Some History of Indoor Plumbing in Boerne, TX.
Kuhlmann-King House / Boerne, TX.
This structure was built in the late 1880s as a residence for German native William Kuhlmann (1856-1918), a successful pharmacist and landholder. He sold the home in 1908 to Selina Long King (1831-1910), whose sons operated the local King & King Lumber Co. The Boerne Independent School District owned the house from 1920 to 1951, using it for rental property as well as for school-related purposes. Hill Country artist Harry Anthony DeYoung (1893-1956) leased the house for two years while teaching art in San Antonio. The Kuhlmann-King house has been owned by the city of Boerne since 1951. (on W side of city hall)
Two story rubblestone symmetrical with two story gallery across the front (West) side. Originally the house had two upper and two lower rooms. The gallery on both floors extended around to the entire south side. The stairs to the upper floor were on the outside of the house on the East, or back side. As was the custom, there were no closets in the entire house. The house has one central chimney, with the fireplace on the southwest room. The remaining three rooms had openings into this same chimney and wood stoves were used for heating. The walls in the house are approximately 15" thick and the 9 foot ceilings inside are beaded board. The upstairs floors are still the original random width planks varying between 10" and 12" in width. The floors on the first floor have been replaced and are now of 3" narrow pine flooring. The house had a gabled roof and 6x6 sash windows. Today the gallery on the south side of the house is gone. It is believed that the south portion of the porch was removed in the late 1920s when a major change in the house was made.The wooden portion of the house was added to the east side about the same time the south side gallery was removed. This new addition brought the house the newest conveniences. The outside stairs were removed. Traces still show on the rock and the door upstairs is still there. New stairs were built inside the southwest room. Closets were built in this room as well as the room directly above. A gallery and a modern kitchen (to take the place of the separate outdoor kitchen) were added to the first floor. On the second floor, a bathroom was added above the new kitchen and a second floor gallery was added above the new one on the first floor. With this new addition all the plumbing and water pipes were used without having to go through the thick rock walls.
The land, out of Lot #9 and #10, on which this house stands was sold by John and Helene Werner to William Kuhlmann on March 26, 1883. Just what year the house was built is not known thus far. It was built by William Kuhlmann between 1885-1890.
Mr. Kuhlmann became a naturalized citizen of the U.S. on Feb 5, 1890. He was born July 2, 1856 in Germany. He died in Boerne of pneumonia on Dec. 18 1918. The doctor in attendance was Dr. Wright. Undertaker - Ebensberger & Wendler - buried in Boerne Cemetery.
Mr. Kuhlmann returned to Germany to marry his sweetheart, Marie, and brought her back to live in this house. On Dec. 27, 1896 Marie died during childbirth. The child never lived. Marie was born Sept 13, 1854 in Germany. The couple is buried in the same grave in the Boerne Cemetery.
Mr. Kuhlmann sold this house with improvements to W.F. Shirer but Mr. Shirer sold it back a year later because of the lack of finances.
In 1902 Mr. Kuhlmann sold the house to Selina Long King. The King family lived in the house until 1920 when Mrs. King died. The house was sold to the Boerne School District.
The house was used to extend the facilities of the school which was in the adjacent building just south of the house.
In 1951 the school system no longer needed the buildings in this location, thus it was sold to the City of Boerne.
In 1971 the Boerne Area Historical Preservation Society was given a twenty-five year lease on the house for a museum.