This establishment was built by Fridolin Hans in 1887 from sheet iron and lumber hauled from San Antonio in wagons. During the 1890s this was a vaudeville house where locals came to do shows. The Cotton Gin on the corner of the property was rebuilt in 1890 after the original gin burned down. It was in operation until the boll weevil wiped out the Texas cotton crops in 1933.

The cash register William bought in 1905 still sits in the saloon behind the original bar that he hand carved himself
Original Cotton Gin
WIlliam Specht’s Cash Register and Hand Carved Mirror
Original Wall Separating Saloon and Store

William Specht, a dealer in dry goods, groceries, notions and tires, bought the store in 1908. He renamed it Specht’s Store and added a saloon and Dancehall.

Since women weren’t allowed in saloons, William built the wall separating the saloon from the general store where the shelving is today. He also created two entrances, both of which are still used today. Among other things, William was a bandleader, a coffin maker, and a skilled carpenter. He hand carved the large mirror, circa 1920, that still hangs over the bar. He made the present-day wine rack in the dining room from ammo boxes and fruit crates – and sold car parts and hardware from the cubicles. The Oompa-band horn he played at the dance hall now hangs from the ceiling in the dining room.

Legend has it that even during Prohibition, William had beer when no one else did.
(L – R) Richard Specht, Arnold Klabunde, Al Lambrecht, Henry Schmidt & Doug Klabunde.

Old-timers say that the soldiers would bring German POWs to the saloon during WWII. The soldiers and POWs (who were German farmers) would sit around and drink beer together. At one time a wooden bowling alley existed alongside the store, and several hand carved wooden bowling balls from that era still remain on display.

William Specht’s son Richard, carried the news to locals on horseback until the switchboard, that still hangs on the wall, was installed in 1915. After William, Richard Specht operated the establishment for 42 years. The ghost of his wife, Hulda Specht, can still be witnessed pulling pictures off the walls in the house next door, and it’s not unusual to hear the sounds of her rocking chair haunting the night.

Henry and Alberta Schmidt, who lived in the farm house across the road, owned the store and operated the switchboard from 1961 to 1974. Following the Schmidt’s, Frank and Pat Spellman leased and operated Specht’s Store for the next 11 years.