Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now “Billy Bowlegs” was a Seminole chief, and lived in the swamps and Everglades of Florida, and some might ask, what had, he to do with the history of Fort Bend County. Personally, nothing, but Fort Bend has an old Negro woman living at Old Arcola (Lucinda Lawson), who has some interesting reminiscences connected with the exploits of this famous chief. She belonged to Dr. Braden in Florida, who had a fine plantation not a great distance from the stronghold of Chief Bowlegs, who often made raids on the planters and carried off their stock, and even Negroes. United States troops were in the vicinity, but so sudden and swift were the raids of Bowlegs that he often got off scott-free with his booty. On one occasion he made a sudden dash upon the plantation of Dr. Braden. It was at night, and the family was at the supper table, Lucinda waiting upon them. In passing from the kitchen to the dining room she discovered the Indians in the orange orchard creeping towards the house. The master was at once informed, who had every light extinguished, and, seizing his gun approached a window and opened fire on them. They returned the fire and yelled considerably, but finally drew off, with Bowlegs badly wounded, having an arm shattered...Read More
Collection: History of Fort Bend County Texas
This collection contains 42 biographies and various historical references from the manuscript History of Fort Bend County by W. M. Morrison. Included with the history are articles on the Meir Expedition, Billy Bowlegs, Terry Rangers, and a list of early land titles.Read More
Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now Mrs. Julia Jones, daughter of Judge C. C. Dyer, was born in Fort Bend County in 1839. Her father was a native of Tennessee and was born at Dyersburg January 29, 1799, and came to Texas with William Stafford in 1824. In this same year he married Sarah Stafford, who was born February 5, 1809, near Raleigh, North Carolina, Judge Dyer had twelve in family six boys and six girls. He lived to quite an old age, served as county judge of Fort Bend County, and died in 1864 on his farm on the east side of the Brazos River, opposite Richmond. He had been suffering for some time with heart trouble and fell in the field one morning while taking a walk, and was brought to the house dead by the Negro field hands. Mrs. Dyer died in 1874. Their homestead is now known as the Pleasant’s place. William Thomas, eldest son of Judge and Mrs. Dyer, was born in 1825. He married Miss Annie Swenson, who still survives. Her brother, F. M. Swenson, lived in Fort Bend County prior to the Civil War, but removed to New York and became a prominent banker there. William Dyer died at Round Rock, Texas, February 25, 1903, at the advanced gage of 87 years. James Foster Dyer...Read More
Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now J. G. Jones, Captain, Gonzales County, resigned at Shiloh, April 6th, 1862. W. H. Harris, 1st Lieutenant, Gonzales County, resigned and died in 1861. A. D. Harris, 2nd Lieutenant, Gonzales County, promoted Captain May 7, and killed, Alay 9, 1862. J. H. Paramore, 3rd, Lieutenant, Gonzales County, wounded in 1862, promoted Captain June 2nd., 1864, wounded December 30, 1864. JaMes Harris, 1st Sergeant, Gonzales County, died May, 1862. Geo. W. Littlefield, 2nd Sergeant, Gonzales County, elected Lieutenant January, 1862, promoted Captain, wounded December 27, and resigned. Chas. W. Mason, 3rd: Sergeant, Gonzales County, killed at Gonzales by William Baltzell in 1869. Ed. T. Rhodes, 4th Sergeant, Guadalupe County, died in Seguin in 1878. B. F. Burr, 5th Sergeant, Guadalupe County, killed at Shiloh April. 6th, 1864: W. E. Jones, 1st Corporal, Gonzales County, elected Lieutenant May 7th, 1862; twice wounded; promoted Captain March, 1865. J. D. Bunting, 2nd Corporal, Gonzales County, taken prisoner at Moss Creek January 12th, 1863. N. B. Cotton, 3rd Corporal, Gonzales County. L. A. L. Lampkin, 4th Corporal, Gonzales County; wounded twice, and came home in 1865. Privates. G. R. Allen, Gonzales County, wounded at Rome, Ga., in 1864. S. Andrews, Gonzales County. Mat. Anderson, Grange County, discharged. Thomas Balfour, Guadalupe County, discharged. James Bankhead, Gonzales County. G. J. Borthe, Jackson County,...Read More
Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now John G. Walker Captain, Harris, County, wounded at Woodsonville, Ky., in 1861, elected Lieutenant Colonel January, 1862, resigned in September, 1862, died September, 1869. A. W. Morris, 1st Lieutenant, Montgomery County, wounded at Woodsonville, KY., resigned and died. Henry Thomas, 2nd Lieutenant, Harris County, resigned January, 1862. S. P. Christian, 3rd Lieutenant, Harris County, elected Captain January, 1862, promoted to Major “July, 1863, Lieutenant Colonel in 1865, wounded at Farmington, Tenn. A. W. Hottle, 1st Sergeant, Montgomery County, promoted to Major and Quartermaster; died in Harris County. No other non-commissioned officers elected. Privates. J. D. Alexander, discharged at Bowling Green, Ky. J. H. Alexander. H. Bowling, elected Lieutenant January, 1862; resigned May, 1863. G. Bowling, wounded and discharged. A. L. Baine, Washington County, killed at Murfreesboro. J. W. Bowers, Washington County. J. L. Bowers, Washington County. H. J. Barfield, Washington County. T. J. Burroughs, Montgomery County, discharged October, 1863. R. R. Benjamin, Leon; County, killed at Dandridge, East Tennessee, January, 1863. A. B. Briscoe, Harris County, elected Lieutenant March, 1863. D. K. Browning, Washington County, killed near Kirkville March 13, 1863. William Ballantine, Washington County, transferred to infantry. G. P. Burke, Harris County, company clerk to brigade. P. Ludgood, Harris County, wounded at Woodsonville, Ky., discharged. James Bates, Montgomery County, discharged in 1862; died in Texas,...Read More
Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now Capt. Randall Jones, one of the historic characters of Fort Bend County, was born in Columbia County, Georgia, on the 19th of August 1786. In 1810 he went to Wilkinson County, Mississippi Territory. When the second war with England broke out in 1812 he joined the American army as a private, but such was his energy and gallantry in battle that he received a captain’s commission, which he held until near the close of the war, or, to be more exact, until 1814. During this service he fought the battle with Indians known as the “Canoe Fight.” An extract from a letter from the volunteer army dated “East bank of the Alabama, November the 25th, 1813,” reads thus: “On the 11th inst. Captain Jones, of the twelve months’ volunteers, with a detachment of sixty volunteers and militia, marched from Fort Madison for the Alabama, and .on the 12th fell in with two parties of Creeks, which he entirely routed and killed nine warriors, without sustaining any loss on his part. Captain Jones and his party deserve the greatest praise and honor for the handsome manner in which the enterprise was conducted.” This was but the beginning of the eventful career of Captain Jones. In the fall of 1814* he came to the Sabine River, and at...Read More
Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now Veteran Of San Jacinto Captain Calder was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on the 17th of July 1810, and was the son of James H. and Jane E. Calder (nee Miss Caldwell). His father dying when he was very small, young Calder was raised by his paternal uncle, Major James P. Caldwell (a noble and generous man), until he arrived at the age of manhood. From Maryland he, his mother, and Major Caldwell, moved to Kentucky, and from there to Texas in 1832, settling in Brazoria County. Soon after trouble commenced with the Mexican authorities, which culminated in the battle of Velasco in June, 1832. Young Calder, in company with other citizens of Brazoria County, repaired to the scene of action, but arrived too late for the fight; however, they remained on duty there until the final surrender of the fort. In 1833 his mother died, a true, noble Christian woman. Major Caldwell survived until 1856, dying with yellow fever, in Brazoria County, at the house of his stepson. Mordella Monson. Mr. Calder held various positions in the civil service. In 1835 he was appointed Marshal of the Republic of Texas by President David G. Burnett. The duties of this office were to tale charge of wrecks and prizes and execute the laws of Judge Benj. C....Read More
Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now Henry Jones, one of the “Old Three Hundred” of Austin’s colony was born in Madison County, Virginia, near the “Blue Ridge,” in 1798. In 1817, when but nineteen years of age, he left home in company with his brother, John, and went on a trip of adventure. They came down the Mississippi in a. flat boat to New Orleans, and there laid in supplies and ammunition and returned to the mouth of White River and was here joined by Martin Varner, Creason and two other young men of like temperament as themselves. They now laid their plans -to explore strange countries and became trappers and hunters and commenced at this place, trapping for fur animals, and killing deer, bear and other game for their pelts. In this way they remained two years, traveling over parts of Arkansas, Indians Territory and other places, part of the time being in camp on the Washita River, trading with friendly Indians. During all of these rambles, and having a good time generally, they had not met or been molested by hostile Indians. Finally, however, while in camp on a tributary of the Washita, they discovered signs of hostile Indians. They detected that these Indians were not friendly by seeing where they had killed deer and other game, but could never...Read More
Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now Who lived many years in Fort Bend County, and died there, and whose remains rest in her soil, was born in Jefferson County, Kentucky, March 2, 1834. In 1855 he went to Howard County, Indiana, and was made a Royal Arch Mason there in 1857. In 1858 Mr. Fields moved to Grayson County, Texas, arriving here in January, but first returned to Kentucky from Indiana before concluding to make Texas his home. During those days the Indians often raided Cook and Montague Counties, and Mr. Fields accompanied several expeditions against them, in which battles were fought of more or less magnitude. In the fall of 1859 he was in the Wichita Mountains during an exceptionally dry year. Red River and, its tributaries were dry for 100 miles, but around the mountains were fine springs. The buffalo, were traveling south, and had to stop for water at these springs, feeding for fifteen or twenty miles around, and returning for eater at night. The whole country was black with them, and from the top of a, mountain overlooking the surrounding valleys thirty thousand buffalo could be seen at a sight, as near as could be estimated. There was no water due south from there for buffalo or stock of any kind for 200 miles, until the Brazos was...Read More
Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now Fort Bend County, County Attorney Francis Marion Oatis Fenn was born and raised in Fort Bend County, nineteen miles below Richmond. His father was John Rutherford Fenn, who came to Texas in 1833 and located on the Brazos River. His mother, Rebecca Williams, came to Texas in 1846, and her parents also settled on the Brazos, in Fort Bend County. F. M. O. Fenn was educated at Roanoke College, Virginia, and the holder of the orator’s medal from that institution against nine competitors on the 9th of June 1879. He then took two years course of law at the University of Virginia, graduating in law at that university and taking orator’s medal from that institution also, on the 16th of May 1881. In 1886 stumped Harris County for Alexander McGowen for County Treasurer, who was elected by a large majority and held, the office as long as he lived. In the same year Judge Fenn stumped the City of Houston, for the Hon. D. C. Smith for Mayor against the Hon. William R. Baker. Smith was elected by one vote. The subject of our sketch was one of the writers of the “Jaybird Democratic Constitution” in 1889, and was secretary of the organization for five years. At the general election held in Fort Bend County in...Read More
Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now Erastus Smith, better known as “Deaf Smith,” was the son of Chiliab and Mary Smith, and was born in New York on the 19th of April 1787. At the age of eleven years he emigrated with his parents to the Mississippi Territory, and settled near Natchez. His parents were strict members of the Baptist Church, and gave him such moral and intellectual training, as the circumstances around them would permit. He first came to Texas in 1817 likely with some of the patriot forces that were constantly arriving at that time in the Province. He soon, however, returned home; but in 1821 he came again to Texas, for the purpose of making it his home. This he did, never leaving it. He was in the country before Stephen F. Austin, but in what section is not known. His nature was to ramble alone and be by himself. He was not entirely deaf, but unable to hear an ordinary conversation, and if such was going on around him would generally walk away and stand apart, gazing into space. He also had a habit, if anyone addressed him, of putting his finger to his lips, indicating by that, it was supposed, that he was unable to hear the one that addressed him. When the colony under Green DeWitt...Read More
Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now In regard to the death of Mr. Foster, the following was published in the Galveston News in August, 1878: Richmond, August 27th. “Editors News: “To enable you to see what a mistake you made in your issue of 25th instant, in your extract from the “Four Counties,” I enclose both what you said and the obituary of Randolph Foster, which by mistake you convert into an obituary of T. M. Blakely, his son-in-law, at whose home Mr. Foster died. “Randolph Foster, as may be seen by the very terse and beautiful obituary as published in the Four Counties, which would have been perfect had it been extended sufficiently to have presented `Uncle Ran’ to all admirers of true goodness and true manhood, just as he was known to those of us “has privilege it has been to know him personally, for so many long years, was no ordinary man. His character was one of a most unusual and marked type. Nature seems to have constituted him out of the very best materials of which pioneers are made. “The solitude of the forest, with its wild, ferocious tenants, its rivers, teeming with fish and reptiles, the dangers, trials and hardships incident to extreme frontier life; all those had no terrors for him. On the contrary, he seemed...Read More
Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now Fort Bend County, Treasure Tony B. Wessendorff, present County Treasurer, was born in Richmond, Fort Bend County, on the 19th day of November 1872. His father, Anton Wessendorff, came to this County from Hamburg, Germany, when but eighteen years of age and made Fort Bend his permanent home. Here, in the course of time, he married Miss Johanna Janske, was industrious in his habits and made a worthy citizen. When the great civil war broke out between the North and South, he served the Confederacy under Gen. John B. Hood in the famous Fourth Texas Regiment, his captain being Thomas Mitchell, commanding Company F. On the bloody field of Chickamauga where so many of the gallant Fourth went down to rise no more Mr. Wessendorff was severely wounded and ” sent back home, and saw no mare service. He raised a family of thirteen children, Tony Wessendorff being eighth in the list. The mother died July 10th, 1888, and the father March 26th, 1891. T. B. Wessendorff, the present incumbent, was elected to the office of County Treasurer in November 1902, and is now serving his first term. He married Miss Jennie Jones, and they have four children, all girls Lizzie Davis, Jennetta, Bernadine and Margarette. Mr. Wessendorff, in connection with his office, curries on a...Read More
Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now Captain Baker, being closely identified with the people of Fort Bend County during the passage of the Mexican army, through what is now Fort Bend, but then Austin County, where he made such a heroic stand at San Felipe as to cause the Mexican army to abandon the attempt there and come on down the river to Fort Bend and make the passage, we add this notice of him in our history: He came from Alabama to Texas in 1834, and, becoming prominent in the affairs .of the country, and so opposed to Mexican aggression, that he was on the list of those proscribed by Colonel Ugartechea of the Mexican army and his arrest ordered at San Felipe. While he was in command at that point, during the Mexican invasion, the town was burned, Captain Baker said by order of General Houston, but Houston said his order had been misunderstood, that he gave no such order. Captain Baker was wounded, at the battle of San Jacinto, where his company displayed great gallantry. He represented Galveston in the Congress of the Republic in 1838 and 1839, and died of yellow fever in Houston, November the 4th,...Read More
Discover your family's story. Enter a grandparent's name to get started. Start Now An old settler of Fort Bend County came to Texas with his parents in February of 1837, being then ten years of age. He was born in, New York in 1827. His father, Elmer Hibbered, started to Texas in 1836 with his family, but stopped in New Orleans on account of the invasion of Texas by Santa Anna, and came on after the war was over, landing at the mouth of the Brazos River. He had two brothers, Lovell and Lucius, who came to Texas with General Sam Houston and was in the Texas army of 1836. One was a drummer and the other a fifer. They might have been the ones who played the air, “Come to the Bower,” by which the Texans marched away from their camp to meet the Mexican invaders on the bloody field of San Jacinto. A fife and drum were all the musical Instruments that were used on that occasion. Loron Hibbered was on the battle ground of San Jacinto not a great chill after the engagement there, and saw the bones of the slaughtered Mexicans. The elder Hibbered died in Brazoria County not long after settling there, and his people had to split boards with which to construct a coffin for him to be buried in, and when completed...Read More
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