New Braunfels, Texas
Top, left to right: Guadalupe River, August Dietz Cottage, First Protestant Church, Comal River in Landa Park, Schlitterbahn, Hotel Faust
Top, left to right: Guadalupe River, August Dietz Cottage, First Protestant Church, Comal River in Landa Park, Schlitterbahn, Hotel Faust
Official seal of New Braunfels, Texas
Official logo of New Braunfels, Texas
In Neu Braunfels ist das leben schöne (In New Braunfels, life is beautiful)[1]
Location of New Braunfels in Texas
Location of New Braunfels in Texas
New Braunfels is located in Texas
New Braunfels
New Braunfels
Location in the state of Texas
New Braunfels is located in the United States
New Braunfels
New Braunfels
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 29°42′N 98°7′W / 29.700°N 98.117°W / 29.700; -98.117
Country United States
State Texas
CountiesComal, Guadalupe
Founded1845 (1845)
 • TypeCouncil-Manager
 • City Council
  • (Mayor) Neal Linnartz
  • (District One) Andrés Campos
  • (District Two) Christopher Willis
  • (District Three/ Mayor Pro Tem) Harry Bowers
  • (District Four) Lawrence Spradley
  • (District Five) Mary Ann Labowski
  • (District Six) April Ryan
 • City ManagerRobert Camareno
 • Total45.57 sq mi (118.02 km2)
 • Land45.18 sq mi (117.01 km2)
 • Water0.39 sq mi (1.00 km2)
630 ft (192 m)
 • Total104,707
 • Density2,317.55/sq mi (894.855/km2)
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP Codes
Area code830
FIPS code48-50820[5]
GNIS feature ID1342440[6]

New Braunfels (/ˈbrɔːnfəlz/ BRAWN-fəlz) is a city in Comal and Guadalupe counties in the U.S. state of Texas. It is the seat of Comal County. The city covers 44.9 square miles (116 km2) and had a population of 90,403 as of the 2020 Census.[7] A suburb just north of San Antonio, and part of the Greater San Antonio metropolitan area, it was the third-fastest-growing city in the United States from 2010 to 2020.[8] As of 2022, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates its population at 104,707.[9]

New Braunfels is known for its German Texan heritage.


Further information: Friedrich Armand Strubberg

German immigrants on the way to New Braunfels (1844)

New Braunfels was established in 1845 by Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels, Commissioner General of the Mainzer Adelsverein, also known as the Noblemen's Society. Prince Carl named the settlement in honor of his home of Solms-Braunfels, Germany.

The Adelsverein organized hundreds of people in Germany to settle in Texas. Immigrants from Germany began arriving at Galveston in July 1844. Most then traveled by ship to Indianola in December 1844, and began the overland journey to the Fisher-Miller land grant purchased by Prince Carl.[10] At the urging of John Coffee Hays, who realized the settlers would not have time to build homes and plant crops further inland before winter, and as the German settlers were traveling inland along the Guadalupe River, they stopped near the Comal Springs. Prince Carl bought two leagues of land from Rafael Garza and Maria Antonio Veramendi Garza for $1,111.00.[11]

The land was located northeast of San Antonio on El Camino Real de los Tejas and had the strong freshwater Comal Springs, known as Las Fontanas, when the Germans arrived.[12][13][14] It was about halfway between Indianola and the lower portions of the Fisher-Miller land grant. The first settlers forded the Guadalupe River on Good Friday, March 21, 1845, near the present-day Faust Street bridge.[15][16]

As the spring of 1845 progressed, the settlers built the "Zinkenburg", a fort named for Adelsverein civil engineer Nicolaus Zink, divided the land, and began building homes and planting crops.[17] Prince Carl would also lay the cornerstone for the Sophienburg, a permanent fort and center for the immigrant association.[18]

In 1844, Prince Carl was so disillusioned with the logistics of the colonization that he asked the Verein to remove him as commissioner-general and appoint a successor.[19] When John O. Meusebach arrived, the finances were in disarray, due in part to Prince Carl's lack of business experience and his refusal to keep financial records. To a larger degree, the financial situation happened because the Adelsverein was an organization of noblemen with no practical backgrounds at running businesses. They were on the other side of the world and did not witness the situation with which both Prince Carl and Meusebach were dealing. Henry Francis Fisher had not supplied transport and supplies for which the Verein advanced money to him. Meusebach found Prince Carl in Galveston trying to return to Germany, detained by authorities for unpaid bills. Meusebach made good on the debts, so Prince Carl could depart.[20]

Meusebach discovered that Prince Carl's choice of the inadequate Carlshafen (Indianola) as a port of entry, as well as the isolated route to New Braunfels, was deliberately chosen to keep the Germans from interacting with any Americans. According to Nicolaus Zink,[21] Prince Carl had planned to establish a German feudal state by secretly bringing in immigrants and placing them in military fortresses. Meusebach, who had renounced his own title of nobility, took a different approach and invited Americans to settle in the Vereins territory.[22]

Old map (1881)

Prince Carl, being an officer of the Imperial Army of Austria, had kept a uniformed military unit at the ready in Indianola. Meusebach converted the military unit to a more needed work detail.[23] A finance and business structure for the colony was put in place by Meusebach.[24] He also provided for adequate food and shelter for the colonists.[25] On August 11, 1845, Hermann Friedrich Seele[26] became the first teacher for the German-English school in New Braunfels.[27] Meusebach established friendly relations with a local tribe of Waco Indians. Upon seeing his reddish-blonde hair, they called him Ma-be-quo-si-to-mu, "Chief with the burning hair of the head".[28]

In May 1846, Meusebach received a letter from Count Castell informing him 4,304 emigrants were on their way to Texas. With no funds and no new settlements, the mass of emigrants was stalled at Carlshafen. Meusebach's requests to the Verein for more money, and his warnings of pending bankruptcy for the Verein, brought no results. As a last resort, Meusebach instructed D.H. Klaener to publish the plight in the German news media. Embarrassed by the publicity, the Verein established a $60,000 letter of credit.[29] The amount was not adequate for sustaining the total number of German emigrants in Texas, but Castell also sent Philip Cappes as special commissioner to observe the situation. Cappes had also been instructed by Castell to observe Meusebach and to secretly report back every detail.[30] By the time Cappes departed in March 1847, he recommended another $200,000 be advanced.[31]

Cappes invited Henry Francis Fisher to New Braunfels, in spite of Fisher not being entirely trustworthy to the Verein. As of February 11, 1845, Fisher had been involved in coercing newly arrived immigrants to sign documents stating their intent to depart from the Verein and align with Fisher's friend Friedrich Schubbert, also known as Friedrich Strubberg.

Cappes was not in town when Meusebach was breakfast host to Fisher on December 31, 1846. Posters had mysteriously appeared about town maligning Meusebach, saying "Curses upon Meusebach the slave driver", and inciting colonists to free themselves from his "tyranny". A group led by Rudolph Iwonski[32] pushed their way into Meusebach's home, and colonist C. Herber brandished a whip. Herber was an alleged counterfeiter to whom Count Castell had awarded asylum. Meusebach and Herber shared a dislike of one another.[33]

The colonists' list of demands included Meusebach resigning as commissioner-general and turning the colonization over to Fisher.[34] Meusebach kept his composure, but the group became so heated, they yelled, "Hang him!" When the estimated 120 men dispersed, Fisher was nowhere to be found. The same evening, a different group of individuals assembled and pledged to stand by Meusebach, the next day passing resolutions condemning the actions of the mob.[35] Meusebach himself had considered leaving Texas as early as November 1845, when he wrote to Count Castell and announced his intention to resign and return to Germany. Meusebach did not feel the Adelsverein was organized enough to achieve its goals. After the mob visit in New Braunfels, he again submitted his resignation to accompany a financial report to Castell on January 23, 1847.[36]

Meusebach had arranged with the Torrey Brothers for transporting the emigrants inland, but the United States hired the Torrey Brothers for use in the Mexican–American War.[37]

Meusebach stabilized the community's finances, and encouraged the settlers to establish additional neighboring communities. The largest of these secondary settlements was Fredericksburg, 80 miles (130 km) to the northwest of New Braunfels.

New Braunfels thrived, and by 1850, it was the fourth-largest city in Texas,[16] with 1,723 people, following only Galveston, San Antonio, and Houston in population.[38] In 1852, the Zeitung newspaper was established, edited by German Texan botanist Ferdinand Lindheimer. The newspaper continues to publish under its current name, the Herald-Zeitung.


New Braunfels is located in southeastern Comal County. The city is 32 miles (51 km) northeast of Downtown San Antonio, 19 miles (31 km) southwest of San Marcos, and 48 miles (77 km) southwest of Austin.

According to the United States Census Bureau, New Braunfels has a total area of 44.9 square miles (116.4 km2), of which 44.4 square miles (115.1 km2) is land and 0.5 square miles (1.3 km2), or 0.91%, is covered by water.[39] The city is situated along the Balcones Fault, where the Texas Hill Country meets rolling prairie land. Along the fault in the city, a string of artesian springs known as Comal Springs gives rise to the Comal River, which is known as one of the shortest rivers in the world, as it winds 3 miles (5 km) through the city before meeting the Guadalupe River.


Gruene Historical District is located within the city limits of New Braunfels. Founded by the sons of settlers Ernst and Antoinette Gruene,[40] the community had a bank, post office, school, general store, lumberyard, gristmill, dance hall, and cotton gin. It also had access to two railways for shipping cotton bales. Its most famous attribute was the dance hall,[41] a family activity in those days. Due to the failure of the cotton crop from boll weevils, and the failure of the banks after 1929, commercial activity slowed to a crawl. This village is now a Nationally Registered Historic District where one can dine in the ruins of the original gristmill or enjoy live music at Gruene Hall.[42]


New Braunfels experiences a humid subtropical climate, with hot, humid summers and generally mild winters. Temperatures range from 83 °F (27.8 °C) in the summer to 49 °F (9.4 °C) during winter.

The city falls in USDA hardiness zones 8b (15 °F to 20 °F) and 9a (20 °F to 25 °F).[43] New Braunfels and San Antonio, 32 miles (51 km) to the southwest, are some of the most flood-prone regions in North America.[44] The October 1998 Central Texas floods were among the costliest floods in United States history, resulting in $750 million in damage and 32 deaths. In 2002, from June 30 to July 7, 35 in (890 mm) of rain fell in the area, resulting in widespread flooding and 12 fatalities.[45]

In New Braunfels, July and August tie for the average warmest months, with an average high of 95 °F (35 °C). May, June, and October receive far more precipitation than the rest of the year. The average annual precipitation has been 35.74 inches (908 mm).

Climate data for New Braunfels, Texas
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 89
Mean daily maximum °F (°C) 62
Daily mean °F (°C) 49
Mean daily minimum °F (°C) 37
Record low °F (°C) 2
Average precipitation inches (mm) 1.88
Source: The Weather Channel[46]


Historical population
2022 (est.)104,70715.8%
U.S. Decennial Census[47] 2010–2020, 2021[48][9]

2020 census

New Braunfels, Texas – Racial and ethnic composition
Note: the US Census treats Hispanic/Latino as an ethnic category. This table excludes Latinos from the racial categories and assigns them to a separate category. Hispanics/Latinos may be of any race.
Race / Ethnicity (NH = Non-Hispanic) Pop 2000[49] Pop 2010[50] Pop 2020[51] % 2000 % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 22,793 35,132 51,801 62.46% 60.85% 57.30%
Black or African American alone (NH) 468 990 2,371 1.28% 1.71% 2.62%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 113 175 233 0.31% 0.30% 0.26%
Asian alone (NH) 206 570 1,261 0.56% 0.99% 1.39%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 9 21 131 0.02% 0.04% 0.14%
Other race alone (NH) 35 48 334 0.10% 0.08% 0.37%
Mixed race or Multiracial (NH) 271 574 3,007 0.74% 0.99% 3.33%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 12,599 20,230 31,265 34.52% 35.04% 34.58%
Total 36,494 57,740 90,403 100.00% 100.00% 100.00%
Map of racial distribution in New Braunfels, 2020 U.S. census. Each dot is one person:  White  Black  Asian  Hispanic  Multiracial  Native American/Other

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 90,403 people, 30,855 households, and 20,946 families residing in the city.

At the census of 2000,[5] 36,494 people, 13,558 households, and 9,599 families resided in the city. The population density was 1,247.7 inhabitants per square mile (481.7/km2). The 14,896 housing units averaged 509.3 per square mile (196.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 84.30% White, 1.37% African American, 0.55% Native American, 0.58% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 10.93% from other races, and 2.24% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 34.52% of the population.

For the year 2015, New Braunfels was named the U.S.'s second-fastest growing city with a population of 50,000 or more, according to estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau.[52]

In 2019, the American Community Survey determined there were 90,209 residents, up 56.4% since the 2010 U.S. census which determined the population was 57,740.[7] The population density was 1,316.1 people per square mile. In 2019, the racial and ethnic makeup of New Braunfels was 60.4% non-Hispanic white, 2.0% Black or African American, 0.4% American Indian or Alaska Native, 1.5% Asian, 2.1% from two or more races, and 34.4% Hispanic or Latin American of any race.[53] By 2020, its population grew to 90,403 residents.

The 2019 American Community Survey estimated 62.2% of housing units were owner-occupied and the median selected monthly owner costs were $1,599 with a mortgage, and $509 without a mortgage. The city had a median gross rent of $1,183 and there were a total of 28,835 households with an average of 2.72 persons per household. In 2019, the median household income was $71,044 and the per capita income was $33,405. An estimated 8.6% of New Braunfels lived at or below the poverty line.

Of the 13,558 households at the 2000 census, 33.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.4% were married couples living together, 11.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.2% were not families. About 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.11. In 2000, the population was distributed as 25.7% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 28.4% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 16.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $40,078, and for a family was $46,726 in 2000. Males had a median income of $31,140 versus $23,235 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,548. About 9.0% of families and 10.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.9% of those under age 18 and 9.7% of those age 65 or over.


Companies based in New Braunfels include Rush Enterprises and Schlitterbahn. The top employers in the area are:[54]

Rank Employer Employees 2021 Employees 2012
1 Comal Independent School District 3,105 2,300
2 Schlitterbahn 2,300[55][a] 1,683
3 Walmart Distribution Center 1,379 1,077
4 TaskUs 1,180 -
5 New Braunfels Independent School District 1,131 945
6 City of New Braunfels 960 511
7 Hunter Industries-Colorado Materials 788 525
8 Comal County 760 616
9 Sysco 670 -
10 HD Supply 477 525
11 Resolute Health 476 -
- The Scooter Store - 1,400
- Christus Santa Rosa Hospital-New Braunfels - 576


New Braunfels High School
Canyon High School

Most of the city is served by the New Braunfels Independent School District and the Comal Independent School District in separate places.[56] Small portions in Guadalupe County are within the Marion Independent School District and the Navarro Independent School District.[57]

Two traditional public high schools are located within city limits, as well as a freshmen center. The public high schools are New Braunfels High School, Canyon High School, and Alamo Colleges-Memorial Early College High School. Private high schools are New Braunfels Christian Academy, a K–12 institution, and the Calvary Baptist Academy.

NBISD operates several schools in New Braunfels.

CISD schools serving New Braunfels are:

Recreation and tourism

New Braunfels Railroad Museum

The town holds "Wurstfest", a German-style sausage festival, every November, drawing on the city's strong German heritage. Every December, the town celebrates Wassailfest in the historic downtown.

New Braunfels draws a large number of tourists, particularly in the summer because of the cold-spring rivers that run through the city. Many generations of families and college students return every summer to tube for miles down the Guadalupe and Comal rivers. New Braunfels is the site of the original water park, the Schlitterbahn WaterPark Resort. The Ernest Eikel Skate Park attracts many skate board enthusiasts.

New Braunfels also hosts a Buc-ee's gas station, which is recognized as the largest gas station in the world.[61]

The 10,000-capacity Unicorn Stadium is the largest sports venue by capacity in New Braunfels. It opened in 1927 and it is used mostly for American football and soccer. The venue also has an athletics track.

New Braunfels is home to the Museum of Texas Handmade Furniture, Sophienburg Museum and Archives, McKenna Children's Museum, and Alamo Classic Car Museum.

Media communications

The newspaper Herald Zeitung was originally two newspapers: The Herald (published in English) and The Zeitung, which means "newspaper", (published in German) until 1967.

The other newspaper publisher serving the city of New Braunfels is the TX Citizen, formerly the NB citizen has been discontinued.

In radio, two stations broadcast from New Braunfels, KGNB 1420 AM/ 103.1 FM and KNBT 92.1 FM, notable for its Americana music format.

Notable people

Notable films and television

See also


  1. ^ 2020 data


  1. ^ Jonathan Burnett (April 2, 2008). Flash Floods in Texas. Texas A&M University Press. pp. 201–. ISBN 978-1-58544-590-5.
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 7, 2020.
  3. ^ "QuickFacts: New Braunfels city, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved August 22, 2021.
  4. ^ "2020 Population and Housing State Data". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 6, 2021.
  5. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. October 25, 2007. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  7. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved June 27, 2019.
  8. ^ "Southern and Western Regions Experienced Rapid Growth This Decade". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 14, 2020.
  9. ^ a b U.S. Census Bureau. Large Southern Cities Lead Nation in Population Growth, May 18, 2023
  10. ^ King (1967) p.53
  11. ^ King (1967) p.37
  12. ^ "Comal Springs". Edwards Aquifer. Retrieved December 27, 2010.
  13. ^ Brune, Gunnar. "Comal Springs". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 27, 2010.
  14. ^ Brune, Gunnar; Besse, Helen C (2002). Springs of Texas: Volume I. TAMU Press. p. 129. ISBN 978-1-58544-196-9.
  15. ^ "Faust Street Bridge". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes – Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Retrieved December 27, 2010.
  16. ^ a b Greene, Daniel P. "New Braunfels, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 27, 2010.
  17. ^ Ragsdale, Crystal Sasse. "Zinkenburg". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 27, 2010.
  18. ^ Blackman, Clyde T. "Sophienburg Museum and Archives". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 27, 2010.
  19. ^ King (1967) pp.35–38
  20. ^ King (1967) pp.52–58
  21. ^ Ragsdale, Crystal Sasse. "Nicolaus Zink". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved January 3, 2011.
  22. ^ King (1967) pp.59–60
  23. ^ King (1967) p.63
  24. ^ King (1967) p.64
  25. ^ King (1967) p.65
  26. ^ Breitenkamp, Edward C. "Hermann Friedrich Seele". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Retrieved December 27, 2010.
  27. ^ King (1967) p.66
  28. ^ King (1967) p.67
  29. ^ King (1967) pp.75–83
  30. ^ Morgenthaler (2007) p.56
  31. ^ King (1967) pp.96–101
  32. ^ Johnson (2009) p.10
  33. ^ King (1967) p.98
  34. ^ Morgenthaler (2007) p.61
  35. ^ King (1967) p.103
  36. ^ King (1967) pp.110,125
  37. ^ King (1967) pp.85,87
  38. ^ "City history" (PDF). Retrieved December 19, 2019.
  39. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): New Braunfels city, Texas". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  40. ^ "Gruene Texas - About Historic Gruene". Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  41. ^ "Historic Gruene Hall reopens with live music and coronavirus precautions". September 7, 2020. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  42. ^ Abrahamsen, Elizabeth (December 23, 2020). "10 Things You Didn't Know About Gruene, Texas". Wide Open Country. Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  43. ^ "New Braunfels, Texas USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map". plantmaps. Retrieved July 22, 2020.
  44. ^ "San Antonio, Texas "One of the most flood-prone regions in North America"".
  45. ^ "South Central Texas June 30 – July 7, 2002". Flood Safety Education Project.
  46. ^ "Monthly Averages for New Braunfels, Texas". The Weather Channel. Archived from the original on December 19, 2013.
  47. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  48. ^ "QuickFacts: New Braunfels city, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 6, 2021.
  49. ^ "P004: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2000: DEC Summary File 1 – New Braunfels city, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  50. ^ "P2: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – New Braunfels city, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  51. ^ "P2: Hispanic or Latino, and Not Hispanic or Latino by Race – 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) – New Braunfels city, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  52. ^ Bowen, Greg. Census estimate ranks New Braunfels second fastest growing city in US, New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, May 19, 2016.
  53. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: New Braunfels city, Texas 2019". Retrieved January 26, 2021.
  54. ^ FY 2020-21 Annual Comprehensive Financial Report. City of New Braunfels. 2021. p. 201.
  55. ^ Comprehensive Annual Financial Report Financial Year 2019-2020. City of New Braunfels. 2020. p. 203.
  56. ^ Council District Map. City of New Braunfels. Retrieved on August 27, 2016.
  57. ^
  58. ^ "Elementary School Attendance Zones" (Archive). Comal Independent School District. Retrieved on August 28, 2016. Zones: Clear Spring (Archive); Freiheit (Archive), Morningside (Archive)
  59. ^ "Middle School Attendance Zones" (Archive). Comal Independent School District. Retrieved on August 28, 2016. Zones: Canyon (Archive), Church Hill (Archive)
  60. ^ "High School Attendance Zones" (Archive). Comal Independent School District. Retrieved on August 28, 2016. Canyon High School zone (Archive)
  61. ^ "Gas stations on steroids: Welcome to Buc-ee's". August 2, 2018. Retrieved September 23, 2019.
  62. ^ "Louis Beam". Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  63. ^ Contact Us Charlie Duke Enterprises. Retrieved: 2012-09-03.
  64. ^ New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, August 30, 1973, 6C,

Further reading