History of New Braunfels #1109

New Braunfels Lodge No. 1109 was charted on December 8, 1915, as the third Masonic Lodge to be charted in Comal County.  Many of the charter members took their degrees in, and were members of, Guadalupe Lodge No. 109 in Seguin.  Others belonged to other area lodges, and a couple from out-of-state Lodges.  There were thirteen Brethren who formed New Braunfels Lodge – Richard E. Klepper, Joseph E. Abrahams, Alexander J. Hinman, Guy W. Atkinson, Max Schmidt, Julius G. Voelcker, William S. Suttle, J. E. Reed, C. J. Hartman, Peter Goll, W. H. Stone, John H. Platz, and Samuel Hilb.  Before the Summer of 1916, three additional persons had affiliated: Rudolph S. Jahn, C. E. Berg, and Walter E. Babel.  The charter officers were:

Worshipful Master: Richard Klepper                                                   Senior Deacon: W. H. Stone

Senior Warden: Joseph Abrahams                                                     Junior Deacon: Julius Voelcker

Junior Warden: J. E. Reed                                                                   Senior Steward: William Suttle

Treasurer: Guy Atkinson                                                                      Junior Steward: C. J. Hartman

Secretary: Max Schmidt                                                                        Tiler: Peter Goll


The Lodge was “set to labor” on February 1, 1916 with the above officers by Joseph C. Warren of San Antonio, who was District Deputy Grand Master at the time.  They first met in a carriage house next to the Jahn Building on South Seguin Street (the carriage house no longer stands).  The first man to petition and receive the Degrees was George M. Wells, who, on July 20, 1916 was raised to the sublime degree of Master Master in the Lodge.

In 1922, the Lodge began meeting on the third floor of what is now the Schmidt Building.  At the time, the building was owned by Albert Ludwig, but ownership changed hands to the family of Max Schmidt (Bro. Schmidt died in May of 1993 – he was the last surviving charter member).

In 1963, we moved to  1157 West San Antonio Street. On November 13th of that year, Grand Master James Weatherby of Kerrville laid the cornerstone.  The building was officially dedicated on May 30, 1964 by Grand Master John Collard.

In February 2012, a contract was signed to purchase a building at 1353 Wald Road and the Grand Lodge of Texas gave us permission to proceed.  In October 2012, we moved into the new building. On February 9, 2013 we held a ribbon cutting with The Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce and leveled our cornerstone.

Over the years, many members of New Braunfels Lodge 1109 have distinguished themselves in the community, school system, and other civic activities.  Several mayors of the city have held membership in our Lodge – among them Walter Sippel, Sr., Hilmar A. Triesch, Harry R. Alves, Haney Elliot Knox, and O.A. Stratemann, Jr.  The New Braunfels school system has been greatly influenced by members of our Lodge including Dr. Edgar A. Sahm (superintendent for 30 years), E.H. West (high school principal for 28 years), Curt E. Schmidt (elementary school principal for over 20 years), O.E. “Pete” Hendricks (superintendent for 17 years), Oscar Smith (high school principal and assistant superintendent for 25 years), and John Turman (high school principal and assistant superintendent for over 25 years).  We are very proud of the fact that these men (and many more), have strived to make New Braunfels a blessed community.  The members of today strive to carry on the pride of the past as the footsteps of the future.

 A local historian and author (and also wife of our own Glyn Goff, PM) wrote a short history of the lodge for the Sophienburg Museum following the 2013 cornerstone leveling. You can find that article here.

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