2024 Myra Lee Adams Goff Sophienburg History Award Winner

The 2024 Myra Lee Adams Goff Sophienburg History Scholarship was awarded to Nathan Martinez. In a ceremony during the Sophienburg Museum’s annual meeting on April 18, Nathan was presented with the award ― a $1000 scholarship ― and got to meet and visit with Mrs. Goff. He is the eleventh

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Photo Caption: Portion of an 1874 Comal County Land Grant map. Highlighted are the land surveys making up the Rancho Comal in the 1870s.

Rancho Comal at Spring Branch

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman — A Princely Estate — We learn that Maj Leland of New York, has settled among us, having purchased the Comal Ranch of Col. Sparks, fronting the Guadalupe River 9 miles, and laying 22 miles west of New Braunfels … all one body of some ten

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PHOTO CAPTION: The first post office in New Braunfels, the home, hotel, and saloon of Arnold-Henkel von Donnersmark, 1847.

Postmarks tell interesting history

By Myra Lee Adams Goff — A young German count, Arnold-Henkel von Donnersmark, came to the New Braunfels settlement in 1845 with Prince Carl. He built a large frame building where he lived and conducted his hotel and saloon business. In less than a year he had accumulated several thousand

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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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True crime series: The Irene Hitzfelder murder

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman Some stories seem to write themselves. Not this one. I have struggled with this story for over 2 years. On the morning of Thursday, Sept. 13, 1923, nine-year-old Irene Hitzfelder was brutally killed by sixteen year-old Clarke Coffield. Irene, the daughter of Herman and Wanda nee

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The museum’s Mormon mystery

By Keva Hoffmann Boardman – I just finished an exhibit on the Waissenhaus or Orphan’s Home. Organized in 1848 near Gruene, it was the first orphanage in Texas. I perused the Sophienburg’s collections to find original artifacts to use in the exhibit, and knew that of two large dough troughs,

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Willke brothers make significant contribution

By Myra Lee Adams Goff The history of every area reveals that there are many individuals who live lives that help their community without fanfare. They don’t have schools or streets named after them, but they make an impact, nevertheless. People and places come and go, and their significance often

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