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DeWitt Colony Biographies

Biographies here are DeWitt Colonists (surnames beginning H-N) and residents of the region prior to statehood in 1846. This index includes biographies of 1828 Residents, The Battle of Gonzales-Old 18, Gonzales Alamo Relief Force, Gonzales Town Residents and Citizens-Free State of Lavaca.


HALL. Robert Hall aka Brazos.  Came to Texas in 1836 just missing the Battle of San Jacinto to become an active member of the Republic of Texas in numerous Indian battles, including the Battle of Plum Creek, and the Battle of Salado in which the Mexican centralists attempted to re-take Texas. Left his memoirs under the pen name Brazos.

HALLETT. John Hallet.   Margaret Leatherbury Hallett. William Henry HallettJohn Hallett Jr.

HANNIG/DICKINSON.   Susanna Wilkerson Dickinson Hannig, non-combatant survivor of the Battle of the Alamo, was born in 1814, the child of a poor Tennessee family. She married Almeron Dickinson.

HILL. Capt. William Warner Hill is referred to as a onetime resident of the DeWitt Colony in some records. He was born in Somerset, PulaskiCo, Kentucky in 1807 and came to Texas in 1834 where he traded mules and horses in primarily current WashingtonCo. He was a Lt. in Capt. George W. Barnett's Company in Jul 1835 and took command of Infantry Company H, 1st Regiment of Texas Volunteers in Mar 1836. The company fought at San Jacinto under Capt. Stephenson because of Capt. Hill's illness. Capt. Hill remained with the rear guard camp at Harrisburg during the battle. He lived also in Washington and Burleson counties after the battle and died in 1862. He married Maria L. Cole, daughter of John P. and Mary E. Owen Cole, some of the earliest settlers of Texas in 1822. A William Hill, married with a family of 8, received title to a sitio of land on Rocky Creek between the Gonzales town tract and the LavacaCo line, but it is unclear if this William Hill is the same or related.

HODGES. James Sr., James Jr., John Seaborn, Thomas Wilburn. Records from Tipton County, Tennessee indicate that James Hodges Sr. (1775 Virginia - 1846 Texas) arrived in Texas in the early 1830's with his wife Edith Nobles, three daughters, Nancy Elizabeth, Sarah and Edith and four sons, Thomas, James Jr., David and John. James Jr. was the leader of the group which included several others besides the Hodges. The Hodges family left Wales in early colonial days, settled in Tidewater, Virginia for a number of years and then moved to Tipton County, Tennessee where they lived until their move to Texas. The group carried all of their possessions including their slaves, cattle, teams, and even a well-filled medicine chest to Texas by wagon train. They established their camp on the east bank of the San Marcos River a short distance above the junction with the Guadalupe River and farmed land across the river for a time, going back and forth across the river by canoes. The Hodges' settlers at times took refuge in the blockhouse or fort built on the banks of the Guadalupe River for protection against Mexican and Indian raiders. This blockhouse had an underground passage to the river so that the garrison could secure water from this source in time of seige.

The Hodges family and their group were an independent expedition from Tennessee to Texas and they bought the entire Salinas Grant which consisted of four leagues of land. Salinas would not accept the gold which the leader Hodges offered, so they had to travel to New Orleans to exchange it for Mexican silver dollars. It was brought back by pack horses with guards for protection from the Indians. They also bought other land totaling six leagues. The Salinas Grant was their principal settlement, with the exception of one small tract. It comprised all the land in what was known as the forks of the rivers extending from the San Marcos to the Guadalupe River and including all the land between for at least ten miles westward above their junction. This land was divided into large farms and substantial homes were built for the different families of the expedition. In a few years a thriving settlement had been established. The various families of the Hodges settlement took part in what was known as the "Runaway Scrape" after the town of Gonzales was burned by the retreating army of Sam Houston. They went to LaGrange, where they stayed for a year and a half before returning to their homes near Gonzales. Upon their return they found their valuables, which had been buried in a wash pot, intact.

Yoakum's History of Texas, Volume 11, Page 11 recorded that James Hodges Jr. a representative of Gonzales was one of fifty-five members of the Constitutional Convention which met November 1, 1835 at San Felipe de Austin and drafted the Texas Declaration of Independence. James Hodges Jr. (1801 Tennessee March 13, 1853 Gonzales County) married Nancy Johnson (1792 Tennessee -1872 Gonzales County). Their son, James Jackson Hodges (November 23,1828 -August 2,1902) married Martha Pritchett (August 14, 1827 Missouri - January 29, 1911 Gonzales County) and their son, James Ware Hodges (November 28,1855 - July 23,1929) married Mary Emma Nelson Hodges January 19, 1902, the widow of his brother Robert Sion Hodges. Robert and Mary Emma Hodges had three children: Barney Raymond (18921923); Victoria Frances (1895-1966); and Willie Houston (1899-1928). James Ware and Mary Emma Hodges had one child, Hattie, who married Homer M. Burke. Hattie Hodges Burke. (From The History of Gonzales County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of the Gonzales County Historical Commission).

James Hodges Jr. was born in 1801 in Tennessee and died in Gonzales County March 13, 1853. He married Nancy Johnson (1792 Tennessee - 1872 Gonzales County). James Hodges Sr. and brother emigrated from England to fight as allies of the American colonists. They later settled in Norfork, Virginia near the Tidewaters, then moved to Tipton County, Tennessee. They were disinherited by their father, a shipbuilder of Cardiff, Wales. It was said the Hodges shipyard was still in existence one hundred years after the father's death. James Hodges Sr. and his son-in-law Isham Smith made a trip to Texas in the early spring and summer of 1825 to visit Green DeWitt in search of good farming and grazing land. They liked what they saw and returned home and began the preparation for the trip back to Texas. They arrived in Texas the latter part of 1829 or 1830 and purchased approximately 17,000 acres situated in the forks of the Guadalupe and San Marcos Rivers. The story was told that the money paid to Jose Maria Salinas for the land they purchased was buried by Salinas in San Antonio. He died soon thereafter and the money was never found.

The Hodges family that arrived in Texas consisted of James Hodges Sr., his second wife Edith Nobles Hodges, James Jr. and his wife Nancy Johnson Hodges, Thomas, David and John Seaborn Hodges. Douglas Hodges was a son of James Jr. and Nancy Johnson Hodges. He settled in the forks of the rivers on the Hodges land where he was a farmer and rancher. He made several trips to Dodge City, Kansas with the trail drives. He married Lucinda Adaline "Ina" Jarvis and raised four children: Georgie, Alna, Henry and Jarvis. Georgie Hodges married Charles Neubauer, a farmer in Gonzales County and had three children: Aina Hodges married Robert Stamport and lived in Gonzales County in the Greenwood community where she taught school; Henry Hodges, a heavy equipment operator, married Thada Osborn, lived in Gonzales County and had three children but one son died at birth; and Jarvis Hodges, a farmer, rancher and truck driver in his later years, married Effie Mae Staton and had two sons Alvis and one who died in infancy. Alvis, an electrician and refrigeration repairman, worked in Gonzales for some forty-three years. He married Nettie Lee Foster and had one son Wayne Hodges who worked for Cox Oil Well Service. He married Shirley Dolezal and lived next door to this parents in Gonzales County with their two sons, Kenneth and Kristofor. Alvis O. Hodges. (From The History of Gonzales County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of the Gonzales County Historical Commission).

HUGHES. James Hughes is listed in DeWitt Colony land records as having arrived on 15 Feb 1831 receiving title to a an L-shaped quarter sitio of land on 6 Jun 1832 situated on Boggy Creek next to the Jesse McCoy tract on the current Gonzales-DeWittCo line. He was a single man, but listed as arriving with a family of 9 which were probably slaves. James Hughes is thought to have been in one of the rear guard units at Harrisburg in the Republican Army at San Jacinto.

KENT. The complete biography of DeWitt Colony resident and member of the Gonzales Alamo Relief force Andrew Kent and family, part of the extended Burket, Kent and Zumwalt families, who came to the colony from Missouri in 1829 can be found at Andrew Kent 1791-1836.

KINGHenry Basil King came from Paris, Tennessee in 1837 with older brother John Rhodes King and a group of young men who were immigrating to the newly formed Republic of Texas.   They crossed the Sabine River into Texas on September 13, 1837 and at St. Augustine met the George Washington Nichols and Johnson Day families coming from Arkansas.   They arrived at Gonzales, Texas on October 6, 1837.

KING. John Gladden King originally came to Texas with the Gutierrez-McGee Expedition and was present at the Battle of Medina before he settled near Gonzales on his sitio land grant in 1830 on Soul Creek on the northeast bank of the Guadalupe River in current Guadalupe County.

KLEBERG. Robert Justus Kleberg/Kleburg served in Capt. Moseley Baker's Infantry Company D, 1st Regiment of Volunteers, at the Battle of San Jacinto. His reasons for emigrating from Prussia to Texas just at the time he had obtained his Doctor of Juris degree from Goettingen University were in his own words

"I wished to live under a Republican form of government with unbounded personal, religious and political liberty; free from the petty tyrannies, the many disadvantages and evils of old countries. Prussia, my former home, smarted at the time under a military despotism. I was, and have ever remained, an enthusiastic lover of republican institutions, and I expected to find in Texas, above all other Countries, the blessed land of my most fervent hopes."

KOKERNOT. David Levi KokernotCaroline Josephine Dittmar.   Elizabeth, Levi Moses, John William, Julia Ann. Blume Amanda,  Clarissa , Rebecca, Caroline Augusta, Mary Melissa.

LEE. Theodore Stanton Lee went to La Grange, Texas in 1834 after his first wife died. He participated in the Seige of Bexar, the Battle of Concepcion and the Grass Fight in October and November, 1835. T.S. fought at San Jacinto; during the battle he was wounded in the hand warding off a blow from a mounted Mexican cavalry colonel's saber. This colonel was killed and later identified as the brother of General Cos. It was found on his pension record that he was on detached service for Houston the night before, returning the morning of April 21, an hour before the battle. Afterwards he served as a major in the quartermaster corps under A. Huston as buyer of "beeves," accountant of ship stores and special courier for Borden and Edward Griften to President David Burnet in September, 1836.

Theodore Stanton Lee had spent his boyhood in Vermont; however, T.S.'s father, the Reverend Chauncy Lee, moved to New York. When his mother Abigail died in 1805, T.S. was left with her parents, Captain Joshua of the Green Mountain Boys and his wife Abigail Sackett Stanton of Burlington. In 1814 T.S. was with Smith's Company from Albany in the Battle of Plattsburg. T.S. was a third corporal in the military of 1819 and a selectman of Albany in 1825. T.S. returned to Vermont in 1837 to collect his family, but they refused to go to Texas. He then met and married Esther Ann Sessions, daughter of Daniel Loomis and Esther Champlain Sessions of Middlebury, Vermont in 1840. T.S.'s first family went to Texas later but did not stay. One son T.S. Jr. died there in 1850. His other two sons moved to Kane County, Illinois and the two daughters stayed in the Northeast. His second family by Esther were: Mary Louisa who married Samuel Houston Eldridge; Julia Ann married Alonzo Marcee in 1861; George William; Emma Jane married William Wallace West in 1870; Theodore S. married Martha C. Matthews in 1888; Lucia C. married John Nation Cobb in 1876; Henrietta A. married Robert George Whitehead in 1875; William Wesley married Sarah Lamkin in 1882; Abley married Horace F. Gay in 1876; Alma M. married James Lindsey Cochran in 1882; and Thomas who died in 1922. All of Esther's children outlived her and T.S. T.S. died in December, 1884 and was buried in Harwood, Gonzales County, Texas. Esther lived only five years longer and was buried beside T.S. June 4, 1888. In 1936 the State of Texas marked their graves. Barbara Lee Wauson York (From The History of Gonzales County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of the Gonzales County Historical Commission).

LITTLEFIELD. Hutson Bishop Littlefield of the Big Hill community was born in Castine, Maine May 6, 1811, the son of Samuel and Sarah Steele Littlefield. According to a family story, he and his elder brother Samuel Sawyer Littlefield went to New Orleans during or before 1834 working on the ship of a relative. Samuel stayed in New Orleans, but Hutson "got the Texas fever" and went to a settlement on the Mexican side of the Sabine River in 1835. He answered the call for volunteers sent from Gonzales in October. As. he did not yet know how to ride horseback, he joined the artillery company of Captain J.C. Neill. He was an early participant in the Siege of Bexar but was discharged because of sickness. Returning to the eastern settlements, he served as secretary of the Committee of Safety at Beaumont and was appointed deputy collector at the mouth of the Sabine until sickness once more compelled him to resign. On June 20, 1838 as an unmarried man he was granted a headright of one-third league of land in Montgomery County on Caney Fork. Just before and for a few years after 1850 there was an exodus of related families from lower Liberty County, soon to become Chambers County, to the Big Hill and Peach Creek section of Gonzales County. The Wiseman family, including Hutson Littlefield and his children, were part of the movement arriving in the county about 1854. On December 22, 1855 Littlefield purchased 251 acres from Charles Braches. For the next third of a century he made his home at Big Hill where he was a farmer, cattleman and justice of the peace. He was an active member of the Texas Veterans Association. He died June 21, 1888 and was buried in the Kokernot family Cemetery.

On September 20 he was married in Jefferson County to Sarah Balinger, and on November 1 his grant was enlarged to a full league and labor. His wife died before 1845, apparently having had no surviving children. About 1838, probably in Liberty County, Littlefield married Martha Ann Wiseman, the widow of John C. Read and the daughter of Robert and Eleanor Culver Dorsett Wiseman. The young widow born about 1811 in Columbia County, Georgia had a daughter Eleanor Jane Read born January 9, 1835 at Old River in Liberty Municipality. Eleanor Jane was subsequently the wife of Richard Hogue Dickson and died in Cleburne February 1, 1899. Littlefield and his second wife had four children, all probably born at the Wiseman settlement on Old River: Rufus Perkins born about 1845 was killed in 1863 at the Battle of Vicksburg; Sarah E. born March 16, 1848 was married in Gonzales County December 4, 1866 to Levi Moses Kokernot and died at Big Hill August 30,1874; Emma Frances born in 1850 married Robert Hubert Fitzgerald; Hutson Bishop born August 30, 1852 was married in Gonzales County November 25, 1875 to Mary Melissa "Molly" Kokernot and died February 7, 1938. Martha Ann Littlefield died at the birth of the last child. On September 13, 1855 Littlefield was married to Parthenia Caroline Wilhoit, the widow of James C. Ward, by whom she had three daughters: Nancy, Virginia and Lucy Larissa. She was a native of Mississippi, the daughter of Mrs. Martha Ann Williamson Hamilton, a native of Virginia and formerly the wife of Robert Lacy Hubert. Hutson and Parthenia Littlefield had one daughter Caroline Wilhoit born June 11, 1856, married in Gonzales County March 6, 1876 to William J. Carnes Jr. and died August 5, 1877. The Littlefields were divorced in Gonzales County October 7, 1861. Mrs. Littlefield was married in DeWitt County July 24, 1862 to Abraham Van Nordstrand, a widower, who appeared in the 1860 census as a native of New Jersey residing in the household of David L. Kokernot. Kent Gardien. (From The History of Gonzales County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of the Gonzales County Historical Commission).

LOCKHART. Andrew (sons Byrd B., John B., George W.), Byrd, Charles (son William B.), Drusilla, Margaret, Nancy, Samuel, Sarah.

LONISGeorge Washington Lonis was at one time a resident of Guadalupe County and a wounded veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto.  It is thought that he is the George Washington Lewis listed in Kemp's Heroes of San Jacinto, he appears on other rosters as Lonis.  A.J. Sowell mentions him in  Rangers and Pioneers of Texas:

Washington Lonis, an infantry soldier, was shot in the breast early in the action, and fell in the tall grass, and lay there until after night, without being seen by his victorious comrades. He suffered terribly from his wound, and almost famished for water. He heard the battle receding from him; heard the shouts of victory, and the voices of his comrades near him, returning from the pursuit; but he was too weak to call for aid, and lay there wallowing about in his blood, almost delirious from the burning thirst that raged within. Sometimes he gave up all hope, and thought he must die for want of help with so many of his brave comrades near; but, then again, he would hear the sound of voices and hope would again revive, only to be disappointed as the sounds died away in the distance. It was now long after night, and he had been lying there since 4 o'clock, with a rifle ball in his breast, with not even enough strength to raise his head, but only to move it from side to side, and mutter low gurgling moans. At last he gave up all hope; he knew he could not survive until morning in this condition; his tongue was dry and thick, and he was almost choked with thirst; but, suddenly he heard a footstep near, which seemed to be passing the spot where he lay; his articulation was almost gone, but he uttered a faint moan. A few quick steps and Howard Baily and Frank Sparks bent over him. "Wash Lonis" says Baily, "the poor fellow, he is almost gone."  With, a canteen of water he soon relieved the thirst of the wounded man. Baily being a strong man, carried him to camp in his arms, and by careful nursing, Washington Lonis recovered and survived the battle of San Jacinto twenty-five years, and died in Guadalupe county.

From Kemp, Heroes of San Jacinto: Born in Tennessee; emigrated to Texas in 1830. Service Record No. 7335 shows that Mr. Lewis served in Captain Henry W. Augustine's company in the siege of Bexar in 1835 and was in the "Grass Fight"; served in Captain Patton's company from March 13 to May 6, 1836. He was seriously wounded at San Jacinto. Mr. Lewis and his wife, Margaret Cowan, were living in Brazoria county in 1851; later moved to San Augustine county, where Mr. Lewis died in 1882.

LORD.  (From The New Handbook of Texas).  George Lord (1816-1895), soldier and rancher, son of Fetsled and Anna (Siggs) Lord, was born in Saffron Waldon, Essex County, England, on April 21, 1816. His father, a brickmason, died in an accident while repairing a hot oven. His mother remarried, but died later in London. In June 1834 George Lord moved to Canada, and two years later he was in New Orleans, where he worked for several months on Mississippi steamers. On December 27, 1836, he joined a company of seventy�five volunteers under a Captain Lyons for service in Texas. They landed at Galveston in late January or early February 1837, and on February 14, 1837, were mustered into the Texas army at Camp Independence on the Lavaca River, in Capt. John J. Holliday's Company of the Second Regiment of Infantry Volunteers under Col. H. R. A. Wigginton. His company was consolidated with that of Capt. Samuel W. Jordan in June 1837 and was sent to San Antonio in October of that year, but he was discharged early in 1838. In March 1839 Lord fought with Col. Edward Burleson's company against Vicente C�rdova near what is now Seguin. About September 1, 1839, with other Texans, he joined the Federalist forces under Gen. Antonio Canales Rosillo on the Nueces, and with Ewen Cameron, Henry A. Whalen (or Whaling), John R. Baker, and Alfred A. Lee, all later of Mier fame, took part in the capture of Guerrero, the battle of the Alcantra, the siege of Matamoros, and the capture of Monterrey. During the second Canales campaign in northern Mexico, Lord took part in the capture of Laredo and in the battle near Saltillo when Jordan was double�crossed. In June 1842 Lord, then living at Victoria, joined Ewen Cameron's company near Corpus Christi and participated in the battle of Lipantitl�n on July 7, 1842, "though," says F. G. Carnes of Yoakum, Texas, "during that battle he was engaged in scouting duties."

In September 1842 he rallied to the defense of San Antonio; later he joined the Somervell expedition as a member of Captain Cameron's company. When opposite Guerrero, Mexico, on December 19, 1842, Alexander Somervell ordered a return of the expedition to the settled area of Texas. Six companies refused to do so, and under Col. William S. Fisher formed what came to be known as the Mier expedition, which continued operations against the Mexican frontier. George Lord went with the company under Capt. Ewen Cameron, fought in the battle of Mier, and was among those who were captured. The Texan prisoners later escaped at Hacienda Salado, Mexico, but were recaptured and forced to take part in what would later be known as the Black Bean Episode. Lord survived the bean drawing and continued as a prisoner of the Mexicans until released on September 16, 1844, when the last of the Mier men were released from Perote Prison and other Mexican prisons and permitted to leave Mexico. After his return to Texas, Lord fought in the Mexican War, and in 1849 went to California during the gold rush. On December 30, 1849, he married Miss Catherine Myers, who had been born in New Orleans on October 15, 1832. They had eleven children. After three years in California he returned to Texas with $7,000 in gold dust, which he arranged to have coined at the New Orleans mint.

George Lord received 1,280 acres of land from Texas for military service to the Republic of Texas. On this land, together with additional land that he purchased with his mining profits, he raised longhorn cattle under the "diamond-and-a-half" brand. He established a ranch at Cheapside in DeWitt County. During the Civil War he served two years in the Home Guard. In October 1870 he was living in Clinton, DeWitt County; and in 1894, the year before his death, he was living in Cuero. On April 21, 1893, George Lord attended a meeting of the Veterans of Texas at Turner Hall in Houston and after the banquet given to the Veterans in the Light Guard Armory, spoke on his experiences in the Mier expedition. Lord died February 23, 1895, and was buried at Cheapside. It has been reported that in 1881 Lord wrote a brief account of his Mier expedition experiences and that the manuscript was discovered in Cuero in 1937 and was "published in full for the first time" in the September 1938 issue of Frontier Times. Actually the supposed Lord story had been published in 1883 by John J. Linn, Lord's neighbor, in his Reminiscences of Fifty Years in Texas. Apparently someone had copied Lord's so�called reminiscences from Thomas Jefferson Green's Journal of the Texian Expedition Against Mier (1845) and forged Lord's signature to them as being the story of his Mier expedition experiences. Thus the accounts that appeared in Linn's 1883 book and in the 1938 Frontier Times are both plagiarized from Green's 1845 book.  BIBLIOGRAPHY: F. G. Carnes, "George Lord, A Texan Prisoner," Frontier Times, July 1929. Memorial and Genealogical Record of Southwest Texas (Chicago: Goodspeed, 1894; rpt., Easley, South Carolina: Southern Historical Press, 1978). Mrs. Harry Joseph Morris, comp. and ed., Citizens of the Republic of Texas (Dallas: Texas State Genealogical Society, 1977). Joseph Milton Nance, After San Jacinto: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1836-1841 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1963). Joseph Milton Nance, Attack and Counterattack: The Texas-Mexican Frontier, 1842 (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1964).  Joseph Milton Nance

MANGUM. The first Mangum to reach Gonzales was James Patrick Mangum in 1829 with three motherless sons. His wife died on the trip from Tennessee with slow fever and was buried beside the trail in East Texas. Being a horse breeder and trader he left his two youngest sons with some friends in or near Gonzales after hearing of the wild horses out West and took his oldest son and went as far as the Pecos River. He also had with him a crew of men he had hired. They captured over two hundred head of horses although that was Apache country then; they made it back without any Indian trouble. The youngest of these sons was Benjamin Franklin "Ben" Mangum born in Tennessee February 15, 1825 and died in Gonzales County near Waelder, Texas November 22, 1867. Ben Mangum's first marriage produced five children: Will; Emma who married Jim Taylor; Tom; Jim; and Wiley who was a trail driver. In January, 1865 Ben married a widow, Nancy Bouldin Wright Deaton who had two children by her first marriage, William Thomas Deaton, the father of Clifton Deaton and Mrs. Lula DuBose, and a daughter Frankie who died at age fifteen or typhoid fever. Nancy had lost her husband, brother and father in the Battle of Atlanta during the Civil War. She witnessed her father being bayoneted to death in front of his home.

Henry Clay Mangum, the only child of Ben and Nancy Wright Mangum, was born February 12, 1866 on the west side of Peach Creek east of Waelder one mile south of Highway go. Henry Clay Mangum and Amanda Louellen Christian were married November 10, 1886 and had nine children: Obed B. (July 9, 1888 - October 4, 1955) married first Ellen Moore who died not long after marriage, second married Etta Turner from Caldwell County; Bro. Ross L. (November 10, 1892 July 14, 1912) never married; Virgie C. (August 19, 1894 - November 15, 1898); Cecil L. (February 9, 1897 - May 5, 1933 from injuries received in World War 1) married Irene Cooksey; Roberta M. (May 30, 1899) married Leo L. LePori in 1918; Gertrude (October 10, 1901 - October 9, 1918) never married; Phillip L. (November 19, 1904 March 9, 1950) married Rosa Lee Murray from Yorktown, Texas; Henry M. (January 28 1908) married Idella Zak, resided in Irving, Texas; Ancel Lee (July 22, 1911) married Hulda G. Lassig January 1, 1940 and had two children: Mrs. Frank (Sandra) Atkinson and Mrs. Emmett (Marie) Currie. Ancel Lee Mangum (From The History of Gonzales County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of the Gonzales County Historical Commission).

MCCRABB. John McCrabb was born about 1798 in Ireland, came to America in early life, and lived in Tennessee before coming to Texas with Green DeWitt's Colonists in 1828. As a single man, he received the usual grant of 1/4 league of 1,107 acres of land from Empresario Green DeWitt in May, 1829. He lived a lonely bachelor's life on this land which was located on the west bank of the Guadalupe River not far from Mission Valley and across the river from the section that later became the Thomaston Community. This land has been owned continuously by descendants bearing the McCrabb name.

[John McCrabb's land grant confirms he received a quarter sitio on the Guadalupe River just north of the current DeWitt-Victoria County line. Land records suggest he arrived single on 20 Mar 1830.   His tract was described as "located on the southwestern bank of the Guadalupe River, about two leagues below the Anastacia crossing, beginning at the bank of the river......grazing land with three labors of non-irrigable land."  John McCrabb's brother Joseph McCrabb who was born in Tennessee came to Texas as an Austin Colonist in 1834. He was a veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto and died in AustinCo in 1838. He and wife, Joana, had one daughter, Joana who in later life lived at Santa Anna.-WLM].

In the summer of 1829, John and Sarah Creath McSherry and their baby boy lived in a log cabin on land adjoining McCrabb's. Late one afternoon John McCrabb went over to see the McSherry's. He found the frightened mother and baby in the house with doors barred because she had seen several Indians rush upon her husband and kill him while he was getting a bucket of water from a nearby spring. The Indians made no attempt to come to the house, but disappeared at once. John McCrabb was fearful that the Indians might return during the night, so he put Sarah and baby John on his horse and he walked along beside them as they traveled on the way to Andrew Lockhart's home 10 miles up the river. The weary trio reached there sometime after midnight. The next morning McCrabb and Lockhart went to the McSherry place and found his body lying where it fell near the spring and buried it near the house. So far as is known, this John McSherry was the first white man ever murdered in the section that is now DeWitt County. John McCrabb, Andrew Lockhart, and Squire Burns, guided by a friendly Indian, followed the murderer's trail up to the "hide-out" of the Comanches beyond Gonzales but were unable to find the culprits or to ascertain any motive for the murder.

Before long, John McCrabb decided to return to Tennessee to see the sweetheart he had left there. Mary Miller consented to become his wife and to come to Texas with him. Mary was born April 6, 1811 in Holland, came to America as a child and lived in Tennessee. Sometime prior to 1836, John and Mary McCrabb came to Texas and it seems likely that they lived in a log house on the John McCrabb headright land west of the Guadalupe River. On April 1, 1836, he joined Houston's army and took part in the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21. Records of the General Land Office of the State of Texas at Austin show that, for his having served in the Texas Army from April 1st to July 23rd 1836, he was granted Bounty Warrant 473 for 320 acres, which land was located in Gonzales County. Evidently, after Texas became a Republic, John and Mary McCrabb took up their abode in Victoria. The records show that he served as District Clerk of Victoria County from 1838 to 1841 and that, when Victoria was incorporated in 1839, he was made the first city treasurer. On February 2, 1838, John McCrabb received an augmentation certificate for 3,498 acres of land. These lands were located in Jackson and DeWitt Counties. This was his fourth land grant; the first was his 1/4 league headright; the second was the 640 acres for taking part in the Battle of San Jacinto; the third was the 320 acres for serving in the Texas Army under General Houston. He made use of some of these lands to carry on extensive farming and stockraising interests. After DeWitt County was organized, John McCrabb became the first tax assessor and collector and served faithfully until his health failed. Beth Dietze and Mary Lee Smith (From The History of DeWitt County Texas. Reprinted by permission of Curtis Media Corporation)

Mary Miller McCrabb was the sister of Jacob A. Miller, Sheriff of DeWitt County in 1850.   According to his will of 1847, John McCrabb had sons Joseph Alexander and John Frederick, and daughters, Mary Jane and Susan Elizabeth. 

MCHENRYJohn McHenry (1798-1878), sailor, settler, and soldier, was born in County Antrim, Ireland, in 1798 and went to sea at the age of thirteen. In 1812 he landed in New Orleans, where he found work on coastal vessels. He enlisted as a seaman aboard an American gunboat and saw action in the battle of New Orleans, January 8, 1815. Afterwards he joined the crew of Jean Laffite for a cruise of the West Indies under a commission from Venezuela. After returning to New Orleans in 1819, he served as pilot for James Long's expedition to Texas. He was part of the force that captured Goliad, but he and Long were both subsequently captured and sent to prison in Mexico. His Mexican jailers released him after ten months. By December 1821 he had returned to New Orleans, in time to join an expedition for the assistance of South American liberator Sim�n Bol�var. He was captured by Spanish officials at Santo Domingo but escaped and made his way back to New Orleans. In 1822 McHenry purchased his own vessel and engaged in trade with Texas settlements on the Brazos River. In 1829 he married a daughter of John Douglass and settled in DeWitt's colony on the west bank of the Lavaca River. In October 1835 he fought in the battle of Gonzales and the next month participated in the Grass Fight. In 1836 McHenry served as chief justice of Victoria County. His land, however, became part of Jackson County when it was established in 1836. He was a member of the Texas Veterans Association. McHenry died in Jackson County in 1878. BIBLIOGRAPHY: DeBow's Review, December 1853. Ira T. Taylor, The Cavalcade of Jackson County (San Antonio: Naylor, 1938). Stephen L. Hardin

MCKEAN.  John Clun McKean was born in Pennsylvania in 1797. He and his brother Joseph W. took twenty families to settle in the DeWitt Colony. The exact date of their arrival was not known, but the contract stated on or before April 15, 1831.  He was associated with William A. Matthews, and the company of Matthews and McKean acquired many tracts of land. In 1836 he was a probate judge in Gonzales County. He settled in Prairie Lea, Texas in 1858 and lived there until he died in 1880.  John Clun was the father of Lucy Ellen McKean Blackburn who married Edward Malloch in 1853. A notice of their marriage was in the first edition of the Inquirer. Clare Malloch Dreyer (From The History of Gonzales County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of the Gonzales County Historical Commission).

MILLER. Alsey Silvanus Miller was born August 20, 1820 in Randolph County, North Carolina. He lived in South Carolina as a young child, and at the age of twelve moved to Callaway County, Kentucky with his parents. In the fall of 1836 he went to the New Republic of Texas alone, locating first on the Brazos River in Washington County. He lived in Washington County for a short time, moved to La Grange and later moved to his permanent home in Gonzales County. Alsey married Permelia King April 7, 1842 the daughter of John Gladden King Sr. and Permelia Parchman.

Their children were: Mary F. (1843) married Andrew Nichols; Jones (1844-1844); William Alsey H. (1846) married first Kate Goldson, second Susie Cheatham and third Ann Ulette Carter; Thomas H. (1848) married Mattie Nichols; James B. (1850-1871); Zillah P. (1852) married F.L. Houston; Sarah (1854-1855); and Martha (18561858). Permelia died in 1856 and was buried in the King Cemetery near Oak Forest. On March 14, 1867 Alsey married Elizabeth Nichols. She was born March 24, 1841. Their children were: Verdie Alma (April 1, 1870); Malinda Iona (September 8, 1872-April 27, 1873); John Anderson (February 24, 1874-April 4, 1874). Elizabeth died March 4, 1874 and was buried in the King Cemetery near Oak Forest.

In the early days Alsey was active in all the expeditions organized by the residents of Gonzales and surrounding counties in defending their families and property against the Mexicans and Indians. He became close friends with General Henry E. McCulloch and his brother Ben McCulloch as they went to Texas at the same time he did. Mr. Miller participated in the Plum Creek Battle in 1840. He supplied oxen in 1843 for the Summerville Campaign and he and John Nichols contracted to furnish corn and beef for H.E. McCullough in 1846. He was a hero of the Dawson Massacre as he was one of only two men who escaped from death or prison. In 1862 he was a member of Terry's Texas Rangers. Although he gave a great deal of his life patriotically as a citizen and a soldier for the State of Texas, he was a successful man in business affairs, dealing largely in horses, mules and cattle. He built an excellent ranch and home near Gonzales, the extent of his holdings being indicated by the fact that at the close of the Civil War he had fifty slaves who received their freedom. For his services and bravery he was commissioned a major in 1850 by Governor Hansboro Bell. Alsey Miller was converted and joined the Methodist Church in 1859. Unsettled as to the mode of baptism he delayed for twenty three years and then received the sacrament by pouring. He died at his daughter Zillah Houston's home near Oak Forest. Family stories were told that he was resting and when they went to ask if he wanted a fresh drink he was dead. His position on the bed with his hand over his heart indicated that he had fallen back suddenly and died, presumably of heart disease or apoplexy. He was buried between his two wives in the King Cemetery. Lucy Ainsworth (From The History of Gonzales County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of the Gonzales County Historical Commission).

MITCHELL. Nathaniel Mitchell was a veteran of San Jacinto having served in Capt. Robert Stevenson's Infantry Company H, 1st Regiment and is thought to have been a resident of DeWitt Colony area at one time after the battle. He was the son of Asa and Charlotte Woodmancy Mitchell, members of the original "Old 300" of the Austin Colony. He was born in SomersetCo, Pennsylvania 13 Jun 1817 and came with the family to current Matagorda from Hopkinsville, KY in 1822. The family lived in Velasco and Washington where Nathaniel studied law under Judge Hemphill. He was a 2nd Lt. of a mounted gun company in Dec 1836, 1839 was clerk in the general land office in Austin and a clerk in the quartermaster corp in the Mexican War. In 1866 he was in San Antonio, died in 1897 and is buried in San Marcos. He was married to Cordelia Martin of Arthur, IL. Nathan Mitchell was a nephew of DeWitt Colonist and member of the Old 18, Eli Mitchell.

MORRIS. Bethel, John, Spencer Sr., Spencer Jr.  Spencer Morris arrived on 20 Feb 1831   with his family of 5 according to land records and received title to a sitio of land on the east bank of the San Marcos River in current CaldwellCo near the GonzalesCo line on 25 Jun 1831. Family histories say his wife was Mary Davis.  The Spence Morris listed in the 1800 census of FairfieldCo, South Carolina (pg. 206) with a male under 10, a male under 16-26 and a female 16-26 is believed to be the DeWitt Colonist Spencer Morris.  A daughter Elizabeth was born in SC in 1802 and another, Sarah Ann, in 1809 in Tennessee.  Morris served in the War of 1812 as a Private in Capt. Edward Robinson's Company, West Tennessee Militia Infantry, Roulston's 3rd Regiment.  In the 1820 census of WilsonCo, TN (pg. 409), Spencer Morris is recorded with 4 males under 10, 1 male 26-45, 2 females under 10, 2 females 10-16, and 1 female 26-45.  By that date, daughter Elizabeth Morris had married James T. Wood in WilsonCo, TN on 2 Nov 1819.   The family appears in the TiptonCo, TN census of 1830 (pg. 271) with 1 male 10-15, 2 males 15-20, 1 male 50-60, 1 female 5-10, 2 females 15-20, and 1 female 50-60.  The Spencer Morris family was among the 17 known families who contracted with the Tennessee-Texas Land Company to come to the DeWitt Colony in 1831. 

Morris arrived in the colony with his wife and daughters Charity and Sarah Ann and sons Bethel Morris, John Morris and Spencer Morris Jr .  With them was the James T. and Elizabeth Morris Wood family which included William Riley, Nancy, John D. and Spencer Wood.  Bethel Morris received a quarter sitio due his single status on Peach Creek east of Gonzales and John Morris received a quarter sitio where current Gonzales, Lavaca and Fayette counties come together.  Sarah Ann Morris married Solomon Seal at Gonzales 23 Feb 1831 and Charity Morris married Ruben A. Braden.   Both daughters are thought to have died early after arrival in Texas without children.

On 2 Jul 1835, S. Morris and Bethel Morris were petioners of the new municipality of Washington.  Spencer Morris was at the Siege and Battle of Bexar with sons John Morris and Spencer Morris Jr.  In the latter's papers, he explained that he had to leave the battle to assist his family with Indian troubles.  He requested that his discharge papers be given to his father.  On 7 Apr 1836, Spencer Morris and son-in-law James T. Wood joined the Washington County Guards commanded by Capt. J.B. Chance.  Spencer Morris Sr. was with Capt. Chance's Company in the rear guard of the Republican Army at San Jacinto in Apr 1836.  Bethel, Spencer Jr. and William Riley Woods were with Capt. Splane's Company. 

Spencer Morris Sr. died in WashingtonCo on 12 Jun 1836 leaving children John, Bethel, Spencer and Elizabeth (Wood).  Bethel Morris died Sep 1836 without children.   The Morris estate was probated by son John Morris in WashingtonCo.  John died single in late 1839 while living with Kimber W. Barton.  His brother-in-law, James T. Wood administered his estate in GonzalesCo which included 3 cows and calves, 1 ax, 1 buffalo robe, 1 frying pan, 5 tin pans, 1 tin bucket, 1 pair razors and strap, 6 yards of bleached domestic, 1 camblet cloak, 2 tin plates, 1 military discharge, 1 pocket book and 556 acres of land on the Guadalupe River.  At the estate sale a rifle and horse were sold.

Spencer Morris Jr. appears on the LimestoneCo, TX census of 1850:  Spencer Morris, m, 32, TN; Sarah, f, 26, IL; Eliza J., f, 5, TX; Henry M., m, 3, TX; Mary A., f, 2, TX.   In 1858, he appears on the tax roll of BlancoCo, TX with 160 acres on Hickory Creek and is on the rolls through 1863.  In 1861, he was a member of Capt. George Freeman's Pedernales Home Guard, Cavalry Co., Blanco City, 31st Brigade listed as "not able-bodied, joined to aid in protecting the settlement against Indians." 

Daughter Elizabeth Morris Wood lived with her husband in WashingtonCo in 1838 where they appear on tax rolls.  They later moved to the Kimber Barton league in DeWittCo.  With a sale of land to Joseph Stevens in 1847, the family established a burial ground which is now Stevens Cemetery in DeWittCo.  In 1846 the family moved on the Spencer Morris league in CaldwellCo.  In 1853, the family moved to San SabaCo where Elizabeth died in 1888.

Contributed in large part by descendants Joyce Wood Wells and Tom Wood.

MORRIS.  Silas Morris arrived in the DeWitt Colony on 20 Feb 1831 married with a family of eight and received title to a league of land on 22 Jun 1831 on Douglas Creek in current LavacaCo according to land records.  Sweet Home is on his tract.  He arrived as part of the Tennessee-Texas Land Company contract along with the Spencer Morris family above.  His relationship to the Spencer Morris family is suspected, but unclear.  Silas Morris is said to have stabbed William Sowell to death on the streets of Gonzales. Cause of the dispute is unclear; however, Morris may have known Sally Grogan, William Sowell's wife of weeks, before arriving in Texas since Grogan and Morris both arrived with the same group from Tennessee.  A.J. Sowell's book, "Rangers and Pioneers of Texas," relates that Morris (referred to as Morrison) was killed by a Shawnee Indian from Arkansas who was a friend of William Sowell.  The body of Morris "….was found near the Rio Grande with an arrow stuck deep in his breast."

MORRISON.  Stephen B. Morrison arrived in the colony on 20 Feb 1831 married with a family of eight.  He arrived with a group of colonists from Tennessee under contract with the Tennessee-Texas Land Company.  His sitio tract was on the San Marcos River and Callihan Creek in current CaldwellCo.

MOSIER. Adam Mosier came to Texas in Oct 1835 with W.G. Cooke's New Orleans Grays. He participated in the Siege and Battle of Bexar for which he received 640 acres land for service. He served in Capt. Fisher's Infantry Company I, 1st Regiment at San Jacinto and was a member of the Somervell and Mier Expeditions in 1842-43 and captured and imprisoned in Perote Prison. He had a home in GonzalesCo and land in the Bexar land district.

Judge MurphreeMURPHREE. Judge David Murphree, son of Stephen and Rebecca Brooks Murphree, was born in Tennessee in 1811. He moved to Texas in 1834 and was a volunteer under Ben Milam at Bexar in 1835. The Alamo fell while Murphree carried out orders to scout Fannin's whereabouts. At the Battle of San Jacinto Lt. Murphree earned recognition and a 640 acre land certificate. In 1837 he served as clerk to Gail Borden, collector of customs at Galveston. In 1838 he was president of the Board of Land Commissioners for Bexar County. In 1839 David Murphree's parents traveled by flat boat to New eans and by Gulf Steamer to Linnville. They made their home in Victoria for a number of years. From 1840, for several years, Judge Murphree was chief justice of Victoria County. While serving as justice, he assisted in the pursuit of the Commanche Band which burned Linnville. Later he served in the Vasquez Campaign of 1842 (as a Major) and in the Somerville Expedition. His last military experience was on the Indianola Coast during the War Between the States.

David married Margaretta Patton, who was born in Kentucky in 1824. Her parents moved to Texas before the Revolution and settled at Columbia. "Point Evergreen," Judge Murphree's home on Price's Creek was completed in 1848. There with the help of his negro slaves he raised fine, thoroughbred horses, mules, and some cattle. Three sons were born to the judge and his wife. Alex, born in 1845, was killed while on guard duty at the Battle of Pleasant Hill in 1864; James Owen (1847-1923); and John Charles (1858-1944). In 1866 Judge Murphree sent 250 horses and mules to Missouri under the supervision of Captain Harvey Cunningham. The judge traveled by boat. He was killed on the outskirts of Osceola, Missouri, simply because he was a Texan and happened to arrive during a post war sectional quarrel. His body was buried in Missouri. James Owen Murphree, stockman and farmer (1847-1923), married Lulu Smith (18531938), daughter of David's sister, Virginia F. Murphree Smith. Seven children grew up in the home that Jim built in 1881 on his share of the Judge Murphree Estate; five died in infancy.

The children who survived were:
(1) David Murphree and his wife, the former Ella Coleman (1878-1943), had one son, David Douglas. David died in 1901. Douglas and his wife, Leona Nagel, had a son, D.D. Murphree, Jr., who married Rosemary and they had a daughter; and twin daughters, Mary. (Mrs. Charles) Taylor (had four children) and Martha (Mrs. Ed Fitch) (had three children).
(2) Tom Murphree (1880-1959) first married Abbie Edgar. She died in 1905. He and his second wife, Ollie Neal, had a son and a daughter, Joseph Owen and Eunice. Joseph Owen and his wife, Sally, had one daughter, Bonnie. Eunice and her husband, Ralph Reiffert, had one daughter, Sandra Smythe, whose three daughters are Tracy, Endi (Mrs. Buddy Wilson), and Samantha Smythe. Tom later married Annie Alexander Dunn.
(3) Nell "Nellie" Murphree (1882-1982)
(4) John Owen Murphree (1885-1986) and his wife, Jessie Tarter (1888-1972) had two sons, Hugh Owen and John Charles, and a daughter, Nell. Hugh and his wife, Enna, had three sons---Charles, Mace, and Barney. John and his wife, Bess Davenport, had two sons, John and Gary, and a daughter, Pat. The children of John and wife, Judy Blackaller, and a son, Brice, and a daughter, Cassie. Gary's children are a son, Lee, whose son is Colton, and a daughter, Terry. Pat and her husband, Lance Benbow, had two daughters, Kelly and McKey. Nell and her husband, Howard Holzheizer, had a daughter, Marjorie Lynne (Mrs. Willie Macon) with one son, Tommy Vincent Macon (1973-1981).
(5) Ben Murphree (1889-1960) married Mildred Burditt and they had one daughter, Louise.
(6) Robert Lee 'Tob" Murphree (1891-1975).
(7) Ann Murphree (1896-1971).

John Charles Murphree (1858-1944), a farmer, sold his land to Mrs. Dorah Clegg after 1879. In 1885 he journeyed up the trail under A. Field as trail boss. Field was supervising the driving of 3400 beeves to the Wichita River. He and Ella Coleman Murphree (1878-1943), widow of his nephew, David, were married in 1905. They lived in Thomaston where their three children, Charles Patton (1907-1968), James Alex (1913-1984) and Margaraetta Coleman Murphree (1915-1983) were born. Charles Patton and his wife, the former Elizabeth Calliham, had one son, William Frederick "Bill". Bill and his wife, the former Sherry Jurline "Jerrie" Mathis had one daughter, Sherry Elizabeth (Mrs. Steven Wayne Johnson). James Alex "Jim" and his wife, Catherine, had no children. Margaretta "Gretta" and her husband, Jerome M. Stokes, had two sons, James Milton (wife, Sally), had four children, and William "Bill" (wife, Linda), had two children. Elizabeth C. Murphree (From The History of DeWitt County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of Curtis Media Company).

NEILL. John A Neill.  Hester R. Humphreys.   Robert E. Neill.   Samuel Clinton Neill.

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