By John Stribling Morsund
Excerpt from CHAPTER VIII, pages 148-149
LAND GRANTS WITHIN THE RESTRICTED AREA OF BLANCO COUNTY AND EARLY SURVEYORS
The first land grants within the limits of present Blanco County, Texas, were obtained under Benjamin R. Milam’s Contract from the Mexican Government on January 12, 1826. But the only land within present Blanco County which was obtained under this contract, was granted in 1835 by Talbot Chambers, Commissioner of the Supreme Government of the State of Coahuila and Texas. Therefore, there are only four of the so-called Mexican land grants in present Blanco County. Each of the four grants consisted of a league of land, or approximately 4,428.40 acres. These four grants according to the dates that the grantees received title are as follows:
Jesse L. McCrocklin ………………………………… T. June 18, 1835.
Horace Eggleston ……………………………………. T. July 16, 1835.
Noel Mixon ……………………………………………………….. T. July 23, 1835.
Benjamin Williams ………………………………….. T. July 27, 1835.
All four of the above grants had been located on the Blanco River (Martin’s Fork or Branch of the Rio Blanco) and surveyed by Bartlett Sims in 1835. The following are the full texts of rhe titles as translated:
1. The Jesse L. McCrocklin title:
Third Seal (L.S.) For the Bienneal Term
Two Reals of l834 and 1835
I, Jesse L McCrocklin, colonist introduced by R. M. Williamson, Agent of the Empresario, Benjamin R. Milam, for the contract he holds with the Supreme Government of this State, dated January 12, 1826, with the greatest respect say to you: that my stare is that of a married man and that, with my family. I have entered the country with the intention of settling permanently and that, with the approval of the Agent of the aforesaid Empresario, I have chosen a league of land in the latter’s Colony; for which reason I appear before you so that (as Commissioner authorized for the purpose) you will please admit me and put me in possession of said tract with the understanding that I offer to settle and cultivate it as is provided by law.
Town of Mina.
June 18, 1835
Jesse L McCrocklin
To the Honorable R.M. Williamson, Agent of Empresario Benjamin R. Milam:
Please examine the preceding petition and report whether or not the indicated land is vacant; and if not, name the claimants. Town of Mina. June 18, 1835.
Pursuant to your foregoing decree. I must say: that what is stated by Colonist Jesse L. McCrocklin is true; he is one of the Colonists introduced by me (as Agent of Empresario Benjamin R. Milam); a man of family and worthy of the favor he solicits.
Town of Mina,
June 18, 1835
R. M. Williamson
THIRD SEAL FOR THE BIENNIAL (L.S.)
TWO REALS TERM OF 1834•1835
In view of the declaration by the Agent of Empresario Benjamin R. Milam, in the foregoing report, I admit Colonist Jesse L McCrocklin in accordance with the law and order that the tract designated be surveyed by Surveyor Barlett Sims in order to issue to the interested party the corresponding title.
Town of Mina,
June 18. 1835
ESTABLISHED BY THE STATE OF COAHUILA AND TEXAS FOR THE BIENNIAL TERM OF 1828 AND 29, 30 AND 31, 32, 33, 34 AND 35
FOR THE BIENNIAL TERM OF
Talbot Chambers, Commissioner of the Supreme Government of the State of Coahuila and Texas for the distribution of lands in the Colony of Empresario Benjamin R. Milam:
Whereas Jesse L. McCrocklin has been admitted as a colonist in the Colonization Enterprise contracted with the Government of the State by said Empresario on the 12th of January, 1826, as appears on page 44 of (he record book; and the said Jesse L. McCrocklin having proved that he is married, and having presented the requisites prescribed by the Colonization Law of the State, dated March 24th of 1825: in accordance with the aforecited Law and the instructions which govern me, dated September 4, 1827; in the name of the State, I concede to, confer upon, and put the said Jesse L McCrocklin in real and personal possession of one league of land which
has been surveyed by Bartlett Sims, Surveyor previously appointed for the purpose, under the following location and boundaries:
Situated on the Blanco River and beginning at a stake, and the southeast corner of league No. 15, from which a liveoak, 14 inches in diameter, bears north 60 degrees east 10 varas distant, and another. 14 inches in diameter, bears south 36 degrees east 4 varas distant. Thence north 70 west 4000 varas to a stake and the northwest corner of league No. 15 from which a liveoak, 12 inches in diameter, bears south 60 west 12 varas distant, and another, 12 inches in diameter, bears north 15 varas distant. Thence south 20 degrees west 6250 varas to a stake and the southwest corner of a league No, 15 from which a lynn, 16 inches in diameter, bears south 30 east 10 varas distant. and an elm, 14 inches in diameter, bears north 83 west 20 varas distant. Thence south 70 east 4000 varas to a stake and the southeast corner of league No. 15. Thence north 20 cast 6250 varas to the place of beginning.
Of said tract five labors belong to the class of arable land and twenty to that of pasture land, which shall serve as classification for the price he should pay for it to the State according to Article 22 of said Law, under the penalties therein established; being apprised that within one year he shall construct permanent landmarks at each corner of the tract and that he shall settle and cultivate it in accordance with the provisions of the Law.
Therefore, exercising the powers conceded to me by the very law and consequent instructions, I issue the present instrument and order the testimonio taken from it and delivered to the interested pan in order that he ma), possess and enjoy the tract-he, his children, heirs and successors, or whoever shall have cause or right to same. Given in the Town of Mina, June 18, 1835, which I sign with attendant witnesses according to law.
BLANCO COUNTY HISTORY
By John Stribling Morsund
Excerpt from CHAPTER VIII, pages 155-157
By the Act of December 21, 1837, the Congress of the Republic of Texas provided for bounty grants and donation grants for military service. Under the provisions of this act, bounty warrants of 1280 acres were granted to those who had participated in the Texas Revolution, including the siege of Bexar in 183); the Goliad campaign (to the heirs of those killed or to those who escaped the massacre) and those who fell in the Bartle of the Alamo. All those persons who were actually engaged in the Battle of San Jacinto on April 21, 1836, those persons who were wounded on April 20th, 1836 and all those persons who were detailed to guard the baggage near Harrisburg during the Battle of San Jacinto, were to receive donation certificates for 640 acres. Other persons of the Army of the Republic of Texas obtained bounty grants of land for their services according to their length of service. Man)’ of these donation and bounty grants were made in the area of present Blanco County. Some of the men who were in the Siege of Bexar who received land grants within present Blanco County were Benedict Beecham, Mateo Cassillas, Thomas Clifton, William G. Cooke, Peter J. Duncan, John W. Healer, James Hughes, James G. Swisher and Thomas William Ward. Among those who died at the Alamo who received grants of land within Blanco County, were Daniel William Cloud, Edward Nelson, William Johnson, and William Smith. Among those who took part in the Goliad campaign and whose heirs received grants of land within Blanco County, were Henry M. Downman, D. Gamble, E. D. Harrison, John W. Healer, James W. Healer, James Hughes, Wiley Hughes, James M. Miller, Thomas Quirk, Jack Shacklelord, Christopher Terrill, James Webb, and John Williams, James Hughes Callahan was spared in the Goliad Massacre and although he did not receive his grant within the present area of Blanco County, he was one of the first settlers in Blanco County. Also, James Hughes who was spared and John Williams who escaped, received grants in Blanco County but did not settle: within the county. Among those who participated in Battle of San Jacinto or guarded the baggage and provided the rear guard opposite Harrisburg and who subsequently obtained grants within present Blanco County were Wayne Barron, James M. Bell, Jesse Billingsley, Mathias A. Bingham, Paschal P. Borden, Benjamin R. Brigham, Ben F. Cage. Thomas Jefferson Callihan, John W. Cassady, David C. Connell, William G. Cooke, Jesse Davis, Jesse K. Davis, Stephen T. Foley, Thomas M. Fowler, John Gillespie, M. R. Gohen, John Herring, James Hughes, Robert H. Hunter, William Houston Jack, Joseph W. Merwin, Samuel Millett, Dr. Junius William Motle, E. R. Rainwater, Juan N. Seguin, William S Stillwell, Samuel L. Wheeler, R. M. Williamson, William C. Winters an Andrew Zumalt. Ben F. Cage later serried along the Blanco River in Blanco County. Other Veterans of the Bartle of San Jacinto who were prominent early Texans and later settlers in Blanco County, include Arter Crownover who was one of the first settlers in the northern part of present Blanco County, John Ingram who later settled in Blanco County, S. G. Reams, Mrs. Sibba M. Price, widow of William Price and Robert Price who later lived near Round Mountain, Blanco County, Texas. James R. Pace, another veteran of the Battle of San Jacinto, surveyed much of the land in present Blanco County’. Jesse Lindsey McCrocklin and Nel Mixon who had received two of the Mexican land grants along the Blanco River in 1835, were veterans of the Battle of San Jacinto. Also, Horace Eggleston, another holder of one of the Mexican land grants within present Blanco County received a donation grant (not in Blanco County) for having served in the Battle of San Jacinto. but his complete service record as to the particular company has never been discovered. Other Veterans in the Army of the Republic of Texas who received grants of land within the limits of present Blanco County included Henry F, Armstrong , M. A. Bingham, Jesse Beeson, John Coughlin, Simon Contreras, John W. Craig, William Criswell, David Davis, Jesse Davis, Henry M. Downman, William Dease, Anderson Estes, William H. Emory, William A. Farres, Alexander Farmer, James Franklin, Simon Garcia, Fred Grimes, Xenophon Gram. James Halfpenny, O. B. Hardeman. T. B. Hardin, John W. Harrington, Charles Haynes, Spencer H. Jack, William Johnson, Ira Jones, Nathew Kelley, L. W. Ludlow, Thomas McDonough, Miguel Mata, John Merchant, Rezin Mercer, William P. Patterson, Dr. George M. Patrick, Robert F. Roberts, Antonio Sanchez, John W. Seymore, William D. Talley. Andrew Zumalt, Wayne Barron, Mathew A. Doyal, Roberr Fletcher, S. T. Foley, John Garrey and M. R.Goheen. James Hudson who had served in rhe Army of the Republic of Texas and who later surveyed much of the lands in northwestern Blanco County had land patented in his name in present Blanco County, Henry J. Smith, Provisional Governor of Texas from 1835 to 1836 and one of the leaders of the movement of Texas Independence received a bounty grant within the limits of present Blanco County. Many of the early bounty grants were patented in the 1840’s and early 1850’s. Samuel Whiting, early newspaper publisher in Austin, Texas, in the early 1840 ‘s. patented the bounty grants in the names of Charles Gardner•B. 2 ‘h, W m. G. Still• B. 2. James Franklin•B . 6, and John Coughlin.B . 3, in 1841. In 1844, he had the Bounty Grant No.5 of Edward Nelson patented and in 1848 , the John W. Seymore Bounty Grant No.4 was patented by him.
Much of the lands in Blanco County were granted in the form of scrip by the Republic of Texas and the State of Texas. The President of the Republic of Texas was authorized by the Act of December 10, 1836, to issue land scrip to be sold by agents in the United States for not less than fifty cents per acre. This policy of selling off the public domain by the issuing of land scrip was continued by the State of Texas. This became necessary since the State of Texas was constantly in debt during this early period and it was necessary to replenish the State Treasury and to pay the operating expenses of government. The scrip issued for lands in Blanco County, were purchased by individuals and companies including those who were to be rewarded for internal improvements such as railroads . Examples of scrip grants of this type in Blanco County are the John F. Torrey and Company grants, the Brooks & Burleson grants, the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railroad grants, Tyler Tap R. R. Co ., H. E. and W. T. R. R. Co., the Georgetown Railroad Company, Waco Manufacturing Compan)y and the El Paso Irrigation Company grants.
BLANCO COUNTY HISTORY
By John Stribling Morsund
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