Wednesday, August 26, 2015
The Roland Goehring House is located at 635 South Presa and represents one of the oldest residential properties still standing in the area. In addition to its age, the house is significant as an intact example of an Italianate-style residence. Though the exact date of its original construction is unknown, it was likely built during the 1880s. Mr. Goehring and his wife Anna immigrated to Texas from Germany in 1846. The couple originally settled in the village of New Fountain in Medina County. Mr. Goehring was a farmer, though census records indicate he was also employed as the local postmaster in 1860 and 1870 and as a grocer in 1880. By 1900, the Goehring family was living in the house on South Presa. In that year, their household was headed by 76 year-old Roland Goehring and included his wife Anna, one of their daughters, and a grandchild. The record describes Goehring as a “capitalist,” suggesting he was engaged in some type of merchant activity during this period (U.S. Bureau of the Census var.).
Goehring died in 1905 and was buried in the St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery. After his death, his wife Anna continued to occupy the family home. In 1910, she still lived in the house with her daughter Narcissa, her grandson Emil, and her granddaughter Olivia. Anna Goehring died in 1915 and was buried next to her husband in the St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery.
Census records indicate that Emil and his wife Ottilie lived there after Anna’s death until at least 1940. Emil appears to have worked as a merchant while living there in the 1930s, and as a real estate agent by 1940 (U.S. Bureau of the Census var.). Today, the house has been converted for commercial use and serves as a law firm.
Architecturally, the two-story brick and stone dwelling can be described as Italianate in style. Particular features of the Italianate style prominent on the dwelling include its low-pitched roof with widely overhanging eaves supported by decorative wooden brackets; paired, tall, narrow segmentally-arched windows topped with hooded brick crowns; and elaborately worked full-length wooden porches on both stories with square support posts and ornamental brackets. Most of the dwelling is faced with brick, with the exception of the corners, where decorative stonework, known as quoining, was used. The City of San Antonio Local Landmark retains a high degree of historic integrity (Unknown n.d.) and was determined eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places in 2011.
n.d. - City of San Antonio Local Landmark File, “The Goehring House,” Copy on file at the City of San Antonio Office of Historic Preservation.
U.S. Bureau of the Census
1860-1880 - Medina County, Texas, Population Schedule.
1900-1940 - Bexar County, Texas, Population Schedule.