SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2007, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved
Andrew Kent-Index

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15 March 1836: The Runaway Scrape/Flight to the Sabine. Houston placed, among others, Captain "Black" Adam Zumwalt in the Lavaca River area and David Burket in the Gonzales area in charge of assisting the evacuation of DeWitt Colony settlers from the respective areas, many of whom were women and children, toward East Texas. "Red" Adam Zumwalt is also thought to have assisted with those in the Gonzales area. According to an affidavit, David Boyd Kent also assisted in the evacuation. The men plotted a route, marked the trail and identified and stocked suitable camping places with wild game or beef hanging in the trees. On foot and horseback, the widowed Kent family with the extended families of "Black" Adam Zumwalt, "Red" Adam Zumwalt, Abraham Zumwalt and David Burket crossed the Colorado River near La Grange and joined the San Antonio Road to Nacogdoches. The women and children may have remained in or near Nacogdoches until 1837 or 1838 when they returned to their homesteads. The flight took several weeks in all kinds of weather swinging between the temperatures of the exceptionally cold winter of 1836 and the arrival of the Texas spring and its accompanying beauty. "Red" Adam Zumwalt’s family lost at least two grandchildren who were less than two years old on the Scrape and Kent children, Elizabeth, Andrew Jackson and Phinette Kent are believed to have died on the flight.  Chester Wilkes relates from Kent family stories passed on by last living child, Mary Ann:

They began a flight to the east with most of the people walking. Andrew Kent's wife Elizabeth had 9 children with her:  Sarah 17, Isaac 15, Louisa almost 14, Bosman 12, Elizabeth 10, Mary Ann 8, Nancy Jane 6, Andrew Jackson 3 1/2 and Phinette 16 months.   When they came to streams the families were broken up to cross on rafts and small boats. Bosman, Mary Ann, and Andrew Jackson became separated from the others. Andrew Jackson, who was only 3 1/2, never was found again. Every family branch remembers the name of the lost child Andrew Jackson Kent.  The thought of a frightened little 3 1/2 year-old boy hiding under some  bushes waiting for a father who will never come gives a lasting memory.  Elizabeth, age 10, and Phinette, 16 months, seem to have died of  exposure and were forgotten.

On 4 April, Santa Anna’s Army reached the ruins of Gonzales on the way to San Jacinto. Lt. Jose de la Peña noted in With Santa Anna in Texas that "a few days before we arrived in Gonzales, Generals Ramirez y Sesma and Tolsa had passed by, and the troops under their command had consumed and taken with them everything they could." It was probably this troop or a part of it that Kent family legends say specifically sought out the Andrew Kent homestead to plunder and destroy it. According to daughter Mary Ann Kent, the army used Andrew’s carpenter's table as a butcher block to slaughter and butcher all the homestead stock they could round up including chickens, hogs and cows. They burned and plundered the house leaving only charred ruins with Andrew Kent's tools and the family's furniture was scattered in the surrounding mud.

Andrew Kent Alamo Bounty
Andrew Kent Land Bounty Certificate for Service to the Republic of Texas

1837: Return to the Republic. Members of the Kent family returned to the colony from East Texas in the spring of 1837. It is thought that sons David Boyd, Isaac and Bosmon Clifton Kent may have returned to the area before widow Elizabeth, the girls and the younger children.

On 10 Mar 1838, widow Elizabeth Kent appointed her nephew and later to be son-in-law William H.H. Baldridge (Sarah Clifton's second husband) as administrator of the Andrew Kent estate:

To the Hon. Judge of Probate for the county of Gonzales. Sir in consequence of Andrew Kent my husband and consort and late resident of this ocunty having died intestate and considering yself entitled to the administration of his estate I here make application that letters may be entered to Wm. H.H. Baldridge at your next term of the probate court by his complying with the law. March 10th 1838 Elizabeth (her X mark) Kent

Baldridge was appointed administrator, inventoried the estate, but was unable to dispose of the property and resigned in fall 1839.

On 5 March 1839, widow Elizabeth Zumwalt Kent retained her married surname by marriage to Joseph Kent. Englishman Kent, who was no relation to Andrew Kent, was one of the original DeWitt Colony settlers at Old Station on the Lavaca and a participant in the Battles of Gonzales, Bexar and San Jacinto. He received a a quarter sitio land grant in the colony which was west of the Guadalupe River on Sandies Creek south of the current Gonzales-DeWitt County line. He acquired other properties by purchase and was a friend of the Andrew Kent family. Joseph Kent was well-respected in the community and apparently there was great affection and respect between him and the Andrew Kent children after his marriage to their mother. Joseph Kent and Elizabeth settled on a farm near the current DeWitt-Gonzales county line while some of the Kent children and their families lived on the original Kent league on the Lavaca River. Descendants recall their forebears pointing out two chimneys standing from a burned out house on the county line that they said was the home of Elizabeth Kent. In Dec 1839, Frederick W. Heusman was appointed administrator of the Andrew Kent estate after resignation of Baldridge, but according to family history, Zumwalt in-laws Adam and Gabriel were uncooperative in disposal of the property because they did not trust Heusman. Joseph Kent was appointed administrator of the estate in Jul 1840 and eventually was able to settle it. On 1 Sep 1840, the personal property was sold at auction. Elizabeth Kent bought back her own pot, oven, table and firearms for $2.50. Nephew Gabe Zumwalt bought the grindstone and neighbor Jesse Robinson bought the tools. A part of the Kent league was sold to M.G. Dikes to settle debts. Elizabeth Zumwalt Kent died the early part of 1844 at the age of 46 and is thought to be interred on the Joseph Kent homeplace. On 29 July 1844, the Andrew Kent children agreed to partition of the league on the Lavaca River. At the same time, David Boyd Kent was appointed guardian of Bosman Clifton, Mary Ann and Nancy Jane. The heirs met on 8 Jun 1847 to conduct land sales of parts of the estate. Heirs of Isaac K. Kent, deceased, sold 400 acres to Richard Heath for $500. David and Elizabeth Kent sold 200 acres to Hiram Harless for $460. David also sold to John Arnold 200 acres of land between Kent Branch and the Lavaca River. John and Nancy Arnold sold 200 acres of her land on the league to Hiram Harless for $200.

Joseph Kent died intestate about Dec 1849 and believed buried on his homeplace near the DeWitt-Lavaca county line. He died with considerable assets in land, probably over 6000 acres. On 3 Dec 1850 the governor of Texas signed a legislative act making David B. Kent, Bosman Kent, Mary Ann Kent Byas and Louisa Kent Billings heirs to the properties.

Next page--Children of Andrew Kent and Elizabeth Zumwalt


SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
© 1997-2007, Wallace L. McKeehan, All Rights Reserved
Andrew Kent-Index