Filed Under Architecture

Diedrich A. W. Rulfs (1848-1926)

Diedrich Rulfs studies the Jones House, with his notes and tools in front of him. It was just his second commission. The Queen Anne styled house built in 1897 was only one of his many brilliant designs. [1]

Diedrich Anton Wilhelm Rulfs was born in Oldenburg, Germany, on March 6, 1848. A family friend, John Schmidt, invited Rulfs to come to Nacogdoches, and in 1880, Rulfs, his wife, three children, mother-in-law, and brother-in-law arrived in Nacogdoches. The family's first home was on a farm about three and a half miles south of town off of what is now Shawnee Street. In 1884, Rulfs bought a piece of property on East Main Street and constructed a modest home and three rental properties. Schmidt also helped Rulfs build his reputation around Nacogdoches by commissioning him to build and renovate several of his downtown businesses and personal residences. Rulfs brought with him to Nacogdoches different European architecture styles. He began building in the Victorian Queen Anne style; however, Rulfs's style evolved, and he mixed and matched Victorian style with other styles such as Gothic, Neoclassical, Bungalow, and Prairie. [1]

Many of Rulfs’s buildings still stand today, including Zion Hill First Baptist Church and many downtown buildings. Diedrich Rulfs changed the appearance of Nacogdoches, and local newspaper editor R.W. Haltom stated, "There is no man in Nacogdoches to whom the city is more indebted for the beauty and splendor of her scores of elegant residences and the stateliness of her business houses than to Diedrich Rulfs." [1 & 2]

In 2009, Chris Adams published, Diedrich Rulfs: Master Architect of Nacogdoches, as a photograph catalog of Rulfs’s work. Then in 2014, Dr. Jere Jackson published Diedrich Rulfs: Designing Modern Nacogdoches, a visual legacy of Rulfs’s architecture in Nacogdoches. [3]

The Diedrich Rulfs Statue is located on the lawn of the Jones House at 141 North Church Street. Friends of Historic Nacogdoches, Inc. sponsored the bronze statue sculpted by Michael Pavlosky. The dedication of this statue was on August 29, 2013. Pavlosky designed the sculpture showing Diedrich Rulfs designing the 1897 Roland Jones home. [4]


Diedrich A. W. Rulfs
Some people refer to Diedrich as Nacogdoches' master architect because of his work.
Diedrich A. W. Rulfs
Did you know that Rulfs and his wife had six children?
Diedrich A. W. Rulfs
Did you know Diedrich Rulfs also designed and built furniture?
Eugene Blount House This building is at 1801 North St. Nacogdoches, Tx. Eugene Blount, the original owner of the house, asked Deidrich Rulfs to design the home, and in 1923, Rulfs built the home on the site of the home of Thomas J. Rusk Source: For more information visit,
Old Wettermark Bank Building This building is at 120 East Main St. Nacogdoches, Tx. Wettermark Bank purchased the lot for $2,500 in 1896 and commissioned Deidrich Rulfs to design the new building. In 1903, Ben S. Wettermark closed the bank and fled with all of the contents of the vault. Authorities did not ever recover any of the cash, and later reports placed Wettermark in South America. Source: For more information visit,
The Cox Building This building is at 123 East Main St. Nacogdoches, Tx. In 1888, John H. Cox used the first floor of the building as a hardware store and the second floor as a funeral parlor. Source: For more information visit,



To find "Diedrich Rulfs: Master Architect of Nacogdoches" visit,
Emily Smith, “Diedrich A. W. Rulfs (1848-1926),” East Texas History, accessed September 30, 2022,