Gottfried Maeser, the first principal of Brigham Young University and
general superintendent of the LDS Church school system, was born on
16 January 1828 in Saxony, Germany. He graduated with high honors from
the Friedrichstadt Schullehrerseminar, a teacher-training college in
Dresden, in May 1848. He worked as a teacher in Dresden, as a private
tutor in Bohemia, and as vice-director of a school in Dresden. He married
Anna Mieth, the school director's daughter, in 1854.
first heard of the LDS Church through an anti-Mormon pamphlet. Rather
than turning him away, it piqued his interest, and he wrote for more
information. After some effort on his part, missionaries finally agreed
to come to Dresden to teach him, and in October 1855 he was baptized.
The LDS Church organized a branch in Dresden with the eight members,
and Maeser was sustained as presiding elder.