purchased the material required for braid weaving, accepted the finished braids against pay and organised their sale. She was strikingly successful in this. Upon her death, she left a remarkable lifetime’s achievement and continues to rank among the most extraordinary personalities of the Erz Mountains to this day.

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Simon Marius

Mathematician – Physician – Astronomer
1573 – 1624

The Ansbach court astronomer from Gunzenhausen discovered the four major Jovian moons concomitantly with Galileo Galilei, although he did not publish his results until 1614 in Mundus Iovialis, which was thus able to look back upon 400 years in 2014.

When Galilei accused him of plagiarism, his reputation was lastingly damaged, even though it was demonstrated in the early 20th century that Marius had been researching entirely independently.

Simon Mayr (1573–1624), mathematician, physician, astronomer and calendar maker, who called himself Marius, was a margravial court mathematician in Ansbach. He discovered the Jovian moons at the same time as Galilei, but published his findings later than Galilei, whereupon he was accused of plagiarism. Today, it is evident that Marius had discovered the Jovian moons independently of Galilei, and that his observations had partly been even somewhat more accurate. Even during his lifetime, it was undisputed that Marius had discovered the Andromeda Galaxy.

In 1612, Marius was given a silver cup as a present by the City of Gunzenhausen. The naming of the Jupiter satellites according to the supposed love affairs of the mythological father of the gods dates back to Marius, who had been inspired to do so by Johannes Kepler in Regensburg in 1613. The International Astronomical Union distinguished Marius by naming one lunar crater after him, as well as the neighbouring „Marius Hills” and “Rima Marius“.

A descendent of Simon Marius’ sister Barbara, Eva Maria Mußolt, married Johann Christoph Elterlein on 25.4.1729 – perhaps, some “stargazer genes” strayed into the Elterlein family this way.

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On May 24, 1514 the Crest of the Elterlein Family was bestowed on “that praiseworthy man Johannis of Elterlein, a layman of the Maissen Diocese” – by Resolution of the Emperor Maximilian I. and Pope Innocent VIII. and through Wolffgang Steinberger, “Pfalzgraf Thurm Herr und Doctor beyder Rechte”.

“The use of this coat-of-arms is granted the above-mentioned Johanni von Elterlein and his legitimate descendants.” The original coat-of-arms is located is in Annaberg/Saxony near the Village of Elterlein.