Marker No: 17149
Aluminum 27 x 42 Subject Marker
Geographic: N 29° 38.739 W 098° 13.413
Location: Seven miles southwest of New Braunfels, Texas or three miles northeast of Bracken, Texas along FM 482
Marker Text: In the mid-19th century, several German families left nearby New Braunfels and established farms in what would become the village of Comal, Texas. At varying times, Comal has been known as “Wenzel” for one of these founding families, and “eight-mile” or “seven-mile” for its location in relation to New Braunfels. Comal settlers were among some of the first Germans to emigrate to Texas in the 1840s. The Schwab, Friesenhahn, Wenzel, Fey, Schaefer, Syring and Sahm families established farms, some of which remain productive and run by descendants of these pioneering families.
Throughout the 20th century, Comal remained a small and close-knit agricultural village. the Friesenhahn brothers, influenced by the community’s reliance on cotton as a cash crop, organized a community cooperative gin in 1900 and established a corn shelling plant that served area farmers. Kneupper’s grocery, in business from 1906 to 1973, provided the community with goods and was a center for social gatherings on Friday and Saturday evenings. A blacksmith shop, owned by the Wenzel and Schwab families, remains standing near the center of town. Most of the infrastructure is present as a reminder of the community. Education and religious commitment among the first settlers (both Catholic and Protestant) was a first priority and many of the Comal family patriarchs were instrumental leaders in forming the first school and church institutions in Comal as well as in New Braunfels. these families and several others built Comal into a thriving and prosperous farming community that survived against difficult odds and helped make Comal, Texas such a storied and historic place. (2012)