H. D. Gruene Mercantile

GrueneThis was the second mercantile store built by Mr. Henry D. Gruene and was built on the same site as the original wooden structure. This two story brick rectangular building was finished about 1904 and has an angled southwest corner. On the first floor an arched entry with fanlight pierced the angled corner, while the remainder of the facade contained large display windows and two bayed entrances. The second floor contains three large round arched open­ings and a flat arched window. The facade was divided into bays by brick pilasters rising to create pedestals along the roofline. The pediamented parapet crowned the angled corner and another parapet containing a round window marked the central facade. The building was further enriched by the brick detail in the cornice, corbelled parapets and horizontal belt courses. Across the front facade there was a tall one story canopy supported by slender iron posts. The commercial building stands basically the same,except in 1910, Gruene added the one story wings on the west and east facades to house his bank and post office. The original vault is still in the right side. Mr. H. D. Gruene became the community's first postmaster in June 1890 operating a post office first out of the original general store and then, out of the wings. In actuality, the store was a working bank, holding farm mortgages as well as doing extensive farm financing.

This large mercantile store operated basically the same as the original, but carried a larger variety of goods. Everything from cheese to farm imple­ments to buggies and ready to wear could be "charged" by the tenants.

Continue Reading

Comal County Historical Commission