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HISTORY

The history of the Altgelt Family began in 1852 when Ernst Hermann Altgelt emigrated from Germany to the United States. In 1854 he ventured into the South Texas Hill Country and founded the city of Comfort approximately 50 miles northwest of San Antonio. The city provided German immigrants a community with similar ideals and the common desire to live in an intellectually driven society free from the encumbrances of a strict local government. Ernst decided to increase his real estate investments and expand his influence into San Antonio. In 1866 he built the first house on King William Street and was accorded the privilege of naming it after Kaiser Wilhelm I of Prussia. The area attracted other successful immigrants and Ernst took the responsibility of planning the entire neighborhood now known as the Historic King William District. The King William Street is the backbone of the district and is now one of the most prominent and historic streets in San Antonio. Then in 1871 Ernst established the “Wassenberg” ranch home as an Altgelt family retreat into the hills near Comfort. Altgelt built a more elaborate second home on King William just before his death in 1878.

Around the turn of the century the Altgelt family continued to add to their rich heritage in San Antonio by co-founding one of the pioneer insurance agencies in South Texas. In 1900 the agency was established by Mr. Will Sanger. A few years later Woodward W. Altgelt Sr., grandson of Ernst Altgelt, formed a partnership with Mr. Sanger and began doing business as Sanger & Altgelt. In 1947, Woodward’s son, W.W. Altgelt Jr., joined the agency after serving in the European Theater at the end of World War II. Then in 1950 the Sanger family sold their interest in the partnership and the Altgelts became the principals of the agency.

The fundamental values that W. W. Altgelt Sr. engrained on the agency were carried on by his son, W. W. Altgelt Jr. for the next 41 years. W. W. Altgelt Jr. is known for his integrity, honesty, involvement in each and every client issue, and being a man of his word. In 1974 his daughter, Christine Altgelt Haynes, and son-in-law, Joe N. Haynes joined him in the agency and became principals. Joe and Christine continue to build on the traditions and values established by the first two Altgelt generations. In fact, Joe and Christine Haynes reestablished the family’s “Wassenberg” ranch on the Cypress Creek in 1996. Their daughter, Heather Haynes Kraft, became the fourth generation to contribute to the company’s success in 1998. Today the agency is at its most successful point to date and eagerly anticipates the years that lie ahead. No matter the year the values and traditions established by four generations of Altgelts will continue to guide Sanger & Altgelt through the tests of time.


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The Altgelt house on King William.
©2002 Sanger & Altgelt. All Rights Reserved.
Sanger & Altgelt
tel: 210.734.6677
fax: 210.734.6771