The October 27, 1921 issue of the Lubbock Avalanche carried a front page article with the headline “Funeral of John R. Ralls Attended by a Large Concourse of Friends From All Over the State.” It was held in the town of Ralls, Texas, about thirty miles east of Lubbock on Highway 82. The number of attendees was “into the thousands,” the article added and noted that friends came from Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma to pay their respects.Continue reading John Robinson Ralls
The area around Brazoria and Fort Bend counties first had Anglo-American settlers in the early 1820s, associated with the colonists of Moses and Stephen F. Austin. According to a newspaper article from 1946 in the Freeport Facts, Freeport, Texas, they included the family of Capt. Randall Jones who landed at the mouth of the Brazos on December 23, 1821 in a schooner named “Lively” and brought their possessions upstream near a promising bend in the river near the current town of Richmond. The settlement was called Fort Settlement or Fort Bend. Jones was joined by about fifty other families in that immediate area. If there was an actual structure that gave its name to the Fort Bend area, it was most likely a simple shanty or cabin, rather than a more traditional military style-fort. The historic location of such a building does not appear to be precisely known.Continue reading Fort Bend
Branch Tanner Archer was born in Virginia to Peter Field Archer and Frances Tanner Archer. Archer’s grandfather was Colonel William Wharton Archer, who had fought in the American Revolution as had Archer’s father. As a young man, Archer had received his education at William and Mary College. He then studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia before returning to Virginia to set up a medical practice. He also served several terms in the Virginia State Legislature.Continue reading Branch Tanner Archer
The Fredonian Rebellion was in some ways a foreshadowing of the Texas Revolution. In 1826, an empresario named Haden (or Hayden) Edwards, who had been operating under a colonization grant of 1825 from Mexico, clashed with Hispanic residents of the area near Nacogdoches. His grant authorized him to settle 800 families in the area. Edwards posted notices asserting land rights to the designated area, including land already occupied by other Hispanic families (apparently in violation of his contract with Mexico). Essentially, Edwards’ group felt that their land rights were superior to those of the Hispanic residents. This was not an uncommon situation in early Texas, and the Hispanic residents led by Gil Y’Barbo resisted. With deference to the Hispanic residents, Mexico nullified or rescinded Edwards’ grant. Edwards then declared that the area he had been granted was no longer subject to Mexican rule. He called it Fredonia, believed to be a modified form of the word freedom.
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Hardin Richard Runnels was the sixth governor of Texas. He was born in Mississippi to Hardin D. and Martha Darden Runnels in 1820. After his father died, the future governor came to Texas in 1842 during the years of the Republic of Texas from Mississippi with his mother, his uncle Hiram George Runnels and his three brothers. They first settled on the Brazos River before moving to Bowie County where they started a cotton plantation on the Red River near the community of Old Boston, named for an early store owner, W. J. Boston. New Boston later arose when the rail lines bypassed Old Boston four miles to the north. While still in his twenties, Runnels was elected in 1847 to the first of four terms in the Texas Legislature. After his last term in the legislature in which he served as Speaker of the House, he was elected Lieutenant Governor serving under Governor Elisha M. Pease during the latter’s second and final term.