old tin building just off the main road between Blanco
was once the hub of Fischer, a tiny Hill
Country community. Fischer is one of those places where one can
still touch and smell 19th century Texas. For how much longer is anyone's
the man who started it all, left Germany rather than submit to compulsory
military service. He arrived in Carlshafen (Indianola)
He first settled on a farm along Geronimo Creek above Seguin.
Farming can be a fine occupation when mother-nature cooperates.
That year she didn't. Fischer survived one of the driest spells
in recent memory by doing odd jobs around Seguin.
On the boat from Germany Hermann met Anne Lindemann. A Fischer family
story says the Lindemanns settled in Blanco.
When Hermann went to see her, he was awestruck by the hills, the
spectacular vistas, the stately cypress trees, and the soft green
water of the Guadalupe
"There was an Indian trail through here," recalled Gertrude Fischer,
"with grass up to a cow's belly. And there was water. It looked
like a nice place to settle, so he did. He thought it was paradise."
In 1853 he took up a claim just west of the Devil's
Backbone. His brother Otto soon joined him.
In 1855 Hermann married Anne Lindemann.
Hermann Fischer wanted to farm, but when he tried to sink a plow
into the paper thin Hill Country soil, he decided ranching was a
Of course ranching wasn't much better in those days of the open
range. When Fischer's livestock scattered like dandelion seeds in
a cyclone, he opened a store.
Over the years the store expanded. Fischer's inventory included
farm implements, hardware, dry goods and groceries. He added a saloon
in back of the store.
Hermann Fischer was an eternal optimist with unlimited faith in
human nature. He had to be. He was a frontier merchant who did most
of his business on credit.
The area around the store, originally called Fischerdale,
became known as Fischer Store. By the mid-20th century, it
was just Fischer.
When his neighbors asked Hermann Fischer to open a post office,
he politely said "Nein Danke." He barely had enough time to run
the store and saloon. He finally agreed to open a post office and
serve as postmaster but only because no one else would do it.
Even then the arrangement almost collapsed when postal inspectors
told Fischer that regulations would not allow a post office in the
same building with a saloon. The saloon would have to go.
Hermann Fischer told the inspectors that if the government didn't
like the post office in the same building with a saloon, it was
free to find a new post office and postmaster. He then excused himself
saying he had a beer keg to tap.
Under the circumstances the postal service inspectors took drinks
on the house and went on about their business. Fischer's Store became
the only post office in the country connected to a saloon.
In 1892 a one-eyed
carpenter named Mr. Kloepper built the dance hall that still stands
not far from the store and the Fischer nine-pin Bowling Club.
Fischer Store had the first telephone in the area. The phone enhanced
the store's popularity and cemented its reputation as the local
center for rumor, gossip and intrigue.
When the Great Depression hit, Fischer Store had thousands of dollars
in credit on the books. Most people couldn't pay and the debts were
eventually cancelled. Even then the business came out of the depression
debt free and in good financial shape.
Generation of Fischers came and went but the store changed little
until it closed in the 1980s.
Today Fischer still seems distant from the modern world, but the
hills are subdividing at a rapid rate. The area is prime real estate.
Housing developments are closing in on Fischer like Santa Anna's
army at the Alamo.
There is a big fancy high school 3 miles down the road and rumors
of a Super Walmart.
Everyone should see Fischer, but don't wait too long.
June 14, 2019 Column
"Prime Development Property," The Brownsville Herald, November
"Quaint Fischer Store Community 85 Years Old," San Antonio Express,
September 3, 1938.
"Fischer, Texas," New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung, March 26,