Clara Studer was born Clara Trenckman 31 July 1897, the fourth of four children of William Andreas Trenckman and Mathilde Miller. William was the son of German immigrants who had come to Texas after the Revolution of 1848 and settled in a German-speaking enclave. William was in the first class at Texas A&M and came to be a publisher of a German-language weekly, a teacher, and author. Mathilde, too, was a German immigrant. The family—at least as represented by William’s positions—was generally progressive, opposed to racial discrimination and sensitive to the plight of Germans during World War I.
The family remained in Austin for Clara’s childhood—though the census has them variously as Truckmann and Tranchmann and Clara sometimes as Clora. Their street address changed, indicating they moved some within the city limits. I do not know where she went to high school. She attended the University of Texas, graduating in 1919. Apparently, she did some war work—the yearbook says, “She fought Germany with her trusty Underwood on Capitol Hill in Washington.” Afterwards, she moved away, physically if not emotionally, attending the University of Kansas in 1920 (at least); the yearbook there has her as part of the Texas Club, founded in 1919, which was home to Texas residents at the University.