United States / Comfort, TX

all or unphotographed
Funeral of German Patriots at Comfort, Texas, August 20, 1865. The procession of three hundred people, headed by the fathers of four of the victims, old men of sixty and seventy years, preceded the funeral car drawn by four white horses. Under the Union banner lay the remains. A detachment of Federal troops accompanied the cortege. At the grave, E. Degener, father of two victims, pronounced an oration which brought tears of grief to the eyes of the mourners. He concluded thus: "The sacrifice that we, the fathers of the slaughtered, made to our country and to liberty, is great and dolorous. We shall, however, console ourselves; we shall be proud of having offered our sons to the Union, if the glorious victory of its arms bear all the fruits that the nation and the whole of humanity justly expect to reap." The Federal troops fired a salute over the grave. The little remote site where they rest must be to the nation as sacred as those places where thousands are deposited. Small in number, far away from the patriotic heart and the strong arm of the loyal North, surrounded by fierce enemies of the Union, those brave and devoted Germans offered their lives. Harper's Weekly, New York, January 20, 1866. Comfort Heritage Foundation, 2004

High Street, between Third and Fourth, Comfort, TX, United States

Dedication of Monument to German Patriots, August 10, 1866. This Comfort town lot was purchased by Eduard Degener, Eduard Steves, and William Heuermann from John Vles of New Orleans, through his attorney Ernst Altgelt. The price was $20.00 and the date was 19 August 1865, the day before the mass burial. The land was purchased "for the purpose to erect a monument." Local stonemasons, likely including Emil Serger, built the monument, using locally quarried limestone. Several different carvers worked on the name plaques. This twenty-foot obelisk weights 35,700 pounds. The top has nine restored original stones, including the four name tablets. The three courses of the base were replaced during the restoration completed in 1996. Emplaced within the second course is a long-term time capsule. The United States flag has thirty-six stars. There were thirty-three states at the start of the Civil War, of which thirteen seceded to form the Confederate States of America. Three states were subsequently admitted: Kansas in 1861, West Virginia in 1863, and Nevada in 1864. Thus it represents the banner in use at the time of the monument dedication in 1866. Comfort Heritage Foundation, 2004

High Street, between Third and Fourth, Comfort, TX, United States

Treue der Union Monument. 130th anniversary rededication. August 10, 1996. Comfort, Texas.

High Street, between Third and Fourth, Comfort, TX, United States

The Founding Freethinkers. (Deutsche Freidenker) From 1845 to 1861 large numbers of German Freethinkers emigrated to the Texas Hill Country. Freethinkers were predominantly German intellectuals who advocated reason and democracy over religious and political autocracy. Many had been active in the 1848 German Revolution and sought freedom in America. The Freethinkers established numerous Central Texas colonies including Bettina, Castell, Cypress Creek, Luckenbach, Sisterdale and Tusculum (Boerne). Settlements which conducted intellectual forums in Latin became known as "Latin Colonies." Within a few years of the founding of Comfort in 1854, half the Hill Country Freethinker population was living in the area. Freethinkers valued their newfound freedoms of speech, assembly and separation of religion and government. Instead of religious dogma, Freethinkers believed in individual philosophy. They advocated equal rights for all persons, and their moral values were dominated by respect for life and nature. Many were active in political issues of the day including rejection of secession and abolition of slavery. Intellectual pursuits were shared with agriculture and other crafts of physical labor. Secular education and organizations (Vereins) provided social and cultural fulfillment. Existence was peaceful and their influence rapidly expanded. Loyalty to the Union during the Civil War had cost many their freedoms and lives. Some Freethinkers relocated to nearby urban areas or other states, and a few returned to Europe. Arrival of the railroad in Comfort in 1887 and other outside factors largely influenced the construction of the first church in 1892. Freethinker origins continue to influence the spirit of the community and surrounding areas. (2002)

High Street, Comfort, TX, United States

Arno Schwethelm Building. Prominent local merchant Arno Schwethelm had this building constructed in 1916 to house his mercantile business, a leading Hill Country establishment. Designed by L. Harrington of San Antonio and built by stonemason Otto Bartel, it combines the function of a twentieth century commercial structure with the detail of German craftsmanship. Incorporated in the native limestone building are materials from an earlier structure at this site. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1981 #208

?, Comfort, TX, United States

Comfort Community Church. Dedicated in 1892, this Gothic revival building first served the Deutsche Evangelische Gemeinde (German Evangelical Congregation), founded the previous year by the Rev. Frederick Bauer. The bell tower was added about 1898. For over 50 years, the Lutherans shared their building with other denominations, and the structure became known as the Comfort Community Church. It continues to serve the Immanuel Lutheran Church, as the congregation was renamed in 1947. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1986 #998

?, Comfort, TX, United States

Faltin Homestead. German native Theodor Georg Ludwig Goldbeck constructed the original part of this home in 1854, the same year the town of Comfort was founded. In 1856 he sold the house and his mercantile business to Friedrich August Faltin, a merchant who had recently migrated from Prussia. Additions to the residence, completed during his ownership, reflect German influences of pioneer building techniques. For over 125 years it has remained in the Faltin family. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1981 #1564

?, Comfort, TX, United States

Hanisch House. Using trees growing on nearby Cypress Creek, log portion of this house was built 1856 by Emil Serger and Paul Hanisch. Housed first pharmacy in Comfort. West wing and "Sunday house" were built in 1870, 1885. Restoration by Mr. and Mrs. J. C. Rice, 1947. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, 1965 #2361

?, Comfort, TX, United States

Hermann Sons Home for the Aged. A fraternal group originally for persons of German descent, the Sons of Hermann grew rapidly after the founding of the first Texas lodge in 1860-61. At a meeting in Austin in 1913, members voted to establish a home for the aged, to be called "Altenheim". This was one of the first homes for the aged started by a fraternal group in Texas. The citizens of Comfort raised $7,000 to buy this 202-acre tract for the facility. Lodge members from around the state contributed funds for the construction of a limestone building in 1915-16. (1979) #2462

?, Comfort, TX, United States

Idlewilde Lodge. Built in 1902 of Texas long leaf yellow pine with cypress siding and millwork, this structure was first used as a spa by Dr. C. H. Wilkinson of Galveston. In 1906 the property was sold to E. Hugo, who operated "Camp Reliance" here until 1912 when Robert Wilke acquired the land and adopted the name "Camp Good Times". The building was bought by the YWCA in 1918 and served as the main lodge for "Camp Idlewilde", a girls' summer camp, for more than 60 years. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1983 #2615

115 Route 473, Comfort, TX, United States

Ludwig Hein Home. Ludwig Hein (1855-1933) came to Texas from Germany in 1877. He married Rosa Treiber of Waring and built this home for his family before 1900. Hein operated a blacksmith shop next door until the family moved to San Antonio in 1914. The home was known as the "nerve center" of Comfort when the local telephone switchboard was housed here from 1923 to 1955. Features of the Victorian house include its front bay window and bracketed porch supports. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1987 #3145

727 High Street, Comfort, TX, United States

Otto Brinkmann House. The cottage was built in 1860 by German-born Otto Brinkmann (1832-1915), who lived here with his brothers until he married Marie Johanne Ochse in 1867. The half-timbered walls filled with native stone display the "fachwerk" technique introduced in Texas by German immigrants. The structure was enlarged in 1879, when the owner was Brinkmann's mother-in-law, Mrs. Julius Ochse. The house was purchased in 1973 and restored by Mr. and Mrs. William E. Parrish. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1976 #3882

701 High Street, Comfort, TX, United States

Peter Joseph Ingenhuett Homestead. German immigrant Peter Joseph Ingenhuett (1833-1923) came to Texas and settled on a farm near Comfort in the 1850s. In 1861, he married Marie Karger (1843-1913), and they moved into town in 1867. The Ingenhuetts opened various businesses along what is now High Street, including a hotel, saloon, and livery stable. Ingenhuett served for nearly 25 years as the Comfort postmaster. The small cottage at the back of this property was the Ingenhuett home until the larger dwelling at this site was built in 1888. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986 #3996

812 High Street, Comfort, TX, United States

Tunnel of the Fredericksburg & Northern Railway. In 1913 area residents raised money to build a railroad linking Fredericksburg to San Antonio. The 920-foot tunnel beneath this hill increased the cost by $134,000 and required five months of hard labor. It opened a faster trade route for area merchants and farmers. Each time passenger trains entered the tunnel, small rocks, loosened by engine exhaust, were removed from the track and the windows closed to keep out coal smoke. The railroad operated until 1942 when the trackage was sold for scrap. Incise in base: Marker Sponsor: S. O. A. W. Enterprises, Inc. (1978) #5568

?, Comfort, TX, United States

Comfort Post Office. From 1856, when Comfort's postal station was established, until this building was constructed in 1910, the town's post office was housed in various mercantile stores. In 1910, while Hermann Ingenhuett was serving as postmaster, this building was completed. Designed by noted San Antonio architect Alfred Giles, the renaissance revival style structure exhibits Giles' talent for blending red brick and limestone. It remained in use as a post office until 1952. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1985 #1000

814 High Street, Comfort, TX, United States

Subjects
August Faltin Building. Prussian native Friedrich August Faltin (1830-1905) moved to Comfort in 1856 and purchased the general merchandise business of Theodor Goldbeck, located at this site. Trained in his father's store, which had been established about 1818 in Danzig, Prussia, now Gdansk, Poland, Faltin became a leading merchant of the Texas Hill Country. In addition, his 1869 partnership with Capt. Charles Schreiner of Kerrville became the nucleus of the vast Schreiner enterprises. By the late 1870s Faltin's business, which included banking and post office services, had outgrown the structure at this site and he had architect Alfred Giles of San Antonio design a new building. Constructed by the noted builder J. H. Kampmann, the Victorian Italian edifice was completed in 1879. Later run by Faltin's sons Richard and August S., the business was sold in 1907 to their brother-in-law Dan Holekamp and his sons Otto and Edgar. That same year an addition to the building was completed. Also designed by Giles, it included second floor space for meetings and fraternal and civic groups. In 1968 the property was sold back to the Faltin family. The August Faltin Building remains as a symbol of the area's early commercial growth. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1982 #237

?, Comfort, TX, United States

Subjects
The Gass Schmiede. This limestone-block building was built in 1890 as a blacksmith shop ("schmiede") for Jacob Gass (1845-1913). Rock mason J. Gottlieb Lorbeer worked on the lower level for almost a year, walking to the job each week from Sisterdale (5 mi. E). The upper level was finished quickly with machinery and was used as a residence. Paul Ingenhuett bought the building in 1903, and his family made it available for a museum and public library in 1932. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1986 #5343

?, Comfort, TX, United States

Comfort Community Theatre. The need for a permanent civic center led Comfort business leaders to form a corporation to raise funds for its construction. Designed by Fredericksburg architect Hans Christiansen, the Comfort Community Theatre opened in 1930, providing the town with facilities for basketball, dances, civic meetings, stage plays, and private parties. It was later used as a movie theatre and enjoyed much success under the ownership of Hank Zimmerman from 1947 until 1964. The Comfort Community Theatre continues today as a performing arts center as well as a civic meeting hall. Incise on base: Purchased and restored by Richard and Dorothy Britt. (1983) #999

521 7th Street, Comfort, TX, United States

Ferdinand Hohenberger Farmstead. Ferdinand Hohenberger (ca. 1813-1895), with his wife Katherine Schultze and their family, left Bremen, Germany in 1855. Arriving in Galveston on November 20 after a 73-day ocean voyage, they first settled in Luckenbach (approx. 10 mi. NE). The family relocated to this area and purchased this property in 1871. Hohenberger and his family engaged in farming, and he also became a freight driver, traveling between San Antonio and Indianola on the Texas coast. In 1882, Ferdinand deeded 160 acres of land to each of his sons, William and Theodor. This property was part of the land deeded to William Hohenberger. He and his family lived here until 1914, and William operated a store and post office from one of the buildings on the homestead. He died in 1932 at age 82. The property remained in the Hohenberger family until 1915. Four undated gravestones on the farmstead mark the burials of family members. In addition to the graves of Ferdinand and Katherine Schultze Hohenberger are the interments of Mrs. Reichenthin and Mrs. Hagelman, believed to be sisters of Katherine Hohenberger. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986 #1589

?, Comfort, TX, United States

Ingenhuett-Faust Hotel. The older section of this hotel, with its jig-cut brackets and balustrade, was built in 1880. Additional facilities were constructed in 1894, seven years after the coming of the railroad to Comfort. Both sections of the inn were designed by Alfred Giles of San Antonio. Members of the Peter Ingenhuett family operated the hotel until about 1903. It was owned and managed by Louis and Matilda Faust from 1909 until 1946. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1985 #2646

818 High Street, Comfort, TX, United States

Subjects
Hygieostatic Bat Roost. This shingle style structure was built in 1918 to attract and house bats in an effort to eradicate mosquitoes and thereby reduce the spread of malaria. It was designed for Albert Steves, Sr., a former mayor of San Antonio, by Dr. Charles A. R. Campbell, an authority on bats who had served as the health officer in the same city. Named "Hygeiostatic" by Steves, the bat roost is one of 16 constructed in the United States and Italy between 1907 and 1929. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1981 #2608

?, Comfort, TX, United States

Meyer Hotel Complex. German native Frederich Christian Meyer (1828-89) came to Comfort in 1862. A wheelwright, Meyer also ran a stage stop and weight station at this site. He later purchased the property, which included a small log cabin he enlarged by adding a second story. In 1869 he constructed a two-story stone residence here for his wife Ernestine (Mueller) (d. 1910), a midwife. A separate wooden structure was built for her work, south of the original log cabin in 1872. The building housed maternity rooms for use by the women of the surrounding area ranches. In 1887, when rail lines were completed through the area, Comfort began showing promise as a resort community. That same year, the Meyers constructed a two-story frame building south of their residence to serve as a hotel. The upper floor of the structure was used for guests and the ground floor housed a large kitchen and a dining room. With the help of their 8 children, Ernestine continued to operate the hotel after her husband's death in 1889, despite a fire which damaged the family home. A second guest house was added east of the first hotel in 1920 by a daughter Julia (Meyer) Ellenberger, who operated the business until her death in 1956. (1981) #3356

952 High Street, Comfort, TX, United States

Paul Ingenhuett Home. Young Paul Ingenhuett (b. 1868), born on this block, succeeded his father Peter Joseph in the mercantile business. Soon Paul expanded into farming, sheep and cattle ranching, and helped found Comfort State Bank. In 1891 he married Ida Emma Sophie Flach and they had four children. After noted architect Alfred Giles designed several Comfort buildings, the Ingenhuetts employed him in 1897 to draw plans for this home. The limestone was quarried on family property. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1979 #3956

421 Eighth Street, Comfort, TX, United States

Subjects
Hermann and Antoine Ingenhuett Homestead. Hermann and Antoine Ingenhuett Homestead This site was the homestead of Hermann (1870-1944) and Aantoine (1873-1941) Ingenhuett from their marriage in 1895 until their deaths and remained in the family until the end of the 20th century. Hermann acquired the Ingenhuett livery stable and cotton yard from his father, Peter Ingenhuett, about 1895 and served as postmaster of Comfort from 1908 until 1915. The Ingenhuetts, who reared two daughters on their homestead, were active in local civic and business affairs. The homestead included a house, barn, washhouse, smokehouse and cistern and remains a significant part of the German-Texan heritage of this part of the state. (2002) #12752

436 8th St., Comfort, TX, United States

Ingenhuett-Karger Saloon. #15937

727 High Street, Comfort, TX, United States

Stieler Ranch House. Designed and built 1890-1892 by Herman Stieler, German rock mason and local sheep rancher. He came from Germany; hauled freight for Charles Schreiner Company and to Camp Verde. Made this place a shearing station for fellow ranchers. Coaches from nearby stage line often stopped for food, repairs. Style is typical of era. Each floor has two rooms on either side of central "dog trot" hall. Interior was remodeled in 1937. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1970 #5120

?, Comfort, TX, United States

Tunnel, Fredericksburg & Northern RR. #15502

?, Comfort, TX, United States

Rice Home. #15626

?, Comfort, TX, United States

1907 Comfort State Bank Building. Constructed in 1907 for Alex Brinkmann, this building housed the Comfort State Bank until 1960. Local stonemason Richard Doebbler is credited with the hand-cut stone craftsmanship of the structure. The Comfort Public Library was located here from 1961 to 1982. Features of the modified Richardsonian Romanesque building include polished red granite columns, a round-headed window, a corner entrance, and a blind arcade in the tower. Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1988. #29

?, Comfort, TX, United States

Treue Der Union (Loyalty to the Union). This German language monument, erected 1866, honors the memory of 68 men (mostly Germans) from this region who were loyal to the Union during the Civil War. Trying desperately to reach U.S. Federal troops by way of Mexico, about 40 of the men were killed by vengeful Confederates bent on annihilating them, in the Battle of the Nueces (on Aug. 10, 1862) and a later fight (Oct. 18). The bodies of the slain and those who drowned swimming the Rio Grande were left unburied. A group of Germans gathered the bones of their friends and buried them at this site in 1865. (1968) #15

?, Comfort, TX, United States

Freidenker (Nineteenth Century Freethinkers). From 1845 to 1861, a number of German Freidenker ("Freethinkers") immigrated to the Texas hill country. Freethinkers were German intellectuals who advocated reason and democracy over religious and political authoritarianism. Many had participated in the 1848 German revolution and sought freedom in America. The Freidenker helped establish Bettina, Castell, Cypress Mill, Luckenbach, Sisterdale ,Tusculum (Boerne) and Comfort. Laid out in 1854, Comfort soon was home to about half the population of hill country Freethinkers. Freethinkers valued their newfound freedoms of speech, assembly and religion. Their settlements, where a knowledge of Latin was considered essential for a cultured intellectual society, became known as "Latin Colonies." They strongly supported secular education and generally did not adhere to any formal religious doctrines. They applied themselves to the crafts of physical labor and divided their time between farming and intellectual pursuits. Freethinkers advocated universal equal rights, and their moral values were dominated by their respect for life. They actively supported such social issues as the abolition of slavery and the rejection of secession. Their loyalty to the Union during the Civil War cost many their freedoms and their lives. Following the war, many Freethinkers relocated to nearby urban areas, while others returned to Germany. (2000) #11673

301 SH 27, Comfort, TX, United States