Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 6, Number 2, May, 1996 Page: 79
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Consider the Lily: The Ungilded History of Colorado County, Texas
Even as Columbus finally got a post office, Egypt, which had maintained its
own post office, secured another advantage over Columbus when, in the summer of 1839,
Andrew J. Northington established a stage coach line that ran between Egypt and Houston.
Meanwhile, in the outlying areas of the county, other settlements had begun to develop. By
1840, enough people had taken up residence along the Navidad and Lavaca Rivers in far
southeastern Colorado County that they were given a post office. The Ives Post Office, with
a postmaster named David Ives, was established on the Lavaca River on May 14, 1840.
Ives' prominence in the community would shortly be superseded by that of Margaret
Hallett, who is usually said to have established the community. Another Colorado County
post office, called Kesler's Bluff, was commissioned on February 26, 1842. Near Skull
Creek, several miles south and slightly east of Columbus, it was manned by a German
postmaster named Charles Kesler.29
Unlike Kesler however, the great majority of the Germans who settled in the
county settled in a rapidly growing community well north of Columbus. Isolated by
language and culture, the German community had quickly developed its own identity. In
1837 and 1838, Peter Pieper sold sizable farms to Jacob Wolters, William Frels, and Johann
Grunder. Though it did not deter him from selling land to Grunder, by the summer of 1838,
Pieper, as well as Bernard Beimer and Friedrich Adolph Zimmerscheidt, had become aware
that the titles to the leagues which they called their own were not recognized by the state.
The constitution had specifically endorsed a decree of the Consultation of 1835 that
effectively invalidated titles to land secured after November 13, 1835 and before the
establishment of the General Land Office of the Republic of Texas. Probably, Pieper was
informed by Wolters that his title was no good. Wolters had received a certificate for a
league on February 4, 1836, six days before Pieper had received his title. Wolters, Pieper,
the city in the intervening five years, but it is unlikely that they would have deigned to destroy their houses as
they left. A hurricane struck Galveston in September 1842, and did rather a lot of damage, however there is
no evidence to suggest that it proceeded any distance inland (see Telegraph and Texas Register, September 21,
1842, September 28, 1842, October 5, 1842, or The [Houston] Morning Star, September 24, 1842, September
29 The [Houston] Morning Star, August 1, 1839; Day, comp. and ed., Post Office Papers of the
Republic of Texas 1836-1839, pp. 65, 67; Petition to the Congress of the Republic to create Lavaca County,
n. d. [c. 1841], Memorials and Petitions, Texas State Archives; Colorado County Commissioners Court
Minutes, Book A, p. 83. For more on Margaret Hallett, see the many books of Paul Carl Boethel, most
particularly History of Lavaca County (Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1959). Kesler's Bluff Post Office was
in the Roland Thompson Survey, where Charles Kesler purchased land on August 2, 1841 (see Colorado County
Deed Records, Book C, p. 102). Kesler was no ordinary immigrant. His brother, Henry, had run two important
early businesses in Houston, Kesler's Arcade and Kesler's Round Tent, and had, reportedly, served on
Houston's city council. After Henry's death, on October 30, 1840, Charles had inherited some $2000 worth of
land and property, including his brother's $400 gold watch (see Harris County Probate Records, Record Book
E, pp. 386-388; Telegraph and Texas Register, October 27, 1838, December 1, 1838; Gustav Dresel, Gustav
Dresel's Houston Journal, Max Freund, trans. (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1954), pp. 32, 89, 108, 131,
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 6, Number 2, May, 1996, periodical, May 1996; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151397/m1/19/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.