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KAMPMANN, JOHN HERMAN

John Herman Kampmann
Photograph, Portrait of John Herman Kampmann. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

KAMPMANN, JOHN HERMAN (1819–1885). John Herman Kampmann, architect, public contractor, businessman, and Confederate officer, was born in Leveringhausen, Markischer Kreis, Nordrhein-Westfalen, Prussia, on December 25, 1819. He was the son of John Peter and Elizabeth Finniman (Selingshof) Kampmann. Before immigrating to Texas, Kampmann was raised as a Catholic and attended the University of Cologne. After leaving the university, he worked as a stone cutter and architect's assistant in Cologne and along the Rhine River.

Bexar County Courthouse in 1939
Photograph, Bexar County Courthouse, which was established on land donated by John Kampmann, in 1939. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

In 1848 Kampmann left Europe and settled in San Antonio, Texas. He continued working in building and construction. In 1850 Kampmann married Caroline Bonnet, also of Prussia. This couple had three sons and one daughter. When the Civil War began, Kampmann raised a company of Germans for service in the Confederacy. This unit was incorporated into the Third Texas Infantry in the autumn of 1861, with Kampmann elected as captain, and served along the Texas coast at Brownsville and Galveston but never saw action. During this time, Kampmann received promotion to major but, due to ill health, was eventually ordered to establish a factory in La Grange for the manufacture of uniforms.

Grave of John Herman Kampmann
Photograph, Grave of John Herman Kampmann in San Antonio. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.

After the war, Kampmann returned to Bexar County, where he played an important role in the public affairs of San Antonio. He operated a furniture factory, which boasted 150 employees as well as the city's first steam engine. He supervised the construction of several hotels and houses. During the 1870s Kampmann was regarded as one of Bexar County's leading builders and contractors. In 1879 he provided office space for the Bexar County courthouse. In 1884 he helped fund the construction of the Lone Star Brewery. Around this time, Kampmann lived in semi-retirement and devoted time to the raising of exotic cattle. On September 7, 1885,, while in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Kampmann died. He was returned home and buried in San Antonio. In 1891 his estate, by virtue of his wife Carolina, donated land for the construction of a new courthouse for Bexar County.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Beyond the Alamo, Neighborhood Discovery Tours Guidebook copy: East Side/Ellis Alley, City of San Antonio, Office of Cultural Affairs, 2002 (http://www.americansforthearts.org/napd/files/10993/beyond%20the%20alamo%20sample%20neighborhood%20discovery%20tour.pdf), accessed March 17, 2011. Biographical Encyclopedia of Texas (New York: Southern, 1880). Frank W. Johnson, A History of Texas and Texans (5 vols., ed. E. C. Barker and E. W. Winkler [Chicago and New York: American Historical Society, 1914; rpt. 1916]). Memorial and Genealogical Record of Southwest Texas (Chicago: Goodspeed, 1894; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Sylvia Ann Santos, Courthouses of Bexar County 1731-1978 (San Antonio: Bexar County Historical Commission, 1979). Texas Archival Resources Online: Alfred Giles: An Inventory of his Drawings, 1878-1907 (http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/utaaa/00044/aaa-00044.html), accessed June 8, 2006. San Antonio Light, September 14, 1885.

Aragorn Storm Miller

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The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this article.

Handbook of Texas Online, Aragorn Storm Miller, "Kampmann, John Herman ," accessed August 23, 2016, http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fka17.

Uploaded on April 6, 2011. Modified on April 20, 2016. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.