SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
ASHBY. According to DeWitt Colony land records, John Miller Ashby arrived 20 Feb 1830 with a family of seven where he received title to a sitio tract on the Lavaca River where the subsequent community of Petersburg was established. His neighbors were James C. and John Davis, Matthew Caldwell, James Kerr and John Smothers. Ashby was born 11 Nov 1788 at Ashby's Gap, Blue Ridge, FauquierCo, VA and married Mary Harris Garnet (born 4 Apr 1795 in WoodfordCo, VA) in Shelbyville, ShelbyCo., KY on 1 Mar 1810. Oldest daughter, Sarah Ann Ashby was born on 12 Mar 1811 and died 17 Oct 1894. She first married on 1 Sep 1829 in SpencerCo, KY, Judge Bartholomew Dupree McClure (b. 31 Aug 1805 WoodfordCo, KY; d. 7 Apr 1841 GonzalesCo, TX). B.D. and Sara McClure had children Alexander McClure (b. abt. 1830; d. abt Apr 1836); John McClure (b. abt 1833; d. abt Apr 1836); Martha Ashby McClure (b. & d. 1833; buried in McClure/Braches Cemetery) and Joel Dupree McClure (b. 8 Mar 1839; d. 28 Oct 1870). Alexander and John McClure are thought to have died on the Runaway Scrape. Joel McClure was born and died on Peach Creek and is buried in the McClure/Braches Cemetery. He was the only surviving heir of B.D. McClure, but apparently never married. He lived on the McClure Ranch, served in the Civil War and died from a wound received in battle.
The Ashby's had a second daughter born in Shelbyville, KY, Martha Francis Ashby (b. 12 Sep 1813; d. 13 Sep 1813) . The third daughter Mary Harris Ashby (b. 8 Aug 1815; d. 21 Jul 1893) married John Bate Smothers Jr. (1791 VA-1846 LavacaCo, TX) on the 25 Jan 1836. Mary was the second wife of Smothers, who according to some, was a man of questionable reputation who died during divorce proceedings. Archival records suggest that Mary had a son, Charles Ashby (b.1833; d. 1918) born out of wedlock and the father was uncertain. Charles was not mentioned in the will of John Smothers among his other children, but is listed in many records as his son and business partner. The couple had children, John Jr. (b. abt 1837), Tobin (b. 8 Aug 1839 GonzalesCo, TX; d. 14 May 1858 LavacaCo) and Martha Ann Smothers (b. 1842) who married Jefferson Butler in LavacaCo. In the 1850 census of LavacaCo is listed: Smothers: Mary 34 f KY; Charles 16 m TX; John 13 m TX; Tobin 10 m TX; Martha Ann 8 f TX.
Other Ashby children born in Shelbyville, KY were Benjamin Thomas Ashby (b. 14 Dec 1817; d. 19 Aug 1822); Sowel Harris Ashby (17 May 1820; d. 4 Aug 1833; buried Memorial Park Cemetery Hallettsville, TX); Francis "Fannie" Bertram Ashby (24 Dec 1821; d. 17 May 1905 San Antonio, BexarCo, TX) who married on 8 Jan 1851 Roderic von Gelhorn (b. 28 Aug 1822 Prussia; 17 May 1901; buried Masonic Cemetery Gonzales, TX). The couple had no children, but adopted a daughter at age 3, Blanche Martha Gelhorn who married a Blake and then a Pennington; Jane Isabelle Ashby (17 Sep 1822; d. 18 Aug 1895 Rockport, TX) who married General Henry Eustace McCulloch, they had 11 children; William Wayne Ashby (1 Feb 1827; d. 4 Mar 1857 Seguin, TX) who never married; Travis Hill Ashby (27 Mar 1829; d. 12 Jan 1866; buried Gonzales Masonic Cemetery). The first child born in Texas was Euphremia Texas Davis Ashby (6 Oct 1831 LavacaCo, TX; d. 15 Feb 1904 Seguin, TX) who married Maj. William George King. They had 6 children. Still additional Ashby children were Dorathea E. Ashby (8 Oct 1833 LavacaCo; d. 8 Oct 1834; buried Memorial Cemetery, Hallettsville) and John Henry Pertle Ashby (3 Aug 1835 LavacaCo; d. 22 Aug 1835; buried Memorial Cemetery, Hallettsville). Data supplied by Jo Toland Ackman, Gonzales, TX
Sarah Ann Ashby McClure Braches was one of the pioneers of Gonzales County. She was born March 12, 1811 in Shelby County, Kentucky and went to Texas with her husband, Bartlett McClure, and her father, John Miller Ashby, in February, 1830. John Ashby had been a cabinet maker and landowner in Shelbyville, Kentucky. He and his wife, Mary Garnett Ashby, had nine children; Sarah Ann McClure was the oldest. They took a boat from New Orleans, arrived at Copano on the Texas coast near the mouth of the Guadalupe River February 20,1830 [The Guadalupe River empties into Guadalupe Bay part of larger San Antonio Bay, north of Copano Bay--WLM]. At Copano the unfriendly Mexican port officials denied them entrance. John Ashby walked overland to Goliad to appeal that decision, and there he and McClure gained admittance papers allowing their families to enter Texas. John Ashby received title to land in what is now Lavaca County dated July 18, 1831. McClure filed for his claims in what is now Gonzales County May 10, 1830, and he received title dated September 6, 1831. They hired Mexicans with ox carts to take their families and supplies from Copano to their land claims. On October 6, 1831 Euphemia Texas Davis Ashby was born on the headright on the Lavaca River as the tenth child of John and Mary Ashby. She was the first girl born in DeWitt's colony in Central Texas. But tragedy came to haunt the home of John and Mary Ashby. Three of their children died soon after they settled on the Lavaca River and August 12, 1835 the mother, Mary Ashby, died. These were the first graves of colonists in what is now Lavaca County. Then Sarah Ann McClure and her husband took in the three youngest children of John and Mary Ashby, Travis, William and Euphemia. Their home was on Peach Creek in Gonzales County.
The second oldest child of John and Mary Ashby was Mary Harris Ashby. She signed a bond for $10,000 before Judge Ponton of Gonzales January 25, 1836 to marry John Smothers since no clergyman was available to perform the marriage ceremony according to the laws of Mexico. A few weeks after the marriage of Mary to John Smothers, fighting began between Mexican troops and the Texian settlers. The cannon battle at Gonzales convinced John Ashby that bigger troubles were ahead. He decided it was time to take his older unmarried daughters to school in Kentucky. A new school had opened in Shelbyville that offered science and mathematics in addition to the usual courses for girls, and he made the trip with this daughters, Jane and Francis, to enroll them there. Soon after John Ashby left for Kentucky, hostilities between the Mexicans and Texans quickly escalated. The Alamo fell and Sam Houston had Gonzales burned. The first camp of Houston's forces after leaving Gonzales was under the big oak in the yard of Bartlett and Sara McClure. There Houston instructed Bartlett McClure to go to East Texas to recruit "Redlanders" to join the Texan army before the inevitable battle with Santa Anna's army. Sarah McClure, her small son Joel and her young brothers and sisters joined in the Runaway Scrape. Mrs. McClure and her family stayed close to Houston's army. They were camped at Grigsby's Bluff at San Jacinto and heard the shouts of "Remember the Alamo, Remember Goliad". Her sister, Mary Smothers, had found refuge at Groce's plantation on the Brazos. After the victory at San Jacinto, Sarah McClure and Mary Smothers met their father who had just returned from Kentucky. Together they returned to their lands in Lavaca and Gonzales Counties to rebuild their homes and farms. Three years later John Ashby returned to Kentucky to take his daughters, Jane and Francis, home from school. On the return trip he became ill on shipboard, and after a fit of hiccups he died on board ship. He was buried in the waters of Matagorda Bay October 15, 1839. Jane Isabella Ashby married Henry Eustace McCulloch August 4, 1840. They made their home in Seguin and had ten children. Frances married Roderick Gelhorn January 8, 1851. They made their home near Shiner and adopted two children. Virginia Woods (From The History of Gonzales County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of the Gonzales County Historical Commission)
BLAIR. George Blair, born about 1789 in Berkeley County, Virginia, was the fifth of six sons and one daughter of John Blair and Susannah Ewing. John was a Revolutionary soldier from Cumberland County, Pennsylvania and lived in BerkeleyCo, VA after his marriage where his first son was born in 1778. The family moved to BourbonCo, KY in 1790 and then to FranklinCo, OH by 1800. John Blair died in MadisonCo, OH in Jul 1810. By 1817 sons and daughters were in OrangeCo, IN and except George Blair, VigoCo, IN in 1820. The family spread into Fountain and ParkeCo, IN and PikeCo, IL.
George Blair left Indiana for MadisonCo, IL where he married Mrs. Sarah Lockhart Fulton in December, 1818 in Madison County, Illinois. Sarah was born about 1794 in Virginia, died after 1860 in Gonzales County, Texas and was buried in Stonewall Cemetery with a fieldstone marker. She was one of five daughters and four sons of Bird [Byrd] and Sarah Lockhart. George Blair died August 27, 1840 in Cuero Creek community now in DeWitt County, Texas; the Austin City Gazette carried his obituary.
Family tradition said that George Blair came to Texas as a Stephen F. Austin colonist, but did not like the land offered, so he applied in 1831 to Green DeWitt. He received a league of land on the road to San Felipe de Austin about four miles from Plum Creek. [Blair was granted a 24/25 sitio on Tom's Creek east of Gonzales town almost to the Lavaca County line. He received a labor to complete the sitio for which his family of seven qualified which was on the Guadalupe River southeast of town next to grants to the McCoys, Byrd Lockhart and John E. Garvin--WLM]. He had arrived in the colony February 10, 1829 and had settled his family on land he bought from Kimber and Margaret Lockhart Barton in the McNutt League on the Guadalupe River and Cuero Creek. Memories of the Blair family were handed down by word of mouth. The memoirs of James Norman Smith written after he was quite old described the George Blair home as the center of activities in the Cuero Creek community. George Blair met Mr. Smith in the spring of 1840 at Linnville. Soon after Smith's arrival in Texas, Blair offered him a school of thirty pupils, a house in which to live in Blair's yard and a wagon to move him from Linnville to Cuero Creek, all of which Mr. Smith accepted.
Of seven children listed in the family Bible, James Fulton died in 1834; Margaret Blair married Milton Hardy with no further record; and William Blair's name was dropped during his father's probate. The other children were: Susannah (Susan), Sarah Ann, George, Jr. and Travis Blair. Susannah Blair (who signed as Susan), born in 1819 in Madison County, Illinois, married first Berry Doolittle. Their children were: Amanda, George and Mary Jane Doolittle, all married and were buried in Hebron Cemetery. Susannah Blair Doolittle married second, Robert Ellis Ross November 1, 1850 in DeWitt County and moved from the Doolittle homestead in DeWitt County to her part of the Blair land in Gonzales County. The Ross children were: Thomas Hulen, John Ellis, Sarah Ann and Elizabeth. Susannah Ross died at the birth of Elizabeth May 28, 1856, and Robert Ross took his four children to Williamson County before 1860. [According to GonzalesCo court records of 9 Oct 1857 in which R.E. Ross petitioned for executor of the estate, Susan died 6 Oct. 1857--provided by descendant Nancy Stevens Page].
Elizabeth Ross married Reuben Wesley Henson November 16,1873. She lived and died in Mills County. Her eldest child, Cora Henson Null Walker, was buried in the Leesville Cemetery. Sarah Ann Blair, born November, 1820 in Illinois, died July 18, 1843 at Cummings Creek, Colorado County, Texas. Sarah Ann married Wiley C. Cummings July 9,1842; he died about 1857 in DeWitt County at the house of Jasper Gilbert, a son-in-law of Andrew Lockhart. Her daughter, Sarah Ann Cummings, born July 1843, died 1880, married April 10, 1866 Jobe A. Key, born 1825, died 1909. Their daughter, Emma Key, born 1866, died 1951, married first W.F. Griffin. They had one daughter, Frances Griffin, who was unmarried. Emma Key married second William Berry Wright in 1897 and had two children. Their daughter, Mildred Ruth Wright, born May 10, 1904, died July 11, 1952, married Ray B. Cluis, born November 8, 1900, died February 16, 1946. Daughter, Mildred Ruth Cluis, married Clement Petras. They had one son and two daughters. Descendants of Sarah Ann Blair Cummings were buried in the Stonewall Cemetery. George W. Blair, born February 17, 1831 in Texas, married March 19, 1860 Mrs. Margaret Darst. He served in Waul's Texas Legion. Confederate pension papers showed he died in 1865 in service in Coleman County, Texas. The census records listed two daughters, Sarah and Georgia Eleanor. Georgia Eleanor married A.C. Dowlearn September, 1880 in DeWitt County. Margaret Darst Blair moved back to DeWitt County before 1870. Travis Blair, born December 23, 1837, married Josephine Barnes October 26, 1865. They lived in DeWitt County through 1870; he was in Brown County by 1880 and sold property in the 1890's. [Composed from information from Alpha Null Corley (Mrs. T.H. Corley deceased 1992) in The History of Gonzales County, Texas and in DeWitt County History. Reprinted parts are by permission].
The Blair family was listed in the 1850 census of DeWittCo: 55. Sarah Blair, 56, F, Virginia; George Blair, 19, M, Farmer, Texas; Travis Blair, 14, M, Texas; Sarah Ann Cumings, 7, F, Texas.
Listed as family number 56 was R.E. Ross, 30, M, Farmer, South Carolina; Susan Doolittle, 31, F, Amanda Doolittle, 12, F, Tennessee; George Doolittle, 5, M, Tennessee; Mary J. Doolittle, 4, F, Tennessee. [According to descendant Nancy S. Page, Amanda was born in Texas during the Runaway Scrape in July of 1839 close to the Colorado River. George W. was born in 1843 in Texas and Mary Jane was born in Texas in 1845. They were children of Susan (Susanna) Blair and first husband Berry Doolittle.]
CHISHOLM. Chisholm brothers, Richard H. and Richard A., along with their sister Lourena, originally from Scotland and Virginia, moved to the DeWitt Colony. Richard A. Chisholm is thought to have never married. Lourena Chisholm married James H. Hallmullen in DeWitt County on March 15, 1849. She mysteriously disappeared after leaving their ranch on the way to Goliad for supplies. Family members found her horse and rigging at the Guadalupe River crossing and no trace of Lourena.
Richard (Dick) H. Chisholm arrived with his family of 4 according to DeWitt Colony land records in Feb 1829 and received a sitio of land on the west bank of the Guadalupe River across from current Cuero in DeWitt County. The author's uncle Nathan Boone Burkett in is memoirs Early Days in Texas was a good friend of Capt. Dick Chisholm and relates a story of an encounter with Indians from which he escaped unharmed. Robert Hall in his memoirs, Life of Robert Hall, related a somewhat exaggerated version of the same story which is presumed to refer to the same person:
Chisholm married Hardinia Taylor, daughter of Josiah and Hepzibeth (Smith) Taylor. He built and operated "Chisholm's Ferry" across the Guadalupe River in 1838 near Chisholm Creek. Richard H. Chisholm donated 640 acres of land on his tract for the county seat of DeWitt County. Unsuccessful at first, the county seat was established at the townsite of Clinton (named for Clinton DeWitt, son of the empresario) near Chisholm's Ferry.
COE. Phillip Coe was a resident of the Washington Municipality of the Austin Colony prior to moving to the DeWitt Colony area after the War of Independence. He was a delegate from the municipality in the 3rd Consultation of Nov 1835 in San Felipe and a signer of the Declaration of the People that emerged from the meeting. He was the signer "for New Year's Creek" of the D.C. Barrett address to the People of Texas on 10 Dec 1835 appealing for them to join the volunteer army at Bexar and cooperate with efforts of Thomas Rusk and J.W. Fannin to supply the army. Coe's name appears on other transactions of the convention indicating that he was a very active participant.
Gonzales County probably had few early settlers more colorful than Captain Philip H. Coe. A native of Georgia who served as a captain of cavalry in the Army of the Republic of Texas, Coe settled in the early 1840's in "Coe Valley" on the Guadalupe River about fifteen miles southwest of Gonzales near Monthalia. Adding to his bounty land grant of 640 acres and acquiring property in other Texas counties as well, Coe became an extensive landowner and was said to have built a church and school on every large tract he owned. Primarily engaged in growing cotton and other agricultural crops, Coe was also a partner of his friend Sam Houston in stock raising and at one time imported purebred horses from Tennessee to Gonzales County. Shot in a saloon in Gonzales while playing poker in December of 1852, Coe rode his horse home to Coe Valley where he died December 14 after writing a will recorded in the county courthouse "....being severely wounded and my life uncertain. . ." in which he divided his estate of more than 16,000 acres, numerous slaves, racing horses and stock among his wife Elizabeth, ten daughters and two sons. His oldest son was Philip Houston Coe, Confederate War veteran and proprietor of the Bull's Head Saloon in Abilene, Kansas in 1871 when he was killed by Wild Bill Hickcock. His youngest son was Gabriel Hubbard Coe, only ten months old when his father died. Captain Coe was buried in the family cemetery in Coe Valley where a Texas Centennial marker was erected in 1936.
Philip H. Coe was born Philip Hattox (Haddox) January 10, 1800, the second oldest son of Rachael Hattox. He changed his name to his mother's maiden name when he left Upson County near Thomaston in Georgia in 1829 to migrate to Texas. Coe was described in Georgia newspaper accounts as being "a man of a powerful frame, upwards of six feet. . . dark hair, grey eyes . . . and well proportioned." A widower with three daughters and possibly a son, a John G. Coe was killed in the Goliad Massacre in 1836, Coe married Elizabeth Ann Parker (April 12,1812 -March 16,1866), the Georgia-born daughter of Jesse and Sarah Parker (1822 Texas) January 31, 1829. The Coe family settled at "Tiger's Point" on the Brazos River in Washington Municipality, later Washington County, near present day Brenham.
In July of 1835 Philip Coe was chosen captain of one of four volunteer companies organized to assist Captain Robert M. Coleman in dislodging a band of Tawakoni Indians at Techuacana Springs in present Limestone County. A muster roll of July 9 August 31, 1835 certified he was the captain of a group of twelve Texas Rangers "on an Indian campaign" under the command of Colonel John H. Moore who later went to the defense of Gonzales. A member of the general council which met November 1, 1835, Captain Coe also represented Washington Municipality (County) in the Consultation of 1835. The general council appointed him to enroll volunteers for the Texas army and to forward them to New Year's Creek. From March 2 to June 2, 1836 he served as captain of cavalry in the First Regiment of Volunteers. During the weeks of the San Jacinto campaign Captain Coe was detailed by General Sam Houston to protect the women and children fleeing from their homes ahead of Santa Anna's army as well as guarding the baggage at Harrisburg during the engagement at San Jacinto. During the "Runaway Scrape", Elizabeth Parker Coe and two young daughters, Sarah age four and Martha Ann age one, left Washington -on-the-Brazos in an oxcart with other women and children and camped within hearing distance of the battle of San Jacinto. In later years Sarah, who married "the schoolteacher Towns" in 1850 and lived in Coe Valley, would recall the sounds of the battle and the fact that her father had handed her mother a pistol and told her to "keep this ready to use." (Story retold by Sarah's granddaughter, Annie Ruth Towns Nelson). After the victory at San Jacinto, Captain Coe and his family returned to Washington County where the tax census of 1840 showed he then owned 4,000 acres, seven slaves, sixteen horses, one stud, forty-three cattle and one clock, the latter being taxable. In 1842 he served as commander of a volunteer expedition against the Indians at Tehuacana, captain on the expedition against Rafael Vasquez and as captain of Company A on the Somervell Expedition.
Coe's happiest years were probably those spent (1842? - 1852) in his fertile valley on the Guadalupe River. In 1852 Captain Coe wrote of the "bountiful crops" in Coe Valley and invited his attorney friend to come see "something out here in the way of soil and crops that will take your eyes." By contrast, Elizabeth's letters after her husband's death spoke of "hard times and worse acomin'" having to sell off lands to settle debts and title disputes, droughts, crop failures and was in 1858 "in very low spirits as all of our corn and cot (sic) have been eaten up by the grasshoppers . . . every vestige of vegitation. even to the most noxious weeds." Until her death in 1866, Elizabeth continued to live in Coe Valley with some of her nine children, five of whom were under the age of ten when her husband died.
A longtime resident of Gonzales County who lived thirty-nine years with his wife Mattie ten miles north of Gonzales on the Greenwood road was Gabe Coe, a great storyteller. Rocking in the breezeway of the old 1911 farm house on the Hodges-Coe tract, he loved to recall his days as a young "cowpoke" going up the Chisholm Trail and his stint as a San Antonio policeman whose beat was the old Buckhorn Saloon in the 1870's. A boy during the Civil War, he later told of riding his horse from Coe Valley to "the swamp near Ottine" (later named Palmetto Park) to gather palm fronds for making hats. Six years after the war's close, he could remember taking a buckboard to Columbus to retrieve his brother's body which was sent by train from Abilene, Kansas after he was killed by Hickcock. Because of the condition of the corpse, Philip H. Coe had to be buried in Columbus. Gabe and Mattie Coe were buried in the Hodges plot in Greenwood Cemetery. Marlene Coe Gordon (From The History of Gonzales County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of the Gonzales County Historical Commission).
COTTLE. Numerous Cottles came from Missouri to both the Austin and DeWitt Colonies of Texas. Stephen Cottle, son of Joseph and Azuba Power Cottle, and family came to the Austin Colony while his cousins, Isaac and Jonathan, sons of Sylvanus and Louisa Power Cottle Jr. came to the DeWitt Colony. Both Joseph and Sylvanus Cottle Jr. were sons of Sylvanus and Abigail Sherman Cottle. Azuba and Louisa Powers were both daughters of Andrew Powers. Stephen Cottle married Sarah Turner, daughter of Winslow Turner Sr. who were the parents of Harriet Cottle. Harriet Cottle married Andrew Tumlinson who was prematurely killed by Indians, both were early residents and landholders in the the DeWitt Colony. Her sister, Louisa Cottle, was wife of Capt. John J. Tumlinson, a brother of Andrew Tumlinson.
Isaac and Jonathan Cottle. Brothers Isaac and Jonathan Cottle were sons of Sylvanus and Louisa Powers Cottle and migrated to DeWitt's Colony from Missouri. Isaac married Mary Ann Williams and arrived in 1830. He had his land grant made in his wife's name. Mary Ann was the sister of Allam B. "Allumbe" Williams Jr. who was also an early settler of Gonzales County. Isaac soon left his family in Texas and returned to Missouri where he died circa 1835. Mary Ann died in Beaumont in 1840.
Isaac and Mary Ann [Williams] Cottle had at least four daughters and one son: Olivia married H.H. Brockman; Delila married John Z. Headstream; Fredonia Adaline married Edward L. Mills; Eliza married first her first cousin George Washington Cottle, second James Gibson, third James Bird and fourth John Z. Headstream; and Lorenzo D. Cottle.
Jonathan Cottle and his wife Margaret went to Texas in 1829 with three children: George Washington, Louisa and Almond. He received a league of land in Gonzales September 1, 1831. Jonathan died at his residence in Columbia, Brazoria County November, 1837. Almond Cottle was believed to have been born in Lincoln County, Missouri as both his parents and grandparents lived there. He was a member of the "Old Eighteen", defenders of Gonzales and a city official at one time. Almond never married and died in April, 1840. Louisa married first Thomas J. Jackson who died at the Alamo and she then married James B. Hinds. George Washington Cottle and Eliza Cottle, George's cousin, posted a marriage bond in Gonzales dated November, 1830 but four months later in March, 1831 Eliza and James Gibson made a marriage bond. In October, 1834 the three made a written bond declaring "for certain reasons" the 1830 bond to be null and void forever. The reasons for such action were not given and were never determined. From the brief union of the cousins, G.W. and Eliza Cottle, there was one child Melzenia.
Eliza, however, became the mother of several Gibson children: Samuel; Amanda married Benjamin Lane; Marion; James B.; Sara Jane Eliza became the wife of Vates D. Light; and Rachel. Eliza died sometime after 1860. On June 2, 1835 G.W. Cottle married Nancy Oliver in Gonzales. The birth date of George Washington Cottle was listed on his 1830 marriage bond as January 12, 1811. A publication entitled "Alamo Heros and Their Revolutionary Ancestors" published as a Bicentennial Project by the Alamo, O'Shavano and San Antonio de Bexar Chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution of San Antonio, Texas, 1976 stated that Cottle's birthdate was 1798. This date could not be substantiated. George Washington Cottle died at the Alamo March 6, 1836. Cottle County, Texas was named for him.
Related Cottles were also in Gonzales or nearby counties in the late 1820's: Leander F.; Othello; Almond, son of Joseph; Stephen; Cordelia, wife of a Harrell; and Minerva, wife of Zadock Woods. June Short Chalon. (From The History of Gonzales County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of the Gonzales County Historical Commission).
DARST. Richard Brownfield Darst was a veteran of San Jacinto having served under Capt. William Patton in the 4th Infantry Company, 2nd Regiment of Volunteers from 1 Mar to 29 May 1836. For a time he lived in Ft. Bend County afterwards where he married Eliza Scott on 20 Jul 1846. After a divorce from Eliza, he married Margaret E. Hodge on 18 Dec 1851 in Ft. Bend County. Former wife Eliza Scott retained her maiden name and later married Thomas Kemp, a survivor of the Goliad Massacre in Houston. According to files of L.W. Kemp:
A letter of 1901 from D.S.H. Darst, son of Jacob C. Darst, of Gonzales to Mr. L.G. Lum of Richmon states:
Margaret E. Hodges Darst was a niece of Eleanor Dorsett Wiseman, from a family of Texas pioneers who also in later life moved to Gonzales County.
Robert and Eleanor Wiseman spent all but a few months of the last decade of their lives - the years leading up to the Civil War on their farm on Peach Creek. Wiseman was born about 1785 in Maryland, either in St. Mary's County or in Washington County, to which the family moved about the time of his birth. His father was also named Robert Wiseman. The family moved to Columbia County, Georgia early in the 1790's. It was there February 19, 1810 that the young Robert Wiseman married Eleanor Culver Dorsett, born about 1788 either in Prince George's County, Maryland or in Washington County to which the family moved about the time of her birth. She was the daughter of John and Susannah Dorsett. The Robert Wisemans were closely associated for most of their lives with the Dorsett family. The Wisemans moved about 1820 with Mrs. Wiseman's widowed mother and brothers and sisters to Wilkinson County, Mississippi where they joined a brother Theodore Dorsett who had moved there before 1813. In the early 1820's the entire group moved to Ayish Bayou, Texas in the new Republic of Mexico. After the disturbances in connection with the Fredonian Rebellion most of the family, including the Wisemans, moved to the lower Trinity River. On May 4, 1831 Robert Wiseman was granted a league of land on Old River where the family lived. Following Texas independence, they called their settlement the town of Archer, perhaps after the steamboat Branch T. Archer which lay at Wiseman's wharf on Old River. The Wisemans were parents of three children, all born in Columbia County, Georgia. Martha Ann was born about 1811. She was married first about 1834 probably in the municipio of Libertad to John C. Read by whom she had a daughter Eleanor Jane. After Read's death his widow married Hutson Bishop Littlefield. The Wiseman's second daughter was Susannah Eleanor who married Charles P. Welch. They had two children, William P. born about 1831 and Alcestes F. born about 1838. Susannah Eleanor died when her children were infants, and Alcestes was reared by Robert and Eleanor Wiseman. The Wiseman's son was George Columbus born about 1820 just before the family moved to Mississippi. By his first wife, a native of Georgia whom he married about 1845, he had two children, Martha J. born about 1848 and Robert born about 1849. His wife died after 1850, and on June 7, 1853 just before moving to Gonzales County, he married Mary Jane Rhea born about 1830 in the vicinity of Harrisburg, a daughter of John Riley and Rachel Eleanor Smith Rhea. The G.C. Wisemans had three children, all born in Gonzales County, Frances, Henry B. and JW. The 1850 census of Liberty County, households 203 to 217, reveals a community of seven closely related families, all connected through the Dorsetts. Many of the succeeding thirty families either already had woven or soon would weave a web of in-laws. Six of the seven Dorsett-connected families left Liberty County in the next few years. Remaining in Liberty County was the family of Amos Barber whose wife Susan Ann was Eleanor Wiseman's niece. However, in the 1840's Barber's brother John Albert married Elizabeth Kokernot, and their sister Melissa, wife of Elizabeth Kokernot's uncle George Maley, pioneered the exodus to Peach Creek where they appeared in the 1850 census. The Wisemans and their closest connections moved to Gonzales County in the mid-1850's, probably in the autumn of 1853, when Columbus Wiseman sold his livestock in Liberty County to Sam Houston and William Ball. On December 27 he purchased a lot in Gonzales from A.T. Bass and sold it four years later to William K. Hargis. In two large sales during 1853 Robert Wiseman disposed of the major part of his league in Liberty County, and on February 5, 1855 purchased the Bartlett D. McClure labor of land on Peach Creek from the grantee's widow and her second husband Charles Braches. It was there that the Wisemans settled. Near them were the families of their son and deceased daughters. The family was augmented in 1857 by the marriage of Alcestes Welch to Philip G. Dromgoole and the marriage of William P. Welch to Eliza Bradford. Also in the neighborhood was Eleanor Wiseman's niece Margaret Hodges who married Richard Brownfield Darst in Fort Bend County December 18, 1851 after his divorce from his first wife and moved with him to Big Hill where Darst died in 1856. In 1860 Mrs. Darst married George W. Blair, also of Big Hill.
During the Civil War Robert and Eleanor Wiseman, by then elderly, left their farm in the hands of their son and went to live with a granddaughter Eleanor Jane Read Dickson in DeWitt County. Eleanor Wiseman died October 3, 1863 and Robert Wiseman the following January. They were buried in DeWitt County at Irish Creek. Kent Gardien. (From The History of Gonzales County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of the Gonzales County Historical Commission).
SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS