Since its original printing in 1952, the publication of the Handbook of Texas has been made possible through the support of its users. As an independent nonprofit, TSHA relies on your contributions to close the funding gap for the online Handbook and keep it a freely accessible resource for users worldwide. Please make a donation today to preserve the most comprehensive encyclopedic resource on Texas history. Donate Today »


Walter P. Noser

PIEPER, PETER (ca. 1793–1855). 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.


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).

Image Use Disclaimer

All copyrighted materials included within the Handbook of Texas Online are in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 related to Copyright and “Fair Use” for Non-Profit educational institutions, which permits the Texas State Historical Association (TSHA), to utilize copyrighted materials to further scholarship, education, and inform the public. The TSHA makes every effort to conform to the principles of fair use and to comply with copyright law.

For more information go to:

If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.


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

Handbook of Texas Online, Walter P. Noser, "PIEPER, PETER," accessed July 18, 2019,

Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Modified on May 4, 2019. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

Get this week's most popular Handbook of Texas articles delivered straight to your inbox