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When someone thinks of the Spring Branch area of Houston, Texas, chances are that a multicultural, highly populated residential area on the west side of the city comes to mind. Yet photographs of Spring Branch's early history are very different from the urban images of today. In the 1840s, about the time Texas became the 28th state, German settlers came to a rural area centered around a tributary of Buffalo Bayou that runs through Houston but which was well outside the city limits at the time. These immigrants, who were farmers, business owners, and shopkeepers, came to America to embrace and fulfill their dreams--living a life of freedom, owning property, and raising their families. They were prepared to earn their success without slave labor available during that era, and they worked together to build a well-known residential area of present-day Houston.