Franz H. Kohfeldt
Franz Kohfeldt (1865–1938) was born of German immigrant parents in
Illinois and orphaned soon after. He was raised by family friends, the George
Brauns, who, according to Jack Maguire in Katy’s Baby,
“came to Denison
to establish the town’s first ice plant, predecessor of the Arctic Ice
Company.” Kohfeldt arrived in town in 1879, managed the Brauns’ ice and
wholesale food business, briefly sold fish in the MKT Depot, and
Harrison Tone’s abstract office. He and Tone remained close friends,
Franz opened his own real estate office in the Werneberg Building at
Main. For decades, his Kohfeldt & Son Real Estate was located at
118 or 122 West Main Street, a few doors west of the Lebrecht Building.
The Sunday Gazetteer
In 1924, Kohfeldt founded Denison Building and Loan Company. He also became convinced that a new port being planned for the Texas Gulf Coast could become “the New York of Texas” and shrewdly invested in property that later became Texas City.
The Kohfeldt office at 118 West Main, originally a merchant tailor’s shop, was designed by a prolific local architect, Joseph Schott, and constructed in 1885. It is distinguished by its Italianate style, carved stone window head moldings, and an overhanging stone cornice with brackets. Unfortunately, the original cornice piece that gave the name and date of the building has been removed.
Kohfeldt & Son Realty
West Main St, 100 Block, south side
ca September 1997
In the year 2000, part of the old block retained its charm. Steve and Sarah Anderson’s law firm and loft apartment occupied the building 118 West Main Street, where Steve’s grandfather, Franz Kohfeldt, had his Kohfeldt & Son Real Estate office (headed for many years by his son-in-law, the late John Anderson, and his granddaughter, Kristine Berry Paddock McKinney).
B. J. Lindsay Insurance
411 W. Woodard St.
Built between 1934 and 1940 by Mary Veronica "Vernie" M. Lindsay. Franz Kohfeldt Jr. and his wife, Irma Riddle Kohfeldt, acquired the structure in the mid 1940s. The home was remodeled in 1950 by architect Donald Mayes.
(Mavis Anne Bryant, Donald Mayes of Denison, Texas: An Architectural Legacy. 2001. pg44)
411 W. Woodard St.
In a will dated July 6, 1932, Franz provided for his wife, Josie Kohfeldt, his son, George Kohfeldt, his son, Franz H. Kohfeldt, and his daughter-in-law, Irma R. Kohfeldt. He noted that his and Josie's homestead was Miller's Second Addition, Block 24, Lots 1 and 2. He had served as secretary-treasurer of the Denison Building and Loan Association since its founding in 1924. He asked that his real estate firm of F. Kohfeldt and Son be continued by his son, Franz. [Maquire, p.43, Abstract of Title, Lots 10 and 11, Block 70, Miller's Second Addition to Denison]
On March 2, 1938, Franz Kohfeldt died in Denison, Texas.
Elaine Nall Bay
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