“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Comfort in Kendall County, Texas — The American South (West South Central)


Nineteen Century Freethinkers

Freidenker Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, September 26, 2020
1. Freidenker Marker

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 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
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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.
Erected 2000 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 11673.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Civil RightsParks & Recreational AreasSettlements & SettlersWar, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1845.
Location. 29° 58.025′ N, 98° 54.801′ W. Marker is in Comfort, Texas, in Kendall County. Marker is at the intersection of State Highway 27 and Broadway, on the right when traveling east on State Highway 27. The marker and gazebo are located within the Comfort Park. The entrance to the park is at the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Street. . Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Comfort TX 78013, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ernst Hermann Altgelt (within shouting distance of this marker); Dedication of Monument to German Patriots (approx. 0.2 miles away); Funeral of German Patriots at Comfort, Texas (approx. 0.2 miles away); Treue Der Union Monument (approx. 0.2 miles away); Battle and Massacre at Nueces River
Gazebo and Freidenker Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, September 26, 2020
2. Gazebo and Freidenker Marker
(approx. 0.2 miles away); Comfort Community Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Otto Brinkmann House (approx. ¼ mile away); Comfort School (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Comfort.
Also see . . .  Freethinkers. TSHA Texas State Historical Association (Submitted on October 5, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
Credits. This page was last revised on October 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 5, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 337 times since then and 49 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on October 5, 2020, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. • J. Makali Bruton was the editor who published this page.

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Apr. 14, 2024