Frederick Christian Zedler

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Frederick Christian Zedler

Birthplace: Friedberg, Aichach-Friedberg, Bayern, Germany
Death: September 15, 1932 (92)
Luling, Caldwell Co., TX
Place of Burial: Yorktown, DeWitt County, Texas, United States of America
Immediate Family:

Husband of Louise Fechner
Father of Burdoff Zedler; Helena Zedler; Private; Private; Herman Zedler and 4 others

Managed by: Suzan Martin
Last Updated:

About Frederick Christian Zedler

Family Business and History

[] Zedler's Mill and Park in Luling Texas. History of Zedler Mill- providing water and power for Luling, Texas.

The Zedler Mill Museum and Park is a tranquil place to experience the good life and a beautiful merging point for past and present cultures. The ambiance of the park highlights the gentle San Marcos River's eco-system and the historical rural life that was so much a part of Texas history.

It is hard to imagine life today without electricity and oil to power our lifestyle and industry, but not that long ago, the only power available was from water, steam, or animals. Water power has been used for more than 2,000 years to grind grain, pump water, and perform many other functions. It is not surprising, therefore, that early Texans harnessed the power of our rivers.

Several mills were built along the San Marcos River during the late 1800s. The Zedler Mill, which is the only remaining example, was established in 1874 as the Luling community's grist mill. A simple stone dam was built by Leonidas Hardeman and two brothers, John and James Merriweather - all three from Tennessee. They added a cotton gin to the site in 1883 and installed a water wheel at the dam to produce power for their machine shop. It was known as the Merriweather Mill at that time.

In 1885, Bob Innes, John Orchard, J.K. Walker, and a German immigrant mill expert named Fritz Zedler, purchased the site and mill equipment naming it the "Luling Water Power Company". Soon they added a lumber sawmill and Fritz Zedler replaced the existing stone dam with a wooden dam and penstock that could generate more power. Buying out his three partners within a few years, Fritz Zedler became sole owner in 1888 and invited his oldest son, Berthold, to be his partner. Not long after the acquisition, the entire three-story facility caught fire in October 1888 and was totally destroyed. The citizens of Luling promised to hold the sale of their cotton crops for the Zedlers to rebuild. Devastated, but not giving up, the Zedler family rebuilt the mill factory and within seven weeks, it was operational.

Over three generations the Zedler family continued to improve the cotton-grist-lumber mill factory. Steam engines, a concrete dam, mule barns, and a blacksmith shop were added. In 1894, sons Herman and Carl Zedler installed a generator to supply the town of Luling with electric power and the mill remained the only power and water supplier for Luling until the 1920s. The grinding stones for the gristmill were replaced with more modern roller mills and the Zedlers added flour milling to the business along with animal sweet and chop feed products. In the 1950's they were still marketing a feed product called Henscratch and grinding fine cornmeal for Luling's dinner tables.

The unique eighty-year history of Zedler Mill is a true cultural story of how the local settlers and he Zedler family adapted and profited, but after its closure in the late 1950s, Zedler Mill's fate remained in private hands and slowly fell into disrepair. Sadly relinquishing itself to modern ways of industry, all of the mill equipment and power apparatus (with the exception of the turbines), was sold for scrap. In 2002, the Luling Economic Development Corporation purchased the property for the City of Luling. The Zedler Mill Foundation, a non-profit foundation, was formed in 2007 for the purpose of restoring and developing the mill complex. Over the past several years, the Zedler Mill Foundation and the City have invested more than $1.5 million in improving and restoring the Mill buildings. The property is now a City Park and a proud Luling landmark for all to enjoy.

The Zedler Mill Foundation is always striving to improve the Museum. To donate historical items to the Museum or to make a financial donation to the Zedler Mill Foundation, contact: The Zedler Mill Foundation at 509 E. Crockett, Luling TX 78648.

Current Facts

The combined Zedler Mill complex and the City Park is located on 9.32 acres which include the main mill factory and six other industrial site buildings that were required for the operation of the business throughout the years. These seven structures include the main mill factory, corn sheller building, corn crib building, mule barn, scale house, smokehouse, and office. Other points of interest in the Zedler Mill complex include the riverbank frontage, outdoor amphitheater with a stage, canoe dock, and an event Pavilion.

The Fritz Zedler House, built-in 1900, is located across the street from the Mill complex and is available for daily or weekly rentals by calling 830-875-5515.

The Zedler Mill complex serves local citizens and visitors and helps preserve a way of life that is all too unfamiliar with the lifestyles of today. Stop by and learn about Luling's earliest citizens, their cultural heritage, hardships, and endeavors.


Frederick Christian Zedler was born on March 23, 1840 in Friedberg, Aichach-Friedberg, Bayern, Germany.

Frederick married Louise Fechner on February 22, 1863, in Yorktown, De Witt, Texas, United States. Together they had the following children:

  1. Burdoff Zedler;
  2. Helena Zedler;
  3. Johanna Zedler;
  4. Louiza Zedler;
  5. Herman Zedler;
  6. Paul Zedler;
  7. Pauline Zedler;
  8. Francis Zedler;
  9. Charles Zedler.

He died on September 15, 1932, in Luling, Caldwell Co., TX, and was buried in Yorktown, DeWitt County, Texas, United States of America.


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Frederick Christian Zedler's Timeline

March 23, 1840
Friedberg, Aichach-Friedberg, Bayern, Germany
Zedlers Mill, Gonzales County, Texas, USA
February 9, 1874
Zedlers Mill, Gonzales County, Texas, USA
February 20, 1876
Zedlers Mill, Gonzales County, Texas, USA
August 2, 1879
Zedlers Mill, Gonzales, Texas, United States