Location: Richmond Texas

Biographical Sketch of Jones, Wiley P.

Fort Bend County, Justice Of The Peace, Precinct No. 1. Judge Wiley Powell Jones was born in Fort Bend County, eight miles below Richmond, on October 17, 1843. His father, Henry Jones, came to Texas in 1822 among the first installment of Austin’s colonists, and first settled on New Year’s Creek in what is now Washington County, near Independence. There a brother, William Jones, was born, the first child born in the colony. They lived one year on New Year’s Creek, and then came on down the Brazos River and settled below the present town of Richmond, where the Henry Jones league was located, the town of Booth now being situated on the upper league line. Here Wiley P. Jones was born at what was called by the family in the Old Prairie” home. His occupation as she grew up was farming and stock raising, until the breaking out of the civil war, when he joined the Confederate army, enlisting in Captain Sullivan’s company, “Waul’s Legion.” While the command was encamped near Independence, Judge Jones contracted a. severe case of measles, and came near dying, being two months in bed with his sisters family at the old home, whither he was conveyed from camp. When he finally recovered the legion had Bane to Virginia, and he enlisted in another command, and after it disbanded was not attached to any...

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Biographical Sketch of McKnabb, John

Santa Fe Prisoner John McKnabb, one more of those unfortunate ones who accompanied the disastrous Santa Fe expedition in 1841, was a native of Scotland, and came to Fort Bend County in 1837. He was at Austin during the early building of that place, when the Indians harassed the few settlers almost continually. In 1841, when the expedition to Santa Fe was inaugurated, John McKnabb was there, and volunteered, as many other young men did, for the perilous trip, and suffered all the hardships of the long march across the plains and sandy deserts; want of water and provisions being the main cause of their sufferings while making their way through to the line of New Mexico. They were all finally captured by the Mexicans and carried to old Mexico, where they worked on the streets, lay in dungeons, and suffered all manner of indignities at the hands of their captors for nearly two years before they were finally released and al-lowed to come home. On the return trip Mr. McKnabb took shipping at Vera Cruz and came to Galveston, and from there to Richmond, Fort Bend County. He died in 1894, and was buried on his farm on the Brazos River, five miles above Richmond. He has one son, A. D. McKnabb, now in the saddlery business in...

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Biographical Sketch of Fenn, F. M. O.

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 1900 was elected County Attorney, and reelected in 1902. His wife was Miss...

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Biographical Sketch of Hodge, Robert

Mr. Hodge is now a resident of Richmond, Fort Bend County, and has been for nearly sixty-six years; was born on Galveston Island on the 18th of May 1836. His parents were colonists of Stephen F. Austin, and settled near Damon’s Mound. When the Mexicans came in 1836 the people around the mound fled before them, and took refuge at Galveston, except those who went with Houston’s army. This disagreeable flight caused the birthplace of Mr. Hodge to be on the famous island. After the battle of San Jacinto the family removed to Fort Bend County, and their descendants have made this their home...

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Biographical Sketch of Neel, Adam S.

Adam Sylvester Neel, named for James Sylvester, one of the captors of Santa Anna, was born in Fort Bend County, near Stafford’s Point, on the 25th of August, 1844. His father was William T. Neel, a native of Louisiana, who came to Texas with William Stafford. He was a young man and unmarried at the time, and was not entitled to as much land as heads of families, but located a labor near, Stafford’s Point, at which place he built a home, and afterwards located a league in the west on the Medina River during the Presidency of General Lamar. He married Mary, the daughter of William Stafford, who was the mother of Adam S. Neel. When the Mexican army came William Neel and wife had two children, James D. and. William T. Neel. They went with the Stafffords and returned with them, and while their home had not been burned, a party of Mexicans had been there and thoroughly pillaged the place, carrying off and destroying the property, even the bread tray was found in the well. Two more children were born, Sarah and Adam S. Sarah was not married, and died with yellow fever at Hodge’s Bend during the terrible epidemic of 1853. The family at the time were living in Richmond, and fled from the scourge, but Sarah had contracted the fatal malady and died at...

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Biographical Sketch of Worthington, R. H.

R. H. Worthington is an old Texan, and one of the good and worthy citizens of Fort Bend County. He was born in Pitt County, North Carolina, on June the 6th, 1826, but came from Alabama to Fort Bend County in 1849. During the great yellow fever epidemic of 1853 he nursed patients almost incessantly, being a member of the Howard Association, organized at that time for the purpose of taking care of the sick. He escaped all of the dangers to life and health while engaged in this laudable work, and still resides at Richmond. His wife, Mrs. Mary E. Worthington, was born in Washington County, Georgia, in 1820. Her maiden name was Rogers. In Georgia she married William McGee, and came from Alabama to Texas in 1850. They started in 1849, but came by land, and had a long and tedious trip, crossing the line of Texas, however, in the last named year. They first settled in Washington County, but soon came on to Fort Bend. About one year rafter arriving here her husband accidentally killed himself with a gun. In November,1853, she married Mr....

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Biographical Sketch of Florer, J. C.

Fort Bend County, Superintendent Of Public Instruction. Mr. Flora is a young man of sterling qualities, affable, pleasant manners and has faithfully performed the duties of his office in looking after the schools of Fort Bend County. Recently he became the owner and publisher of the Texas [Richmond] Coaster, and is fully alive to the best interests of his patrons, and to that of Fort Bend County. No doubt under his management the Coaster will be up-to-date in all of the leading topics of the day, and be a credit to Fort Bend County as well as to...

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Biographical Sketch of Newell, John D.

Another prominent man of Fort Bend County, came from North Carolina to Texas in 1830, and was a member of the convention in 1833. He was a successful planter, and lived to make forty-five crops in Texas. He died in Richmond, Fort Bend County, in December...

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Biography of Pleasants, George W.

Austin Colonist George Washington Pleasants was born in Raleigh, North Carolina, March 30th, 1809, and came from there to Texas in 1830, and first settled at Columbia, and lived there until 1833. There was a great cholera epidemic that year at Columbia, which nearly depopulated the town. Mr. Pleasants had two sisters to die there; one, Fannie, was the wife of Kinchen Davis, and mother of Captain W. K. Davis, father of Judge J. H. P. Davis, of Richmond. Captain W. K. Davis was a Mier prisoner, as will be seen from the account elsewhere of that expedition. After the death of his sisters, Mr. Pleasants left Columbia with their children, and went out in the country to live. There were five or six of the Davis children, and two of the others, the names of whom (the latter) the writer has not been able to learn. When the war commenced with the Mexicans in 1835 Mr. Pleasants went with the army of General Austin to San Antonia, and was in all of the fighting around that place, and helped to storm the town under Colonel Ben Milam. He remained with the army until after the battle of San Jacinto, and then settled in Fort Bend County. In June, 1842, he married Miss Jane Brush, who was born November 5th, 1821. She and her mother, who was a widow,...

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Biographical Sketch of Cason, Henry

There is an old Negro man of the above name still living at Richmond, who belonged to Captain Randall Jones. He says that Captain Wiley Martin lived with Captain Jones and died there, and that he waited upon him during his sickness, which lasted about three weeks. He also remembers Deaf Smith and when he died, and for many years knew where his grave was, but the spot is lost now. Henry was brought to Texas in 1832 by his master, Joseph Thompson, who sold him to Captain Jones soon after. Thompson came from North Carolina, and old man Henry was born there, but does not remember in what year. The people of Richmond say he is about one hundred years old. He was here, a grown man, in 1836 when the Mexicans came and can remember how they looked. The steamboat “Yellowstone,” he says, passed Thompson’s Ferry at a terrible rate of speed. The river was high and the captain put on all steam when he discovered that he was among the Mexicans. He says that the boat, in making the turn of the bend below; the ferry, struck the bank several times and turned completely around, and a merchant of Columbia named White, who was aboard, tried to get off on the bank. During this time the Mexicans at the ferry were racing across the bend to...

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Biographical Sketch of Andrus, E. P.

Fort Bend County, District Clerk Edgar P. Andrus was born in Richmond, Fort Bend County October the 34th, 1858. His father, Walter Andrus, was also born in Fort Bend: County in 1830, on the east side of the Brazos River, about four miles from Richmond. The grandfather, Williams Andrus, came with the first installment of Austin’s colonists, and his league and labor of land, was located on both sides of the Brazos, the league on the east and the labor on the west, in the bend. When the Mexican army came in 1836, the Andrus family were living on the Benard, eighteen miles from the Brazos, and in their flight went to San Felipe, where Captain Hosly Baker and his men were guarding the river, and crossing there, went on with the fleeing families, and came back, with others of the colonists, to their homes, after the battle of San Jacinto. William Andrus died in 1842, and Walter Andrus in 1897. They were farmers and stock raisers, except the father of E. P., who was a lawyer, abstracter and real estate agent. The mother of District Clerk Andrus was the eldest daughter of Martin McMahan, and the grandmother was Lucinda Travers, on the mother’s side. She was born in Florida, but came to Texas from Georgia at a very early day. The mother of Mr. Andrus was also born...

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Biography of Foster, Randolph

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 to have had a strong and natural love for all these, and to...

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Biographical Sketch of Davis, John H. Pickens, Judge

A banker of Richmond, Fort Bend County, is a son of Captain William S. and Mrs. Jane (Pickens) Davis, and was born February 11th, 1851, in Fort Bend County, where he grew to manhood, and has since resided. He married Miss Susan E. Ryon, daughter of Colonel William Ryon, February 10th, 1875. She died October 30th, 1884, leaving two children, Mamie E. and Thomas W. She is buried in the family cemetery at the old homestead eight “Blue Grass” Region. Judge Davis is a prominent citizen, and has always aided every worthy public enterprise, and is a man thoroughly, in touch with the best thought and purpose of the...

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Biographical Sketch of Wessendorff, T. B.

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 lumber and undertaking business, assisted by his brother, E. G....

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Biographical Sketch of Bassett, Clem N.

Fort Bend County, Tax Collector Clement Newton Bassett, the present Tag Collector of Fort Bend County, was born in Richmond, Texas, on the 7th of January 1842. His father, Clem N. Bassett, Sr., was a. native of Virginia. and came to Texas in 18361 first stopping on the San Jacinto River at Lynchburg, where he married Miss Julia Lee Beale, also a native of Virginia. This was soon after the battle of San Jacinto, and the young people at once came to Richmond, Fort Bend County, and made that place their permanent home. Mr. Bassett was in the legal profession, and entered into the practice of law at Richmond successfully, and, at one time represented his district in the State Legislature. He died in Houston of cholera in 1848. His wife survived him until 1888, and died at Richmond. The grandmother of the subject of this sketch on his father’s side was Miss Bacon, a relative of Nathaniel Bacon, the instigator and leader of the famous “Bacon’s Rebellion,” the first decided stand against British authority in the American Colonies, The grandmother on the mother’s side was a Miss Lee, about first or second cousin to General Robert E. Lee. At the commencement of the great civil war, in 1861, Mr. Bassett joined the “Terry. Rangers” and was sworn into the Confederate States service at Houston, September the 7th, and...

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