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

New Braunfels Woolen Mill

Comal Steam Laundry

New Braunfels Woolen Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Anderson, May 1, 2021
1. New Braunfels Woolen Mill Marker
Inscription.  German immigrants August Tolle and Dr. Theodor Koester purchased lots 271 and 272 in 1864 and built a large two-story building 100 feet long and 60 feet wide using hewn trunks of cedar. The building was built as a brandy distillery and to manufacture medicinals. In 1868, the building was sold to the New Braunfels Woolen Mill Manufacturing Company. The factory utilized the Comal River water for steam power installing a boiler, chimney and warning bell. The company was successful, but lacking a trademark, closed because other manufacturers used the name and produced inferior products.

In 1901, German immigrants Franz and Anna (Mielke) Popp bought the property and converted the building to the Comal Steam Laundry. It was the first laundry in New Braunfels and capitalized on the turn of the century desire for cleanliness and reducing the laborious task for citizens to wash their clothes. After Franz retired in 1913, the laundry was run by Anna and her children, Emma, Martha, Rosa and Bruno. During the Great Depression, Emma operated the laundry and also worked as a cook at the Phoenix Café to support her children. In 1934, the laundry
New Braunfels Woolen Mill Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Anderson, May 1, 2021
2. New Braunfels Woolen Mill Marker
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closed due to a kerosene stove fire that resulted in Anna’s death. The building that had been a New Braunfels landmark for so many years was razed in 1954. The Popp family still owned the property in the early 21st century. Although all that remains of the building is the old bell, rock foundation and part of the chimney, it serves as a reminder of business ingenuity utilizing the Comal River.
Erected 2015 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 18076.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1868.
Location. 29° 42.068′ N, 98° 7.163′ W. Marker is in New Braunfels, Texas, in Comal County. Marker is on Comal Avenue, on the right when traveling west. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 439 Comal Avenue, New Braunfels TX 78130, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. August and Karoline Tolle House (within shouting distance of this marker); Home of Ferdinand Lindheimer (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Johann Michael Jahn (about 600 feet away); Old Scholl House (about 700 feet away); First Protestant Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); Early Settlers' Home (approx. 0.2 miles away); Texas Germans in the Civil War
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(approx. 0.2 miles away); The Faust Hotel (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in New Braunfels.
Credits. This page was last revised on May 6, 2021. It was originally submitted on May 5, 2021, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas. This page has been viewed 42 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on May 6, 2021, by Brian Anderson of Kingwood, Texas.

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Jun. 13, 2021