The Fascinating History of New Braunfels and Its European Settlers

As an expert in Texas history, I am always fascinated by the stories of how different cities and towns came to be. One such city that has a particularly interesting origin story is New Braunfels, located in the heart of Texas. It all began in the 1830s, when a group of German nobles, led by an adventurous prince, set sail for the United States with the intention of creating a German colony in Texas. At the time, the Republic of Texas was offering public land to both Americans and Europeans, and the group saw this as an opportunity to establish their own community. They quickly got to work, building a fort called Zinkenburg and dividing up the land for settlement.

By spring of 1845, houses were being built and crops were being planted, setting the foundation for what would become one of the largest cities in Texas. One of the largest secondary settlements that emerged from this project was Fredericksburg, located 80 miles northwest of New Braunfels. When the first settlers arrived in the area, they found a rich confluence of the Comal and Guadalupe rivers. The dominant group in the area at that time was the Tonkawa tribe.The land where New Braunfels now stands was part of the Esnaurizar grant, which extended from Seguin to San Marcos and then down to the Guadalupe River. The Nacogdoches Highway crossed this river, making it a convenient location for New Braunfels settlers.

However, before the formation of the Republic of Texas and subsequent German colonization, this area was not stable enough for permanent settlement. It wasn't until Prince Carl's mass immigration project that the Esnaurizar area became safe for immigration. The reliable hydraulic power of Comal Springs and the city's strategic location between Austin and San Antonio made it an ideal place for settlers to establish businesses. From retail to manufacturing and agriculture, the community quickly flourished. One name that appears frequently in the history of New Braunfels is Jacob de Cordova. His name can be found on many properties throughout the area, from Cordova Creek near Canyon Lake to the small settlement of Córdoba near Seguin.

His contributions to the development of the city cannot be overstated.

Lyle Wilburn
Lyle Wilburn

Award-winning tv fanatic. Avid travel lover. Hipster-friendly coffee aficionado. Passionate social media expert. Hardcore zombie fan. Certified tv advocate.

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