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KRAUSKOPF, ENGELBERT

KRAUSKOPF, ENGELBERT (1820–1881). Engelbert Krauskopf, a gun-cap manufacturer who supplied Gillespie County with ammunition during the Civil War, was born in Bendorf, Germany, on August 21, 1820. He was originally trained as a cabinetmaker, but gave up that trade and a promised inheritance to become a gunsmith. Krauskopf left Antwerp in November 1845 and arrived in Texas early the following year; he became a hunter for John O. Meusebach and accompanied him to Fredericksburg and to Comanche Springs. Krauskopf settled in Fredericksburg, where he worked as a cabinetmaker and married Rosa Herbst, with whom he had six children. The Comanche chief Santa Anna was a frequent visitor to Krauskopf's workshop and once gave him a peace pipe. Krauskopf also operated one of Fredericksburg's first sawmills and owned the second cotton gin in Gillespie County.

Eventually he became a gunsmith again and once made a gun especially for Robert E. Lee. Krauskopf ordered gunbarrels from the East and made the triggers, hammers, sights, and stocks himself. He was also the Gillespie County agent for the Winchester company and made several improvements to the company's rifles. Winchester eventually patented his improvements, but Krauskopf never received credit for his changes. During the Civil War, when the federal blockade of southern ports made ammunition a precious commodity, Krauskopf and silversmith Adolph Lungkwitz perfected a process for the manufacture of gun-caps in Fredericksburg. Krauskopf was also captain of a home guard company during the war. As an amateur botanist, he discovered a variety of red-flowered yucca on a trip to West Texas; the plant, of the family Liliaceae, bears his name. Krauskopf died on July 11, 1881, and was buried in Fredericksburg.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: 

Fredericksburg Radio-Post, March 9, 1934. Gillespie County Historical Society, Pioneers in God's Hills (2 vols., Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones, 1960, 1974). San Antonio Express, February 18, 1934.

Martin Donell Kohout

Citation

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

Martin Donell Kohout, "KRAUSKOPF, ENGELBERT," Handbook of Texas Online (http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fkr01), accessed April 19, 2014. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.