Comal County, Texas

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Comal County
The 3.5 story Romanesque Revival style Comal County Courthouse in New Braunfels was built in 1898.
The 3.5 story Romanesque Revival style Comal County Courthouse in New Braunfels was built in 1898.
Official seal of Comal County
Map of Texas highlighting Comal County
Location within the U.S. state of Texas
Map of the United States highlighting Texas
Texas's location within the U.S.
Coordinates: 29°49′N 98°17′W / 29.81°N 98.28°W / 29.81; -98.28
Country United States
State Texas
Founded1846
SeatNew Braunfels
Largest cityNew Braunfels
Area
 • Total575 sq mi (1,490 km2)
 • Land559 sq mi (1,450 km2)
 • Water15 sq mi (40 km2)  2.7%
Population
 (2020)
 • Total161,501[1]
Time zoneUTC−6 (Central)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−5 (CDT)
Congressional districts21st, 35th
Websitewww.co.comal.tx.us

Comal County (/ˈkmæl/ KOH-mal) is a county located on the Edwards Plateau in the U.S. state of Texas. As of the 2020 census, its population was 161,501.[2][3] Comal County is known for its rich German-Texan and European history.[4] Its county seat is New Braunfels.[5]

Comal County is part of the San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Along with Hays and Kendall Counties, Comal was listed in 2017 of the nation's 10 fastest-growing large counties with a population of at least 10,000. In 2017, Comal County was second on the list; it grew by 5,675 newcomers, or 4.4% from 2015 to 2016. Kendall County was the second-fastest growing county in the nation in 2015 to 2016, grew by 5.16%. Hays County, third on the national list, had nearly 10,000 new residents during the year. As a result of this growth, the counties have experienced new home construction, traffic congestion, and greater demand for public services. Bexar County, which includes San Antonio, grew by 1.75% during the year, but its number of new residents exceeded 33,000.[6]

History[edit]

  • Early native American inhabitants include Tonkawa, Waco, Karankawa and Lipan Apache.[7]
  • 1700-1758 The area becomes known as “Comal”, Spanish for “flat dish”. Nuestra Senora de Guadalupe Mission at Comal Springs.[7][8]
  • 1825 Coahuila y Tejas issues land grant for Comal Springs to Juan Martín de Veramendi.[8]
  • 1842 Adelsverein organized in Germany to promote emigration to Texas.[9] Fisher-Miller Land Grant sets aside three million acres (12,000 km2) to settle 600 families and single men of German, Dutch, Swiss, Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian ancestry in Texas.[10]
  • 1844, June 26 - Henry Francis Fisher sells interest in land grant to Adelsverein[11]
  • 1845 Prince Carl of Solms-Braunfels secures title to 1,265 acres (5.12 km2) of the Veramendi grant, including the Comal Springs and River, for the Adelsverein. Thousands of German immigrants are stranded at port of disembarkation Indianaola on Matagorda Bay. With no food or shelters, living in holes dug into the ground, an estimated 50% die from disease or starvation. The living begin to walk to their destinations hundreds of miles away. 200 German colonists who walked from Indianola found the town of New Braunfels at the crossing of the San Antonio-Nacogdches Road on the Guadalupe River. John O. Meusebach arrives in Galveston.[12][13][14][15]
  • 1846 March - Texas legislature forms Comal County from the Eighth Precinct of Bexar County. New Braunfels is the county seat.[7][16]
  • 1850 Survey of 130 German farms in Comal reveals no slave laborers.[7]
  • 1852 Neu-Braunfelser Zeitung begins publication, initially only in German, deriving its name 16th Century Germany's prototype of a newspaper titled Zeitung.[17]
  • 1854 County is divided into eight public school districts.[7] The Texas State Convention of Germans meet in San Antonio and adopt a political, social and religious platform, including: 1) Equal pay for equal work; 2) Direct election of the President of the United States; 3) Abolition of capital punishment; 4) “Slavery is an evil, the abolition of which is a requirement of democratic principles..”; 5) Free schools – including universities - supported by the state, without religious influence; and 6) Total separation of church and state.[18][19]
  • 1858 Final county boundaries determination with the separation of part of western Comal County to Blanco and Kendall counties. New Braunfels votes in a school tax.[7]
  • 1861 Comal County votes for secession from the Union. Contributes three all-German volunteer companies to the Confederate cause.[7]
  • 1887 Faust Street Bridge built over the Guadalupe River.[20]
  • 1898 Comal County limestone courthouse erected. Romanesque Revival style. Architect James Riely Gordon.[21]
  • 1920s - County establishes itself as a manufacturing and shipping center for textiles, garments, flour, and construction materials.[7]
  • 1960 Four students at St. Mary's University San Antonio discover Natural Bridge Caverns, the largest known commercial caverns in the state of Texas.[22]
  • 1961 Comal's first Wurstfest draws a crowd of 2,000.[23][24]
  • 1964 Canyon Lake impoundment, boosting tourism and related industries.[25]

Darmstadt Society of Forty[edit]

Count Castell[26] of the Adelsverein negotiated with the separate Darmstadt Society of Forty to colonize 200 families on the Fisher–Miller Land Grant territory in Texas. In return, they were to receive $12,000 in money, livestock, and equipment, and provisions for a year. After the first year, the colonies were expected to support themselves.[27] The colonies attempted were Castell,[28] Leiningen, Bettina,[29] Schoenburg and Meerholz in Llano County; Darmstädler Farm in Comal County; and Tusculum in Kendall County.[30] Of these, only Castell survives. The colonies failed after the Adelsverein funding expired, and also due to conflict of structure and authorities. Some members moved to other Adelsverein settlements in Texas. Others moved elsewhere, or returned to Germany.

Geography[edit]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 575 square miles (1,490 km2), of which 559 square miles (1,450 km2) is land and 15 square miles (39 km2) (2.7%) is water.[31]

The Balcones Escarpment runs northeastward through the county, generally just west of Interstate 35. West of the escarpment are the rocky hills and canyons of the Texas Hill Country; to the east are the rolling grasslands of the coastal plains.

The Guadalupe River flows generally southeastward through the county, and is impounded by Canyon Lake. The Comal River rises from the Comal Springs in New Braunfels, and quickly joins the Guadalupe River.

Adjacent counties[edit]

Transportation[edit]

Major highways[edit]

Airports[edit]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
18501,723
18604,030133.9%
18705,28331.1%
18805,5465.0%
18906,39815.4%
19007,0089.5%
19108,43420.3%
19208,8244.6%
193011,98435.8%
194012,3212.8%
195016,35732.8%
196019,84421.3%
197024,16521.8%
198036,44650.8%
199051,83242.2%
200078,02150.5%
2010108,47239.0%
2020161,50148.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[32]
1850–2010[33] 2010[34] 2020[35]

2020 census[edit]

Comal County, Texas - Demographic Profile
(NH = Non-Hispanic)
Race / Ethnicity Pop 2010[34] Pop 2020[35] % 2010 % 2020
White alone (NH) 77,387 105,250 71.34% 65.17%
Black or African American alone (NH) 1,606 3,584 1.48% 2.22%
Native American or Alaska Native alone (NH) 355 514 0.33% 0.32%
Asian alone (NH) 813 1,844 0.75% 1.14%
Pacific Islander alone (NH) 45 127 0.04% 0.08%
Some Other Race alone (NH) 105 700 0.10% 0.43%
Mixed Race/Multi-Racial (NH) 1,172 5,892 1.08% 3.65%
Hispanic or Latino (any race) 26,989 43,590 24.88% 26.99%
Total 108,472 161,501 100.00% 100.00%

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 can be of any race.

2010 census[edit]

As of the census[36] of 2010, there were 108,472 people, 29,066 households, and 21,886 families residing in the county. The population density was 139 people per square mile (54/km2). There were 32,718 housing units at an average density of 58 per square mile (22/km2). The racial makeup of the county was 89.08% White, 0.95% Black or African American, 0.53% Native American, 0.46% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 6.98% from other races, and 1.96% from two or more races. 22.57% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 29,066 households, out of which 33.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.80% were married couples living together, 9.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.70% were non-families. 20.60% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.64 and the average family size was 3.05.

A Williams Institute analysis of 2010 census data found there were about 4.4 same-sex couples per 1,000 households in the county.[37]

In the county, the population was spread out, with 25.50% under the age of 18, 7.00% from 18 to 24, 27.50% from 25 to 44, 25.20% from 45 to 64, and 14.80% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.20 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $46,147, and the median income for a family was $52,455. Males had a median income of $36,048 versus $25,940 for females. The per capita income for the county was $21,914. About 6.40% of families and 8.60% of the population were below the poverty line, including 11.50% of those under age 18 and 7.30% of those age 65 or over.

Politics[edit]

Comal is a strongly Republican county: the last Democrat to carry it being Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964, and no others have done so since Franklin Roosevelt’s 1936 landslide when he won every Texas county bar traditionally Unionist Gillespie and Kendall and took 87.31 percent of the Lone Star State’s vote. In earlier periods, the county’s German heritage meant it often deviated from “Solid South” Democratic voting: in 1924 Robert M. La Follette won 73.96 percent of Comal County’s vote (versus 6.52 percent for all of Texas), which made it his strongest county nationwide,[38] and in 1920 American candidate James “Pa” Ferguson carried the county with 841 votes to 765 for Warren G. Harding.[39]

United States presidential election results for Comal County, Texas[40]
Year Republican Democratic Third party
No.  % No.  % No.  %
2020 62,740 70.58% 24,826 27.93% 1,326 1.49%
2016 45,136 72.59% 14,238 22.90% 2,804 4.51%
2012 39,318 76.30% 11,450 22.22% 761 1.48%
2008 35,233 73.01% 12,384 25.66% 644 1.33%
2004 31,574 76.93% 9,153 22.30% 316 0.77%
2000 24,599 75.12% 7,131 21.78% 1,018 3.11%
1996 16,763 64.33% 7,132 27.37% 2,162 8.30%
1992 12,651 50.72% 6,312 25.31% 5,978 23.97%
1988 13,994 70.04% 5,716 28.61% 270 1.35%
1984 13,452 76.07% 4,179 23.63% 52 0.29%
1980 9,758 71.15% 3,554 25.92% 402 2.93%
1976 6,377 60.42% 4,068 38.54% 109 1.03%
1972 6,761 78.36% 1,823 21.13% 44 0.51%
1968 3,646 54.34% 2,338 34.84% 726 10.82%
1964 2,223 37.84% 3,644 62.03% 8 0.14%
1960 3,082 62.38% 1,845 37.34% 14 0.28%
1956 3,397 74.54% 1,140 25.02% 20 0.44%
1952 3,350 72.73% 1,252 27.18% 4 0.09%
1948 1,752 56.99% 1,212 39.43% 110 3.58%
1944 2,021 67.61% 787 26.33% 181 6.06%
1940 1,852 68.44% 851 31.45% 3 0.11%
1936 554 25.52% 1,611 74.21% 6 0.28%
1932 176 7.33% 2,211 92.05% 15 0.62%
1928 508 21.14% 1,893 78.78% 2 0.08%
1924 312 12.66% 330 13.39% 1,823 73.96%
1920 765 42.03% 181 9.95% 874 48.02%
1916 743 61.25% 432 35.61% 38 3.13%
1912 157 16.83% 602 64.52% 174 18.65%


The county is part of the 21st District in the United States House of Representatives, represented by Republican Chip Roy, the 25th district of the Texas State Senate, represented by Republican Donna Campbell, and the 73rd District of the Texas House of Representatives and is represented by Republican Kyle Biedermann. Biedermann's predecessors in the House seat are Republicans. They include Nathan Macias, a businessman from Bulverde, Carter Casteel, a former Comal County county judge and a lawyer in New Braunfels, and Doug Miller, a former mayor of New Braunfels.

Communities[edit]

Cities (multiple counties)[edit]

Cities[edit]

Census-designated place[edit]

Other unincorporated communities[edit]

Ghost towns[edit]

Education[edit]

School districts in Comal County:[41]

All of the county is in the service area of Alamo Community College District.[42]

In popular culture[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "US Census 2020 Population Dataset Tables for all Texas Counties". United States Census Bureau.
  2. ^ "U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts: Comal County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2022.
  3. ^ "Comal County, Texas". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 30, 2022.
  4. ^ "TSHA | Germans".
  5. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved June 7, 2011.
  6. ^ Zeke MacCormack, "Folks flocking to area counties: Kendall, Comal, and Hays are on the top 10 list", San Antonio Express-News, March 24, 2017, pp. 1, A11.
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h Greene, Daniel P (June 12, 2010). "Comal County". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on December 21, 2010. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  8. ^ a b Ladd, Kevin (2009). Gone to Texas: Genealogical Abstracts from The Telegraph and Texas Register, 1835-1841. Heritage Books Inc. p. 68. ISBN 978-0-7884-0005-6.
  9. ^ Brister, Louis E. (June 9, 2010). "Adelsverein". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on November 25, 2010. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  10. ^ Ramos, Mary G. "The German Settlements in Central Texas". Texas Almanac. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on February 7, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  11. ^ Kohout, Martin Donnell (June 15, 2010). "Gillespie County, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on December 21, 2010. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  12. ^ "Indianola, Texas". Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Archived from the original on May 20, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  13. ^ Block, W T. "The Story of our Texas' German Pilgrims". Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Archived from the original on May 20, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  14. ^ "Near River Crossing Used by New Braunfels' First Settlers - New Braunfels, Comal County, Texas". William Nienke, Sam Morrow. Archived from the original on July 18, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  15. ^ Smith, Cornelia Marshall; Tetzlaff, Otto W (June 15, 2010). "Meusebach, John O". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on November 26, 2010. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  16. ^ "New Braunfels, Texas". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Archived from the original on May 14, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  17. ^ Bernhard, Jim (2007). Porcupine, Picayune, & Post: How Newspapers Get Their Names. University of Missouri Press. p. 38. ISBN 978-0-8262-1748-6.
  18. ^ Biesele, R. L. (April 1930). "The Texas State Convention of Germans in 1854". Southwestern Historical Quarterly. 33 (4): 247–261.[permanent dead link]
  19. ^ "Nimitz, Charles and Sophia". Der Stadt Friedhof. Gillespie County Historical Association. Archived from the original on July 26, 2011. Retrieved November 13, 2010.
  20. ^ "Faust Street Bridge". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Archived from the original on May 14, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  21. ^ "Comal County Courthouse". Texas Escapes. Texas Escapes - Blueprints For Travel, LLC. Archived from the original on May 20, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  22. ^ "Natural Bridge Caverns - New Braunfels, Comal County, Texas". Texas State Historical Markers. William Nienke, Sam Morrow. Archived from the original on March 13, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  23. ^ "Wurstfest History". Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce. Archived from the original on July 12, 2001. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  24. ^ Permenter, Paris; Bigley, John (2006). Day Trips from San Antonio. GPP Travel. p. 27. ISBN 978-0-7627-3868-7.
  25. ^ "Canyon Lake". Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Archived from the original on January 4, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2010.
  26. ^ Brister, Louis E (June 12, 2010). "Count Carl of Castell-Castell". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved January 16, 2011.
  27. ^ King (1967) p.122
  28. ^ Heckert-Greene, James B (June 12, 2010). "Castell, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
  29. ^ Lich, Glen E (June 12, 2010). "Bettina, Texas". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
  30. ^ Lich, Glen E (June 12, 2010). "The Forty". Handbook of Texas Online. Texas State Historical Association. Archived from the original on July 9, 2011. Retrieved January 20, 2011.
  31. ^ "2010 Census Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. August 22, 2012. Archived from the original on April 19, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  32. ^ "Census of Population and Housing from 1790-2000". US Census Bureau. Retrieved January 24, 2022.
  33. ^ "Texas Almanac: Population History of Counties from 1850–2010" (PDF). Texas Almanac. Archived from the original (PDF) on February 26, 2015. Retrieved April 21, 2015.
  34. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2010: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Comal County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  35. ^ a b "P2 HISPANIC OR LATINO, AND NOT HISPANIC OR LATINO BY RACE - 2020: DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171) - Comal County, Texas". United States Census Bureau.
  36. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved May 14, 2011.
  37. ^ Leonhardt, David; Quealy, Kevin (June 26, 2015), "Where Same-Sex Couples Live", The New York Times, archived from the original on June 29, 2015, retrieved July 6, 2015
  38. ^ Dave Leip’s U.S. Election Atlas; 1924 Presidential Election Statistics Archived 2018-01-25 at the Wayback Machine
  39. ^ Géoelections; Popular Vote for Eugene V. Debs Archived 2006-09-02 at the Wayback Machine (.xlsx file for €15)
  40. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". uselectionatlas.org. Archived from the original on March 23, 2018.
  41. ^ "2020 CENSUS - SCHOOL DISTRICT REFERENCE MAP: Comal County, TX" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved June 29, 2022. - Text list
  42. ^ Texas Education Code, Sec. 130.162. ALAMO COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT SERVICE AREA..

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°49′N 98°17′W / 29.81°N 98.28°W / 29.81; -98.28