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Pioneer Musical Organizations in Gillespie County

sent by
Joreen Wehmeyer <>

 Blumenthal Band formed in 1892


Merged with William Hoeltzer Cain City Band 1905

“Hoeltzer Band”

They won fame throughout the State for both the music and marching.


Front Row
Alfred Schlueter, August Schlueter, Robert Wehmeyer
Back Row 
Louis Wehmeyer, Edward Tatsch, William Fredrick Schlueter, Reinhard Frantzen


Hoelzer's Band , famed early day musical organization in Fredericksburg, is shown as it posed for a group picture
Heyland Studio.  Heyland had to get togeather all the backdrops he could find and have the band members hold
their breaths when he took the picture.      Left to right, back row: Reinhard Frantzen, Alfred Schaefer, Edward
Tatsch, Oswald Behrends,  Henry Petermann,  Richard Brehmer,  Director William Hoelzer,  William Schlueter,
Hugo Schaefer, Ernst Meier,  Louis Wehmeyer.    Front Row  Arthur Brodbeck, Clemens Pahl,  Hubert Tatsch,
Ad. Hopf, Alfred Schlueter, Robert Wehmeyer, William Petermann, and Felix Keller.  



1.* Louis Wehmeyer - Born 05/02/1866 Died 03/30/1955 Son of Franz & Juliana Weimann Wehmeyer, Played E Flat Tuba,  
Married 04/12/1890 to Lina Frantzen Born 11/05/1869 Died 09/30/1943 Daughter of Andrew & Emma Jacoby Frantzen

2.* Robert Wehmeyer - Born 01/14/1869 Died 10/28/1942 Son of Franz & Juliana Weimann Wehmeyer, Played Trumpet,
Married 08/23/1892 to Bertha Frantzen Born 04/01/1874 Died 10/ 28/ 1940 Daughter of Andrew & Emma Jacoby Frantzen

3. Oswald Behrends - Born 11/09/1889 Died 08/22/1981 Son of Christian & Martha Jacoby Behrends Jr., Played Clarinet,
Married 11/24/1914 to Alma Wehmeyer Born 07/04/1893 Died 08/18/1984 Daughter of Robert & Bertha Frantzen Wehmeyer

4. Clemens H. Pahl - Born 04/17/1886 Died 12/12/1968 Son of Herman & Elizabeth Kleck Pahl , Played Clarinet,
Married 09/10/1913 to Hemine Frantzen Born 12/11/1893 Died 05/04/1957 Daughter of Edward & Anna Schumann Frantzen

5.* Reinhard(t) Frantzen - Born 10/04/1881 Died 02/26/1972 Son of Heinrich & Emma Behrends Frantzen, Played Clarinet,
Married 11/15/1904 to Amelia Enderlin Born 11/09/1884 Died 05/24/1974 Daughter of Karl & Louise Schaefer Enderlin

6.* William Frederick Schlueter - Born 06/09/1869 Died 06/16/1952 Son of Henry J. & Maria Dorothea Jacoby Schlueter, Played Trumpet,
Married 04/20/1899 to Rosa J. Frantzen Born 10/11/1880 Died 06/09/1974 Daughter of Eduard “Edward” & Anna Dorette Schumann Frantzen

7. Hubert Tatsch - Born 10/29/1879 Died 12/19/1960 Son of Julius & Wilhelmina Kutcher Tatsch, Played Drums,
Married 02/2/1909 to Emma Frantzen Born 10/29/1887 Died 02/28/1969 Daughter of Eduard “Edward” & Anna Dorette Schumann Frantzen

8. Richard Robert Brehmer - Born 05/22/1887  Died 05/04/1977 Son of Fritz & Mary Beck Brehmer, Played Slide Trombone 
Married 12/23/1908 to Maxamillina Frantzen Born 07/22/1889 Died 06/26/1962 Daughter of Robert & Paula Lauhmann Frantzen

9. Hugo Gustav Carl Schaefer - Born 09/20/1890 Died 02/04/1961 Son of  August & Pauline Rausch Schaefer, Played Baritone, Married 12/08/1912 to  Ida Louise Frantzen Born 10/12/1891 Died 12/07/1968 Daughter of Robert & Paula Laumen Frantzen

10. Ernest Meier - Born 07/24/1889 Died 08/01/1978, Son of Ferdinand & Kathrina Hoeltzer Meier, Played Baritone,
Married 06/01/1915 to Cristel O. Willie Born 02/03/1875 Died 11/16/1986 Daughter of Otto and Betha Zoeller Willie.

11. Arthur Brodbeck - Born 05/19/1886 Died 01/05/1981 Son of Jacob & Christina Behrens Brodbeck, Played Piccolo,
Never Married, I was told he could not speak or hear, Helped with the band.  Joreen Wehmeyer

12.* August A. Schlueter - Born 10/23/1871 Died 09/05/1942 Son of Heinrich & Lisetta Jacoby Schlueter, Played Cornet,
Married 05/18/1893 to Marie K. Probst Born 03/05/1872 Died 10/16/1946 Daughter of Frederick & Caroline Pahl Probst Sr.;
Note: He was not in the picture of the Band.  Joreen Wehmeyer

13.* Eduard “Edward” Tatsch - Born 09/30/ 874 Died 11/13/1950 Son of Michael & Henrietta Goebel Tatsch, Played Trombone,  Married 02/18/1897 to Emma Schlueter Born 05/27/1875 Died 08/24/1970 Daughter of Henry & Lisetta Jacoby Schlueter

14.* Alfred H.O. Schlueter Born 02/15/1886 Died 06/01/1954 Son of Heinrich & Lisetta Jacoby Schueter, Played Drums,
Married 05/05/1904  to Minnie Krieger Born 09/20/1884 Died 09/16/1973 Daughter of Louis Krieger and Johanna Kensing.

15. Alfred Schaefer - Born 12/05/1887 Died 12/02/1953 San Antonio.  Son of Henry Schaefer and Lena Stoffer.  
Played Clarinet. Married Mary Brehmer. Born 12/20/1888 Died 05/27/1963. Daughter of Frederick "Fritz" Brehmer and Mary Beck.

16.*Henry Petermann - aka Frank H. Petermann Born 08/07/1878 Died 04/28/1963 Son of William & Louise Arhelger Petermenn, Played Trombone,
Married  5/16/1903 to Freida Foerster Born 12/12/1878 Died 11/10/1957 Daughter of Herman & Sophie Mueller Foerster.

17. Ad. Hopf - aka Adolph Hopf  Born 06/05/1871 Died 10/04/1950 Son of  Casper & Carolina Baag Hopf, Played Baritone .
Married 07/30/1895 to  Olga Enderlin Born 09/23/1874 Died 9/ 2/ 1954 Daughter of  Charlie & Louise Schaefer Enderlin

18.* Willie Petermann - Born 12/11/1857 Died 04/03/1930 Son of Frank & Caroline Wahrmund Petermann, Played Baritone,
Married 12/25/1877 to Louise A. Arhelger Born 07/19/1857 Died 04/23/1948 Daughter of  Henry & Koroline Itz Arhelger

19. Felix Keller, Born 01/19/1882 Died 01/19/1975 Son of William & Sophie Weinheimer Keller.   Played Trumpet
Married ?

20. William Hoeltzer - Born 07/10/1870 Died 07/25/1935 Son of Joe & Christina Beck Hoelzer, Director, Played Trombone

    In 1892 the Blumenthal Band was formed; Louis and Robert Wehmeyer along with several others were the founders. They played for “House Dances”, the dances were held in homes of several of the band members.

   “House Dances” The home of Louis Wehmeyer known for its “House Dances” the dances gave birth to more than one romance. There was always some kind of party going on birthday, wedding, baptism, birth, or even a funeral gathering, that would bring family and friends from all over. This home was where several young members of the family and friends of the family meet their spouses.

   Romance among the young couples that can find its roots at the “House Dances” are Wilhelm Gudio Ransleben and Augusta Gombert, also the couple of William F. Klier and Hilda Wehmeyer. I am sure there is other that I have not identified, by newspaper clippings, out there among family and friends.

  The Blumenthal Band had practice sessions with family and band members at Hohenberger’s Store at Blumenthal or Lower South Grape Creek School where Louis was on the Board.

Blumenthal Band merged with William Hoeltzer Cain City Band in 1905 and became the “Hoeltzer Band”. I know that other family and friends played with the Blumenthal Band in the years before 1905; however, because the two bands merged we may never know all Blumenthal Band members.

     The Hoeltzer Band won fame throughout the State, for both music and marching. They held marching practice at “THE FLAT”. This is an old field known as the flat by the old timers it is on the East bank of Lower South Grape Creek. It is up the Blackshaws Road off of Luckenbach Road, cross the creek and to the right, now filled with mesquite, (2008). In 1914 “The Flat” was on the property of Hugo Petsch.

From the newspaper article Louis Wehmeyer only Survivor of Group that Built South Grape Creek School (1950)

     On Sunday at the fiftieth anniversary of South Grape Creek School was Louis Wehmeyer, 84, sitting in the back corner of Weinheimer’s Hall, Stonewall. He wasn’t sitting in the corner at the celebration because anyone put him there, but because it was where he wanted to sit with his companions in the Blumenthal Band.

     Next to the school itself, the band is Wehmeyer’s greatest pride. He helped organize the musical organization 58 years ago in 1892 and still plays the bass tuba.

   When the band was founded in 1892, Robert Wehmeyer was the director. In 1896, Willie Schlueter directed the organization when it played at the Golden Jubilee of Fredericksburg.

     After the turn of the century it merged with the Hoeltzer Cain City Band and Wehmeyer was one of the group that took part in the memorable band contest in San Antonio, when the little country band won top honors when arrayed against some of the leading bands in the State.

     His last memorable appearance with the band was at the time of the 75th anniversary of the city of Fredericksburg, in 1921, when it played under the direction of Ad. Hopf.

Newspaper: Louis Wehmeyer pioneer Bandsmen Claimed by Death (1955)

    Throughout his lifetime, Wehmeyer was interested in music and in 1892 he helped found the Blumenthal Band, one of the pioneer musical organizations in the county.

   In the early 1900’s the members of this band joined the Wm. Hoeltzer Cain City Band.  They became the Hoeltzer Band that won wide fame throughout the State as a top-notch musical organization.

   Wehmeyer played the bass horn and was honored in the spring of 1954 when he played with the Luckenbach Centennial Band at the time their school marked its 100th anniversary.

   Wehmeyer retained vital interest in music to the end, he died in his home in 1955.

Fredericksburg Newspaper: Hoeltzer’s Band Famous Here in the Early Days (1964)

   Fredericksburg currently is basking in the glory of one of the finest Class AA high School bands in the State, so it’s not remiss to point out at

The turn of the Century Gillespie County had one of the finest brass bands in the land.

   It was the Hoeltzer’s Band, and any mention of the fine musical organizations in the country automatically brings to mind the aggregation of musicians, most of whom were self-taught and played just for the fun of it.

    A number of the members of this band are still around today, one of them, Richard Brehmer who played a slide trombone in the band, furnished us with pictures and information on the band.(1964)

To the best of Brehmer’s recollection and other members of the band still living in these parts, such as Reinhard Frantzen, Oswald Behrends, Ernst Meier, Arthur Brodbeck and Clemens Pahl, the band was formed 1905.

     William Hoeltzer, director after whom the band was named, started “making music” when he played a trombone with Ad. Hopf’s Band, in Fredericksburg.

    He joined the Army and played with famed 23rd Infantry Band for many years. On his retirement he came back to Fredericksburg and settled in the Cain City and Luckenbach area.

    Soon Hoeltzer started a band of his own and recruited members from throughout that section of the county. Members held practice sessions once a week, going on horse back or by horse and buggy from their homes to either Hohenberger's Store (Blumenthal) or the Lower South Grape Creek School.

     Hoeltzer was an able musician and a perfectionist and he made the members toe the line insofar as home practice was concerned. Both Brehmer and Reinhard Frantzen recall that they too took their instruments with them into the fields and often would sit and practice while resting from their chores.

    Quite often the men would go to the “woodshed” to practice, which is one of the places where the term “woodshedding it” probably originated.

    The band appeared in parades and concerts all over this section of the country. In fact the demands for their services were so great and transportation facilities so poor, that they couldn’t fill all the demands for their services.

     The highlight of the band’s career came in San Antonio, in 1909. Director Hoeltzer came across an article that told of a concert and marching contest in San Antonio, so they decided to enter the band.

     There were SNICKERS among other bands when THE HOELTZER’S BAND one of five entered, showed up at the contest. The other four were municipal bands from San Antonio and larger cities in the State, and here was a band “from the sticks” trying to compete in the same league.

     Like the old saying in the piano lesson ads, “ they all laughed when they got ready to play,” but they had to eat their words, for the Hoeltzer Band made a grand sweep of all the honors, winning FIRST in both contest and marching.

    Thereafter the band played many concerts in Boerne, Johnson City, Comfort, Mason, Kerrville, and Menard.

    Brehmer recalls that marching in parades in those days was a real chore. There were no paved streets and bandsmen marched through powder-thin dust and through chug holes.

    None of this, however, was as bad as when they had to follow a herd of horses.

   Just when the Band broke up is not certain, but it was in the 20’s, as some of the members moved and others drifted away.

Newspaper: July 4th Always Gala Day in City, First Race meet in 1948 (1974)

    The Sheriff would ride down the street, leading the parade and provide his own fireworks as he held the shotgun aloft and blared away.

    About the same time the Fredericksburg Concert Band would march down the street, and stop at each street corner to play military tunes.

  Even earlier in the City’s history, Hoeltzer’s Band, a famed early-day local musical organization, headquartered at Luckenbach would lead parades in the city on the Fourth.

These members and family have been identified from newspapers and obituaries. They were one of the first bands in Gillespie County. My Goal is to keep this History from being forgotten.

Joreen Wehmeyer

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