Most historic houses in King William are known by the name of the first owner – the builder of the house. Sometimes, that owner might have lived in the house only a short time before moving on. A subsequent owner often established roots leaving a legacy far exceeding that of the house’s builder. Such is the case with “The Kalteyer House” at 425 King William.
A chance meeting with a tourist from Minneapolis has yielded a wealth of neighborhood history and photos. Chuck Gribble and his wife were in San Antonio to visit ancestral sites, one being the house at 425 King William Street where Chuck’s grandmother, Paula Seeling Pardo, once lived. Chuck’s great-grandfather, Ed Seeling, bought the house in 1907.
George Kalteyer, who built the house in 1891, died six years later in 1897 at age 48. His widow, Johanna, wanting a smaller residence, built the house at 332 King William in 1907 and sold 425 King William to Ed Seeling. Seeling and his family lived in the house for the next 35 years.
Ed Seeling was 21 years old in 1872 when he boarded the ship Weser in Hamburg bound for New York City. After making his way to Del Valle, now a suburb of Austin, Seeling started a general store and cotton gin, eventually moving into real estate. In 1884, Ed married Clara Schuhmann, who was born in Fayette County, Texas of German immigrant parents. Ed and Clara had three daughters: Ella, Paula and Clara.
In 1903, Seeling‘s fortunes were such that he was able to purchase the famous Driskill Hotel in Austin for a bargain price of $80,000. Just four years later, in 1907, he sold the hotel for $100,000. With the profits, he purchased the substantial home at 425 King William Street, the most fashionable residential neighborhood in San Antonio at the time. Over the next several years, all three Seeling daughters were married on the verandah of 425 King William Street.
After moving to San Antonio, Seeling continued his real estate ventures, notably, Parkview Estates near Bandera and St. Cloud. Today there is a small green space named Seeling Park surrounded by streets named after his married daughters: Lowery, Pardo and Jamieson.
Ed Seeling died January 28, 1938 at age 86. He is buried at St. John’s Lutheran Cemetery. His daughter, Clara, and son-in-law, J. E. Lowery, continued to live at 425 King William until 1942.
- Bill Cogburn
Sources: Interview and notes from Chuck Gribble; The Jamieson Family History by Tim Jamieson; Mary Burkholder’s The King William Area, A History & Guide to the Houses. Photos courtesy of Tim Jamieson.