ALBERT GEORGE KOENIG came to Ranger to teach in the
late 30s or early 40s with his young wife Claudia
Augusta and their small son Claude. Immediately prior,
he had been teaching and serving as principal of a rural
school near Brady, TX.
(We in Ranger always pronounced their name King as konig
is the German word for king. When they moved north, however,
the family name soon became pronounced COnig or phonetically.
In Tacoma where his son George lived, most people said KAYnig.)
Prior to Mr. Koenig's marriage in 1937 at the bride's home
in Ballinger, he had farmed with his parents in Runnels
County. At the time of his marriage he was also teaching
at Mason, a rural school just north of Winters. He earned
a B.A. from Hardin-Simmons University and later also an MA
from the same school. His area of teaching was primarily
in social studies, but he also taught speech at RHS. In
that capacity he directed all-school plays.
I had the privilege of being in one of them (1956) along with
his son George Koenig (RHS-1960). Mr. Koenig made a point of
involving the uninvolved in school activities. I am immensely
grateful to him for that inclusion. This spring when I went
back to RHS to hear Morris Baker (RHS-1957) and the first
African-American to graduate from RHS, speak to the current
student body, Baker recalled by name four teachers who had
been very supportive and receptive of his presence among
the other students in the early days of integration. One
of these was Mr. Koenig.
In the mid-1950's Mr. Koenig heard from his sister and brother-
in-law living in the Chicago area of the fast-growing opportunities
for teachers in suburban areas. He and his family moved to Elk
Grove Village in 1957. He taught at nearby Maine Township High
School until his death on Feb. 20, 1962 (coincidentally the
same day John Glenn first orbited the Earth).
The other children in the Koenig family, all born in Ranger, were
his sons George and Robert and a daughter Mary Helen. His widow,
now Mrs. George, resides in Aurora, Illinois. She was also a
teacher in Ranger. I remember in seventh grade social studies
when we studied state capitals that she told us the capital of
Maine was her middle name: Augusta. Written by Mike Herrington
(May 30, 2001)