New Ulm had its beginning as Duff's Settlement in honor of James
C. Duff to whom the land was granted in 1841. The old community
of New Ulm was about one mile north of the present town of New
About the year 1840, the people petitioned the government for a
post office. It was then decided to name the community to New
Ulm in honor of Ulm, Germany since many of the settlers came
from that area. In 1852 New Ulm officially became a post office
town. There was a hotel, cigar factory, several stores of
general merchandise, several cabinet makers, several
blacksmiths, a shoemaker, a tailor a brewery and gin.
In 1867 a church
building was built that also served as the schoolhouse. In 1888
the MKT (Missouri-Kansas-Texas) Railroad bought the farm land of
Franz Pille. In 1892 the railroad completed its track from
Dallas to Houston. The first train coming through here was met
by the New Ulm Band.
The railroad and a land company surveyed the area and laid out
streets and lots. Land was set aside for a school and for two
churches. Soon businesses and homes were established in the new
In 1894 the old church school congregation voted to separate. A
new school was built in 1894 in the new town. In 1898
seventy-five children were enrolled in the school. That same
year the population was 225. That year there were five stores of
general merchandise, two furniture stores, one drugstore, one
saddlery, two blacksmith shops, two tin shops, two public scales
for weighing cotton bales, one livery stable, two cabinet shops,
a soda water factory, a barber shop, and a broom factory.
The New Ulm State Bank was chartered in 1906 and became the New
Ulm branch of the Industry State Bank when it was purchased n
1989. It is the oldest continuing business in New Ulm today. The
first weekly paper was the "The New Ulm News". "The New Ulm
Enterprise" was first published in 1910 by John Moran and is the
second oldest business in New Ulm.
A. F. Bartay operated his New Ulm Bottling Works in a small log
cabin near his home. He bottled such flavors as strawberry,
lemon, orange, julep, and iron brew.
Miss Thekla John and Mr. and Mrs. Otto Rudloff managed the two
hotels. Salespeople, "Drummers" as they were called, came on
the trains and stayed in the hotels overnight. During the day
they visited the stores in the area to get orders for
Flour packed in sacks of cotton material
was sent into town a railroad box car at
a time. The local
merchants, as well as those in Frelsburg, Post Oak
Industry, hauled to their stores by horse-drawn wagons.
the major crop. In 1898, 7627 bales of cotton, 4739 crates of
eggs, 1528 coops of poultry, and 128 buckets of butter were
shipped from the local railroad depot. The gross receipts for
freight and passenger fares that year amounted to $25,537.18.
On April 11, 1916, twenty-one men of the town of New Ulm met for
the purpose of discussing the general welfare of the town by
securing fire apparatus for protection of property. Thus the New
Ulm Fire Company was born which is now the New Ulm Fire
Department. The first purchase was a Ajax (chemical) Fire Engine
at a cost of $137.50. In 1962 a ten-acre Firemen's Park was
established in the timberland a short distance from town.
We invite you to visit New Ulm!
The New Ulm Band.
John Lutheran Church,
Once part of the J. J. Franka Building that housed the
general merchandise store and funeral home.
The first school building, built in 1893, at the corner of
Houston & Hickory Street.
St. Paul Baptist Church, built in 1894.