Chapter VIII: A History of Jefferson County, Texas
By W. T. Block
A significant part of the social history of early Jefferson County is the aggregate of the lives of its pioneers. Whether one raised cattle, exported cotton, made shingles, or worked for wages; he contributed something to the development of society in the county. Most of the settlers were subsistence farmers, destined to live out their lives in conventional and unheralded mediocrity. A small number, however, stand out as leaders of industry, government, and agriculture, and a brief glimpse into their personal lives will remove them from the category of statistics.
No pioneer was more respected than Joseph Grigsby, an early cotton planter and legislator. Born in Virginia in 1771, Grigsby and his wife moved to Kentucky, where some of their children grew to adulthood. In 1828, financial reverses caused the family to resettle in Jasper County and subsequently, at Grigsby’s Bluff, the site of present-day Port Neches. Their daughter, Frances, married George W. Smyth, a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Grigsby served in three of the first four Texas congresses. His plantation, with its twenty-five slaves, was the birthplace of the county’s earliest cotton culture. The planter also operated a primitive, horse-driven sawmill and built the first horse-driven cotton gin at Beaumont, a town site in which he owned a one-quarter interest. Any possibility that a cotton plantation-slave economy might evolve in Jefferson County ended in August 1841 when Grigsby died. His estate was of such size that the executor, George W. Smyth, could not obtain the necessary bond, and an enabling act was enacted by the Texas legislature to exempt him.1
Born in Tennessee in 1820, J. Biddle Langham, Grigsby’s protégé and the only other significant cotton grower in antebellum Jefferson County, came to Texas in 1836. As a youth, he picked cotton on the Grigsby plantation, and thereafter, lived on numerous farms in the vicinity of Beaumont. In 1 859, with the help of four slaves, Langham produced forty-nine of the eighty-four bales of cotton grown in Jefferson County and 2,000 bushels of corn. Earlier, he had served an enlistment in the Texas Rangers and was in the Texas State Troops during the Civil War. Langham’s son, Thomas H. Langham, and a son-in-law, Ras Landry, held the office of Jefferson County sheriff continuously from 1876 until 1910. Biddle Langham quit farming in 1879 and ran a livery stable at Beaumont until his death about 1900.2
Dr. Niles F. Smith was born in New York in 1800 and received his medical training there. In 1834, he migrated from Michigan and settled at Milam on the Brazos River. Smith’s family, however, remained in Michigan until 1840, when the physician moved them to Sabine Pass.
Dr. Smith served as an engineer in the Texas army, and in December 1836, was appointed by President Houston to serve as banking commissioner. In 1837, he was a partner with the Allen brothers in the Houston Townsite Company. Despite his many realty and mercantile ventures, which are related in other chapters, Dr. Smith continued his medical practice at Sabine Pass until shortly before his death in 1858.3
Another prominent early settler, William McFaddin, came to Liberty County with his parents, James and Elizabeth McFaddin of Louisiana, in 1823. In 1833, he moved to Beaumont, where he married Rachel Williams in 1837. Besides service to the Texas Republic, the 43-year-old cattleman entered the Confederate army and served as a beef buyer for the Confederacy’s Trans-Mississippi Department during the Civil War.
Perhaps no other Jefferson County resident foresaw the potential value of land better than William McFaddin. During the 1870’s, he helped organize the Beaumont Pasture Company, with the intent to obtain the rangelands of South Jefferson County and stock them with cattle. Eventually, he bought out his partners, and the company became known as the McFaddin ranch, a cattle domain that once exceeded 100,000 acres in size and included the upper twenty-five miles of the Texas coast. As of 1880, the ranch owned 900 horses and 3,000 head of cattle, reaching its peak in numbers after 1900. McFaddin, who engaged in many business pursuits, died at Beaumont in October 1897. His son, Perry McFaddin, continued the family’s ranching and business enterprises thereafter.4
George A. Pattillo, born in Georgia in 1796, left an enviable record of public service during his lifetime. He married in Louisiana in 1819 and acquired one of the county’s earliest land grants after he moved to Texas in 1830. Pattillo, who was en route to San Jacinto when the battle was fought, later served as representative in 1841 and as senator during the last three sessions of the Congress of the Texas Republic.
Pattillo was also postmaster at Pattillo’s Station, the first associate justice of Jefferson County, the first chief justice of Orange County, and was the assistant United States marshal who enumerated the Jefferson and Orange County censuses of 1860. Pattillo sold his headright league in 1855 and settled at Bunn’s Bluff, on the Neches River north of Beaumont, where he remained until his death in 1871.5
Charles H. Alexander, a prominent merchant in early Jefferson County, was born in North Carolina in 1810. The earliest record of him is in Jasper County, where in 1839 he purchased the headright league of John Myers. He soon became a mercantile partner of W. A. Ferguson of Jasper and founded the firm’s second store at Sabine Pass in 1855. Alexander kept the store after the partnership dissolved in 1857, eventually becoming the largest merchant and cotton broker in Jefferson County.
Alexander owned many steamers and blockade-running schooners during his lifetime, mostly in partnership with Ruff Brothers of Beaumont. When he died in 1872, he owned the steamer Camargo, a $45,000 store inventory, a one-third interest in the 307 lots owned by the Sabine Townsite Company, and several leagues of land in East Texas. Surviving Confederate currency is overprinted “C. H. Alexander and Company, Sabine Pass, Texas.”6
Charles, Robert and Otto Ruff were members of a contingent of German immigrants who arrived in Jefferson County in 1846. Born in Prussia in 1831, the latter Ruff’s promising career ended during the yellow fever epidemic at Beaumont in 1862. Earlier, he had worked as a clerk in the W. P. Herring store, and in 1854, formed a realty partnership with his future brother-in-law, John J. Herring. In 1857, Ruff married Lucinda Calder, a daughter of a prominent Beaumont family. In 1861, he and Herring reorganized their mercantile partnership, naming it J. J. Herring and Company, and admitted Charles Ruff as a third partner. In 1859, Otto Ruff built Beaumont’s third steam sawmill and cut 1,250,000 feet of lumber during the succeeding year. When he died, Ruff was a principal stockholder in the Texas and New Orleans Railroad and was heavily engaged in cotton-buying and blockade-running activities.7
McGuire Chaison and his aged father, Jonas B. Chaison, were residing in Jefferson County by 1838, the year that the younger Chaison was issued a land grant. About 1854, he purchased the former residence of Stephen L. Smith, south of Beaumont near the Mobil Oil Company refinery, a depot and sea freight terminal still known as Chaison, Texas. By 1850, he had acquired a herd of 700 head of cattle. In 1854, when five school districts were established, McGuire Chaison became one of the county’s first school trustees. In 1853, a missionary priest, Father P. F. Parisot, held the county’s first Catholic services in the Chaison home. The senior Chaison, born in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1745, entered the United States as a soldier in the American Continental Army and died at Beaumont at age 109 in 1854. McGuire Chaison died there in 1860.8
Robert Kidd was another early centenarian, who at age 75, migrated to Jefferson County in 1850 with his six children. Born in 1774, he witnessed as a child the armies of Lord Cornwallis and General Nathaniel Greene surging across his father’s farm prior to the Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Kidd lived variously at Aurora, Grigsby’s Bluff, Smith’s Bluff, and eventually, at Beaumont and farmed actively until age 100. He died in Sealy, Texas in 1890 at age ll6.9
Christian Hillebrandt was one of the very few European immigrants who settled in Jefferson County before or during the era of the Texas Republic. Born in 1793 in Schleswig-Holstein, then a province of Denmark, Hillebrandt settled at Abbeville, Louisiana in 1820, where he married Eurasie Blanchette, a French Acadian. Mrs. Hillebrandt and her brother, Alexis Blanchette, Sr., were in the vanguard of the Acadian settlement in early-day Jefferson County.
As a product of land-hungry Europe, Hillebrandt had unlimited aspirations to acquire property. He obtained a Mexican land grant of 4,428 acres in 1835, and by 1839, was paying taxes on more than 21,000 acres. Hillebrandt and his sons greatly influenced the early cattle industry in Jefferson County. 10
Born in Connecticut in 1800, John Jay French acquired a land grant on Taylor’s Bayou in 1835. In 1845, he moved to the French Trading Post in the west end of Beaumont, where he resided for forty years. He operated the county’s first tannery there, a site chosen because of the abundance of oak tree bark used in the tanning process. French was one of Jefferson County’s earliest rice growers. At the time of his death in 1889, he owned more than 43,000 acres of Texas land.11
Alexander Calder, a native of New York, settled at Beaumont in 1838. He soon became the clerk of the county court, a post that he held continuously during the 1840’s. About 1839, Calder began the study, and later, the practice of law. After his death in 1853, his widow, Luanza, was a successful farmer who owned fourteen slaves and 400 head of cattle in 1860.12
William P. Herring, born in Georgia in 1816, came to Beaumont in 1838 and began working as a clerk in Simon Wiess’ store. Within a year, he purchased the store and operated it until his death in 1859. His widow, Sarah Herring, died a year later. Herring owned assets worth $4,754 in 1850, but during the prosperous decade that followed, his property holdings mushroomed to $51,000. His brother, John J. Herring, was also a well-known merchant who, in the course of his lifetime, held many county offices, including chief justice of the county court from 1864 until 1 869.13 During his tenure of office, the title was changed to county judge.
A native of New Hampshire, Neal McGaffey was born in 1794 and came to Sabine Pass with his son, Otis, in 1839. A lawyer by profession, the older McGaffey purchased in 1846 the league of land granted to his brother, John McGaffey. Neal McGaffey, Sidney A. Sweet and William M. Simpson began a realty and industrial partnership at Sabine, which continued until McGaffey’s death in 1867. In February 1848, Smith, McGaffey, and Sweet furnished the land and lumber for the first church building in Jefferson County. Otis McGaffey was a successful Sabine merchant from 1846 until 1878, served as postmaster, notary public, county commissioner, and justice of the peace, and died at Houston in 1908.14
William Carr, a native of St. Landry Parish, Louisiana, came to Jefferson County in 1834 and obtained a Mexican grant of one league on Taylor’s Bayou. His family of seventeen children was one of the largest in early-day Texas. For several decades, Carr was a leading cattleman, his herds numbering 500 head in 1850, 1,200 head in 1860, and 2,386 head in 1870.15
Joseph Hebert, an early member of the French Acadian migration, was born in Lafayette Parish, Louisiana in 1818 and came to Jefferson County in 1842. He settled on a 1,200-acre farm south of Beaumont and soon became one of the county’s largest cattlemen, owning 870 head in 1850 and 3,000 head in 1860. He was also one of the earliest rice planters, growing 1,080 pounds in 1849 and 1,000 pounds in 1859. He was the county’s lone rice grower in the latter year. In 1859, Hebert also owned 200 hogs and grew nine bales of cotton, 600 bushels of corn, 200 bushels of sweet potatoes, and forty bushels of beans. He owned twelve slaves and combined assets worth $32,000 in 1860.16
In May 1861, Joseph Hebert enrolled a Beaumont cavalry company, the Jefferson County Mounted Rangers, organized under the Militia Act of 1858, and was elected its captain. However, the company was not mustered into service. Hebert then joined the Texas State Troops, served at Houston, and died at Beaumont in February, 1865.17
Joseph P. Pulsifer, who was born in Massachusetts in 1806, came to Beaumont in 1835. Two early Beaumont firms bore the name of J. P. Pulsifer and Company, the first being a realty partnership involved in the founding of the Beaumont Townsite Company. The second firm, beginning in May 1846, was a drug and grocery concern, the successor to one founded by Henry Millard, in partnership with Dr. D. J. Otho Millard.
Except for short periods as either a seafarer or customs collector, Pulsifer was a Beaumont druggist until his death in 1867. He held numerous county offices and was the sole survivor of the Beaumont Townsite proprietors at the time of his death. One of Jefferson County’s oldest legends, related in Florence Stratton’s Story of Beaumont, concerns Pulsifer’s and Margaret Grigsby’s blighted romance in 1839.18
Dr. Frederick W. Ogden, born in Kentucky in 1808, settled at Beaumont in 1838 and was soon awarded a grant by the Board of Land Commissioners. Although trained in medicine and law, he practiced only the legal profession in early-day Jefferson County. Dr. Ogden served as district attorney of the Fifth Judicial District of East Texas from 1839 until 1842 and as representative in the 7th and 8th congresses of the Texas Republic. He practiced law at Beaumont for twenty years and died there about 1859.19
Four Millard brothers, Henry, Sidney H., Anthony, and Otho, lived in early-day Beaumont, but only the latter remained there until his death. Colonel Henry Millard moved to Galveston in 1841, after which Sidney Millard and his brother-in-law, George Bryan, operated the family store. In May 1846, the proprietorship passed to Dr. D. J. Otho Millard, a druggist and Beaumont’s first physician, and J. P. Pulsifer.
Dr. Millard replaced his brother Henry as chief justice of Jefferson County in 1840 and died at Beaumont in 1851. His widow later married William Lewis, a Beaumont attorney and sawmiller, who held the office of chief justice during the 1850’s.20
Captain George W. O’Brien, born in Vermilion Parish, La., in 1833, settled at Beaumont in 1852 and lived there until his death in 1909. By 1860, he was an alderman of the town of Beaumont, served conjointly as county and district clerk, and in 1861 was licensed to practice law. He soon enlisted in the Confederate Army and served in Virginia for several months until discharged there due to ill health. In March, 1862, he mustered Beaumont’s Company E of Spaight’s Texas Battalion, eventually participating in three battles in Louisiana and two at or near Sabine Pass.
Captain O’Brien continued the practice of law until his retirement shortly before his death. For a brief time after the Civil War, he engaged in shingle making and subsequently owned and edited the Neches Valley News and its successor, the Beaumont News-Beacon. In 1892, he joined Patillo Higgins and George W. Carroll in organizing the Gladys City Oil, Gas, and Manufacturing Company, and his unfaltering belief in Higgins’ ‘dream’ eventually resulted in the gusher at Spindletop.21
David H. McFaddin, a cousin of the well-known William McFaddin of Beaumont, was born in Montgomery County, Tennessee in 1816, and came to Liberty County with his parents, William and Sarah Jett McFaddin, in 1828. On March 6, 1836, he joined Captain Logan’s company and subsequently fought at the Battle of San Jacinto. Later, his company followed the retreating Mexican armies to the Rio Grande River, and after returning to Goliad, McFaddin helped bury the remains of Colonel James Fannin’s ill-fated volunteers.
After settling at Beaumont, David McFaddin married Jerusha Dyches of Pine Island settlement in 1838, and in 1843 was elected sheriff of Jefferson County. In 1848 he moved to the San Gabriel River, east of Georgetown, and soon after carried the petition to Austin, which resulted in the organization of Williamson County. He became a prosperous cattlemen, miller and slaveholder and died there in October 1896. A son, also named William, was killed in action while serving in the Confederate Army.22
Born in Georgia in 1813, John Kelly Robertson settled at Beaumont after completing an army enlistment during the Mexican War. His arrival in Jefferson County was an accident, the result of being rescued from the “oil pond,” offshore from Sabine Pass, where his ship had taken refuge during a storm. From 1849 until 1855, he served as county clerk and in 1858 was licensed to practice law. He remained a prominent Beaumont attorney until his death in November, 1873.23
A native of Virginia, A. N. Vaughn began the Beaumont Male and Female Academy in 1858, but quit teaching in January 1860, when he became publisher of the Beaumont Banner. He was also mayor of Beaumont during that year. In 1861 he enlisted in Company F, 5th Texas Infantry, of Hood’s Brigade and saw action during many of the major battles of the Civil War.
On January 1, 1868, while serving as Jefferson County’s assessor-collector of taxes, Vaughn was wed to Allie B. Keith of Sabine Pass. In 1869, he became a partner in Sabine’s cotton brokerage firm of Keith and Vaughn. In 1878 he moved to Cairo, Jasper County, to manage the Texas Tram and Lumber Company’s commissary and died there in 1883.24
Vaughn’s partner and brother-in-law, K. D. Keith, was born in Georgia in 1831, and in 1856 came to Beaumont to manage a new mercantile firm owned by W. A. Ferguson. In 1857 he moved to Sabine and bought a half-interest in the cotton export business owned by his father-in-law, Otis McGaffey. During the Civil War, Keith commanded Company B, of Spaight’s Battalion, an artillery unit that was aboard the gunboat Uncle Ben at the Battle of Sabine Pass. After the war, he continued as a Sabine cotton broker until 1871. He eventually settled at Luling, Texas, where he prospered as a lumber and hardware dealer until his death in 1911.25
Although David R. Wingate resided in Jefferson County for only four years, from 1858 until 1862, the pioneer s contribution to Southeast Texas history certainly accords him a place in this volume. Born in South Carolina in 1819, he grew up in the Pearl River delta region of Mississippi, where from 1845 until 1852 he operated a sash sawmill. In 1852 he moved to Newton County (bringing some 55 slaves with him), where he purchased a cotton plantation located on the Linnville and Lewis leagues.
In 1858, Wingate bought the abandoned Spartan Mill Company at Sabine Pass and built it into the largest sawmill in Texas. In August 1862, he and his family fled from Sabine when yellow fever broke out, and six weeks later, the Federals burned most of his property there. During the first year of the war, he was Jefferson County’s commissioner of defense, an appointment that resulted in the building of Fort Sabine and the fourteen cavalry barracks and stables on the Front Ridge. In December 1861, Wingate was commissioned colonel of the 2nd Regiment, First Brigade, of Texas Militia, but an appointment as Confederate marshal of Southern Texas prevented active military service. From 1874 until his death in 1899, Wingate remained a prosperous Orange County sawmiller, merchant, steamboat man, and rice farmer, despite the fact that four sawmill fires during his lifetime resulted in $500,000 worth of uninsured losses.26
Born in Kentucky in 1811, James R. Armstrong moved to Jasper County in 1835 and served in Captain Chessher’s Jasper Volunteers during the Texas Revolution. A lawyer by profession, he was the first district attorney of the Fifth Judicial District and moved to Beaumont in 1840. While serving two terms in the Republic of Texas Congress, he signed Texas’ Joint Resolution on annexation and was a member of the first state constitutional convention in July 1845.
In 1848, Armstrong accompanied a friend, David McFaddin, to Williamson County, where he was a prosperous attorney and rancher until 1867, when he returned to Beaumont. He remained a prominent cattleman and lawyer until his death at Beaumont in December 1879. He also served in many of the state legislatures between 1846 and 1873.27
Isaiah Junker, who was born in Pennsylvania in 1818, settled at Beaumont in the early 1 840’s and for many years was the community’s only blacksmith. During the 1850’s he served in the state legislature and as chief justice of Jefferson County. In 1857 he was one of the promoters of the Mexican Gulf and Henderson Railroad (subsequently the Eastern Texas). He became a merchant in 1861 when he purchased a store owned by James R. and Michael Alexander. A son, Lieutenant Wilson A. Junker, was executive officer of Beaumont’s Company E, Spaight’s Battalion, during the Civil War and afterward, was captain of the Sabine River steamer Pearl Rivers.28
Perhaps no single family contributed more to the early history of Jefferson County than that of Bradley Gamer, Sr., a veteran of the Battle of New Orleans, all of whose children (four sons and four daughters) settled at Old Jefferson (present-day Bridge City) between 1825 and 1828. David Gamer was twice elected sheriff of Jefferson County and served in the Fourth Texas Congress. He and two brothers, Isaac and Jacob Garner, fought at the Battle of San Antonio, the latter serving three enlistments between 1835 and 1837. A son-in-law, Claiborne West, was a merchant and postmaster at Jefferson, served as its delegate to the Consultation of San Felipe, signed the Texas Declaration of Independence, enlisted in the Texas Army, and was elected to the First Texas Congress. Another son-in-law, Benjamin Johnson, served three army enlistments and fought at the battles of San Antonio and San Jacinto. Still another, John McGaffey, was the founder of Sabine Pass, where he, Johnson, and Jacob Gamer lived out their lives. Both West and David Garner were Mexican land grantees. The survey of McGaffey’s league at Sabine was completed shortly before the Nacogdoches land office closed in 1835, and the Republic of Texas subsequently issued its patent. 29
A ship carpenter by trade, Peter D. Stockholm was born in Brooklyn, N. Y., in 1815 and in 1840 settled at Sabine, where he became a boarding inspector and deputy collector for the Republic of Texas customhouse. In 1847 he married Mary Keith, whose parents, George and Lovenia Keith, were pioneer Sabine Lake settlers. Stockholm spent more than thirty years as a steamboat captain and pilot, engaged in shipbuilding at Sabine Pass and Orange, and held several county offices, including county commissioner, justice of the peace, and inspector of cattle and hides. On January 21, 1863, he participated in the offshore naval battle near Sabine Pass (where two Union warships subsequently surrendered), as pilot aboard the Confederate gunboat Josiah H. Bell. About 1880 he became a real estate promoter at Beaumont and died there in 1901.30
Captain James M. Long, who was born in Georgia in 1837, settled at Beaumont in 1859, where he and Frank L. Carroll purchased the burned Ross and Alexander sawmill and repaired it. When Company E, Spaight’s Battalion, was mustered at Beaumont in 1862, Long was elected second lieutenant and eventually participated in a number of Texas and Louisiana battles. In 1865, he and his father, Davis Long, resumed mill operations and built Long and Company into Beaumont’s largest post-bellum industry. Despite his short life span, James Long, more than any single individual, deserves credit for influencing Beaumont’s industrial growth after the Civil War. Following his death in June 1873, his family connections, including his widow, Theresa, and his brothers-in-law, Frank L. and Joseph A. Carroll, William A. Fletcher, and John W. Keith, dominated the Beaumont lumber scene thereafter.31
Personal glimpses into the lives of a few of the early settlers reveal that some came from neighboring Louisiana, a few from distant points in the northern United States, and others from Europe. All of them had one thing in common; each found a reason to remain and wager his future in Jefferson County. In frontier fashion, a few of them prospered and made a mark on the county’s history. The majority of settlers simply marked time in Jefferson County until either ensnared by death or by the lure of greener pastures farther west.
1 Beaumont Journal, November 12, 1905; Beaumont Enterprise, August 12, 1964; information excerpted from the G. W. Smyth family Bible and from Virginia Historical Genealogies (Baltimore: Boddie, 1965), copies owned by the writer; G. White (ed), The 1840 Census of The Republic of Texas (Austin: Pemberton Press, 1966), p. 95; Testament of J. Grigsby, Original Probate, Final, p. 95, and land grant, George A. Nixon to J. Grigsby, Volume C, p. 126, Deed Records, Jefferson County, Texas.
2 Beaumont Journal, November 5, 1905; John H. Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas (Austin: L. E. Daniel, 189?), pp. 530-531; Manuscript Returns of Jefferson County, Schedule IV, Products of Agriculture, Eighth Census of the United States, 1860.
3 “Analysis of The 1850 Census,” Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, VII (May, 1972), pp. 71, 115; Volume I, pp. 92-93, Deed Records, Jefferson County, Texas; A. W. Williams and Eugene C. Barker, The Writings of Sam Houston, 1813-1863 (8 volumes; Austin: Pemberton Press, 1970), I, p. 507 and II, p. 472, and III, p. 492; E. W. Winkler (ed.,), Secret Journals of The Senate, Republic of Texas, 1836-1845, in Texas Library and Historical Commission First Biennial Report, 1909-1910 (Austin: Austin Printing Company, 1911), pp. 32, 220, 282, 284, 307: (Houston) Telegraph and Texas Register, February 6, 13, and July 24, 1839; (Galveston) Civilian and Galveston Gazette, May 17, 1839 and June 2, 1848; H. P. N. Gammel (compiler), The Laws of Texas, 1822-1897 (10 volumes; Austin: Gammel Book Company, 1898), I, p. 1135; T. C. Richardson, East Texas: Its History and Its Makers (3 volumes; New York: Dabney, White, 1840), III, p. 1344; W. P. Webb and H. B. Carroll, Handbook of Texas (Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1952), II, p. 625.
4 Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas, pp. 337-338; Manuscript Returns of Jefferson County, Texas, Schedules II, Slaves (1860), and IV, Products of Agriculture, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Censuses of the United States, 1860, 1870, 1880; Beaumont Journal, April 14 and May 5, 12, 19, 1907; Beaumont Enterprise, October 4, 1931; “Analysis of The 1850 Census,” Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, VII (May, 1972), pp. 68, 73, 125. When a century of ranch operations ended about 1950, a probable 150,000 animals had been marked with the famed “Mashed-O” brand.
5 Beaumont Journal, October 15, 1905.
6 File 45-B, Estate of C. H. Alexander, 1872, Probate Records, Jefferson County, Texas; Volumes B, pp. 145-147, 172, and C, pp. 105-109, Personal Property Record, and M, pp. 132-133, Deed Records, Jefferson County, Texas; Beaumont Journal, March 5, 1906. Mrs. Willard Doiron of Beaumont owns the overprinted currency. Until recently the writer owned the original Myers to Alexander deed, one of many deposited for safekeeping with the Jefferson County clerk.
7 (Galveston) Weekly News, November 9, 1859; K. D. Keith, “The Memoirs of Captain K. D. Keith,” unpublished manuscript, p. 12; File 195, Estate of Otto Ruff, 1863, Probate Records; Volume B, pp. 98, 105-109, Personal Property Record; and Volume M, pp. 536, 626, Deed Records, Jefferson County, Texas; “Analysis of The 1850 Census,” Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, VII (May, 1972), pp. 127, 129; Manuscript Returns of Jefferson County, Schedule I, Population, Eighth Census of the United States, 1860, p. 45, res. 272; and Schedule V, Products of Industry, 1860; Book A, No. 267, Marriage Record, Jefferson County, Texas; Beaumont Journal, April 23, 1905.
8 P. F. Parisot, The Reminiscences of A Texas Missionary (San Antonio: Johnson Brothers Printing Company, 1899), p. 7; Standard Blue Book of Texas, 1908-1909 (Hobston: Peeler Standard Blue Book Company, 1908), p. 72; “Analysis of The 1850 Census,” Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, pp. 66, 68, 72, 128-129; White, The 1840 Census, p. 94; Volume B, pp. 112-114, Commissioners’ Court Minutes, and B, pp. 30-31, Personal Property Record, Jefferson County, Texas; Manuscript Returns of Jefferson County, Schedule I, Eighth Census of the United States, 1860, p. 65, residence 406; Schedule III, Mortality; and Schedule IV, Products of Agriculture, pp. 5-6, No. 13.
9 Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas, p. 565; Standard Blue Book of Texas, 1908-1909, p. 72; Beaumont Journal, October 21, 1906; Manuscript Returns of Jefferson County, Eighth Census of the United States, 1860, Schedule I, p. 82, residence 505. Throughout the nineteenth century, Smith’s Bluff, the site of Union Oil of California’s refinery near Nederland, Grigsby’s Bluff, Taylor’s Bayou Hillebrandt Bayou, Pine Island, and Sparks’ Settlement were never more than scatterings of farm houses.
10 Spanish petition, Hillebrandt to George A. Nixon, Nacogdoches, State of Coahuila-Texas, August 3, 1835, p. 1, translation by Pedro M. Duelo, University of Houston, May, 1960, copy owned by the writer; Volume B, pp. 301-307, Personal Property Record, and Original Petition, 0. L. Hillebrandt No. 323 Versus Espar Hillebrandt, December 4, 1858, Jefferson County District Court, Jefferson County, Texas; Beaumont Journal, February 4, 1906; Frederick L. Olmsted, Journey Through Texas: A Saddle-Trip on The Southern Frontier (reprint; Austin: Von Boeckmann-Jones Press, 1962), p. 246.
11 Beaumont Journal, October 1, 1905; Manuscript Returns of Jefferson County, Schedule I, 1850, residence 75; Federal Writers’ Project, Beaumont: A Guide To The City and Its Environs (Houston: Anson Jones Press, 1939), p. 53;(Galveston) Weekly News, December 8, 1857;Rosine McFaddin Wilson, “The John Jay French Trading Post,” East Texas Historical Journal, VIII (March, 1970), 14-23.
12 Manuscript Returns of Jefferson County, 1860, Schedule I, Eighth Census of the United States, p. 44, residence 274; Schedule II; and Schedule IV, p. 5, No. 3; “Analysis of The 1850 Census,” Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, p. 89; (Galveston) Weekly News, August 3, 1852. Most of the early archives of Jefferson County are in Calder’s unique handwriting. In 1859, Luanza Calder grew four bales of cotton and 700 bushels of corn. For an account of her farming activities, see court depositions involving the estate of her father, File 160, Probate Records, Jefferson County, Texas.
13 Beaumont Enterprise, November 22, 1908; “Analysis of The 1850 Census,” Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, p. 127; Manuscript Returns of Jefferson County, 1860, Schedule I, p. 40, residence 251, and p. 46, residence 286; and Schedule II; File 97, Probate Records, Jefferson County, Texas. Sarah Herring owned nine slaves and 2,308 head of cattle when she died.
14 Oath of allegiance to Texas, Neal McGaffey to Judge Henry Millard, Beaumont, December 31, 1839, Texas State Archives, copy owned by the writer; G. W. McGaffey, Genealogical History of The McGaffey Family (Bradford, Vermont: Opinion Press, 1904), pp. 30-38; Volumes E, pp. 301, 354, 372; F, pp. 163, 209; G, pp. 38, 94, 151-153; and 0, p. 453, Deed Records Jefferson County, Texas; Texas Almanac, 1867 (Galveston: Richardson and Company, 1868), p. 207; Beaumont Journal, January 14, 1906; Port Arthur News, October 31, 1971.
15 Beaumont Journal, October 22, 1905; Minutes, Board of Land Commissioners, p. 93, No. 107, Jefferson County, Texas; Manuscript Returns of Jefferson County, Schedule IV, Products of Agriculture: for 1850, p. 447; for 1860, pp. 5-6; for 1870, pp. 3.4, Microfilm Reel No. 9, Texas State Archives; “Analysis of The 1850 Census,” Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, p. 76; Volume A, p. 87, Commissioners’ Court Minutes, Jefferson County, Texas.
16 Brown Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas, p. 551; “Analysis of The 1850 Census,” Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, pp. 68, 73, 122; Manuscript Returns of Jefferson County, 1860, Schedule I, Population, p. 80, residence 499; Schedule II, Slaves; and Schedule IV, pp. 5-6, No. 39.
17 Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas, p. 551; Muster Roll, Jefferson County Mounted Rangers, May 4, 1861, Texas State Archives and recorded in Volume C, pp. 51-52, Personal Property Record, Jefferson County, Texas.
18 ”Analysis of The 1850 Census,” Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, p. 129; Minutes, Board of Land Commissioners, p. 150; Record of Retail Licenses, 1839-1851; and Volumes C, p. 364, and D, pp. 40-47, Deed Records, Jefferson County, Texas; Beaumont Enterprise, November 22, 1908; Florence Stratton, The Story of Beaumont (Houston: Hercules Printing Company, 1925), pp. 32-35.
19 Beaumont Journal, June 3, 1906; “Analysis of The 1850 Census,” Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, p. 125; Minutes, Board of Land Commissioners, p. 222, Jefferson County, Texas; Winkler, Secret Journals of The Senate, pp. 136, 139; Nancy N. Barker (ed.) The French Legation in Texas (2 volumes; Austin: Texas State Historical Association, 1973), II, p. 494.
20 Beaumont Journal, June 6, 1908; Record of Retail Licenses, 1838-1851, pages unnumbered, Minutes, Board of Land Commissioners, pp. 176, 181, 206; and Volume A, pp. 45, 133-134, Commissioners’ Court Minutes, Jefferson County, Texas; “Analysis of The 1850 Census,” Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, p. 129; Sam H. Dixon and Lewis W. Kemp, The Heroes of San Jacinto (Houston: Anson Jones Press, 1932), pp. 89-90.
21 C. K. Ragan (ed.). The Diary of Captain George W. O’Brien (reprinted from South western Historical Quarterly, LXVII. 1963), 4-17; (Galveston) Ti-Weekly News, May 10, 1872; Beaumont Enterprise, April 16, 1905; Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas, p. 266.
22 “An Old Hero—D. H. McFaddin,” (Galveston) Daily News, August 13, 1893; ibid., “Veteran McFaddin Fought at San Jacinto,” October 17, 1896; Beaumont Enterprise, November 22, 1908; Dixon and Kemp, Heroes of San Jacinto, p. 371.
23 Beaumont Journal, July 25, 1908; “1850 Manuscript Census Schedules for Jefferson County,” Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, VII (May, 1972), 89.
24 Beaumont Journal, June 17, 1906; Sabine Pass Beacon, September 10, 1871; Manuscript Census Returns, Schedules I, Jefferson County, 1860, 1870.
25 “The Memoirs of Captain Kaaciusko D. Keith,” Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, X (November, 1974), 41-64.
26 T. A. Wilson, Some Early Southeast Families (Houston: Lone Star Press, 1965), pp. 12-13; Brown, Indian Wars and Pioneers of Texas, pp. 760-761; “Among the Lumbermen,” (Galveston) Daily News, July 11, 1896.
27 Biographical Directory of the Texan Conventions and Congresses (Austin: 1941), p. 45; (Galveston) Weekly News, January 15, 1880.
28 1850 Manuscript Census Schedules for Jefferson County,” Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, VII (May, 1972), 72, 127; ibid., “Spaight’s Battalion, C. S. A.,” VII (November, 1972), 36; Beaumont Enterprise, November 6, 1880.
29 Beaumont Journal, January 14, 28 and February 11, 1906; excerpts from Garner-Keene Genealogy (Charlottesville, Va.: Jorman Printing Company, 1952); Biography of David Gamer, Biographical Directory of the Texas Conventions and Congresses (Austin: 1941); Port Arthur News, October 31, 1971 and January 30, 1972; W. T. Block, “Minutemen of 1835-1836: Southeast Texans in the War for Texas Independence,” Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, XI (November, 1975), 79-91; Kemp, Signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence, pp. 361 -364; Minutes, Board of Land Commissioners of Jefferson County, pp. 24-27, 86, 109, 135, 174.
30 Beaumont Journal, September 26, 1901; Beaumont Enterprise, September 26, 1901; November 22, 1908;June 1, 1913; W. T. Block, “Stockholm Dean of East Texas Steam boatmen,” Port Arthur News, December 23, 1973.
31 Manuscript Census Returns, Schedules I and V, Jefferson County, Texas, 1860, 1870; (Galveston) Tri-Weekly News, June 23, 1873; Beaumont Journal, November 4, 1906; “History of Spaight’s Texas Regiment,” University of Texas Archives; File 139, Estate of James Long, Probate Records, Jefferson County, Texas; W. T. Block (ed.), “Documents of the Early Sawmilling Epoch,” Texas Gulf Historical and Biographical Record, IX (November, 1973), 54-56.