Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 6, Number 2, May, 1996 Page: 81
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Consider the Lily: The Ungilded History of Colorado County, Texas
league which he claimed as his own, he had hired John G. Welchmeyer to secure the title,
pledging to pay him with 500 acres after the title was delivered. Welchmeyer, however,
died before he could fulfill his part of the bargain. In September 1841, Zimmerscheidt
turned to a local attorney, Asa M. Lewis, and sued the republic for his title. On December
3, the district court ruled that he should indeed be given title. Shortly, he too would begin
selling land to German-speaking settlers. In 1842, he and Pieper found buyers in Fred Ed
Mueller and Caspar Heimann.3'
By the 1840s, the German settlers had begun to refer to their community, or
to segments within it, by, apparently, a variety of names. The earliest, found in an 1840
conveyance of property, was Westminster. Another contemporaneous name, apparently
used as early as 1841, was Blumenthal. However, the most common name, and the one that
was used to designate the post office that went in on January 24, 1842, was also the name
of the principal waterway through the settlement, Cummins Creek.32
In September 1842, a number of the German settlers signed a petition to the
congress decrying the lack of educational opportunities for their children and imploring
them to provide a charter for an institution of higher learning to be named Hermann's
University. The congress honored their request, though not until January 27, 1844. The
new university, which was to be located near either Mill Creek or Cummins Creek, was
to have teachers who were conversant in both German and English, and was to embrace
four disciplines: theology, law, medicine, and philosophy. The charter set up a board of
31 Peter Pieper, Colorado District First Class File 38, and Bernard Beimer, Colorado District First
Class File 5, both in Original Land Grant Collection, Archives and Records Division, Texas General Land
Office, Austin; Colorado County Deed Records, Book C, pp. 125, 132, 136, 139, 141, 143, 145, 147, 149;
Book D, p. 34, Book E, pp. 77, 216; Colorado County Bond and Mortgage Records, Book B, p. 104; James
Webb and Thomas H. Duval, Reports of Cases Argued and Decided in the Supreme Court of the State of Texas
[Texas Reports], vol. 1 (Galveston, 1848), pp. 50-57; Colorado County District Court Records, Civil Cause
File No. 168: Friedrich A. Zimmerscheidt v. Republic of Texas, Minute Book A & B, p. 272, Civil Cause File
No. 450: John Hennings v. Friedrich A. Zimmerscheidt. Welchmeyer had been associated with the Keslers, or
at least with Kesler's Arcade, in Houston (see The [Houston] Morning Star, April 26, 1839 and subsequent
32 Colorado County Bond and Mortgage Records, Book B, p. 230; Bill Stein, Wolfram M. Von-
Maszewski, Marie Rose Remmel, and others, transcribers, Jim Kearney and Wolfram M. Von-Maszewski,
translators, "Excerpts from the Kirchenbuch of Louis Cachand Ervendberg, " Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal,
vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 46-47; Day, comp. and ed., Post Office Papers of the Republic of Texas 1836-1839, p. 65.
Though the Cummins Creek Post Office was said to be in Fayette County, William Frels was its first postmaster.
The 1986 booklet entitled The History of Frelsburg (New Ulm: New Ulm Enterprise Print, 1986) states that the
community was once also called Kraewinkel. This name does not appear in any contemporaneous source. As
Anders Saustrup has pointed out, Krahwinkel was the name of the provincial town in August von Kotzebue's
1803 play "Die deutschen Kleinstadter" and has since been used, in an amusing and vaguely derogatory manner,
to describe similarly provincial small towns (see Jean Gross and Anders Saustrup, trans. and eds., "From
Coblenz to Colorado County, 1843-1844: Early Leyendecker Letters to the Old Country, " Nesbitt Memorial
Library Journal, vol. 1, no. 6, August 1990, pp. 200-201). Some literate members or observers of the community
may have used the name as a joke, a joke which went undetected by the less literate, who subsequently and
innocently passed the name down to their descendants.
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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/m1/21/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.