Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 6, Number 3, September, 1996 Page: 121
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Consider the Lily: The Ungilded History of Colorado County, Texas
land she requested was vacant and to avoid hiring another surveyor to extend the already
platted boundaries of the survey, she simply allowed Zimmerscheidt to have the disputed
area and settled for less than a full league.9
Though Zimmerscheidt must certainly have been relieved to finally secure title
to his league, the fact that he had done so meant that he was compelled to honor several
bonds to convey some of the property to others. Three such bonds that stemmed from his
attempt to patent the land six or seven years earlier, which he apparently felt had been
secured from him by sharpers, led him into more legal troubles. The first involved John G.
Welchmeyer, to whom Zimmerscheidt had promised to convey 500 acres in return for
securing his patent. Though Welchmeyer had not lived long enough to fulfill his part of the
bargain, he had found time to sell half the land to Charles Kesler, and he and Kesler had
persuaded Zimmerscheidt, whose inability to speak English was only one of his limitations
in such matters, to sign a bond in which he promised to convey the 250 acres directly to
Kesler as soon as he secured his patent. In addition, Zimmerscheidt had promised to convey
another 250 acres to Kesler, for which Kesler was to pay him $750: $350 immediately, and
$400 when the title was made. On February 22, 1843, Zimmerscheidt sued to have the first
bond with Kesler annulled, claiming that he had mistakenly left out of it the precise
stipulation that the bond was to be invalid if Welchmeyer failed to secure his patent. On
September 4, a jury agreed with him, ruling the bond invalid. Kesler objected, and on the
same day, the court overruled its verdict. Zimmerscheidt came back to court a year later,
amending his petition to state that he had signed the bond on the basis of a fraudulent
synopsis of it provided to him by Kesler, the man who stood to benefit the most from it.
Kesler claimed that Welchmeyer, who spoke both fluent English and German, had
explained the bond to Zimmerscheidt and that there was no fraud involved. Further, he said,
he had paid Welchmeyer $250 for the land. But, on September 5, 1844, Zimmerscheidt won
Zimmerscheidt evidently had forgotten about another bond to make title he had
made several years earlier, but the man to whom he had made it, John Hennings, had not.
On August 28, 1839, Hennings had secured Zimmerscheidt's promise to convey 250 acres
to him after he took title to his league, or to pay him $4000 if he failed to do so.
9 Friedrich Adolph Zimmerscheidt, Colorado District First Class File 16, Original Land Grant
Collection, Archives and Records Division, Texas General Land Office, Austin; Colorado County Deed
Records, Book F, p. 64; Caspar Simon, Colorado District First Class File 60, Original Land Grant Collection,
Archives and Records Division, Texas General Land Office, Austin. The final Casper Simon Survey was
3043.23 acres, meaning that Elizabeth Pieper's decision not to hire another surveyor cost her nearly 1400 acres.
10 Colorado County District Court Records, Civil Cause File No. 223: Friedrich A. Zimmerscheidt
v. Charles Kesler, Final Record Book B, pp. 520-530, Minute Book A & B, pp. 157, 182, 202, 240; Colorado
County Deed Records, Book B, pp. 364-371. Though he did not say so, Kesler had, on January 29, 1840, already
sold the 500 acres he hoped to get from Zimmerscheidt to a man from Philadelphia (see Colorado County Deed
Records, Book I, p. 158).
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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/m1/9/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed May 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.