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Detering Family & Business Papers

Identifier: 2014-009

This collection contains deeds, abstracts of title, legal files, real estate sales records, and many other materials related to businesses and properties held by various members of the Detering family from 1871-1989. The collection has been divided into five series: Properties, Legal Files, Trust and Estate Papers, Business Papers, and Financial Papers. Folders within each series (or subseries) are arranged chronologically.


  • 1871-1989

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Special Collections owns the physical items in our collections, but copyright normally belongs to the creator of the materials or their heirs. The researcher has full responsibility for determining copyright status, obtaining permission to publish from copyright holders, and abiding by current copyright laws when publishing or displaying copies of Special Collections material in print or electronic form. For more information, consult the appropriate librarian. Reproduction decisions will be made by Special Collections staff on a case-by-case basis.


9.0 linear feet

Biographical Information

The Detering family has lived and worked in the Houston area for over a century, owning numerous Houston properties and several long-standing businesses. Herman Eberhard Detering (1862-1927) moved from Germany to Houston, Texas in 1881. Upon moving to Houston, his first job was working for Henke’s Grocery. Soon after, Detering purchased a lot at 3028 Washington Avenue, where he opened the Detering General Store. He married Helena “Lina” Stuer in 1891, and they made their home above the store. The five Detering children, Alma, Elsa Anna, Herman Eberhard, Carl August, and Lenora Lina, were all born at home on Washington Avenue. In 1895, Mr. Detering bought another business, the Houston Broom Factory, and located it behind the grocery store, on Center Street. The grocery store was closed in approximately 1913, after the family moved to McGowen Street. Herman Eberhard Detering also became a real estate entrepreneur early on, buying and selling land all over the Houston area. According to family lore, Eberhard believed Houston waterways would be used for transportation but did not know which bayous would be important, so he bought on all of them. He had several real estate partnerships, including Bottler & Detering and Kalb & Detering.

The Detering children continued in the family businesses and real estate ventures. In 1926, Carl Detering opened The Detering Company, a provider of building materials and supplies, in the same location as their father’s grocery store. He was joined shortly thereafter by his brother, Herman. Alma Detering kept an office at the Detering Company as well, and ran the Houston Broom Factory from there until its closure in the 1940s. Alma also oversaw the accounting for the family’s other businesses and properties during this time. The Woodridge Company (a partnership between Herman and Carl) and Carl Detering Developer (a business in which Alma and Herman were also heavily involved) are two examples of businesses created by the Detering children to manage real estate development. Other companies associated with the Detering family included the Detering Concrete Tile Company, Turning Basin Development Company, the Detering Company of Beaumont, Inc., and the Detering Galleries.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Donated by Deborah Detering on August 19, 2014.

Guide to the Detering Family & Business Papers
Stacey Lavender
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Houston Libraries Special Collections Repository

University of Houston Libraries Special Collections
MD Anderson Library
4333 University Drive
Houston TX 77204-2000 USA