Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 6, Number 3, September, 1996 Page: 123
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Consider the Lily: The Ungilded History of Colorado County, Texas
Henry Buescher, John D. Vogelsang, and Adam and John Braden all acquired farms in the
Zimmerscheidt Survey. The German settlement grew remarkably rapidly. By 1850, more
than one-third of the county's free white residents had been born in Germany."3
Despite the population increase among the Germans, the move to establish
Hermann University made little progress. The trustees did manage to secure the league of
land that had been accorded the school by its charter, appointing Ottfried Hans Freiherr
[John O.] Meusebach on September 10, 1845 to locate the league in Gillespie County, and
taking title to it on February 8, 1849. Further developments, however, were arrested, at
least in part because of disputes regarding its location and a lack of willingness to support
it by the large number of local German Catholics. On April 11, 1846, the state legislature
passed two amendments to the university's charter. The first allowed the board of trustees
to locate the school anywhere they wished; the second removed the suggestion that the
theological faculty be Protestant. While the trustees struggled to develop their ambitious
university, the Colorado County Germans established a lesser school for their children.
That school was in place by the summer of 1844.14
Another important installation in the German settlement arose out of the
purchase of a 102 acre tract on the east side of the James Cummins Upper Hacienda Survey
by William Frels on March 25, 1843. Two years later, when a road was laid out from
Columbus to Brenham, it went through the eastern edge of the Frels tract. By the summer
of 1846, Frels had established a store on the west side of the new road. Frels' store was the
first of a cluster of buildings along and near the road. On August 31, 1847, the Cummins
Creek Post Office, of which Frels had been postmaster since it had been established in 1842,
went out of existence. Three weeks later, on September 22, 1847, Frels was named the
postmaster of the new post office in the area, which was almost certainly located inside his
store. The new post office was named Frelsburg, a name which was soon applied to the
13 Colorado County Deed Records, Book E, pp. 297, 357, 547, Book F, pp. 65, 222, 269, 271, 348,
375, 389, 396, 504, 507, 514, Book G, pp. 39, 42, 66, 135; Seventh Census of the United States (1850), Schedule
1, Colorado County, Texas. The census listed 1536 free white people in Colorado County in 1850, of whom
552 were said to have been born in Germany. The activities of the Verein zum Schutz deutscher Einwanderer
in Texas, commonly called the Adelsverein, which began bringing German settlers to Texas in the mid 1840s,
seemingly had little to do with the growth of the German community in northern Colorado County. Most of the
Adelsverein colonists apparently settled in and around New Braunfels in what would become Comal County or
in and north of Fredericksburg in what would become Gillespie and Llano Counties.
14 Bexar District First Class File 781, Original Land Grant Collection, Archives and Records
Division, Texas General Land Office, Austin; Gammel, ed., The Laws of Texas 1822-1897, vol. 2, p. 1384;
Colorado County Commissioners Court Records, Book A, p. 59. Meusebach had arrived in Texas the previous
April to assume the position of commissioner-general of the Adelsverein from the departing Prince Carl of
Solms-Braunfels. Since the Adelsverein's activities were centered in Comal County, well away from the
Colorado County base of Hermann University, Meusebach's appointment might seem odd. However,
Ervendberg, who had by then gone to Comal County, was still president of the board of trustees when the
appointment was made. Both he and Meusebach seem to have had designs on eventually building the university
in Comal County.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 6, Number 3, September, 1996, periodical, September 1996; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151398/m1/11/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.