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

Otto Koehler House

Otto Koehler House Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, June 23, 2021
1. Otto Koehler House Marker

Built in 1901 for German immigrant Otto Koehler (1855-1914), this home was among the first in this area. Koehler, President of the Pearl Brewing Company, employed local architect Carl von Seutter to design the home. One of the most spectacular examples of turn-of-the-century eclecticism in San Antonio, with outbuildings and grounds intact the Koehler home was built by Jacob Wagner with landscape design by G. A. Schattenberg.
Recorded Texas Historic Landmark - 1975
Erected 1975 by Texas Historical Commission. (Marker Number 2972.)
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: ArchitectureIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1901.
Location. 29° 26.937′ N, 98° 29.818′ W. Marker is in San Antonio, Texas, in Bexar County. It is in Midtown. Marker is at the intersection of West Ashby Place and Belknap Place, on the right when traveling east on West Ashby Place. The marker is located in front of the entrance to the house by the driveway. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 310 West Ashby Place, San Antonio TX 78212, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other
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markers are within walking distance of this marker. Roy and Madge Hearne House (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); Jay Adams House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Christ Episcopal Church (approx. 0.2 miles away); David J. and May Bock Woodward House (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Women's Club of San Antonio (approx. 0.2 miles away); Monte Vista Historic District (approx. 0.2 miles away); Committee on Public Safety (approx. ¼ mile away); Old San Pedro Springs (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in San Antonio.
Regarding Otto Koehler House. Police Trying to Unravel Puzzle Connected With Death of Millionaire - Special Correspondence - San Antonio, Texas, Nov. 19 - On the floor, the body of millionaire Otto Koehler, bleeding from three fatal bullet wounds; kneeling over it and weeping bitterly, the beautiful Hedda Burgemeister, a stream of blood spouting from a gash in her wrist - this was the tragic scene revealed to neighbors of Miss Burgemeister when they broke into a room in her cottage here in response to revolver shots and screams.

In more ways than by her name - which recalls that of Hedda Gabbler - does Miss Burgemeister's tragedy suggest the tense gloominess of an Ibsen play. As a glimmer of light is being cast on its mysterious details, all the southwest finds its attention drawn by the
The Otto Koehler House entrance and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, June 23, 2021
2. The Otto Koehler House entrance and Marker
drama of love, passion, and murder.

One of Wealthiest Men in Texas.
Otto Koehler was one of the wealthiest men in Texas, heavily interested in breweries, banks and Mexican mines. Miss Burgemeister, known as Hedda or Emma, is a beautiful blond, petite, vivacious, with regular features and an appealing smile. She is a trained nurse and is said to have received many visits from Otto Koehler, in her little cottage, during the last few years.

Koehler's family denies the story which is widely reported, that Miss Burgemeister knew Koehler first when she was a trained nurse serving as companion for Koehler's invalid wife. At any rate, it is known that the two had been intimate, but that of late Koehler had found the attachment irksome and no longer called secretly at Miss Burgemeister's cottage. Finally Koehler came to her on the day of the murder, intent upon breaking with her for good according to the police.

He was admitted to the cottage by Mrs. Emma Daschel, another trained nurse who had been employed in the Koehler family, Mrs. Daschel had long been a friend of Hedda Burgemeister, and was staying at her home on a visit.

Koehler found his beautiful Hedda despondent. She threatened suicide. From behind the closed door of the room where the pair had retired, Mrs. Daschel heard angry words and then sounds of a struggle.

It is supposed
The driveway side of the Otto Koehler House image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, June 23, 2021
3. The driveway side of the Otto Koehler House
that Miss Burgemeister seized a penknife and tried to cut the veins and arteries of her wrist, and that Koehler attempted to prevent her.

Suddenly three revolver shots rang through the house. Mrs. Daschel ran screaming outdoors, and called the neighbors, who broke into the room in which the secret tragedy had been enacted.

Admits She Shot Him.
They found that Koehler had been shot three times in the head, the neck and the breast. He was dead when found, and Miss Burgemeister was fainting from loss of blood. Beside her lay a smoking, emptied revolver and a bloody penknife. The police also found a loaded, six-shot, automatic pistol.

"I shot him to protect myself and friend." is the terse and only statement made by Miss Burgemeister as she lies, half hysterical, on a cot in a hospital here. It is believed her defense will be the assertion that Koehler drew the pistol and threatened her and that she fired in self defense. Some draw the conclusion from her statement that Koehler attempted to assault Mrs. Daschel, for whose protection Miss Burgemeister fired.

But the two women refuse to explain further, and the engrossing mystery grows deeper. Source: The Times, Shreveport, Louisiana, Nov 20, 1914
Also see . . .  Pearl Brewing Company.
The Pearl name reportedly came
The Koehler Carriage House image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, June 23, 2021
4. The Koehler Carriage House
from a German brewmaster that had thought that the bubbles in a freshly-poured glass of beer resembled pearls. He called them "Perlen." Though many histories of Pearl have stated that the San Antonio Brewing Association purchased the formula and name from the Kaiser-Beck Brewery in Bremen, Germany, author Jeremy Banas has written that Otto Koehler may have secured the name and formula from another source—possibly the A. Griesedieck Brewing Company in St. Louis in 1886. Koehler had previously worked for Griesedieck. Source: The Handbook of Texas
(Submitted on June 28, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.) 
The front yard of the Otto Koehler House image. Click for full size.
Photographed By James Hulse, June 23, 2021
5. The front yard of the Otto Koehler House
Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2023. It was originally submitted on June 28, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas. This page has been viewed 508 times since then and 138 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on June 28, 2021, by James Hulse of Medina, Texas.

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May. 28, 2023