Klingelhoefer, Johann Jost (1802–1886)

By: Martin Donell Kohout

Type: Biography

Published: 1976

Updated: April 19, 2016

Johann Jost Klingelhoefer, third chief justice of Gillespie County, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Daniel Klingelhoefer IV, was born in Eibelshausen, Nassau, on July 11, 1802. He was educated as a surveyor at Schmalkalden and Dresden. He and his first wife, Elisabeth (Weil), had four children. After his first wife's death he married Elisabeth Heiland. He and his family arrived at Galveston with the Adelsverein on the brig Johann Dethardt on January 12, 1846, and moved first to New Braunfels and subsequently, in the spring of 1847, to Fredericksburg. In Fredericksburg his second wife bore him two sons. Klingelhoefer was elected chief justice of Gillespie County in 1850 but had to give up the office when his opponent, Mormon leader Lyman Wight, pointed out that Klingelhoefer was not yet an American citizen. After Wight was ousted the following year, however, Klingelhoefer, who had by then become a citizen, was elected again. During his administration, work began on the first Gillespie County Courthouse. Klingelhoefer also served as justice of the peace from 1852 to 1853 and from 1856 to 1861. He was a charter member of Fredericksburg's first Democratic club, the Reform Verein, founded in 1853, and fiercely opposed secession before the Civil War. He was bitterly disappointed when his son August volunteered for the Confederate Army; August was later reported missing in action at Vicksburg, Mississippi. Klingelhoefer died on May 1, 1886, and was buried in Fredericksburg.

Gillespie County Historical Society, Pioneers in God's Hills (2 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1960, 1974).


  • Peoples
  • Germans
  • Politics and Government
  • Activism and Social Reform
  • Organizations

The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.

Martin Donell Kohout, “Klingelhoefer, Johann Jost,” Handbook of Texas Online, accessed November 28, 2021, https://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/entries/klingelhoefer-johann-jost.

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April 19, 2016