Spring Branch Post Office
The 1867 to 1872 Spring Branch Post Office is located at 170 Rittimann Road, Spring Branch, Comal County, Texas. In the mid-1840s, German emigrants made their way to Texas to begin a new life. The sponsor of this immigration project was the Adelsverein, an organization for the protection of German immigration. New Braunfels became the first large settlement in Comal County. Many emigrants moved on to the hill country in the county and developed small, functioning settlements. Spring Branch was one of those areas settled during this time. Postal communication was vital and the only way for settlers to keep in touch with the world outside of their small community. Between 1867 and 1872, Gottlieb Elbel was the Postmaster of Spring Branch. This was the first post office in Spring Branch established after the Civil War. The post office was located in the Gottlieb Elbel home, built ca. 1852, which still stands today. In 1871, the family moved into an adjacent, larger home that also exists on the property.
The first post office was established in 1858, with Louis Willke as postmaster. It was located at the Porter Store. At the onset of the Civil War, Comal County voted 239 to 86 in favor of the Confederacy. During the Civil War, all United States government post offices were closed. The Comal Ranch, a Confederate Post about a mile from Spring Branch, was designated as the post office. William DeForest Holly was appointed as the first Comal Ranch Postmaster in 1861 and Col. Charles Power was appointed in 1862The Comal Ranch remained the post office for the area until after the Civil War in 1865. A post office was re-opened at that time in New Braunfels, and Spring Branch residents had to rely on a notice in the New Braunfels Zeitung newspaper that mail in their name had arrived at the New Braunfels Post Office.
Shortly after this time in 1867, Gottlieb Elbel began serving as Postmaster out of his homestead in Spring Branch. It was noted on the 1868 Spring Branch Post Office contract of Gottlieb Elbel (PHOTO #4) that the location was 11 miles from the Twin Sisters Post Office and 11 miles from the Smithson’s Valley Post Office. The first mail arrived on August 27, 1867, between New Braunfels and Fredericksburg through Spring Branch by pony express rider (also properly known as a mail rider according to the US Mail Service), Adolph Jonas on horseback. Adolph Jonas was 22 years of age and delivered the mail from New Braunfels to Fredericksburg. He would deliver mail by horseback for 11 more years along this route. After that, a coach line was established from Austin to Blanco to Fredericksburg and San Saba. Jonas then continued to ride horseback to deliver the mail for another six years from New Braunfels to Blanco.