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DeWitt Colony Government-Index

Proceedings of The Gonzales Ayuntamiento 1833

DeWitt Colony Land Commissioner Jose Antonio Navarro called for a formal general election of members of the first official Gonzales Ayuntamiento in Dec 1832 fulfilling Art. 23 his charge from superiors in Saltillo and as provided by Art. 41 of the Colonization Laws of Coahuila y Texas. James B. Patrick was elected alcalde, Charles Lockhart regidor and Almond Cottle syndico procurador. Lewis D. Sowell and Adam Zumwalt were appointed tellers and Jose Ramon Bedford secretary by the new ayuntamiento. (Adapted from DeWitt's Colony by Ethel Rather Zivley, 1904, transcribed from "a literal copy of an incomplete record preserved in the office of Harwood and Walsh, Gonzales, Texas." Spelling and abbreviations are unaltered from the original.)

Jurisdiction of Gonzales, Jan’y, the 25th 1833----

Art, 10th The Aynto. met in ordinary Session all the members present
Resolved that from & after the 1st day of May next any hogs runing at larg in this jurisdiction over one year old unmarct it shall be lawful for any person to kill the same & take them as his own; this act is not to be constrewd so as to include tamed hogs---J. B. PATRICK President ALMOND COTTLE Sindico.

Art.e 11th Resolved that each setlar may hold by deed as many as four outlots at their valuation, if he has them or any part of them Improved and purchasors may buy the same number if they take them in the same Block---and all persons may have two in lots & four outlots deeded to them & no more; The purchase money to be paid in three equal enstawlments, the first in six months the second in twelve & the third in eighteen months, a forfature accuring in case of failing to make any of the payments, for promt payment six persent per annum allowed. J. B. PATRICK President. ALMOND COTTLE, Sindico.

Jurisdiction of Gonzales, Feby 15th 1833: The Ayunto. met in ordinary session, present the Alcalde 2nd Regedor & Sindico.

Art.e 12th. Resolved that Byrd Lockart the surveyor of the Jurisdiction is the same for the town, for surveying in lots one Dollar two for out lots; the cornors of the in lots to be establish’d with a stake of good lasting wood, the out lots with stakes and baring trees or a stake and mound thrown up, so as to perpetiate the cornors---J. B. PATRICK President ALMOND COTTLE Sindico

Arte, 13th Resolved that the ferry over the Guadalope River at this town shall be at the mouth of the Stew branch a lital south west of Market square--and the session adjourned. J. B. PATRICK President. ALMOND COTTLE Sindico

Arte. 14th The Ayunto. met in ordinary session present the Alcalde, lst Regdr & Sindico, Resolved that we this day make out an official comucation to the Chif of Depatment Assigning the Reasons & c---which is pointed out in sd. note a coppy to be filed in this office. J. B. PATRICK President. ALMOND COTTLE Sindico

Jurisdiction of Gonzales May 28th 1833

Arte. 15th The Ayunto. met in ordinary session present the Alcalde, lst Regd---& Sindico. Resolved that John Francis Buetti be employed by the Ayunto. insted of Joseph R. Bedford, Decd., as translator & Secatary and to teach a Spanish school for the term of six months commencing the lst of June present and be under the controle & protection of the Ayunto. for which survices we are to pay him two hundred & twenty two Dollars out of the municipal funs---J. B. PATRICK, Pres. ALMOND COTTLE Sindico.

Arte. 16th Resolved that any person or persons seling, giving or bartering sperritous liquors to Indians in any portion or quantity subjicts them selves to a fine of any amont under one hundred Dollars for every offence that they may be found gilty of before the proper authority one third to the informants for the better surpresing the evil—and the session adjournd---J. B. PATRICK, Pres. ALMOND COTTLE Sindico.

Jurisdiction of Gonzales June 22nd---1833

17th The Ayunto. Met in Extradinary Session presen the Alcalde 1st Rigador & Sindico---Resolved that we appoint two deputies to wait on the Commissioners appointed by the state to negociate on maters and things chrged in an official communications recd. this day by express and that we inform them of the Recept and our intentions by the return of said Express—and a Coppy be fild in the office. J. B. PATRICK, Pres. ALMOND COTTLE Sindico.

Jurisdiction of Gonzales, July 10th 1833

Arte. 18th The Ayunto. Met in ordinary session present 1st Regador 2sd Do. & Sindico. Resolved that the rate of Ferrage across the Guadalope; is for a loaded waggon & team $1.50 cts emty $1 loaded Carts, $1.25 Cts emty 75 Cts ditto one yoak of cattle loaded 75 Cts. Emty 50 Cts man & horse 12 Cts all loos horses Cattel & c., 6 Cts. per head; to cross in the night or high water Doubal price or the ferryman may make his own Contract, any member of the Ayunto. of Gonzales, or expreses from or to Sd. Ayunto. may pass free of farage if on business of ad. Jurisdiction. J. B. PATRICK President ALMOND COTTLE Sindico

Arte. 19th Resolved that John Francis Buchetti in respect of his petion are hereby discharged from his employment as Translator, Secatary and School-teacher—which petion be fild in the office. J. B. PATRICK President ALMOND COTTLE Sindico

Arte. 20th Resolved that the price of deeds be three Dollars and the person wanten a deed pay for the stamp paper & the deeds may include two in lots and separate deed for out lots which may be four---and the same must be recorded before taken them out of the office.

Arte. 21st Resolved that all person abel to labour in the jurisdiction on roads and highways are hereby bound to do so when ordered; in their different presincts; or subject them selves to pay a fine of one Dollar per day for each day they may fail to do so with cost if they apply to the civil authority for address---which fine shall be applied to the use of opening and keeping said highways in order, provided that no more than six dollars be collected as fines from any one individual in one year, and that no one individual shall be compeld to worck more than six days on his own accoumpt in one year. J. B. PATRICK President ALMOND COTTLE Sindico

Art 22sd Resolved that having faild to send on dupeties to meet the Commissioners appointed by the government agreeabal to our promise of the 22sd of last month, that we now make out an official note to the same---and a Coppy to be fild in the office---J. B. PATRICK President ALMOND COTTLE Sindico.

Jurisdiction of Gonzales August 5th, 1833.

Art. 23rd The Ayuntamto. in orderly session. Present the Alcalde. 1st Regdr. and Sindico. Resolved. That John H. Buckette be and is employed for the time being as a translator, for which be is to receive 12 cents for reading each paper if it is not to be translated, and 12 cents for each hundred words which he translates. J. B. PATRICK President. ALMOND COTTLE Sindico.

Article 24th Resolved that Stephen Smith and John McCoy P. have the price of the Boat they built for the Jurisdiction, agreeable to the contract which was ninety five Dollars and seventy five cents. As the same has been received. J. B. PATRICK President. ALMOND COTTLE Sindico.

Jurisdiction of Gonzales August 12th, 1833.

Art. 25th.The Ayuntamto. met in session. Present Alcalde & 1st & 2nd Regadors. Resolved. That Ezekiel Williams & B. D. McClure be and the same are hereby appointed to view any hereby appraise the in Lots and the out Lots of the Town Gonzales. J. B. PATRICK President ALMOND COTTLE Sindico.

Article 26th. Resolved that all the Property Of William M. Brown; together with all other effects appertaining to the said William M. Brown, be advertised and sold to the highest bidder, and that the proceeds thereof be delt with according to law. J. B PATRICK President ALMOND COTTLE Sindico.

Jurisdiction of Gonzales December 21st 1833.

The Ayuntamto. met in Extraordinary session. Present James B. Patrick Alcalde & Almond Cottle Sindico.

Article 27th. Resolved, that in consequence of the non attendance of the persons last heretofore appointed by the Ayuntumto. to view value and appraise the in Lots and out Lots of the Town of Gonzales. That Almeron Dickenson and Green DeWitt are hereby appointed to view value and appraise the same, and to make due return of the same to this on the succeeding Ayuntamto. J. B. PATRICK President ALMOND COTTLE Sindico.

Article 28th. Resolved. That each purchaser on taking out his deeds, shall pay into the office of this Jurisdiction; the sum of one Dollar, for each In Lot, and two Dollars for each Out Lot, towards defraying the Expences and Surveying fees of said Town. J. B. PATRICK President ALMOND COTTLE Sindico.

Article 29th Resolved. That any person, or persons, who shall be found guilty of removing any stake defacing or cutting of any Corner tree or bearing tree or altering or changing land marks established by the municipal surveyor of this municipality; of any in Lot or out Lot or Lots of the Town of Gonzales shall forfeit and pay to this municipality for every such offence a sum not less than one Dollar, nor more than fifty Dollars at the descresion of the Court before whom the same shall be tried. J. B. PATRICK President ALMOND COTTLE Sindico.

Scrip Records. The ayuntamiento issued scrip in payment of services in compliance with an ordinance established February 6, 1834 under Municipal Code XIV, Article l.
1833. March 5, 1833 James R. Bedford received $36 for surveying two lots.
1834. November 31, 1834 James C. Davis received $33 "cash advanced for use of the office."

Proceedings of The Gonzales Ayuntamiento 1834

Jurisdiction of Gonzales. Department of The Brazos

The Ayuntamiento of the same was qualified and took there seets. They composed of the following members Viz- James C. Davis Alcalde Charles Lockhart first Rigidore Eli Mitchell Sechend Rigidore Thomas R. Miller Sindico and recd. the papers and Dockuments belonging to the Office on the first of January 1834. ELI MITCHELL 2 Rig.

Article 1st. The Ayuntamiento met in ordinary session James C. Davis Eli Mitchell and Thomas R. Miller, Resolved. That the House of T. R. Miller of the town of Gonzales be rented as an office for the Municipality during the tearm of one year for which he is to paid eighteen Dollars. JAMES C. DAVIS pres. ELI MITCHELL 2 Rig. THOMAS R. MILLER Sindico

Article 2nd Resolved That James C. Davis President be appointed Treasurer of the Municipality and is hereby made so for the present year and is authorized to collect all public funds in the Jurisdiction and pay accoumpts against the same. ELI MITCHELL 2 Rig THOMAS R. MILLER Sind

Article 3rd Resolved that Green DeWitt and Almeron Dickinson be appointed commissioners to revew and mark out the road from De Witts to intersect the old road at some Suotable Point crossing the river oposit of the street runing by the House of Thomas R. Miller and on oute to the above named point and reporte the same to this Ayuntamiento at the next meeting. JAMES C. DAVIS pres. THOMAS R. MILLER Sind. ELI MITCHELL 2 Rig.

Article 4th Resolved that James B. Patrick or his Securities shall return the ferry boat in good order by the first monday in February next and if not delivered by that time him or his securities will be bound to pay for the same by the 1st day of march next. JAMES C. DAVIS presid THOMAS R. MILLER Sind. ELI MITCHELL 2 Reg.

Article 5th Resolved that Joseph S. Martin Shall be permiteed to get sutch timber off the town tract as be may think proper for erecting a cotton gin also rail Timber for his farm and the saim privalege to be granted to Thomas R. Miller and Eli Mitchell for the present year. JAMES C. DAVIS presid THOMAS R. MILLER Sind ELI MITCHELL 2 Rig

Article 6th Resolved That all those that are interested in the town tract of Gonzales or the adjoining Labor, shall when called on be compeled to worke on the Streets, and roads through the same, and any person or persons faling to attend after beinge warn in shall be fined one Dollar per day the fine to be collected by a civil Process and appropriated to the benefit of streets and roads: JAMES C. DAVIS pres. THOMAS R. MILLER Sind ELI MITCHELL 2 Rig

The session adjorned untill the next meeting when ordinary Session will commence on the first monday in february next. The following members met James C. Davis Eli Mitchell and Thomas R. Miller know business done at this meeting and adjorned untill the first monday in May next. JAMES C. DAVIS pres. THOMAS R. MILLER Sind ELI MITCHELL 2 Rig

Article 7th The Ayuntamiento met in ordinary session and the following members present J. C. Davis Eli Mitchell and T. R. Miller Resolved that any person or persons or persons in the town of Gonzales or That may come shall apply to the Alcalde for licence for Holesaling or retailing Dry goods or groceries will be 2 per cent, for retailing of the same Shall be ten Dollars Anuelly and for retailing Dry goods alone will be five Dollars anuelly, Those that do not apply for licenes by the 15th inst. Shall pay Twenty Dollars to be collected by civil process and applied to the use of the municipality. JAMES C. DAVIS president THOMAS R. MILLER Sind ELI MITCHELL 2 Rig

Article 8th Resolved that the Interest of this Colony shall be ten per cent. JAMES C. DAVIS pres. THOMAS R. MILLER Sind ELI MITCHELL 2 Rig

Article 9th. Resolved that any persons Shooting guns or Pistols in the bounds of the in Lots of Gonzales shall be fined twenty five Dollars and also the same fine will be Laid on those who may be found running Horses through the Streets. JAMES C. DAVIS pres. THOMAS R. MILLER Sind ELI MITCHELL 2 Rig

Article 10th Resolved that Article 11 be repealed in part. JAMES C. DAVIS, pres. THOMAS R. MILLER Sind JAMES C. DAVIS pres. ELI MITCHELL 2 Rig.

Article 11th Resolved that the in lots of Gonzales be one Dollar per year Anuelly no tax on out lots any person willing to take out lots will be intitled to as many as he will improve and pay for at the valueation by keeping Streets open when required Not putting more than one Block in a Deed. JAMES C. DAVIS pres. THOMAS R. MILLER Sind ELI MITCHELL 2 Rig

Article 12th. Resolved that James Kerr be appointed Surveyor of the road that the commissioners Mathew Caldwell, Daniel McCoy & Isaac Weldon may view and mark out from the town of Gonzales to the town of Mina and make Due return of the same. JAMES C. DAVIS pres. ELI MITCHELL 2 Rig THOMAS R. MILLER Sind

Article 13th Resolved that the in and out lots of Gonzales be curtailed one half from the original price for Surveying. JAMES C. DAVIS pres. ELI MITCHELL 2 Rig THOMAS R. MILLER Sindico

Proceedings of the Gonzales Ayuntamiento 1835 & 1836

There are no official minutes of the Ayuntamiento of 1835 and 1836 consisting of Andrew Ponton, alcalde; Eli Mitchell and Joseph D. Clements, regidores; Mathew Caldwell, sindico procurador; and B.D. McClure primary judge. The Ayuntamiento of 1835 was the one who guided the colony through the momentous events leading up to Texas Independence in late 1835 and spring 1836. Documents in the Texas Archives give sketches of some of their activities.

1835 Consultation Election. On 1 February 1835, the ayuntamiento held an election for delegates to represent the municipality of Gonzales in an impending consultation following the events described above that was not held until Nov 1835. William W. Arrington was the election judge, first teller was E.W. Bull, second teller was S. Webster and George W. Davis was secretary which yielded the following results for the four candidates: Fisher, 43; Caldwell, 44; Clements, 13; and B. Lockhart, 16. Known voters were: John T. Tinsley, David Burket, Horace Eggleston, Robert Smith, William Strode, William Newland, John G. King, R.W. Valentine, John Davis, John Kane, N. Peck, A. Zumwalt Sr., Stephen Smith, Thomas Jackson, James Tumlinson, Eli Mitchell, Felix Taylor, Joseph S. Martin Sr., William Hill, John Castleman, Daniel McCoy Jr., E.B. Jackson, James Hodges, Jacob Garner, Elijah Tate, Samuel McCoy, John Henry, William Fishbaugh, John A. Neill, B.D. McClure, Samuel Lockhart, William A. Matthews, John McCoy Sr., Benjamin Duncan, A. Cottle, A. Ponton, James Gibson, Joseph McCoy, Frederick Elm, George Tumlinson, Dolphin Floyd, Prospect McCoy, E.W. Bull, Joseph Kent, George Kimble, Charles Lockhart, Kimber W. Barton, Benjamin Kellogg, James Hodges Jr., Andrew Sowell, John Fisher, John McCoy, M. Caldwell, S. Webster, William W. Arrington, Byrd Lockhart, Lewis Sowell, James George, George Washington Davis and Francis Berry.

Committee of Safety. Increasing alarm over apparent attempts by Santa Anna to dissolve the Federalist system of government and the reopening of customs houses and military garrisons in Texas after the dissolution of the legislature of Coahuila y Texas in 1835 precipitated formation of a Committee of Safety (William Arrington, George Davis, John Fisher, James Hodges, Bartholomew McClure, James P. Patrick and Andrew Ponton) for the colony on May 17.

Election of delegates to the 3rd Texas Consultation of November 1835. Delegates were elected September 26, 1835 to represent the Gonzales municipality in a general Texas consultation to be held on October 15, 1835. Those elected were: James Hodges, Joseph D. Clements, Benjamin Fuqua, Thomas R. Miller and William S. Fisher. Another election for two more delegates for the same meeting was held October 4, 1835. Elected were William W. Arrington and George W. Davis. William Fisher, president of the safety committee, signed the statement of election. Samuel McCoy, president pro-tem and George W. Davis, secretary of the Gonzales Committee of Safety, reported the results.

Six of the delegates above signed the Declaration of the People of Texas which declared the intention of Texans to fight for the restoration of the Constitution of 1824 and independent status for Texas as a state within the Republic of Mexico. J.D. Clements signed as a representative for the Gonzales Municipality and Hodges, Fuqua, Fisher, Arrington and Davis signed as representatives of the Municipality of Austin.

Independence Convention at Washington on the Brazos Mar 1836.  About 65 votes were cast on 1 Feb 1836 to elect two delegates from the Gonzales Municipality to the convention which declared independence of Texas from Mexico and established a Constitution.  Elections were held in both Gonzales town and the Precinct of Upper Lavaca.   William W. Arrington was the election judge, A.N. Brill was first teller and L.W. Aster second teller with George W. Davis as secretary.  Mathew Caldwell received 44 votes, John Fisher 43, Byrd Lockhart 16 and Joseph D. Clements 13. 

Scrip Records.
1835. February 7, 1835 Benjamin Williams was paid $24 "for services in bearing the returns of the election to capital of district." Thomas S. Mitchell was paid $18 "for his service as commissioner to San Felipe with returns of election for Electors." March 2, 1835, James B. Patrick $15.73 was paid balance of his account. Scrip issued through September 21, 1835 was for surveying by order of Byrd Lockhart and that issued in 1839 was for appraising or surveying lots. James S. Martin and Ezekiel Smith received $300 "as per agreement."


Gonzales Town Council 1836-1846

Adapted from The History of Gonzales County, Texas (The Gonzales County Historical Commission). There have been many stories told through the years about how, before the burning of Gonzales, different people buried certain objects to be used as benchmarks to identify their property when they returned. Those stories were never proved and those benchmarks were never used. The city minutes reflected that after hostilities ceased and the citizens began to return, some set up their camps on public property. After some time they were asked to move and several of those families moved up the Guadalupe River and settled an area that became Walnut Springs (Seguin). In 1883 the county surveyor resurveyed the town and found a large number of fences and buildings were standing on public property. He placed iron stakes at every block.

On September 5, 1836 the following men, former residents of the municipality of Gonzales, "but owing to the fate of War now in the Municipality of Washington," cast their votes unanimously for Samuel Houston for president, Lamar for vice-president, Bunton for senator and William Fischer for representative: James Tumlinson Sr., Francis Berry, Robert Smith, James Tumlinson Jr., John Tumlinson and Ezekiel Williams. Ezekiel Williams attested to the fact that the same voters were in favor of the constitution as it was without any alterations and some were in favor of the Republic of Texas being "attached to the United States of the north." After the victory at San Jacinto and the Republic of Texas was organized, there were few records available that concerned the Municipality of Gonzales until 1839 when the first meeting of the Corporation of Gonzales was held.

Gonzales City Officials 1836-1841

1838 Alcalde Ezekiel Smith

1839 Alcalde James W. Robinson
Alderman: Almond Cottle, James Hinds, Edward Bellinger, Robert Carr
Secretary: W.W.T. Smith
Treasurer: Adam Zumwalt/Major V. Bennett
Tax Collector: George W. David.

1840 Mayor: W.W.T. Smith
Councilmen: Edmund Bellinger, Robert Carr, Patrick, Dickinson
Secretary: W.D. Miller
Treasurer: Ezekiel Williams (declined), Dr. John Lee Witter (21 Mar), Arch Jones (4 Apr), William Warren (8 Jun)
Constable: John Kelso, Barnett Randal (13 Apr)

1841 Mayor: W.W.T. Smith then C.S. Brown (23 Aug)
Councilmen: Robert Carr, H.L. Conn, C.S. Brown, John Lee Witter
Secretary: W.D. Miller then James W. Hoskins (23 Aug)
Treasurer: T.C. Braches (moved) then Edmund Bellinger (17 May) then Charlie Braches (23 Aug)
Tax Collector: Arthur Swift
Clerk: Dr. John Lee Witter/Arthur Swift
Constable: Arthur Swift.

Council Minutes 1839-1846

[Locked in the fireproof vault of the Gonzales City Hall were ledgers which contained the minutes of all council meetings from March 26, 1839. The pages were a yellowish brown, some cracked and crumbling to the touch. The handwriting was difficult to read because the ink had faded and the script was unfamiliar. Some records indicated that the Republic of Texas passed an act incorporating the city of Gonzales in 1837]

27 March 1839. The minutes of the city council stated that the first meeting of the city council of "the corporation of Gonzales" was held at the courthouse March 27, 1839 with the county judge and two "Associate Justices" (county commissioners) to make arrangements for the sale of "a part of the public property" in the town.

The sale of lots was decreed to start in May and continue until all were sold, the purchaser being required to build a house of $200 in value within eighteen months. In the tradition provided for by the Mexican Colonization Laws under the Constitution of 1824, any useful artist (artist referred to an "artisan" or someone with a trade such as a blacksmith) to select any "In Lot" (located within the Inner Town as opposed to the Outer Town) gratis, provided he established his trade on the lot within six months and resided on it for two years. A donation of one In-Lot and one Out-Lot was to be given to any person who would establish and operate for two years a grist mill, saw mill or cotton gin. I. J. Good and Benjamin Duncan were appointed to appraise the lots.

Mathew Caldwell, administrator of the estate of Steven Morrison, presented a petition to the effect that Morrison, a mechanic, was entitled "before the change of government" (Texas Revolution) to two lots in the town. The request was referred to a council committee. Robert Carr, a brick layer, presented a petition for a lot and it was referred to a committee.

Ezekiel Smith, the previous mayor, appeared April 12, 1839 in regard to the matter of settling claims against the council. The council adopted a resolution to the effect that there had been difficulty involved in the delivery of certain council papers and records, but that Smith relinquished all claims and the corporation agreed to pay Smith $150. Smith was also allowed to reserve three blocks of Out-Lots. Smith also secured another $150 for M.P. Woodhouse as his assignee.

Mr. Kerr was instructed to prepare a plat of the town and notices of the sale of property to be posted in the stores of Mr. Hinds and Colonel Clements. A Mr. Kerr, a mechanic, received permission to change his choice of lots. Bellinger and McCullough presented bills for surveying.

The council determined that it was necessary to determine which portion of the town tract was the bona fide property of individuals and which the public.

A committee was appointed to select a block of lots within a half mile of Smith Creek for educational purposes.

29 June 29 1839. The council continued to struggle with the issue of the sale and title to town lots. The issue was complicated by the fact that settlers were often found living on city property.

Block 13 in Range 6 west of Water Street was set aside for educational purposes as the council had been unable to agree to terms of sale for that property.

Byrd Lockhart was paid for an account approved by a previous alcalde, an account of Green DeWitt assigned to Joseph Martin and, on orders of Byrd Lockhart in favor of William Hill, Adam Zumwalt was paid.

January and March 1840. The first Monday in January 1840 a new council was elected. The new council was instructed "to come forward and qualify," but no one stepped forward whereupon another election was ordered to be held the second Monday in February. Presumably the election was held for when the council met March 10, 1840 the following were present: W.W.T. Smith, mayor, Bellinger, Carr, Patrick and Dickinson, aldermen.

Any member of the council who failed to render a good excuse for absence be fined five dollars.

A committee was formed to contract with "some person to drain the pond in the Inner Town." The committee appointed to tend to draining the pond reported it had been unable to make a final contract for the work except a Mr. Allen agreed to dig a ditch eighteen inches deep for the dirt taken out of the ditch. [Between its location at the southeastern conjunction of the San Marcos and Guadalupe Rivers, flooding and drainage was a constant problem in Gonzales town even into modern times and often occupied the attention of the council --WLM]

Ordinances 21 Mar 21 1840.

The council declared that rioting was a pest to moral society and deserved punishment.

A fine of $5 to be assessed anyone running or galloping a riding animal through the Inner Town.

Levy of a $10 fine for anyone discharging a firearm in the Inner Town or between the town and the river and the Slough Branch.

Setting fines for cutting or injuring any shade tree not on his property; any person suffering any nuisance on his property or the street.

A fine of $10 for any retailer of spirits who was open after ten o'clock and any merchant who did not close his business on Sunday.

A $10 fine for defacing, mutilating or pulling down any public notice or advertisement within the limits of the corporation.

April-October 1840.

Ezekiel Williams declined appointment as treasurer and Doctor John Lee Witter was elected. John Kelso was appointed constable pro tem. Doctor Witter resigned and Arch Jones was elected. Barnett Randal was elected constable on 13 April.

Petitions were received and granted on June 6 from A.B. Switzer, P.C. Beall and James Gipson for relief in the payment of dues on their lots. New tax rates were established at one dollar for each In and Out lot, $50 for every keeper of a billiard table or nine pin alley and vendors of ardent spirits, and $25 for a license to sell merchandise and groceries.

On 8 June, W.D. Miller was reimbursed for two blank books he had purchased. The tax collector and constable-elect "failed to comply with the law therefore the council proceeded to the election of others to supply their places." William Warren was the only applicant so he was given both jobs. He posted $500 bond for each office.

The council resolved "that any person selling or giving spirituous liquors to any Indian" shall pay a fine of $5.

On 18 July the council extended the required time for making certain improvements to lots that had been sold "provided such purchasers shall join the contemplated expedition against hostile Indians."

On 12 September 1840 the council requested certain records of the previous treasurer, Major V. Bennett, be settled. It was done December 15.

Judge Robinson was granted application for pre-emption on certain lots that had previously been omitted by him due to illness if the payments were received within one week.

The council denied Colonel Sweitzer's petition for pre-emption to Block 49 of the Inner Town.

On 5 Oct, Mr. Nichols, "a mechanic", was granted two lots on which he agreed to establish a tannery and was granted the privilege of using and stripping the bark from timber on one labor of land.

In October 1840, the council reviewed their order in 1839 that no rocks, stones or dirt on the public domain were to be disturbed or used by individuals and ordered that such materials be reserved for the "use of the citizens of the same forever."

A communication from A. Jones, treasurer, "was laid before council and received as information." Michael Putman was granted a deed to Block 16, Range 5 west of Water Street "under the peculiar circumstances of the case." [The particular cases referred to by these statements are unclear-WLM]

The council ordained that the width of the sidewalks in the Town of Gonzales be six feet. Owners of lots were allowed to place fences eight feet from the outer lines of their lots to protect the shade trees. Pecan trees over eight inches in diameter, including bark, were reserved for the use of the town with violators to be fined 25 dollars.

W.D. Miller was paid $150 for his services as secretary during the year. Municipal Script Number 3 drawn by Byrd Lockhart in favor of Joseph R. Bedford for $36 dated March 4, 1833 and accepted by J.B. Patrick, alcalde, was ordered paid in Texas Treasury notes at five for one.

A. Jones and others presented a petition which asked that a ditch be dug to drain a certain portion of the town lot.

W.W. Warren, the previous constable, made his report and it was accepted "as good as if made on time."

An ordinance was passed to the effect that $500 be kept in the treasury and that the balance on hand be lent out to individuals who could give good personal security for six months at 12 percent per annum and no one person could borrow more than $300 at a time. The money would be in Texas Treasury notes.

January-September 1841. An election was held in January 1841 and the following officers were elected: W.W.T. Smith, mayor; Robert Carr, H.L. Conn, C.S. Brown and John Lee Witter, aldermen; T.C. Braches, treasurer; A. Swift, tax collector; Doctor John Lee Witter and Arthur Swift, clerks.

On 11 January Adam Zumwalt's petition to cut as much rail timber on the town tract as had been appropriated and taken off his league of land to build a fence on the town tract was denied.

W.D. Miller was appointed secretary and A. Swift, constable, for the year of 1841.

A committee was appointed to have a ditch dug to drain the north end of town as soon as possible.

The ordinance against firing guns within the corporate limits was modified to apply only to firing in the streets and public squares. A committee was appointed to "devise ways and means to have a good road opened from the Inner Town to the settlements in the upper part of town above Smith Creek."

James Gipson represented the county court January 23 and petitioned to purchase the corporation's interest in the building known as the courthouse.

Andrew Neill presented an account for collection for legal services in the amount of $75. It was denied.

On 17 May 1841, Edmond Bellinger was appointed treasurer to fill the vacany created when Charles Braches moved from the town. Mr. Carr laid before the council the account of George W. Davis for services to the Ayuntamiento of Gonzales in the year 1835, but it was not allowed because "it was not proven or in any manner vouched for."

On 23 August 1841, Byrd Lockhart presented an account in favor of Stephen Smith which had been accepted by James B. Patrick, alcalde, for $54.57 for surveying. After checking the old records to be certain that the account had not been paid previously the council allowed the account on September 5. Charles Braches was appointed treasurer because of the "temporary removal of Mr. Braches" from Gonzales.

The mayor was authorized and required to "take such steps and adopt such measures, for the defence of the interests of the corporation, in the case of Patrick and others against the corporation" as deemed expedient and necessary.

A motion was made and passed for the election of an alderman as C.S. Brown was seated as mayor and J.W. Hoskins was chosen secretary since W.D. Miller had resigned and was paid $25 for his past services.

[The Gonzales Council minutes from September 5, 1841 through statehood in 1846 have not been found. The first Gonzales post office opened January 25, 1839. The records listed Ezekial Williams as postmaster at that time, but beside his name was a notation, "Removed." On February 27, 1839, E. Williams was again appointed postmaster. No other records were available until Texas joined the USA]

1997-2007, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved
DeWitt Colony Government-Index