Heritage Presbyterian Church
Originally constructed in 1916 near the banks of Little Cypress Creek, this chapel served the congregation of St. John Lutheran Church. Built by German craftsmen, it was designed with Gothic detailing. When the fellowship grew too large for the sanctuary, it was purchased by the members of Windwood Presbyterian Church and the congregation moved to Grant Road. Heritage Presbyterian Church was relocated to the present location in 1980. (Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1980.) Location 7934 North Hwy. 6, Cypress, TX 77095. GPS: Latitude: 29º 53.580′. Longitude: 95º 38.361′. Key Map: 408 J
The first recorded burial at the Perry Cemetery is that of Charles B. Grant (d. 1878), son of physician James W. Grant who once owned land in the southern part of the T. K. Wheeler Survey. Dr. Grant and his wife, Mary, are also buried at the cemetery. Drucilla (Dowdell) and Thomas Perry were early landowners here, and it is from them that the cemetery takes its name. When they sold the northern half of the Habermacher Survey in 1886 to Caroline and Christian Rumpel (also Rumbel), they stipulated that the existing graveyard be preserved along with one and a half acres. After Caroline’s death and burial in 1903, Christian sold the property, adding an additional acre to the cemetery before he left Texas. The cemetery has been in use by community residents since the late 1870s. Family names include Anderson, Grant, Franklin, Hargrave, Mccracken, Park, Perry, West, and Williams. Descendants continue to be buried here among the many veterans, community leaders, and families. Cemetery features include family plots as well as a strangers’ rest, where those not associated with the larger community or with families interred here could be buried. (Recorded as a Historic Texas Cemetery in 2002.) Location 10477 Grant Rd., Cypress, TX 77070. GPS: Latitude: 29° 58.030′. Longitude: 95° 34.585′. Key Map: 369 F. Tip: Private cemetery with locked gate.
City of Humble
Humble was a pioneer oil boom town in the 1900s that originated as a crossroads community. Early records indicate the first settlers arrived in the Humble area during the early 1800s, and Joseph Dunman is believed to be the first settler who arrived in 1828. Pleasant Smith “Plez” Humble (1834-1912), for whom the town was named, settled in the area shortly before the Civil War (1861-1865). After acquiring land along the San Jacinto River, Pleasant began a ferry service where Hwy. 59 currently crosses the river. Pleasant also timbered lumber for railroad ties and mined gravel from his land; was a grocer and shopkeeper; served as justice of the peace; and opened the first post office in his home. City directories from 1883 and 1885 listed Pleasant as a fruit stand operator and wood dealer. In the 1900 census report his occupation was listed as an attorney at law. Other early settlers in the area included the Bender, Durdin, Isaacks, Lee, Slaughter, and Williams families. Economic bases were farms, sawmills, and timber. In March 1904, C. E. Barrett (1866-1926) began drilling for oil on a lease he took on Moonshine Hill, and it was in May 1904 that he discovered oil. On January 7, 1905, D. R. Beatty brought in the number 2 well from block 28 of the Long Subdivision, which yielded 8,500 barrels of oil a day and initiated the great oil boom. By the end of 1905, Humble had grown to a town of approximately 20,000 people. Named for the town, the Humble oil field produced 15,594,923 barrels of oil in 1905, which was the largest number of barrels in Texas for that year. In 1911, a group of operators, including Ross S. Sterling who later served as governor of Texas from 1931 to 1933, incorporated the Humble Oil Company, thus spreading the town’s name into the annals of world commerce. By 1946, production from several wells in Humble exceeded the total for the famous Spindletop discovery in Beaumont, Texas on January 10, 1901. Known as the greatest salt dome field, Humble still has producing wells and the town for which it was named continues to thrive. Location 110 West Main Street, Humble, TX 77338. GPS: Latitude: 29° 59.947′. Longitude: 95° 16.087′. Key Map: 335 Y
First United Methodist Church
Humble (founded in 1886) was an oil boom town in 1907 when Reverend J. T. Browning of Houston began conducting Methodist worship services for area residents. Services were originally held in a building that previously housed a bottle factory. In 1908, the church was organized with 37 charter members. The following year, the congregation constructed a small frame structure as their first building that was later destroyed by fire. Subsequent church facilities have reflected the continued growth of the congregation and community. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836–1986. Location 800 Main Street at Avenue G, Humble, TX 77338. GPS: Latitude: 29° 59.782′. Longitude: 95° 15.554′. Key Map: 335 Z
The Humble Cemetery is believed to be the town’s oldest. The earliest documented burial is that of Joseph Dunman (1867-1879), who was believed to be one of the earliest settlers to the Humble area in 1828. Jane Elizabeth (Markham) Humble, wife of the community’s founder, Pleasant Smith “Plez” Humble, is also believed to be buried here in an unmarked grave. The first legal record of the cemetery appears in a deed transferring the cemetery property from Jonas Altmont to trustees in 1914. Civil War veteran Houston Young and several World War I veterans are also interred in the Humble Cemetery. This cemetery serves as a reflection of the pioneer heritage of Humble, Texas. Location 375 South Houston Avenue, Humble, TX 77338. Latitude: 29° 59.594′. Longitude: 95° 15.486′. Key Map: 335 Z
Humble Lodge No. 979 A. F. and A. M.
Near the turn of the century, the town of Humble was home to many masons who were members of lodges located in nearby towns. With help from the local justice of the peace, F. K. Wise, Humble area masons organized their own lodge in 1908. Humble State Bank president and future Texas Governor, Ross Sterling (1875-1949), provided meeting facilities in the bank building, which is now the current lodge site. After the bank burned in 1912, the masons bought the property and built a new lodge hall. The masons have been active in numerous civic programs over the years. Location 210 Main Street, Humble, TX 77338. GPS: Latitude: 29° 59.880′. Longitude: 95° 15.881′. Key Map: 335 Y
Lambrecht’s Artesian Well
An oil well drilled at this site in 1912 yielded not oil, but free-flowing artesian water. The following year, German native Nick Lambrecht (1855-1920) purchased the property. Lambrecht served as justice of the peace and mayor during Humble’s oil boom days in the early 20th century. In 1904, he installed a water system to meet the needs of the many oil field workers who came to town. Lambrecht’s artesian well was used to supply water to bathhouses and piped to nearby homes. In earlier years, water had been hauled to town in barrels on horse-drawn wagons. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836-1986. Location Business F.M. 1960 (1st Street) at North Houston Avenue, Humble, TX 77338. Latitude: 30° 00.107′. Longitude: 95° 15.305′. Key Map: 335 V
Early reports of natural gas seepages in the Moonshine Hill Settlement, a section of the Humble oil field, were not uncommon in the late 19th century. James Slaughter noticed such natural occurrences near the San Jacinto River in 1887. Several years later, he set up a drilling operation in the area with S. A. Hart, but it proved unsuccessful. Charles E. Barrett, a Houston retailer, began drilling on Moonshine Hill in March 1904 and discovered oil in May 1904. Walter Sharp, Ed Prather, and Howard R. Hughes of the Moonshine Oil Company were next to drill. In 1904, the Higgins Oil Company brought in a major gas well and the following year, the first successful oil well was drilled. Within months of the 1904 discovery and the first gusher on January 9, 1905, the population of Moonshine Hill increased to 10,000 and the town grew to include boardinghouses, hotels, livery stables, saloons, and stores. By 1909, there were several saloons, three grocery stores, a dance hall, drugstore, meat market, postal station, two-room schoolhouse, and a church. Despite three separate boom eras, the last occurring in 1929, Moonshine Hill declined as a community. Its brief existence, however, had a dramatic impact on the economic development of Humble and Houston. Texas Sesquicentennial 1836–1986. Location 2735 F.M. 1960 East, Humble, TX 77338. GPS: Latitude: 29° 59.963′. Longitude: 95° 14.032′. Key Map: 336 T
Forum of Civics
Built in 1910 as the John Smith County School, the River Oaks Garden Club has owned the building since 1942. The Forum of Civics building was remodeled in 1927 by architect John F. Staub as headquarters for the Forum of Civics founded by William “Will” Hogg. John Staub was commissioned to transform the essentially utilitarian building into a Classical Revival clubhouse meant to resemble an idealized New England town hall. Founded by entrepreneur Will Hogg, the Forum was organized in May 1926 to bring together Houston’s civic leaders to discuss city planning alternatives and help implement a comprehensive plan for development of the city’s public spaces. It was designed to stimulate civic pride and to combine varied forces for the betterment and beautification of Houston. The Forum closed with Hogg’s death in 1930, but remains today as a memorial to Will and Mike Hogg. Since taking ownership of the building in 1942, the River Oaks Garden Club has continued to educate its members and the public alike through publications, meetings, seminars, and the establishment of well-planned garden spaces located on the grounds, which are open to the public. (An Official Texas Historical Marker was granted in 1965.) Location 2503 Westheimer at Kirby, Houston, TX 77098. GPS: Latitude: 29° 44.526′. Longitude: 95° 25.087′. Key Map: 492 U
Catherine Wunderlich [Maria Katherina (Catherine) Hofius] immigrated to Texas in 1852 from her native Prussia at the age of 21. She settled in northwest Harris County, which was populated by numerous German families, and married Peter Wunderlich soon after her arrival. Widowed in 1864 when Peter was killed in the Confederate Powder Mill explosion, Catherine continued to manage their farm and made a home for their six young children. She purchased additional land in 1866, and added sheep and cattle operations to the farm. A founding member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Catherine continued to live in the Klein community until her death in 1904. (Designated as a Texas Historical landmark in 2002.) Location 18202 Theis Mail Rd., Klein, TX 77379. GPS: Latitude: 30° 01.768′. Longitude: 95° 32.879′. Key Map: 330 J
In 1845, a group of German immigrants settled on the banks of Cypress Creek and developed a farming community known as Big Cypress. In 1851, Adam Klein and his wife Friedericke (Klenk) immigrated to New Orleans from Germany. Shortly following their arrival in New Orleans, Adam and Friedericke moved to California: Adam wanted to stake a claim in the California gold rush. Later, Adam and Friedericke settled in Big Cypress and bought 640 acres of farm land. In addition to farming, the family operated a cotton gin and grist mill. Following Adam’s successful campaign for a post office that was established on September 8, 1884 and named the Klein Post Office, the community became known as the Klein Community. William N. Blackshear, the first postmaster, operated the postal facility in his general store until it was replaced by rural free delivery in 1906. Farmers in this vicinity raised cotton, potatoes, and corn, and marketed their produce in Houston, which was a two-day trip by wagon. The center of community life was Trinity Lutheran Church, organized in 1874 by the Bernshausen, Benfer, Brill, Kaiser, Klein, Lemm, Theiss, and Wunderlich families. The Klenk and Strack families joined soon after the charter was signed. Although never platted or incorporated, the Klein community formed the nucleus of a school district. In 1928, five districts were consolidated to create the Rural High School District Number One. Many early schools had only one room and one teacher. The district became Klein Independent School District in 1938. Location 16715 Stuebner Airline Rd., Klein, TX 77379. Latitude: 30° 01.236′. Longitude: 95° 31.422′. Key Map: 330 L. Tip: At intersection of Louetta in front of Klein High School
In the 1870s, former slaves from Alabama and Mississippi, who originally settled west of Houston, relocated to Cypress Creek near a store owned by German immigrants Agnes and Paulin Kohrmann. The Kohrville community centered on the farming, ranching, and lumber industries. When area schools consolidated, Kohrville became part of Klein Independent School District and offered education for African American students. Iin the late 1940s, Klein ISD financed a new school for the community. An architect, probably Alfred C. Finn, designed the new schoolhouse, which was later moved to the current site. The school district was desegregated in the 1960s. Kohrville and neighboring communities are now part of the ever-growing Houston suburbs. (Designated as a Texas Historical landmark in 2003.) Location 18202 Theiss mail Rd., Klein, TX 77379. GPS: Latitude: 30° 01.789′. Longitude: 95° 32.589′. Key Map: 330 J
In 1838, George McDougle (1786-1871) bought 100 acres of the John House survey and moved his family to the property on which he built a house, established a farm, and raised cattle. This small cemetery reflects the common 19th-century custom of burying family and friends near the family homestead. There are 15 marked graves in the McDougle cemetery and an unknown number of unmarked graves. Although there is no tombstone for her grave, the first burial is thought to be that of George McDougle’s wife, Jane (Laughlin), who died in 1864. Similarly, there is no tombstone for George McDougle, who served as a Texas Ranger in 1839, but it is thought he was also buried here after his death in 1871. Their son James Ellison McDougle (1829-1892), a civil war veteran and Harris County commissioner from 1879 to 1881, is buried here in a marked grave. His wife, Joanah (Laughlin) (1834-1922), and their three sons are also buried here. One son, John Kaleb McDougle (1865-1934) served as a Harris County commissioner in 1902. Other family names that appear on grave markers in the cemetery are Bonds, Pevateaux, Weathers, and Spell. In 1938, George and Jane McDougle’s grandson Robert (1857-1941) sold the 100-year-old family homestead, but retained the right of access to the cemetery. Robert and his wife, Elizabeth (1862-1935), are interred here, as is their son Virgil Kaleb McDougle, whose burial in 1956 was the last 20th-century interment in the historic graveyard. (Designated as a Texas Historical landmark in 2001.) Location 17934 Stuebner Airline Rd., Klein, TX 77379. GPS: Latitude: 30° 02.113′. Longitude: 95° 31.948′. Key Map: 330 B. Tip: Behind the Faithbridge Methodist Church
Theis (Theiss) Family
Johann Heinrich Theis (b. 1800), his wife, Katherina (Benner) (b. 1804), and their four children were among the first German settlers in northwest Harris County when they arrived in 1846. The following year, Johann acquired 200 acres of land in the Rosehill community, where the Theis family joined other German settlers in organizing the Salem Lutheran Church. In 1854, Johann and Katherina’s oldest son Jacob purchased 557 acres nearby, and settled among other German immigrants in what later was known as the Klein community. In the 1890s, some confusion developed in mail delivery to the Theis families in the Rosehill and Klein communities. As a result, Theis family members in Rosehill came to spell their name with a single “s” and those in Klein with a double “s.” Buried in this cemetery at the edge of Jacob Theis’ original acreage are Johann Heinrich and Katherina Theis, and their son Christian. Although the graveyard is small, and the tombstones are missing, the site is a memorial to these early German immigrants. In the family tradition of community involvement and leadership, several descendants have served as trustees of the Klein Independent School District. Location Fernbluff Dr. at Mayglen Ln. in the Shannon Forest Subdivision, Klein, TX 77379. GPS: Latitude: 30° 02.074′. Longitude: 95° 32.545′ Key Map: 330 F. Tip: On Fernbluff Dr. just past Mayglen Ln. on the left; look for the Historical Marker directional signs
Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery
Trinity Lutheran Church Cemetery serves as a reflection of the German heritage in northwest Harris County. A number of German immigrants settled in the area in the 1840s when the community was known as Big Cypress. The community was later renamed the Klein community in honor of pioneer settler Adam Klein, who was instrumental in the first post office being established in 1884. A diphtheria epidemic in 1872 took the lives of three children of the Klein community. Mr. and Mrs. Henry Kaiser buried their two-year-old son beneath an oak tree on their farm. Soon after, children of the Adam Klein and Conrad Krimmel families also succumbed to the disease and were buried next to the Kaiser child. The small cemetery became a community burial ground in 1875 when the Kaiser family deeded the one-acre plot to Trinity Lutheran Church. Subsequent land acquisitions have increased the size of the cemetery to 4.5 acres. The oldest gravestone standing in the cemetery dates to 1879. Among the pioneers buried here are five charter members of Trinity Lutheran Church: Adam Klein, Sr. (1826-1891); Henry Kaiser (1825-1892); Heinrich Bernshausen (1822-1892); Johannes Brill (1833-1905); and Jacob Theiss (1826-1912). Many of the tombstones bear German inscriptions. Location On the left side of Klein Cemetery Rd. off of Spring Cypress, Klein, TX 77379. GPS: Latitude: 30° 02.814′. Longitude: 95° 31.316′. Key Map: 330 C
Peter Wunderlich (1828-1864) migrated from Germany to Texas in 1852. After he married Maria Hofius in 1854, he bought 120 acres of farmland in the Klein community. J. Peter was killed in the 1864 Confederate Powder Mill explosion. Following J. Peter’s death, his sons, Peter and William Wunderlich, continued to farm the family’s land. Peter bought 56 acres of land in 1887 and built a house in 1891 for his new wife Sophie Krimmel. The original house had four rooms, but four more rooms were added. The house was occupied by Wunderlich family members until 1995. Location 18202 Theiss Mail Rd., Klein, TX 77379 GPS: Latitude: 30° 01.795′, Longitude: 95° 32.906′. Key Map: 330 J. Tip: At Doerre Intermediate School.
Bayou Bend consists of an American heritage collection displayed in a mansion built in 1927 by William Hogg (1875-1930), Ima Hogg (1882-1975), Michael Hogg (1885-1941), and Thomas Hogg (1887-1949), the four children of the first native Texas Governor, James Stephen (Jim) Hogg (1851-1906) and Sarah Ann (Stinson). William (Will) Hogg was an attorney and businessman who originated student loan programs in numerous Texas colleges. He served as chairman on the Board of Regents at the University of Texas from 1914-1916 and developed River Oaks where Buffalo Bayou makes a noted bend. Michael (Mike) Hogg was a Texas legislator from 1927-1931 who joined his sister in establishing the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health at the University of Texas. Miss Ima Hogg founded the Houston Symphony in 1913 and the Child Guidance Center of Houston in 1929. Additionally, she served on the Houston School Board from 1943-1949. Devoted to education and preservation, Ima Hogg provided Varner-Hogg Plantation State Historic Site in West Columbia and Winedale Historical Center in Fayette County. Miss Hogg and her brothers used their home, set on 14 acres of natural beauty and developed gardens, to house paintings and American memorabilia which entertained national and international personages. The Hogg collection spans three centuries from about 1620 to 1870, containing several thousand objects installed in 28 period room settings. In 1957, Miss Hogg donated Bayou Bend and its treasures to the Museum of Fine Arts of Houston. Location 1 Westcott Drive, Houston, TX 77007. GPS: Latitude: 29° 45.540′. Longitude: 95° 25.307′. Key Map: 492 L
Soon after the U.S. entered into World War I in 1917, the U.S. Army established 34 training camps to prepare troops for warfare. Camp Logan is one such training camp that was named after General John A. Logan, a Mexican War and Civil War veteran that also served as a U.S. Senator from Illinois. Camp Logan was established on July 18, 1917. Encompassing 7,600 acres of land, the facility consisted of the main camp, auxiliary remount depot, rifle range, artillery range, and drill grounds. During construction, members of the 3rd Battalion, 24th Infantry (black troops commanded by white officers) were assigned to the camp as guards and were stationed about one mile to the east. On August 23, 1917, black soldiers carried out an armed revolt in response to Houston’s Jim Crow laws and police harassment. The revolt, the camp’s most publicized incident, was known as the “Houston Mutiny and Riot of 1917.” Troops receiving training at Camp Logan included the 33rd Division (composed of the Illinois National Guard) a part of the 93rd Division, and other regular army units. Following training, the troops went to battle in France in 1918. Camp Logan closed on March 20, 1919. A portion of the land later became Memorial Park, named in tribute to the soldiers who fought in Europe. Location Arnot and Haskell St. in Memorial Park, Houston, TX 77007. GPS: Latitude: 29° 46.207′. Longitude: 95° 25.596′. Key Map: 492 F
Jefferson Davis Highway, No. 6
The United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) conceived of the Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway in 1913. During that time, it was common for private organizations to identify a route, provide a name for it, and promote its use. As states developed highway agencies, the name was officially adopted and they participated in the placement of monuments with the UDC. The Texas State Highway Commission designated the highway from Orange to El Paso in April 1925 as “a link in the transcontinental highway known as the Jefferson Davis Highway.” In 1927, a boulder at Brownsville was erected marking the location where Jefferson Davis and his Mississippi troops landed in 1846 during the war with Mexico. Photos provided by the Harris County Historical Commission. Location U.S. Hwy. 290 and 8100 Washington Ave., Houston, TX 77008. GPS: Latitude: 29° 46.850′. Longitude: 95° 26.101′. Key Map: 492 B
The Vollmer Cemetery has approximately 30 grave sites with several inscriptions including Henry (1821-1878) and Kate (1820-1895) Vollmer. Other families represented are Clay, Hillendahl, Niemann, Sauer, Thiel, and Hilton. (Recorded by the Houston Genealogical Forum in 1993.) Photos provided by the Harris County Historical Commission. Location 6618 Cindy Lane, Houston, TX 77008. GPS: Latitude: 29° 47.725′, Longitude: 95° 25.596′, Key Map: 452 W. Tip: Located behind a wooden fence and locked gate in the Timbergrove Manor subdivision.
St. Paul A.M.E. Church
Organized in 1869, the Saint Paul African Methodist Episcopal Church has been a fixture in the First Ward for over a century. The first pastor of the church was Reverend David Wren. Services were held in a brush arbor until a sanctuary was built in 1873. The building was destroyed by the 1900 hurricane, but was later rebuilt and has been modified several times over the years. An elementary school, established by the church in the 1870s, later became part of the public school system. In 1927, the school was named for Richard Brock who was an early church member and city alderman. Location 1554 Gears Rd. at Adel, Houston, TX 77067. GPS: Latitude: 29° 43.171′. Longitude: 95° 22.578′. Key Map: 372 N.
St. John United Church of Christ
A group of neighbors in the German farming community of Vollmer (later called White Oak) began meeting together for worship service in the 1860s. A sanctuary was erected and a cemetery was established on property purchased in 1866. The congregation was formally organized in 1872 as the St. John German Lutheran Church. Worship services were conducted in German until 1940. A sanctuary built in 1891 was relocated following the construction of a new facility in 1955. The congregation has been active for over 125 years. (1988) Location 4606 Mangum Rd., Houston, TX 77092. GPS: Latitude: 29° 56.000′. Longitude: 95° 16.514′. Key Map: 451 G.
Featuring Neoclassical design elements, the Anderson House is noteworthy for its association with two of Houston’s premier 20th-century residential architects. Hiram Salisbury, a popular architect for early homes in River Oaks, designed the original portion of the house that was completed in 1941. Needing additional space for their family, owners Thomas D. and Helen Sharp Anderson hired noted Texas architect John Staub to design an east-wing addition in 1950. The Anderson House features a two-story porch on the façade detailed with Ionic columns above and Doric columns on the ground level. (Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 2001.) Location 3925 Del Monte, Houston, TX 77019 GPS: Latitude: 29° 44.975′. Longitude: 95° 26.565′. Key Map: 492 N. Neuhaus Houston (Hugo Victor, Jr.)
Neuhaus Houston (Hugo Victor, Jr.)
A significant example of International-style architecture, the 1950s Neuhaus House has a strong horizontal emphasis and expression of private and public space, as well as an integration of living space and landscape. Architect and Houston native Hugo Victor Neuhaus, Jr. (1915-1987) designed the home for himself. He graduated from Yale University in 1938 and then attended the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University where the faculty included noted European modernists Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer. Following graduation in 1941, Neuhaus served in the U.S. Army Air Force and returned to Houston to wed Mary Wood Farish, widow of his cousin William Stamps Farish, Jr. Neuhaus joined the office of C. Herbert Cowell where he partnered from 1949 until the firm dissolved in 1962. During his early years with Cowell, he became the local associate architect to renowned designer Philip Johnson, who had strong ties to Mies van der Rohe, a preeminent innovator of the International style. Neuhaus’ design of his home shows a strong reflection of the modern styles he was exposed to at Harvard and the work of van der Rohe. The house features planes of solid brick and glass walls. Through the large windows, the indoor rooms share visual space with a plunge pool and terraced outdoor living area, designed in collaboration with Houston landscape architect C. C. “Pat” Fleming. The Neuhaus home, one of several celebrated Neuhaus designs, was frequently represented as a shining example of Houston’s modern architecture, a legacy that continues today. (Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 2005.) Location 2910 Lazy Lane Blvd., Houston, TX 77019. GPS: Latitude: 29° 44.621′. Longitude: 95° 22.908′. Key Map: 492 Q. Tip: Private residence with locked gate.
Seal McDougle Cemetery
Seal McDougle was born in North Carolina in 1844 and was married to Emily, who was born in Virginia in 1841. A 1900 census indicates Seal and Emily had no dependent children, but employed a 16-year-old white female servant named Farmer Dewherry. Seal, who was a former slave, bought 720 acres of land in the Westfield area (as originally named) in 1880. In 1883 he sold four acres to the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Church of Spring Circuit for a church and cemetery. (Designated as a historic Texas Cemetery in 2005.) Location 23110 ½ Cypresswood Dr., Spring, TX 77373. GPS: Latitude: 30° 03.036′. Longitude: 95° 21.028′. Key Map: 334 A
Spring (Town of)
Initially a farming community supported by sugar cane and cotton crops, Spring was platted by the Houston & Great Northern Railroad in 1873. That same year, Callahan Pickette became the town’s first postmaster. Spring served as the commercial center for the surrounding area during the early 1900s and a focal point for German settlers including Carl Wunsche, who was instrumental in the town’s development. A new rail line reached Spring in the early 20th century, and the addition of a roundhouse and railway shops created an import rail center for the growing community. Developer R. l. Robinson subdivided land south of the original town and the commercial area shifted to accommodate the rail junction. Railroads facilitated the development of the lumber industry, which boasted a number of mills, both large and small, in the boom era of lumber production. With the boom came the need for new businesses including hotels, saloons, an opera house, gambling houses, a hospital, and a bank. In 1907, residents established the Spring Independent School District. The loss of the roundhouse and the onset of Prohibition led to a decline in population. Ultimately, the saloons, hotels, and other rail-supported businesses closed in the 1920s. The dwindling community persisted, however, creating a volunteer fire department in the 1950s and sustaining the Spring ISD, which integrated in the mid-1960s. As the population began to grow again in the early 1970s, new businesses opened including many specialty shops. Spring continues to attract new residents and businesses, but retains its unique identity as a town with a strong German heritage and its link to early history. (Designated as a Texas Historical landmark in 2003.) Location 403 Main St., Spring, TX 77373. Latitude: 30° 04.733′. Longitude: 95° 25.327′. Key Map: 292 Q
After Spring was established on the International and Great Northern line in 1873, it became an important railroad center. The Sellers family, early area landowners, donated a portion of their property for a community church and cemetery. The oldest legible tombstone is that of a child, Franklin Leroy Lovins, who died in 1910. Military veterans including George C. Baker, who served in the Civil War, are also interred here. Gravestones mark nearly 50 burial sites, but many other burials are unmarked. The cemetery stands as a reminder of Spring’s heritage as a railroad town. (Designated as a Texas Historical landmark in 2001.) Location 26206 Aldine-Westfield, Spring, TX 77373. Latitude: 30° 04.724′. Longitude: 95° 24.867′. Key Map: 292 R. Tip: Behind Lexington Woods Church
Brothers Herman and Heinrich Strack came to Texas from Feudingen, Germany in 1848 with their families. By the mid-1850s, they were joined by their brothers Johann Jost, Friedrich, and Jakob along with their respective families. In 1863, Herman bought land that included a pre-existing burial ground later owned by Friedrich and Jakob. The burial ground became known as the Strack Cemetery. Graves of military veterans buried in Strack Cemetery date to the Civil War. Today, Strack family descendants manage the site through an association. (Designated as a Historic Texas Cemetery in 2004.) Photos provided by the Harris County Historical Commission. Location 17,000 Kuykendahl Rd. at Cypress Villas Dr., Spring, TX 77388. Latitude: 30° 01.992. Longitude: 95° 28.729”. Key Map: 331 F. Tip: Private cemetery with locked gate; 200 yards east of Kuykendahl, north of Cypress Creek and the Cypresswood Subdivision; across from Strack Intermediate School
Wunsche Brothers Saloon & Hotel
The Wunsches, one of Spring’s earliest families who immigrated from Germany in 1846, constructed this building in 1902. The Wunsche Bros. Saloon and Hotel, later known as the Spring Cafe, was built to accommodate railroad workers and has served as a community gathering place throughout the town’s history. The structure, which exhibits typical turn-of-the-century commercial detailing, is Spring’s oldest existing commercial building on its original site. (Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1984.) Location 103 Midway, Spring, TX 77373. GPS: Latitude: 30° 04.768′. Longitude: 95° 25.052′. Key Map: 292 Q.
St. Peter’s United (Lutheran) Church
St. Peter’s Church was founded in 1848 by five German immigrant families who cleared the surrounding forestland for farms and built the church using lumber set aside from one of three local sawmills. A log cabin, erected in 1854, served as the house of worship until 1864 when the present building was dedicated. It is one of the oldest church buildings in continuous use in Harris County. Many of the founders’ descendants still worship at St. Peter’s Church where numerous original church artifacts are still in use. An early public school in west Harris County was located on this site. The cemetery adjoining the church grounds dates from 1848 and contains graves of many pioneers of the area. The church building was restored in 1967. (Recorded as a Texas Historic Landmark in 1967.) Location 9022 Longpoint Rd., Spring Branch, TX 77055. GPS: Latitude: 29° 48.002′. Longitude: 95° 30.782′. Key Map: 450 U.
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. 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. Location 15012 Brown Rd., Tomball, TX 77375. 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].) Location 510 N. Pine Street, Tomball, TX 77375. 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. 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
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.) Location 12317 Holderrieth Rd., Tomball, TX 77375. Key Map: 289 S. Tip: Near Cherry St.; turn at the Nelson Bostick Cemetery sign
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.) 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.) 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.) 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.) 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.) 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.) 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.