Recently, the Montgomery Independent School District Board of Trustees began seeking input from the general public with regard to nominations for school names for the 2nd High School, 2nd Junior High School, 5th Elementary School, and the renaming of Montgomery Intermediate School. The MISD Board policy for the naming schools provides that “High Schools shall be named after geographical areas.” The first high school is of course named Montgomery. Local historians, community leaders and students are hopeful that the new high school will be named for the geographical area in which the Town of Montgomery was originally founded in 1837 – the Lake Creek Settlement.
Over the last decade, new historical research has uncovered many significant and previously forgotten facts regarding the town and the county’s earliest history. Most notable among these was the rediscovery of the Lake Creek Settlement. The Lake Creek Settlement was a settlement of Anglo-American settlers in Austin’s Colony located between the west fork of the San Jacinto River (now dammed to form Lake Conroe) and the stream known as Lake Creek. These settlers from the United States received land from Empresario Stephen F. Austin in 1831 as an incentive to leave the United States and settle in his colony which was then located in the Mexican State of Coahuila y Tejas. Heads of households in Austin’s Colony at this time each received a League of land (4,428.4 acres). By 1833, the area these colonists had settled had become known as the Lake Creek Settlement.
In 1835, W. W. Shepperd established a store in center of the Lake Creek settlement near the intersection of three important roads or traces. During the Texas Revolution, a number of the men from the Lake Creek Settlement volunteered to fight for Texas’ independence from Mexico (1835-1836). One of these men, John Marshall Wade, manned the famous Twin Sisters canons during the Battle of San Jacinto when Texas won her independence on April 21, 1836. Wade would later publish the first newspaper in Montgomery appropriately named the Montgomery Patriot.
In the year following Texas independence, W. W. Shepperd founded the town of Montgomery at the site of his store in the center of the Lake Creek Settlement. Five months later, Republic of Texas President Sam Houston signed the act creating Montgomery County on December 14, 1837. On March 1, 1838, the county government was organized in the town of Montgomery and the town of Montgomery was selected to be the first county seat of Montgomery County.
It is important to note that the Lake Creek Settlement comprised almost exactly the same geographic area as the Montgomery Independent School District does today.
Historians and many others believe naming the new high school after the Lake Creek Settlement would be a wonderful way to remember the area’s history and honor the memory of the those brave colonists and settlers who left the comfort and security of their homes in the United States to seek an uncertain but potentially better future in Austin’s Colony in Mexico and later the Republic of Texas. Their efforts, struggles, and battles laid the very foundation upon which Texas is built today. Billy Ray Duncan, President of the Montgomery Historical Society supports the idea to name the new high school after the Lake Creek Settlement, “Before there was a school district, before there was a county, before there was a town; there was the Lake Creek Settlement - a truly unique naming opportunity for MISD.” The school’s mascot would be easy enough – “Patriots.”
On January 29, 2016, the Texas Historical Commission approved a Texas Historical marker for the Lake Creek Settlement which will be dedicated in late 2016 or early 2017.
For more information about the Lake Creek Settlement, see lakecreeksettlement.info or visit the Lake Creek Settlement page on Wikipedia. Also see The Early History of Montgomery, Texas. Or click here to read the Historical Narrative in support of the Texas Historical Commission marker for the Lake Creek Settlement which was approved on January 29, 2016.