Photo of Alwin Merz.

York Creek Cemetery: Endangered species

By Tara V. Kohlenberg Change. One of the few constants of life. Because change is occurring rapidly in and around New Braunfels, rural cemeteries are endangered. Cemeteries and graveyards are sometimes the only connection to the history of an area. York Creek Cemetery is one of historical importance, as it

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True Crime Series: Local farmer and son murdered in Austin

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — It was very early in the morning, still dark, but they had far to go. As Conrad gave a final tug on the ropes securing the six bales of cotton in the wagon, he watched his 13-year-old son Heinrich say goodbye to his wife. It

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Photo Caption: H.W. Schmidt cigar box with circa 1845 cigar cutter and meerschaum cigar holder.

A good smoke was a hometown cigar

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — So, I’m still in “cigar-mode.” Once begun, research on a subject takes me down many roads, each with their own questions to answer. For instance, I found out that early New Braunfels had cigar makers. These were not big outfits, but little factories which had

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Photo Caption: Records in the Sophienburg Museum and Archives used in researching Pablo Diaz.

The Pablo Diaz story

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman – Sometimes a little tidbit of information sets me off on a bunny trail. I took one of those trails recently after finding and reading a 1975 letter from Oscar Haas to Mrs. Gregorio Coronado here in New Braunfels. Haas was drawing her attention to the

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New Braunfels forty-eighters

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — The forty-eighters were refugees of the failed German Revolution of 1848. They were idealists. They fought to establish a liberal and unified Germany using liberty, democracy and unity as their main tenets. The designation “forty-eighter” excludes the hundreds of thousands who emigrated from 1848-1852 for

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Photo Caption: Lina Chapa Delgado helping her granddaughter Michelle Ortiz listen to her heartbeat in January 1973. On the table are instruments given to Mrs. Delgado by Dr. Hylmar Karbach, Sr., a book on obstetrics from Dr. Frederick Casto and records of some of her 1,600+ deliveries. (New Braunfels Herald negative collection, Feb 1, 1973)

‘Bout birthin’ babies

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman – Tokology. When you read that word, what do you think of? When I came across an old book in the Sophienburg’s collections with this title I was intrigued. If you are like me, you may have thought this book was about “the study of toking”

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Backroad bingo

By Tara V. Kohlenberg — After this past week’s historic Arctic storms Uri and Viola had us in winter lockdown, I jumped at the chance to go driving through the Comal countryside under the clear blue skies. It wasn’t just the sunshine and 70-degree temperatures that were so inviting. It

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Die Neunköder and the castor bean

Keva Hoffmann Boardman — When nine young men from Frankfort emigrated to Texas in 1849, they were given the nickname of “Die Neunköder” or “the Nine Lures” or “the Niners.” One of them, George Weber, described the group of adventurers: “Taking a sailship at Antwerpen, we finally landed at Indianola

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“Ein Prosit, ein Prosit” to music

By Myra Lee Adams Goff We are celebrating the 175th Anniversary of New Braunfels and its unique culture in which music played a large part. Music creates sounds that evoke different emotions. Sounds representing joy, sadness, patriotism, history and love and can be produced through many different instruments and particularly

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Religious needs of the colonists

The articles of the Verein zum Schutz detscher Einwandrer in Texas (also known as the Society of Noblemen or the Adelsverein) required that the spiritual needs of the immigrants were to be met. The calendar and customs of church life were an important part of the Germanic culture. After their

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