Peter Pieper, an early land promoter in Frelsburg, Colorado County, Texas, son of Casper Pieper, was born about 1793, probably in Münster, Westphalia. He was a brickmason by trade and immigrated to Texas in 1833. He was granted a league and a labor of land in 1836 in Stephen F. Austin's colony and an additional 320 acres as bounty for service (May 5, 1836-August 23, 1836) after the battle of San Jacinto. He and his family were in the Runaway Scrape, according to Caroline von Hinueber. Pieper is credited with helping to lay out the town of Frelsburg in the late 1830s or 1840s. According to one story, Catholics supported "Piepersville" as the name for the new community, and Lutherans favored "Frelsburg" (for John and William Frels). The name Frelsburg was selected by a margin of one vote. From 1837 to 1855 Pieper sold some sixty parcels of land in the Peter Pieper and Casper Simon leagues. In 1847 he gave seventy-two acres to build a Catholic church in Frelsburg. He was married on September 16, 1826, in Münster to Elizabeth Dedich Menke, a widow whose son, Anton Menke Pieper, became sheriff of Comal County in 1850. Peter and Elizabeth had a daughter. In 1838 Pieper married Elizabeth Kotter Simon, the widow of Casper Simon. They had three children. Pieper died in Frelsburg; in March 1855 Antone Burttschell was named administrator of Pieper's estate.
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Colorado County Historical Commission, Colorado County Chronicles from the Beginning to 1923 (2 vols., Austin: Nortex, 1986). Garnett Pickett and Walter P. Noser, Early German Immigrants to Bernardo, Mentz, Frelsburg in Colorado County (1981). Walter P. Noser, "Peter Pieper and Neighbors of Colorado County," German-Texan Heritage Society Newsletter 9 (Fall 1987).
Founders and Pioneers
The following, adapted from the Chicago Manual of Style, 15th edition, is the preferred citation for this entry.
Walter P. Noser,
Handbook of Texas Online,
accessed August 17, 2022,
Published by the Texas State Historical Association.
Original Publication Date:
May 1, 1995
Most Recent Revision Date:
April 28, 2019