Saturday, January 19, 2019

Another Lake Creek Settlement Soldier Located - John Bricker

Tablet Erected to the Memory of John Bricker at San Felipe, Texas in 1935. The marker was not erected by the Texas Historical Commission but instead "by his kinsmen."
In my research regarding the once forgotten Lake Creek Settlement, I uncovered the names of several men from the Lake Creek Settlement who served in the Texas Revolution fighting for the independence of Texas from Mexico in 1835-1836. These names were gleaned primarily from the Republic Claims database at the Texas State Library and Archives in Austin.  The Republic Claims is a wonderful collection of records including claims made by soldiers who fought in the Texas Revolution who sought payment for their time in the service of the Republic of Texas army during the war.

The Texas State Library and Archives website provides a more detailed description of the Republic Claims database and collection:
The Republic Claims series of Comptroller's records includes claims for payment, reimbursement, or restitution submitted by citizens to the Republic of Texas government from 1835 through 1846. It also includes records relating to Republic pensions and claims against the Republic submitted as public debt claims after 1846. The files include supporting documents such as vouchers, financial accounts, military records, receipts, notes, or letters.
These historic records from the Republic era have been microfilmed to preserve the highest image quality, and the entire series has been meticulously indexed by staff in the Archives and Information Services Division.
The records comprise four groups of payments made for services rendered during the period 1835-1846: Audited Claims, Republic Pensions, Public Debt Claims, and Unpaid Claims.
Because the actual Republic Claims are extremely fragile, access to the records is restricted. In addition to the digital images linked within the index, high-quality microfilmed copies of the documents are available. The database provides the Reel and Frame location of more than 48,500 indexed names. The microfilm reels are available through interlibrary loan and, to view in person, at the Texas State Library and Archives Commission.
The known Texian soldiers who fought in the Texas Revolution from the Lake Creek Settlement  included:  Jacob H. Shepperd, Mathew (or Matthew) Cartwright, William Cartwright,  Raleigh Rogers, Jacob Shannon, Evin (or Evan) Corner, John Marshall Wade, A. U. Springer, and James J. Foster. It has been a few years since I have been able to add another name to this list. 
With additional research, we can now add John Bricker's name to the list of Texian soldiers from the Lake Creek Settlement. John Bricker was a member of Captain Mosely Baker's company and was killed by Santa Anna's soldiers while defending the San Felipe crossing of the Brazos River on April 7, 1836.  Grape shot fired by the Mexican cannon passed through Bricker's head killing him instantly. John Bricker was the only Texian soldier killed defending the Brazos River crossing at San Felipe. Mosely Baker and his company prevented Santa Anna from reestablishing the ferry there and slowed Santa Ann's progress for several days which allowed the government of Texas just enough time to escape Harrisburg before Santa Anna's arrival. As Santa Anna had not been able to cross at San Felipe, he had had to travel south to the crossing captured by General Filisola near present day Richmond.

The Republic Claims which had been helpful with information about the other names was not helpful as John Bricker was killed in the war and and of course never applied for his back wages. The information proving that Bricker had been a resident of the Lake Creek Settlement comes from a collection of records which have been transcribed in Montgomery County, Texas.  There is a collection of records in the Genealogy Department of the Montgomery County Memorial Library at Conroe, Texas entitled Montgomery County District Court Exhibit Book of Letters and Documents, V. 3, of Statements of Facts (papers pertaining to the Bricker Family) The Bricker Papers, transcribed by Vera Wimberly. (Montgomery County Memorial Library - Genealogy Library, Conroe, 976.4153Wim.)

On the 31st page of The Bricker Papers is a letter written to Cyrus Joy and probably written by David Bricker (brother of John Bricker) after 1838 which reads in part, "I received a letter from Mr. W. W. Shepherd of Montgomery stating that my Brother had been in his employ for a year previous and at the time he went into the Army of Texas and think he had taken out Letters of Administration on his Estate..." It is now well established that W. W. Shepperd had operated a trading post in the Lake Creek Settlement in the north-western most corner of the John Corner League for several years prior to the Texas Revolution.  See The Early History of Montgomery, Texas by Kameron Searle.   This letter is evidence that John Bricker was residing in the Lake Creek Settlement for a year prior to his enlistment in the Texas army.

It was also known that Shepperd had a mill and a cotton gin in operation at the time he founded the town of Montgomery in the Lake Creek Settlement in July 1837. On the 91st page of The Bricker Papers, in a letter dated February 11, 1874, W. H. Bricker writing to David Bricker, wrote that John Bricker had "built a mill and a cotton gin" for W. W. Shepperd before joining the Texas army in 1836. This would put the construction of Shepperd's mill and cotton gin around 1835. The David Bricker to Cyrus Joy letter letter also states that John Bricker was living with Shepperd before joining the army.

W. W. Shepperd was in fact the administrator of John Bricker's estate. See the Administrator's Notice from the Telegraph and Texas Register newspaper below. See a pdf of The Bricker Papers here.

July 13, 1838 Telegraph and Texas Register Newspaper, Houston, Texas, Vol. 3, No. 46, Page 8. Administrator's Notice placed by W. W. Shepperd for Estate of John Bricker.

The marker erected at San Felipe, Texas in 1935 reads:


APRIL 7TH 1935

Please help. There is no Texas State Historical Commission marker commemorating the defense of the San Felipe crossing of the Brazos by Mosely Baker's Company in early April of 1836 and its significance to the outcome of the Texas Revolution.  I am considering working on just such a marker.  If you are interested in working on this project, please contact Kameron K. Searle.

If you are descendant of John Bricker, a number of Texas historians are trying to determine if he became a Mason before coming to Texas. Contact Kameron K. Searle if you know the answer to this question.

Sunday, April 08, 2018

Enrico Cerracchio - Texas Sculptor

Texas Sculptor Enrico Cerracchio
Are you a descendant of Texas sculptor Enrico Cerracchio?  I am researching Cerracchio for a book I am writing and I am looking for photographs and biographical information I can use for the book. In the book, Enrico Cerracchio will be featured prominently, especially his works in Texas.  I have a basic outline of his biography from some online sources and a couple of books where he is briefly mentioned, but I am hoping for a more in-depth picture of the man and any photographs that have not been published before. I am especially interested in his work on the Sam Houston Monument (1923-1925). Please contact Kameron Searle at if you can help with this project. My mailing address is Kameron Searle, 21410 Park York, Katy, Texas 77450. Thank you.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Sam Houston IV Teaching Texas History - Watercolor Painting

Sam Houston IV Teaching Texas History -
Watercolor Commissioned by Kameron Searle
Above is the watercolor painting Kameron Searle commissioned of Sam Houston IV teaching Texas history. From a photograph of Sam Houston IV passionately teaching Texas history as the keynote speaker at the 2011 Texas Independence Day celebrations at Washington-on-the-Brazos, the artist incorporated themes from the famous painting of General Sam Houston pointing towards the San Jacinto Battlefield. Sam Houston IV's avocation was teaching Texas history which he did exceedingly well  and whenever he got the chance for most of his adult life.

The painting was the work of artist Maryna Voloshyna. The painting was commissioned at the time of Sam Houston IV's passing in 2017. Ben Warren IV, President of the Sam Houston Chapter of the Sons of the Republic of Texas in Katy, Texas, presented the members of Sam Houston IV's family with framed copies of the print.

Note: As Kameron Searle discovered in his research regarding Sam Houston's horse, the color of the horse was corrected to reflect the historically accurate gray color. Many historical sources reflect General Sam Houston's proclivity for riding gray horses throughout his life.

Wednesday, February 07, 2018

2018 Palmer/Parmer Family Reunion Heading to San Jacinto Battlefield

Reggie Nalley and Gene Hennigan have provided the following information about the 2018 Palmer/Parmer Family Reunion:

Hey there Palmers!

It's time for a reunion. This year we will be celebrating the reunion at the San Jacinto Battle Reenactment the weekend of April 20th thru 22nd, 2018. The admission is Free. Bring all your family, kids, and grandchildren for an eventful weekend. See the attached flyer for more details.

We have a hotel (Candlewood Suites) set up with a block of rooms with a special rate. Information and number is in the attachment. You need to call and reserve your room. Be sure to tell them your with the Palmer Reunion. We will have a meet and greet there Friday night. Bring your pictures and artifacts to share.

Saturday the reenactment will be held at the San Jacinto Battlegrounds and Monument. It's a great show and there is tons of history inside the monument. The Battleship Texas is also right across the road if you haven't seen it.

Saturday night we will have a banquet just down the street from the monument at the Monument Inn. We have Jack Edmondson who plays General Sam Houston in the reenactment as a guest speaker.

Please contact Reggie Nalley or Gene Hennigan at the numbers and emails below if you have any questions.

Please RSVP with your dinner meal selections asap for the banquet.

Reggie Nalley
Gene Hennigan

2018 Palmer/Parmer Reunion at San Jacinto Battlefield

2018 Palmer/Parmer Reunion Itinerary

2018 Palmer/Parmer Reunion Hotel and Banquet Information

The Palmer/Parmer Family Reunion is held by the descendants of Martin Parmer (born Martin Palmer) 1778-1850. Originally a frontiersman and Indian fighter known as the Ring Tailed Panther, Martin Parmer was a key player in every major political event of the Texas Revolution including the Consultation of 1835 at San Felipe, the General Council of the Texas Provisional Government and the Convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos in March 1836. He had also been a leader during the Fredonian Rebellion in 1826-1827. He nominated Henry Smith to be the first American born Governor of Texas, he voted to create the Texas Rangers, he seconded Sam Houston's motion to adopt the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico, and he was chairman of the committee that drafted the Constitution of the Republic of Texas.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Lake Creek Settlement Marker Dedication Ceremony; Montgomery, Texas; February 25, 2017

Lake Creek Settlement Marker

The dedication ceremony for the Texas Historical Commission marker for the Lake Creek Settlement was held on Saturday, February 25, 2017, at 11:00 a.m. in Montgomery, Texas in front of the Nat Hart Davis Museum located on Liberty Street near the intersection of Texas 105 and Liberty Street (FM 149).

Kameron K. Searle was the marker historian for this marker and did more than a decades worth of research on the Lake Creek Settlement before applying for the marker with the Montgomery County Historical Commission and the Texas Historical Commission.

By the 1920s, the Lake Creek Settlement had been completely forgotten to Texas historians as well as local historians. Searle rediscovered the Lake Creek Settlement and its importance to Texas history, the Texas Revolution and Montgomery County history about 15 years ago.

Empresario Stephen F. Austin had gotten permission to settle 500 more families in Texas in his second contract with the State of Coahuila y Tejas in 1825 (Austin's Second Colony). Under this contract, he settled colonists between the west fork of the San Jacinto River and the stream called Lake Creek. By 1833, this settlement had become known as the Lake Creek Settlement. The Lake Creek Settlement was the earliest Anglo-American settlement in what became Montgomery County.

In 1835, W.W. Shepperd, a colonist originally from North Carolina, established a trading post/store near the intersection of the Coushatta Trace, the Grimes Road and the Contraband Trace in the center of the Lake Creek Settlement. Shepperd's store quickly became the community center of the Lake Creek Settlement.

A number of men from the Lake Creek Settlement fought in the Texas Revolution in the Battle of Concepcion, the Grass Fight, the Siege of Bexar and the Battle of San Jacinto. In the Battle of San Jacinto, men from the Lake Creek Settlement fought in the infantry, the cavalry, and one, John Marshall Wade, manned one of the famous Twin Sisters cannons during the battle.

In 1837, W.W. Shepperd founded the town of Montgomery at the site of his store, and about 5 months later, Montgomery County was created by an Act of the Congress of the Republic of Texas which was signed into law by President Sam Houston. Montgomery County was named after the town of Montgomery. The town of Montgomery became the first county seat of Montgomery County and served as such for several decades. To read the marker, click on the image above. For more information about the Lake Creek Settlement, click on the link below.

Below are some of the pictures from the Lake Creek Settlement marker dedication ceremony taken by Pat Spackey with the Judge Nathaniel Hart Davis Chapter of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas and the Texas Heritage Society. She is also a descendant of the founder of Montgomery, Texas, W. W. Shepperd.

Lake Creek Settlement marker unveiled in front of the Nathaniel Hart Davis Museum and Pioneer Complex in Montgomery, Texas.
Texas Army in Lake Creek Settlement
Texas Army fires twenty-one gun salute in memory of the colonists and settlers who broke the frontier in the Lake Creek Settlement in Austin's Second Colony.
Marker sponsor and historian, Kameron Searle, gives a brief history of the Lake Creek Settlement in Austin's Second Colony, the role of the Lake Creek Settlement in the Texas Revolution and the founding of the town of Montgomery.

The Sons of the Republic of Texas present at the Lake Creek Settlement  marker dedication ceremony. Left to right: Bart Dawson;  Ben F. Warren IV, President General Bob Steakley, Jr. KSJ; Tom Green, KSJ; Tom Houston, KSJ; Phil Whitley; and Kameron K. Searle
Marker sponsor and historian Kameron K. Searle together with Luine Hancock with State Senator Robert Nichols's office who read the Resolution passed by the Texas Senate on behalf of Senator Nichols for the Lake Creek Settlement, and C. K. "Ken" Stephenson, a bagpiper with the Capitol City Highlanders in Austin, Texas.

Below are scans of the proclamations and resolutions commemorating the dedication of the Texas Historical Commission marker for the Lake Creek Settlement from the Governor, Lt. Governor, Texas House of Representatives and Texas State Senate.

Proclamation of Governor Gregg Abbott Commemorating the Texas Historical Commission  Marker for the Lake Creek Settlement
Resolution from Texas House of Representatives signed by Will Metcalf, State Representative, District 16, recognizing the efforts of those involved in securing the Lake Creek Settlement marker.
Senate Resolution No. 228 celebrating the commemoration of the Texas Historical Commission marker for the Lake Creek Settlement signed by the President of the Senate, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick and by Senator Nichols.

Letter from Lt. Governor Dan Patrick recognizing the Lake Creek Settlement's place in Texas history.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

John P. Coles' Description of the Boundary of Early Washington County in the Republic of Texas Including the Lake Creek Settlement

On one or two of my web sites about my research into the history of the Lake Creek Settlement I have included a transcription of Washington County Chief Justice John P. Coles' boundary description of Washington County, Texas from early 1837. I located my transcription in Annotated Civil Statutes of the State of Texas by John Sayles, 1894, Abilene, Texas, St. Louis Missouri, The Gilbert Book Company, Pp. 930-931. I had always wondered if I would see an actual primary source for Coles' description dating from the period. And now I have.

Jim Tiller, Ph.D., Professor of Geography, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas did me a huge favor by sending me a copy of the document which he had located while conducting research for his forthcoming book. Dr. Tiller advises the citation is: Texas. Department of State. Executive Record Books. Letters Received, November 26, 1836-March 24, 1841, Pp. 27-28. The document is also an important primary source regarding the attempt to create a new county from the territory of Washington County. Washington County Chief Justice Coles is letting the Congress of the Republic of Texas know that he is opposed to the creation of a new county on the grounds that there is not enough population to justify it.

In a Joint Resolution passed by the Congress of the Republic of Texas and signed into law by President Sam Houston on December 17, 1836, the Chief Justice of each county in the Republic of Texas was required to provide a description of his county's boundaries to the Secretary of State by the first day of May 1837.

The description provided by Chief Justice Cole reads as follows:

"Jno. P. Coles
relative to
the boundar
ies of
Washington County

To the Hon. J. P. Henderson Secy of State


In compliance with a resolution of the Congress passed at their late session I have the honor to report to you such information as is in my possession respecting the boundary lines of the County of Washington. I know not whether the act of the Legislature of Coahuila & Texas organizing this County was ever published, but this Court has exercised undisputed jurisdiction over the territory included with the following boundaries. viz.

Beginning at the mouth of Caney Creek on the west bank of the Brazos River thence following said Creek to its source, thence west on the dividing ridge between the waters of New Years Creek & the principal or western fork of Mill Creek until it strikes the eastern line of the County of Mina and thence north on said eastern line of the County of Mina to the San Antonio Road, from thence following said road eastward crossing the Brazos River to the west bank of  Trinity River, from thence following down said west bank to the County of Liberty (which is undefined) from thence  following said northern line of Liberty to the north east corner of the County of Harrisburg, from thence following the north line of the County of Harrisburg to the north east corner of the the County of Austin, so as to include Lake Creek Settlement, from said north east corner of the County of Austin following the north line of Austin to the mouth of Ponn Creek on the east bank of the Brazos River, & thence up said east bank to a point opposite the mouth of Caney Creek & thence across the Brazos River to the place of beginning.

A Petition was before the last session of Congress & will be probably renewed at the next for a division of this County, from an examination of the foregoing limits upon the Map it will be seen to include a large Territory, but our population is small and ill able at present to bear the Taxes necessary for the erection of proper public buildings & the payment of other County expenses, under these circumstances it would I think be bad policy to divide the County until our population becomes more dense.  I would therefore recommend the passage of an Act of Congress defining the boundaries of the County as set forth above or with such alteration as may be thought necessary.

I have the honor to be
very Respectfully
Your obt. Servt.
Jno. P. Coles
Chief Justice"

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Trammel's Trace: The First Road to Texas from the North by Gary L. Pinkerton

As I have not received a review copy of Gary Pinkerton's new book, Trammel's Trace, the information presented here is from the back cover of the book.

"Trammel’s Trace tells the story of a borderland smuggler and an important passageway into early Texas. Trammel’s Trace, named for Nicholas Trammell, was the first route from the United States into the northern boundaries of Spanish Texas. From the Great Bend of the Red River it intersected with El Camino Real de los Tejas in Nacogdoches. By the early nineteenth century, Trammel’s Trace was largely a smuggler’s trail that delivered horses and contraband into the region. It was a microcosm of the migration, lawlessness, and conflict that defined the period. By the 1820s, as Mexico gained independence from Spain, smuggling declined as Anglo immigration became the primary use of the trail. Familiar names such as Sam Houston, David Crockett, and James Bowie joined throngs of immigrants making passage along Trammel’s Trace. 

Indeed, Nicholas Trammell opened trading posts on the Red River and near Nacogdoches, hoping to claim a piece of Austin’s new colony. Austin denied Trammell’s entry, however, fearing his poor reputation would usher in a new wave of smuggling and lawlessness. By 1826, Trammell was pushed out of Texas altogether and retreated back to Arkansas. Even so, as author Gary L. Pinkerton concludes, Trammell was “more opportunist than outlaw and made the most of disorder.” GARY L. PINKERTON, the author of numerous articles on East Texas history, resides in Houston. Red River Valley Books, sponsored by Texas A&M University - Texarkana $35.00 cloth. 320 pp. 11 b&w photos. 10 maps. Bib. Index. Also available in ebook edition. Trammel's Trace is now available on Amazon."