Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 6, Number 3, September, 1996 Page: 124
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
entire German settlement around it. Frels, however, did not remain a storekeeper for long.
It seems that by 1850, he had conveyed his store to Friedrich Jurgens. On January 24, that
year, he sold Jurgens the fifteen acres on which both the store and Jurgens' house rested.
Soon afterward, he conveyed tracts of 2.56 and 1.54 acres across the road from Jtirgens
Store to Gerhard Heinsohn and Carl Friedrich Sophus Jordt, and two tracts comprising a
total of 6.4 acres, one on each side of the road, to Melchior Kross. Jordt constructed on his
tract a store, to which, by the end of 1852, the post office had been moved.'5
About four years earlier, the local Catholics had built their second church, this
one near the newly installed road. In the three years of its existence, the German Catholic
parish, by then renamed St. Peter, had succeeded to such a degree that a priest, who signed
his name in the Latin tradition of the church as Joannes Adamus Jacobs, was assigned to
it. Jacobs' first activity, a marriage and seven baptisms, came on April 5, 1847. Two months
later, the parish had a tract of 62.5 acres south of Frels' store surveyed. In 1848, they
purchased the land and, one must assume, shortly afterward built their new church on it.
The parish soon embraced another patron saint, and has ever afterward been known as Sts.
Peter and Paul.'6
15 Colorado County Deed Records, Book D, p. 294, Book G, p. 489; Book H, pp. 566, 567, Book
I, p. 78; Colorado County Commissioners Court Minutes, Book A, p. 101, Book 1, pp. 1, 9; Record of
Appointment of Postmasters 1832-September 30, 1971, National Archives Microfilm Publication M841, Roll
122. That Frels had sold his store to Juirgens before he conveyed the property on which both it and Jiirgens' home
sat is deduced from the very low price that Jiirgens paid for the fifteen acres: $25. Certainly, had the store been
included in the deal, the price would have been higher. The two deeds by which Frels conveyed the small tracts
to Heinsohn and Jordt are dated August 5, 1853; and that by which he conveyed the two tracts to Kross, February
17, 1854. However, one of Kross' tracts, and Heinsohn's and Jordt's tracts, are depicted on a map that is included
in the deed to Heinsohn; and Heinsohn's and Jordt's deeds each refer to the other's tract as a landmark, suggesting
that all three of Frels' deals had been made sometime earlier. One must imagine that Jordt' s Store had certainly
been constructed before December 21, 1852, the date on which he became postmaster.
On its first page, the booklet entitled The History of Frelsburg reports that at some point the locals
took a vote to select a name for their community; that the contest was between Pipersville and Frelsburg; and
that the vote was split along ecclesiastical lines, with the Lutheran Frels beating the Catholic Peter Pieper by
one vote. This story is attributed to "an unpublished manuscript detailing the recollections of Mrs. Otto
Schneider." The woman in question was evidently Wilhelmina Marie Schneider, who, according to her
tombstone in Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Cemetery in Frelsburg, was born August 1, 1885-more than thirty
years after the name Frelsburg was first used. Her authority for the story of the election is unknown. Nowhere
does it say who organized the election, or for what purpose the community needed an official name. Probably,
the name Frelsburg was picked by Frels, who, in addition to being the postmaster was, after all, the owner of
the town site. The place was not called Frelsburg in the Colorado County Commissioners Court minutes until
May 18, 1852 (see Book 2, p. 65).
16 Colorado County Deed Records, Book G, p. 9; Baptismal Records and Marriage Records, Sts.
Peter & Paul Catholic Church, Frelsburg. In the records maintained by the county government, Father Jacobs
signed his name, more conventionally, as John A. Jacobs (see for instance, Colorado County Marriage Records,
Book B, p. 81). Little is known of Jacobs. He certainly was in Houston on February 15, 1847, when he baptized
an infant girl (see Baptismal Records of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church, Houston, 1841-1860, Record No.
151). Shortly afterward, of course, he came to Frelsburg. Three years from the day of his first activity there,
on April 5, 1850, he died of cholera at Indianola. In writing of his death, Jean Marie Odin called him "an old
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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/m1/12/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed October 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.