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Tomball

Brill-Mueller House

In 1873, German native Johannes Brill (1832-1909) immigrated to Texas with his wife, Anna Schafer, and their daughter, Emilie. The Brills settled near friends in the German community of Big Cypress, which later became known as Klein. Brill farmed his land and helped organize what is now the Trinity Lutheran Church of Spring. He built a home for his family in 1880 that was originally located eight miles from the current site. The house later belonged to Friedrick and Emilie (Brill) Mueller and remained in the Brill-Mueller family until 1981. The history of this family home reflects the area's rich German heritage.

Brill-Mueller House    

Location
 

2503 South Cherry St.
Tomball, TX 77375

  GPS: Latitude: 30° 01.992'
Longitude: 95° 28.729'
  Key Map: 288 V

Confederate Powder Mill

Established in 1861, the Confederate Powder Mill produced cannon powder until 1863 when an explosion destroyed the mill and killed three employees: William Bloecher, Adolph Hillegeist, and Peter Wunderlich. The site was donated by Mrs. E. G. Hillegeist and her sons, Earl and Roy Hillegeist. The memorial was erected in 1966 by the Harris County Historical Survey Committee, Spring Creek County Historical Association, and descendents of those killed in the explosion.

Confederate Powder Mill    

Location
 

15012 Brown Rd.
Tomball, TX 77375

  GPS: Latitude: 30° 06.553'
Longitude: 95° 39.312'
  Key Map: 288 E & 287 D
  Tip: Located in the northwest corner of Spring Creek Park

Griffin Memorial House

Built about 1860 by Eugene Pillot, son of early Harris County settler Claude Nicholas Pillot, who became an outstanding builder in the Texas coastal region after learning the trade from his father. The original site of the structure, near the Atascocita Trail route and south of Willow Creek, was often visited by General Sam Houston. The family of John B. Griffin owned the house from 1920 to 1995. Mrs. Ruth Griffin McCourt gave the home to the Spring Creek County Historical Association in 1965 in memory of her father, Edmond B. Griffin. (Recorded Texas Historic Landmark in 1969 [Supplemental Plate].)

Griffin Memorial House Griffin Memorial House
  Griffin Memorial House

Location
 

510 N. Pine Street
Tomball, TX 77375

  GPS: Latitude: 30° 05.939'
Longitude: 95° 37.176'
  Key Map: 288 G
  Tip: At the corner of Pine St. and Epps St. across from the Tomball Museum

Kohrmann Family Cemetery

German immigrants Agnes and Paulin Kohrmann opened a general store in the 1870s on the road that later became State Highway 249. In 1888, the community became known as “Kohrville” after Paul, who served as postmaster beginning in 1881 when mail was first delivered to the area. The general store and post office served as the social center of a widely dispersed population. In the late 19th century, families arrived from Prussia, Denmark, Ireland, and England, as well as several southern states. African Americans also moved here from the Piney Point area west of Houston. Agnes and Paulin Kohrmann are buried in the small Kohrmann family cemetery that is now surrounded by the Lakewood Apartments park. The Kohrmann’s daughter, Rosa, and her husband William McDougle, descendant of one of the first settlers in northwest Harris County, are also buried in the family cemetery.

Kohrmann Family Cemetery Kohrmann Family Cemetery
Photos provided by the Harris County Historical Commission.

Location
 

11000 Gatesden Dr.
Tomball, TX 77375

  GPS: Latitude: 30° 00.219'
Longitude: 95° 35.198'
  Key Map: 329 S

Pillot Cemetery

The earliest known settler on Willow Creek was Frenchman Claude Nicholas Pillot (1793-1862), whose family immigrated to the United States in 1832 and then to Texas in 1837. He and his wife, Jeanne, established a home and farm in the area, and soon other French settlers joined them. Church services and school classes were held in private homes until permanent structures could be built. The cemetery began as a family burial ground upon the death of August Pillot, the 21-year-old son of Claude and Jeanne, in September 1844. The Pillots also provided burial spaces to their friends and neighbors, but the Pillot family plot remains the focal point of the graveyard. The large monument in the center of the plot was manufactured in France and shipped to Cypress for transportation to the cemetery. Claude Pillot died in New Orleans after a business trip, but Jeanne died at home in 1866 and is buried in the family plot. There were only a few burials over the next several decades and the graveyard was mostly untended. In 1959, efforts to re-establish the site as a community cemetery began and the last known burial took place in 1997. There are approximately 70 graves in the Pillot Cemetery including three Civil War veterans. The cemetery is an important reflection of the area's history. (Designated as a Texas Historical Cemetery in 2002.)

Pillot Cemetery    

Location
 

12317 Holderrieth Rd.
Tomball, TX 77375

  Key Map: 289 S
  Tip: Near Cherry St.; turn at the Nelson Bostick Cemetery sign

Pillot Family

Frenchman Claude Nicholas Pillot (1793-1862) came to this area with his family in 1837. He and his son Eugene (1820-1896) worked in the timber business, were active in the community, served as officials of the short-lived Spring Creek County, and owned much of the land in the area. The Willow Settlement formed around the Pillot family and other French settlers. A successful lumberman, Eugene also became a prominent builder in Houston, maintaining homes in the Willow Creek area and in the city. His 1860 home was moved to the current site in 1965 to serve as a reminder of the prosperous Pillot family and their contributions. (Designated a Texas Historical Site in 2004.)

Pillot Family Pillot Family  

Location
 

510 North Pine St.
Tomball, TX 77375

  GPS: Latitude: 30° 05.939'
Longitude: 95° 37.176'
  Key Map: 288 G
  Tip: At the corner of Pine St. and Epps St. across from the Tomball Museum

Rose Hill Cemetery

The site, known until 1892 as the Spring Creek community, was first settled before 1836 by German immigrant P. W. Rose. Rose Hill, also known as Rosehill and Spring Creek, was originally known as the New Kentucky settlement and is one of the earliest communities established in northwest Harris County. (Designated as a Texas Historical Cemetery in 2008.)

Rose Hill Cemetery Rose Hill Cemetery  
Photos provided by the Harris County Historical Commission.

Location
 

17538 Seidel Rd.
Tomball, TX 77377

  GPS: Latitude: 30° 04.495'
Longitude: 95° 41.820'
  Key Map: 287 J

Salem Lutheran Cemetery

Many German families who settled in the Rose Hill (also known as Rosehill) community founded Salem Lutheran Church in 1852. C. W. Winkler donated four acres of land where a church was built in 1857, and in 1869 George Scherer gave his family cemetery, situated about one mile northeast of the church, as a burial ground. Additions to the cemetery in 1943 and 1954 increased its size to five acres, which members of the congregation tended on clean-up days scheduled twice a year. Many stones have German inscriptions and because it was the Scherer family cemetery prior to being donated, there are several stones older than 1869. Families represented include Theis, Kleb, Klein, and Hillegeist. (Designated as a Texas Historical Cemetery in 2005.)

Salem Lutheran Cemetery Salem Lutheran Cemetery  
Photos provided by the Harris County Historical Commission.

Location
 

23555 ½ Lutheran Cemetery Rd.
Tomball, TX 77377

  GPS: Latitude: 30° 06.132'
Longitude: 95° 39.755'
  Key Map: 287 H

Salem Lutheran Church Site, Old

A number of German immigrants who arrived in Galveston during the 1840s and 1850s settled in the Rose Hill community (also known as Rosehill). The families of George Sherer, Henry Theiss, Jacob Theiss, and C. W. Winkler founded Salem Lutheran Church in 1852. With the Reverend Gottlieb Ebinger as their first pastor, they initially worshipped in private homes until a church building was erected on land donated by C. W. Winkler in 1857. The congregation affiliated with the Missouri Synod in 1868. The following year, George Sherer gave his family cemetery, situated about one mile northeast of the church, as a burial ground. The fellowship established a parochial school about 1870 and later built a schoolhouse on adjacent land given by Henry Theiss. In 1880, a frame edifice with steeple was constructed to replace the original church. Until the 1930s, men customarily sat on the left side of the church and women on the right, and services were conducted in German. Additions to the cemetery in 1943 and 1954 increased its size to five acres, which members of the congregation tended on cleanup days scheduled twice a year. The old frame church was destroyed by fire in 1964 and was eventually replaced by a new edifice. (Dedicated as a Texas Historical Site in 1967.)

Old Salem Lutheran Church Site Old Salem Lutheran Church Site  

Location
 

22604 Lutheran Church Rd.
Tomball, TX 77375

  GPS: Latitude: 30° 05.271'
Longitude: 95° 40.206'
  Key Map: 287 L
  Tip: Off F. M. 2920 about 3 miles west of Tomball across from the school

Salem Lutheran School

Founded by area German settlers, Salem Lutheran Church is one of the oldest Lutheran congregations in Texas. First led by church pastors, the associated school was in operation by the 1850s. Coursework was taught in both English and German until World War II, and it remained a one-room schoolhouse until 1947. The Salem Lutheran School combined with Zion Lutheran School and in 1957 moved to a campus in Tomball. The collaboration between the two churches ended in 1982, and Salem returned to new facilities at its former location. The school's history, which includes significant individuals such as longtime teacher Herbert Buescher, is an important part of the community's past. (Designated as a Texas Historical Site in 2005.)

Salem Lutheran School    

Location
 

22604 Lutheran Church Rd.
Tomball, TX 77375

  GPS: Latitude: 30° 05.271'
Longitude: 95° 40.206'
  Key Map: 287 L
  Tip: Off F. M. 2920 about 3 miles west of Tomball across from the old church site

Zion Lutheran Cemetery

Also known as the Stuebner Cemetery, many early German settlers to northwest Harris County are interred here. Some of the families represented include Hirsch, Mueller, Wuensche, and Vogt. (Designated as a Texas Historical Cemetery in 2006.)

Zion Lutheran Cemetery Zion Lutheran Cemetery
Photos provided by the Harris County Historical Commission.

Location
 

25800 Zion Lutheran Cemetery Rd.
Tomball, TX 77375

  GPS: Latitude: 30° 01.247'
Longitude: 95° 42.924'
  Key Map: 249 U