New Braunfels, Texas: Wikis

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City of New Braunfels
—  City  —
Guadalupe River under Interstate 35 in New Braunfels
Motto: friendship
Location of New Braunfels in Texas
Coordinates: 29°42′6″N 98°7′25″W / 29.70167°N 98.12361°W / 29.70167; -98.12361Coordinates: 29°42′6″N 98°7′25″W / 29.70167°N 98.12361°W / 29.70167; -98.12361
Country United States
State Texas
Counties Comal, Guadalupe
Founded 1845
Government
 - Mayor Bruce Boyer
Area
 - Total 29.4 sq mi (76.1 km2)
 - Land 29.2 sq mi (75.7 km2)
 - Water 0.2 sq mi (0.4 km2)
Elevation 630 ft (192 m)
Population (2007)
 - Total 51,804
 Density 1,604.4/sq mi (619.8/km2)
Time zone Central (UTC-6)
 - Summer (DST) CDT (UTC-5)
Area code(s) 830
FIPS code 48-50820[1]
GNIS feature ID 1342440[2]
Website http://www.nbtexas.org

New Braunfels (pronounced /ˌnjuː ˈbrɔːnfəlz/ ( listen)) is a city in Comal and Guadalupe counties in the U.S. state of Texas that is a principal city of the San Antonio–New Braunfels metropolitan area. Braunfels means "brown rock" in German; the city is named for Braunfels, in Germany. The city's population was 36,494 as of the 2000 census, and estimated at 51,804 in 2007.[citation needed] It is the seat of Comal County[3].

New Braunfels has a sizeable German Texan community. During the 19th century, its name was often spelled Neu-Braunfels, even by English speakers. The town holds a German-style festival, Wurstfest ("sausage festival"), every November to celebrate the city's German heritage. The newspaper Herald Zeitung was originally two newspapers: The Herald (published in English) and The Zeitung (published in German) until World War II.

New Braunfels draws a fair amount of tourists from across the state, particularly because of the cold-spring rivers that run through the city. Many generations of families still return during the summer to tube down the Guadalupe River and Comal River. New Braunfels is the site of a water park, Schlitterbahn WaterPark Resort. The Comal River is one of the shortest in the world at just 3.2 miles (5.2 km) long, before emptying into the Guadalupe River. The headwaters of the Comal are located in present day Landa Park, where hundreds of artesian springs flow from the Edwards Aquifer. The upper reaches are surrounded by park and private residences, while the lower portions are open for recreation.

Contents

Founding

Old map (1881)
Germans on the way to New Braunfels (1844)

New Braunfels was established in 1845 by the German Prince, Carl of Solms-Braunfels, Commissioner General of the "Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas", also known as the "Noblemen's Society" (in German: Mainzer Adelsverein). Prince Carl named the city for Braunfels, his hometown in Germany.

The Adelsverein organized hundreds of people in Germany to settle in Texas. Immigrants from Germany began arriving at Galveston in July, 1844. Most then traveled by ship to Indianola in December, 1844 and began the overland journey to the Fisher-Miller land grants purchased by Prince Carl. At the urging of Col. Jack Hayes, who realized the settlers would not have time to build homes and plant crops before winter, and as the German settlers were traveling inland along the Guadalupe River, Prince Carl bought two leagues of land from the Rafael Garza and Maria Antonio Veramendi Garza for $1,111.00.

The land, known as "Las Fontanas", was located northeast of San Antonio on the Camino Real and had strong freshwater springs. It was also approximately halfway between Indianola and the lower portions of the Fisher-Miller land grant. The first settlers forded the Guadalupe River on Good Friday, March 21, 1845, near the present day Faust Street bridge. As the Spring of 1845 progressed, the settlers built a fort, divided land, and began building homes and planting crops. Soon after founding the city, Prince Carl returned to Germany, leaving John O. Meusebach to manage the settlement.

In December 1845, Texas became a state in the United States of America, eliminating any ambitions the German aristocracy may have had to establish a German principality within the politically and militarily weak Republic of Texas, and undermining the United States.

The unfinished Sophienburg Castle, built by Prince Carl

A second wave of German immigrants began arriving in 1846, even as the sponsoring Adelsverein teetered on bankruptcy. As hundreds of German immigrants continued arriving at the Texas coast in 1846, three disasters hit the German immigrants. The Mexican-American War broke out between the United States and Mexico, and oxcart teamsters who were contracted to carry the Germans and their belongings inland were diverted to the war effort along the south Texas coast. Additionally, heavy rains flooded creeks and rivers, rendering passage inland difficult. Finally, cholera broke out among the immigrants, and several hundred people died in the outbreak.

Meusebach stabilized the community's finances, and encouraged the settlers to establish additional neighboring communities. The largest of these secondary settlements was Fredericksburg, 80 miles to the northwest of New Braunfels.

New Braunfels thrived, and by 1850, it was the fourth largest city in Texas, with 1,723 people, following only Galveston, San Antonio, and Houston in population. In 1852, the Zeitung newspaper was established, edited by German Texan botanist Ferdinand Lindheimer. The newspaper continues to publish under its current name, the Herald-Zeitung.

Geography

New Braunfels is located at 29°42′06″N 98°07′25″W / 29.701724°N 98.123559°W / 29.701724; -98.123559 (29.701724, -98.123559).[4] This is 30 miles (48 km) northeast of San Antonio and 45 miles (72 km) southwest of Austin.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 29.4 square miles (76.1 km2), of which, 29.2 square miles (75.8 km2) of it is land and 0.2 square miles (0.4 km2) of it (0.51%) is water.

The city is situated along the Balcones Fault, where the Texas Hill Country meets rolling prairie land. Along the fault in the city, a string of artesian springs known as Comal Springs give rise to the Comal River, which is known as one of the shortest rivers in the world, as it winds three miles through the city before meeting the Guadalupe River.

Gruene

Gruene, Texas, or the Gruene Historical District, is located within the city limits of New Braunfels. Founded by the sons of settlers Ernst and Antoinette Gruene, it had a bank, post office, school, general store, lumberyard, gristmill, dance hall,and cotton gin. It also had access to two railways for shipping cotton bales, a real coup in those times. Its most famous attribute was the dance hall, a family activity in those days. Due to the failure of the cotton crop from Boll Weevils, and the failure of the banks after 1929, commercial activity slowed to a crawl. This village is now a Nationally Registered Historic District where you can dine in the ruins of the original Gristmill or enjoy live music at Gruene Hall. The community may also be researched through the Sophienburg Museum and Archives.

Demographics

As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 36,494 people, 13,558 households, and 9,599 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,247.7 people per square mile (481.7/km2). There were 14,896 housing units at an average density of 509.3/sq mi (196.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.30% White, 1.37% African American, 0.55% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 10.93% from other races, and 2.24% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 34.52% of the population.

There were 13,558 households out of which 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.4% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.2% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.11.

In the city the population was spread out with 25.7% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,078, and the median income for a family was $46,726. Males had a median income of $31,140 versus $23,235 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,548. About 9.0% of families and 10.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.9% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.

Education

New Braunfels is served by the New Braunfels Independent School District, Comal Independent School District, Central Texas Technology Center, and private schools.

Private schools

Library

The New Braunfels Public Library is located at 700 East Common Street. The library is a member of the Alamo Area Library System.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. http://www.naco.org/Template.cfm?Section=Find_a_County&Template=/cffiles/counties/usamap.cfm. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  4. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2000 and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2005-05-03. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  • The German Texans, Glen E. Lich, 1996, The University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures at San Antonio, 232 pages.
  • The History of the German Settlements in Texas, Rudolph Leopold Biesele, German-Texan Heritage Society, 1987 (original edition 1930), hardback, 261 pages.
  • History of New Braunfels and Comal County, Texas, Oscar Haas, 1968, hardback, 338 pages.

External links

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