SONS OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS
Biographies of DeWitt Colony families (surnames beginning O-Z) for which there is evidence they were residents or landholders in Gonzales Town or spent significant amounts of time in the town in public service or commerce. Biographies of other DeWitt Colonists may be found at 1828 Residents, The Battle of Gonzales-Old 18, Gonzales Alamo Relief Force, Land Grantees & Residents and Citizens-Free State of Lavaca.
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PATRICK. James Blair Patrick's "Texas Fever" when he married Mary Jane Ponton according to Lavaca County author Judge Paul Boethel precipitated the migration of the Ponton clan to the DeWitt Colony. He urged father-in-law William Ponton to sell out his Missouri properties and promised if he would give daughter Mary Jane Ponton Patrick her share of the proceeds needed to establish the couple in Texas, he would never claim interest in any of his father-in-laws lands he might receive in Texas. William Ponton conceded to the plan and in Dec 1829 the Patricks and the William Ponton families arrived in the DeWitt Colony. Patrick received title to a sitio of prime land southwest of Gonzales town on the west bank of the Guadalupe River next to Sarah Seely DeWitt's prime tract south of the town. In addition, Patrick purchased two lots in inner Gonzales town where the family built a home on Water St. A son, John, was born to James B. and Mary Jane Patrick in Gonzales in 1833.
James B. Patrick was the first elected Alcalde of the Gonzales Ayuntamiento in 1833 along with Regidor Charles Lockhart and syndico procurador Almond Cottle. Lewis D. Sowell and Adam Zumwalt served as tellers and Jose Ramon Bedford was secretary. He had succeeded Fielding Porter as appointed comissario in 1830 and served also in 1831. He was a member of the Gonzales Committee of Safety formed in 1835 as troubles with the central Mexican government increased. Patrick was a prominent member of the War Party in the colony which was for complete separation of Texas from the Republic of Mexico. He authored the letter of April 1833 to Ramon Musquiz expressing "hearty" support for the resolutions of the independence consultation of 1833 at San Felipe. After fleeing to east Texas on the Runaway Scrape, the Patricks returned to Gonzales by way of Houston where a daughter Sarah Jane was born in 1837. While on a trip to San Felipe in 1838, Mary Jane Ponton Patrick became ill and after a prolonged period died there in 1838 or 1839. James Patrick returned to Gonzales with the motherless children in 1839 where he married Temperance Smith, the widow of Stephen Smith on 12 Jul 1839. In 1840 he was a county commissioner for GonzalesCo. In the 1850 census of Gonzales County, 13 year old Sarah Jane Patrick (later married Hugh W. Monroe) was living with her aunt Sarah Ann Eggleston. The estate of James B. Patrick was administered by Col. Phillip Howard (husband of Sarah Creath Sherry Hibbins) in Gonzales.
PECK. Nicholas Peck was born in Rhode Island and emigrated to Gonzales in 1831 where he purchased 4 lots in the outer town of the Gonzales tract receiving title in 12 Sep 1835. Peck was a voter in Feb 1835 to elect the Gonzales representatives to the Texas Independence Consultation of Mar 1835. He served in Capt. Jacob Eberly's company in Oct and Nov 1835. He joined the Texas Republican Army in Gonzales and served in Capt. Moseley Baker's Company D in the First Regiment of Volunteers on the way to and in the Battle of San Jacinto. In 1837 he returned to Rhode Island and returned with wife and daughter where he lived on a headright for service near Texana, JacksonCo, TX. He died there in 1838. His son Benjamin Peck was a public official in Gonzales where his signature can be found on many documents of the period. Benjamin died in Gonzales in 1863. In 1850 the family was listed in the census of GonzalesCo, Town of Gonzales: Peck, B.B., 32, m, Merchant, $7,000, R.I; Peck, Elizabeth, 25, f, Tenn; Peck, Ann E., 1, f, Texas; Peck, Wm, D.H., 18, m, R.I.; Cox, John, 23, m, Cabinet maker, Ind.; Arington, Emma, 10, f, Texas.
From Goodspeed Brothers (Publishers). Memorial and Genealogical Record of Southwest Texas. Goodspeed Brothers Publishers, Chicago, IL, 1894. In few branches of trade has the march of progress wrought such a veritable revolution as in the hardware and agricultural implements and kindred lines of business. What with inventions, improvement and the development of skill something closely akin to perfection has been reached in this department of industrial activity. A popular house is that owned and operated by Capt. William De Wolf Peck at Gonzales. He was born in Bristol, Rhode Island, February 21, 1832, a son of Nicholas and Amy (Bradford) Peck, who were also born in "Little Rhody," the former being a merchant and sea captain. In 1835 he [Nicholas and family] came to Texas and lived in Gonzales, and joined the Texas army, and was a resident of that place at the opening of the Texas Rebellion, and was there, when the town was burned by order of General Sam Houston in 1836, and retreated with the army to San Jacinto and was a participant in the battle of that name. After the battle, in 1836, he returned to the State of his birth, and returned to Texas in 1837, bringing his eldest son, Benjamin B. Peck, with him, and lived in Gonzales a short time, and then settled on his headright league of land," near Texana, where he died in December, 1838.
His widow and the remaining members of his family, with the exception of the subject of this sketch [William D.W.], remained in Rhode Island, and there Mrs. Peck breathed her last in 1889. Benjamin B. Peck took an active part in the Indian campaigns in Texas, and was in many fights, but being in bad health at the commencement of the Civil War, and not able to take the field, he was appointed Provost Marshal for the Confederate Government during the Civil War, but died at Gonzales in May, 1863, where he had resided for many years, having engaged in the mercantile business at that place in 1845. The subject of this sketch was sixteen years of age when he came to Texas in January, 1849, and here be clerked for some time in his brother's store in Gonzales, continuing until January, 1855, when he became a partner in the business, the firm taking the name of B. B. Peck Co. They continued to do business together until the commencement of the war, when they gave their services to the Confederacy. William joined a volunteer company that marched to San Antonio, under command of Genl. Ben McCulloch, and captured the government property there, and then marched to Indianola and captured the property there. On October 28, 1861, he enlisted at Galveston in Capt. B. Shropshire's Company F, Nichol's Infantry Regiment, Texas Volunteers, and on April 12, 1862, reenlisted in the cavalry, battalion of Waul's Texas Legion, and helped to organize Company D, of which he was elected First Lieutenant, which became a part of Waul's Legion and was at once sent across the Mississippi River to Vicksburg. After remaining there a short time the cavalry was detached from the Legion, and ordered to Corinth, Miss., but on arriving at Lumkins Mills, below Holly Springs, met Gen. S. Price's army after their retreat from Corinth. Soon after crossing the Mississippi River he was made Captain of his company and he was with Gen. Van Dorn on his raid and capture of Holly Springs, and operated in Mississippi, Tenessee, Alabama, and a short time in Florida, at different times under commands of Gens. N. B. Forrest, Stephen D. Lee, J. E Chalmers, and a short time under Gen. Wort Adams.
His command participated in the attack on Fort Pillow under Gen. Forrest, and was in many hotly contested battles. In the spring of 1865 he returned to Texas on a leave of absence and recruiting expedition, and while there the war closed. In 1861 Capt. Peck resumed business at Gonzales, and soon had all the debts which he and his brother had contracted before the war, paid in full. He then took in Capt. A. G. Evans as partner, under the firm name of Peck & Evans and for a time operated extensively in the cattle and mercantile business. In 1875 that firm was dissolved, and since that time he has been doing business in his own name and has devoted the most of his attention to the mercantile business, and now carries a fine stock of hardware, crockery, glassware woodenware and agricultural implements. His stock is well chosen, and as he sells at reasonable prices, he has a large patronage. He is looked upon as one of the pioneers of the place, and he has a warm place in the esteem of all whom he knows, for his many worthy qualities as a citizen and business man have won the respect of all. The headright league of land his father entered after coming to this State is still owned by him and the other heirs.
Capt. Peck was married September 4, 1866, to Mrs. Mary E. (Jeffries) Peck a native of Kentucky, and a resident of Texas since 1853. They have two children living: John C., and Callie L. Baron. Mrs. Peck is a member of and an earnest hard worker in the Christian Church, and he has been a member of the I. O. O. F. since 1851, and a member of the Grand Lodge of Texas.
PILGRIM. Thomas Jefferson Pilgrim.
PONTON. William Sr., Andrew, Joel.
PUTMAN/PUTNAM. Mitchell/Michael Putman.
REAMS. Sherwood Young Reams (1812-1887) was born 4 Mar 1812 in South Carolina (A Texas Scrapbook, D.W.C. Baker, p. 611, TSHA, 1991). According to his military pension record, in 1835 he immigrated to Texas from Tennessee enlisting in The Army of Texas on Sept. 14, 1835 under the command of Artillery Capt. James C. Neill at Gonzales. On Oct. 2, 1835 Reams participated in the Gonzales "Come and Take It" skirmish with Mexican troops, with the colonists retaining possession of the disputed cannon. On Dec. 5-10, 1835 he served under Col. Neill and Ben Milam in the siege and capture of San Antonio. Following the capture, Reams reenlisted on Dec. 15 in Capt. Almeron Dickinson's Artillery Company, assigned to fortify and defend the Alamo, and was elected 2nd Lieut. (Reams Pension Application. Republic Claims Index, Reel #234). Reams contacted measles and was discharged on Dec. 28, and was returned to Gonzales to recuperate (A Time To Stand", Walter Lord, p. 83).
Military Rolls of The Republic of Texas, 1835-1845 show that on March 1, 1836 he enlisted in Capt. Robert McNutts Co. "E", 1st Regt. Of Texas Volunteers. When McNutt was promoted to Major, Lt. Gibson Kuykendall assumed command, with Reams as 1st Sgt. On March 13, Reams Company joined with The Texas Army and others in the retreat eastward from Gonzales, the "Runaway Scrape". On arriving at Harrisburg on April 18, Reams Co. "E" was detailed to remain at Harrisburg as rear-guard and sick and baggage guard while Sam Houston's 'Army' marched eastward to San Jacinto, and destiny. Reams was discharged due to ill health on May 1, 1836, but re-enlisted on May 18 as Private in Capt. B.F. Ravills Company of Texas Volunteers. On July 1, 1836, Reams joined the newly-formed Company of "Mill Creek Volunteers" from Austin County, with Capt. H.N. Cleveland as Commanding Officer. Reams was honorably discharged from the Army of The Republic of Texas on Oct. 1, 1836 and later received 1920 acres of Bounty and Donation Grant land, in Austin and Milam Counties, for his military service (Bounty and Land Donation Grants of Texas, 1835-1888, T.L. Miller (UT Press, 1967).
According to AustinCo marriage records, Reams married Sarah Atkinson in Austin County on Sept. 14, 1837 and lived briefly on Peach Creek in Gonzales around 1850 as indicated in the 1850 census of GonzalesCo. Reams and family, back in Buckhorn, Austin County in 1870, with all his land gone, was declared indigent and was granted a State Veterans Pension (Texas Almanac, 1857-1873, Revolution Pension #139). S.Y. Reams died in 1887 in Buckhorn, Austin County, and was buried in the Buckhorn Cemetery (Austin County Probate Records). In 1936 The State of Texas placed a commemorative marker on his gravesite, and mis-spelled his name as REAMOS (Headstone, Buckhorn Cemetery, Austin Co), one of the 13 variations of the spelling of his name found on official documents (SY Reams, SP Beams, ST Reaves, SW Reams, SP Reans, SP Reaves, Sherrod Y, Reams, SY Reames, SY Reamos, SY Yeams, ST Reams, LY Reams, SY Ream ). Contributed by Bill Morris, PO Box 334, Chappell Hill, Texas 77426, (409) 836-3009.
According to an article in The History of Gonzales County Texas, Gonzales residents, Sherwood Y. Reames and John Atkinson were in the rear guard of Houston's Army at San Jacinto and camped near Harrisburg during the battle. Atkinson was attached to Capt. Gibson Kuykendall's Company. Reames is said to have been a member of the Alamo garrison prior to the battle at that site, but was sent home with the measles. Both Reames and Atkinson were brothers-in-law of Elizabeth Bachman Riley, wife of Hiram A. Riley, both residents of GonzalesCo. Riley daughters Nancy Caroline and Mary were wives of GonzalesCo residents from Misssissippi, Martin Van Buren Caraway and John J. Caraway Jr., respectively.
ROWE/ROE. Fredrick Rowe, John Rowe. Fredrick Rowe (Roe) first married Sally Grogan, who arrived in Gonzales, probably around 20 Feb 1831 with William A. Matthews and John C. McKean who introduced seventeen families from Tennessee as part of the Tennessee-Texas Land Company to DeWitt's Colony. They were married by bond in Sep 1832. They lived three or four months until she moved into the home of the Sowell family, and early in the year of 1834 a daughter was born to Sally and William Sowell. On May 14, 1834 the bond between Fredrick Roe and Sally was " .by mutual consent of both parties .forever null and void." Frederick Rowe received title to to four lots on the San Marcos River in the outer Gonzales Town tract in Sep 1835. Rowe later married Alamo widow Elizabeth Dearduff George when she returned to her devastated Plum Creek homestead. He acted as agent of his wife's former husband and Alamo casualty James George in the Gonzales Tax Rolls of 1838. Rowe petitioned the probate court of Gonzales on 25 Jun 1838 for administration of the estate of James George and Rowe's deceased brother-in-law William Dearduff, who was also a Gonzales Ranger and Alamo casualty. Fredrick Rowe and Elizabeth Dearduff George Rowe had a daughter Elizabeth. Fredrick Rowe was said to have drowned in Plum Creek while searching for cattle in 1840. On 21 Jan 1841, Elizabeth Dearduff George Rowe married Thomas Hoskins. She died in Jan 1854. A J. Alexander was appointed guardian of Elizabeth Rowe, a minor daughter.
John Rowe (Roe) arrived in the DeWitt Colony on 25 Apr 1827 as a single man and received title on 10 Aug 1832 to a quarter sitio land grant on Plum Creek south of current Lockhart in CaldwellCo. His tract was not far south of the James George tract. George and Dearduff family records relate that James George left his family with John Rowe, "a periodic hired hand," when he departed with the Gonzales Rangers in relief of the Alamo. The relationship between John and Fredrick Rowe who later married widow George is currently unclear. A John Roe, originally of the Colorado District and Austin Colony, was the subject of disputes between the colonial government represented by the Empresarios in 1825 and problems with Indians at the time. His relationship to the DeWitt Colony Rowe's is also unclear. In a Gonzales Inquirer article referring to residents returning to the area in spring 1838 after the flight in 1836, a widow Rowe is mentioned as living near the town.
Caleb or William St. Clair (St. Clare) according to military
rosters was a resident of Gonzales who participated in the Mier Expedition and battle in
the town. Caleb St. Clair is listed on the roll of Company C--Capt. John Pierson as a
private whose residence is listed as Gonzales (town or county) in two sources, Nance's
Dare Devils All--The Texas Mier Expedition, and Tom Green's Journal of the Texian
Expedition Against Mier. His home state is noted as "New York." On
another copy of Pierson's roll in McCutchan's Mier Expedition Diary (edited by Nance), the
name is listed Wm. St. Clare. Historian John Henry Brown, who was from the Gonzales
area, in his copy of the roster in 1886, makes the note that this is Wm. St. Clair, not
Clare. The memoirs of George B. Erath refer to both St. Clair and Whitfield Chalk
SMITH. Ezekiel Smith. French C. Smith.
SMITH. Stephen Smith. Stephen Stuckey.
STUMP. John S. Stump arrived in Texas in June 1835 and served in Capt. Hill's Infantry Company H, 1st Regiment at San Jacinto. He was a member of Capt. Mathew (Old Paint) Caldwell's Ranger Company in 1841 which recruited and operated out of Gonzales. In the 1850 census of GonzalesCo, a John S. Stump, age 57, with assets of $250, born in VA is listed. On 28 Jun 1860, Stump was living in LampasasCo where he was granted a pension of $200 per year for service.
SWIFT. Arthur Swift was a prominent resident of Gonzales town and in 1841 he was elected and/or appointed Tax Collector, Clerk and Constable in the town of Gonzales. As described in An History of Guadalupe County published in 1951 by Willie Mae Weinert, Swift was also an early prominent resident of Seguin:
TINSLEY. John Turner Tinsley, born circa 1809 in Sumner County, Tennessee, was probably the son of Moses and Elizabeth Turner Tinsley and migrated to Gonzales County from Kentucky in 1834. On September 19, 1835 Andrew Ponton deeded John T. Tinsley Lots 4, 5, 6, 7 in Tier 2 in the Outer Town East of Water Street near the creek. Hence the name Tinsley Creek which ran north and south in the 1300 blocks of Gonzales. Each twelve-acre lot was appraised at two pesos and seventy-five centavos. In Gonzales April 25, 1838 John T. Tinsley was granted a certificate to his league and labor of land. His application for pension stated that he took part in the "engagement at Gonzales in the month of September A D 1835."
Frontier Days of Texas by A.J. Sowell stated, "Dr. John T. Tinsley shot one Mexican who stopped to look back . . . (after the Alamo fell) . . . and General Sam Houston was in Gonzales, Gen. Houston made the Tinsley house his headquarters. When the army left Gonzales on the approach of the Mexican army under Santa Anna, Dr. Tinsley materially aided the cause of independence by making a trip to the coast after ammunition and intercepting the Army of Houston on its line of march with the powder and lead in time to be used in the famous Battle of San Jacinto, which was fought soon after."
His ad in the Southwestern Index stated that "Dr. John T. Tinsley offers his professional services to the town and county of Gonzales. Orders left at Eastland's drug store or at his residence on East Avenue will be promptly attended to." Records showed that Dr. Tinsley served as alderman in 1848 and 1849, mayor in 1852, and Justice of the Peace 1850-1852. Minutes of one city council meeting in 1850 mentioned an "Act requiring B.B. Peck and John T. Tinsley to remove their houses from the public square." He died March 5, 1878 and was buried in the Gonzales Masonic Cemetery on the same lot with his wife Nancy, daughter Virginia Moore and her family, D.C. Jones and John Willis Tinsley Sr. and Jr.
Tinsley married Nancy Willis, born circa 1802 in Kentucky, and they had five children: Mary married a Sweeney; Fountain Gillespie born November 23, 1832 in Barren County, Kentucky married Sarah Almeda Davis in Gonzales June 29, 1854 and died February 13, 1896 in Benton City (Lytle, Texas); Virginia born circa 1840 in Gonzales married A.J. Moore and died in 1865; Amanda born circa 1843 in Gonzales married D.C. Jones March 28,1861; and John Willis. John Willis Tinsley, born March 5,1844 in Gonzales, married Dora Houston August 10, 1874 in Gonzales. They had five children: Willie Julia (18751932 married first John Rainey and second Leo Cone, was buried in the Oddfellows Cemetery; James Robert; John Willis Jr. (1879-1897); Neddie (1881-1974) married Will G. Lane and was buried in Wharton and had one son and one daughter; Dora Dunn (1886-1937) married Andrew Pinkney Cobb, was buried in the Oddfellows Cemetery and had one daughter. John Willis was a rancher and from 1886-1900 served terms as Ward two alderman, city assessor and collector, city secretary pro tem, city marshall and city tax collector. He died August 22, 1901. Dora Tinsley then married M.J. Koch and died February 5, 1935 and was buried in the Oddfellows Cemetery. She was a member of the Methodist Church and her home was situated on the northeast corner of St. George and St. Peter Streets. James Robert Tinsley, born July 31, 1877, ranched for a few years in Wharton County where he met and March 15, 1917 in Lane City and married Roberta Ardelia Partain. In 1918 they returned to Gonzales where he ranched for the rest of his life. Their house was on the southwest corner of Hamilton and St. Francis Streets where his grandson lived in 1984. Jim Robert and Roberta had two sons: William Houston and Jim Robert Jr. Roberta died July 26, 1950 and Jim Robert then married Lena Lang and died January 31, 1956. He was buried in the Gonzales Masonic Cemetery on the lot with Roberta and W.H. Tinsley, M.D. Elizabeth Lawley Tinsley (From The History of Gonzales County, Texas. Reprinted by permission of the Gonzales County Historical Commission)
The Tinsleys are listed in the 1850 census of GonzalesCo in the Town of Gonzales: Tinsley, John T., 48, m, Physician, $17,000, Tenn; Tinsley, Nancy, 48, f, Ky; Tinsley, Fountin, 17, m, Texas; Tinsley, Virginia, 10, f, Texas; Tinsley, Amanda, 7, f, Texas; Tinsley, John, 5, m, Texas.
ADAM ZUMWALT SR. The complete biography of Gonzales resident "Red" Adam Zumwalt who came to the colony with the extended Burket, Kent and Zumwalt families from Missouri in 1829 can be found at Adam Zumwalt 1790-1853.
OF DEWITT COLONY TEXAS