Old Riedel Dam and Early Industries
Texas Historical Marker
 

250 yards west lie the remains of a pioneer dam built in 1869 by Carl Edward Riedel to supply the power for his sawmill, gristmill and cotton gin.

That year another German immigrant, Max Krueger, helped install Riedel's gin-- first steam cotton gin in Karnes County. Shortly before, Krueger had built the barracks to house 50 U. S. Cavalrymen near Helena. Within 2 years a town grew up near Riedel's industries and was named Riddleville in his honor. On June 9, 1871, the U. S. postal records were moved from Ecleto post office (3 miles up the creek, where Kelly's Stage Stand stood) to the post office here.

Between 1870 and 1886 Riddleville was one of the 5 principal towns in Karnes County. It was located at the crossing of the Helena-Gonzales Road and the Yorktown-Sutherland Springs Road. In 1876 its population was about 75. In 1905 the name of the town was changed to Gillett. With lumber from his mill, Riedel had built a hotel, which was destroyed by fire about 1905; but he immediately built a second hotel. Many homes and business houses in this area were constructed of Riedel's lumber, which can still be found today in existing Karnes County buildings. (1969)

 
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