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New Braunfels in 1881

In depicting New Braunfels, founded in 1845 under the auspices of the Adelsverein (also known as the Society for the Protection of German Immigrants in Texas), Augustus Koch chose the perspective from the Sophienburg (Fort Sophia), the headquarters that Prince Solms-Braunfels established for the colony. Built on a hill on the south side of the new settlement with a view of the Comal River and its confluence with Comal… [More]

Bird's-eye view of New Braunfels in 1881

Paris in 1885

Henry Wellge completed his large drawing of Paris, Texas—which one correspondent pronounced “very accurate in detail”—before the end of the year 1885. Working with George E. Norris, who was his partner and sales agent, they printed the image with the Beck & Pauli lithographic firm in Milwaukee late that year.

According to John H. Patterson, a reporter for Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper, Paris was the center of a… [More]

Bird's-eye view of Paris in 1885

Plano in 1891

Plano is known today as a suburb of Dallas, completely engulfed by the larger city along with other nearby communities. But in 1891 when Fowler made this view, Plano stood separate and apart, with an economy that had begun to develop as a result of the arrival of the railroads in the previous decades. The first Anglo-American settlers in Collin County, prior to the Civil War, engaged mainly in… [More]

Bird's-eye view of Plano in 1891

Quanah in 1890 (drawing)

Like Henry Wellge’s drawing of Honey Grove, this drawing by Fowler of Quanah is very rare. Once completed, such drawings were then sent to a lithography studio, where artists translated them into multiple lithographic prints. In most cases, the one-of-a-kind sketches then disappeared. Along with its derivative lithograph, this drawing has added historical importance because Quanah was struck by both flood and fire the year after Fowler finished his… [More]

Bird's-eye view of Quanah in 1890

Quanah in 1890 (lithograp)

The fact that Quanah was named for the Comanche chief Quanah Parker testifies to the centuries of Indian presence in the area that became Hardeman County in 1858 and explains why there was little Anglo-American settlement in the area until the 1880s. That began to change in 1884 as the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway worked on the road beyond Wichita Falls. The railroad surveyors laid out Quanah… [More]

Bird's-eye view of Quanah in 1890
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