History of New Ulm   
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 Ulm. 

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 town.

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 merchandise.


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 Point, and
Industry, hauled to their stores by horse-drawn wagons.

Cotton was 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.





St. John Lutheran Church, built
 in 1913.



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.