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Plaza of Honor Biographies

1st 40 Gray Bricks- Our earliest settlers in Burnet County

1st Settler Massacred

Robert Adams was an ex-soldier who had served at Fort Croghan.  In 1857 he was the first white settler killed by Indians in Burnet County.  Robert Adams, an old Scotsman who lived on Morgan Creek, was surprised and killed by Indians while hunting some of his stock. Evidently, the Indians chased him some distance, before catching him in a ravine at the foot of a mountain.  When found the next day, his body had been fearfully mutilated and his head scalped.  The Indians seemed to have amused themselves by filling his body full of arrows.

General Adam R. Johnson, who was in the company that found the body, stated that “the raiders guilty of the murder succeeded in eluding those who trailed him.”  However, William Banta revealed that the “eight Indians” were discovered by a member of the Cowan family, who lived on the Colorado River in Llano County.  Cowan hastily assembled some others and a running fight ensued.  Cowan was wounded and three of the Indians were killed.  One had “Old Man Adams’” pocket knife, which proved they were the murderers of Adams.

Although Adams was a relatively short-time resident of the county, his name continues today as the bluffs on the highway to Silver Creek in western Burnet County are called “Adams Bluff”.  Adams was the first person buried in the Council Creek Cemetery, sometimes called the Fry Cemetery.

Johnson, General Adam R.  The Partisan Rangers
Trevis, Michael. “Robert Adams”,
Wilbarger, John Wesley.  Indian Depredations in Texas

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee


Texas Ranger
1833 – 1924

John Ross Alexander was the fourth of eleven children of Samuel and Thurzy (Ross) Alexander.  The whole family moved from Washington County, Arkansas, to Georgetown, Texas, in 1848.  At the same time, the family also developed a salt-mining business on the Colorado River in Llano County.

The family moved to property on Mesquite Creek, Burnet County, in the 1850s.  During his time in Burnet County, John Ross Alexander served as a Minute Man when the county was beset by Indians. He became a member of the Frontier Guards stationed in Burnet County during the time of the War Between the States and when Burnet County had no other protection from outlaws and ruffians following the War.

In 1857, he married Missouri Ann Owens of Georgetown, and their son Lewis Edwin (Ed) Alexander, was born in San Saba.  After Missouri's untimely death, young Ed Alexander was adopted by his aunt Martha Alexander Lewis and her husband, Dr. Charles Lewis of Georgetown.

John Ross Alexander then married Mary Lamb.  Their children: Fannie m. ___ Harris; George W. (Naomi Frazier); Nora Elizabeth (O. D. Baker); Kate; Clyde (twin, m. Alene Thomas); Olive Rebecca (twin, m. J. E. Wolfe).  The family lived in a small rock house located on the east side of the courthouse square in Burnet.  For several years, they operated a grocery store at that site.

During his days with the Rangers, John Ross and fellow Rangers made their headquarters off Old San Saba Road, eight miles north of Burnet.  They camped near the springs of good water called Underhill Springs.  After Indian raids ceased, he bought acreage near the springs and moved his family there in 1878.

John Ross Alexander died in 1924.  He was buried near his parents and other family members in the Alexander Cemetery located on the Mesquite Creek property.  His property near Underhill Springs was inherited by his son Ed Alexander.  In 2020, some of that property is still owned by Ed's descendants, who married into the Ed Frazier family.  That property is set on the west side of the Old San Saba Road, near the Pebble Mound Cemetery and former site of the Pebble Mound School.

Many Alexander descendants remain in Burnet County.

Further information may be found in Burnet County History, Volume II.
Information submitted by Dr. Jane A. Knapik and the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.


Dairy Farmer
1841 – 1911

John Israel came to Texas with his parents Daniel and Ruthey DeLashmutt Altman when he was about 10 years old.  The Altman family arrived in Texas in the early 1850s with their 12 children who were all born prior to coming to Texas. Daniel Altman made his first land purchase in the Peter Kerr Addition to the town of Hamilton.  His purchase of Block 23 was east of Hamilton Creek, bound on the east by Watts Street, and contained four one-half acre lots.  John Israel, made his home in and near Burnet, and  a brother, Daniel H. lived in the Oakalla community.

John I., was born January 28, 1841, in Macon, Georgia, and died March 29, 1911 in Burnet County with burial in the Odd Fellows' Cemetery.  He married February 2, 1865 in Burnet County to Eliza Josephine Rolef.  Eight children were born to this marriage with several children marrying into families of other early Burnet County settlers (Cole, Glimp, Dorbandt, Warner and Frazier) and with many descendants remaining in the area.

State Military Records reveal that John I. Altman enlisted December 20, 1862, in the Confederate forces as second bugler at Camp San Saba for three years, or the duration of the war, and was mustered in on the same date and at the same place.  He was in Captain William G. O'Brien's Company K, Mounted Volunteers, Frontier Regiment, Colonel J. E. McCord, commanding, Texas State Troops. 

John purchased land located on the North San Gabriel three miles north of Burnet to which later purchases of land were added. He and Eliza first lived in a log cabin which had belonged to her parents, the Anton Rolefs, who had moved to Burnet.  The log cabin was located across the old San Saba Road east of the later-built Altman home.  Mr. Altman operated a dairy for many years and delivered milk.  He was stricken with paralysis in 1888 and was an invalid until his death in 1911. The Altmans were members of the Church of Christ.

Note:  The above mention log cabin was donated to the Burnet County Heritage Society and now resides on the grounds of Fort Croghan.   

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History books, Volume I and II, Grandchildren of John and Eliza Altman may be found in the manuscript in the Burnet Library, and Burnet County Cemetery Records.

Information submitted by Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.


Mahomet Founder

Records show the George Melvin Ater family moved to Texas in 1853.  A land patent was given to George Ater for 320 acres on the head waters of Bear Creek in Burnet County on the 20th of April 1857. The location is further described as 12 miles North 84 degrees of Hamilton.
George Ater established a post office, which he called the place where they lived Mahomet, on December 14, 1857.  The Mahomet Post Office remained at the Ater residence and was at the same location for 25 years.
The Ater family lived in Monticello, Illinois before coming to Texas, but had relatives who lived north of what was then known as Middletown, which was served with a postal address of Mahomet. Interestingly, the designation of Mahomet, Texas preceded the naming of the Illinois community as Mahomet.  Until 1871, the Illinois village was known as Middletown, one of two communities in the central section of the state with the same name, although the post office moniker of Mahomet had been in effect since Ater and other relatives lived nearby.
The stagecoach on the 75-mile Austin to Lampasas route stopped at the Ater homestead in Mahomet for fresh horses, food and water. 
In 1882, railroad tracks had been laid, but not through Mahomet. The Austin and Northwestern Railroad bypassed Mahomet in favor of Bertram. The Bertram Post office opened on December 8, 1882.  The transporting of mail at some point transferred from the stagecoach line that stopped at the Ater place to the train that stopped in Bertram, so the Aters elected to pick up their mail in Bertram.
Other Aters who served as postmasters in Mahomet were:  Albert Ater, March 7, 1866; Jonas Stanford Ater, December1, 1873; Allen J. Ater, April 18, 1876; and again Allen J. Ater, August 13, 1879.

For more information concerning the Ater Family:  
Burnet County History, Volume I, Chapter XVIII Post Offices, p. 257 and Volume II, pp. 7-9

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.

WILLIAM BANTA 1827 – 1898

William Banta, born June 23, 1827, in Princeton, Indiana to Isaac William and Eliza Barker Banta.  William died in 1898 in Lampasas County and buried at Nix, Texas.  He was married on March 4, 1850, in what is now Burnet County to Lucinda Hairston, who was born c. 1833 in Alabama, daughter of Ezekiel P. and Jane Hairston.  William and Lucinda would reside at Hairston Creek.  Fourteen children were born to William and Lucinda with descendants remaining in Burnet County and the Central Texas area. 

William had come to Austin in 1849, and then to Hamilton Valley (now Burnet), arriving on Christmas Day, 1849.  He signed the petition on December 17, 1851 to create the County of Burnet.  In later years he was the author of Twenty-Seven Years on the Texas Frontier.  It is affirmed in the introduction by L. G. Park, that William's marriage was the first in the county (there was no Burnet County until 1852).  It is also stated that he was baptized into the Church of Christ, being also the first man baptized in the county, and later became a gospel preacher.  He officiated at his daughter Ellen's marriage.

William was in nearly all Indian fights from 1850 to 1859 and organized and commanded the first company of minute men in the county under commission from Governor Edward Clark in 1861.  He was also one of the first to volunteer for service in the Confederate Army in 1861 and six months later was elected first lieutenant of Company A, McCord's Regiment, Walker's Division.  He served for 27 years on the frontier, seeing the country settled from the Red River to the Rio Grande.

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History books, Volume I & II  and from William Banta's book, Twenty-Seven Years on the Texas Frontier.

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.

1852 – 1854

1st Burnet County Sheriff

Not much information is known about J.C. Bradley except that he was the first sheriff of the newly formed Burnet County.   He served in this prominent position from 1852- 1854.

Mr. Bradley was a friend of Logan Vandeveer’s.  Mr. Vandeveer was appointed a commissioner in 1852, the same year that J. C. Bradley was appointed as sheriff.

In 1855 Logan Vandeveer and his brother Zachary drove a large herd of cattle to Plaquemines Parish in Louisana.  Three other men went with them; one was J.C. Bradley, the first sheriff of Burnet County.   Mr. Bradley was Vandeveer’s foreman on the cattle drive.  While in Louisana, Vandeveer died of yellow fever, and two days later his brother died.  They were buried in Louisana.

For more information:
Debo, Darrell.  Burnet County History Books, Volume I and II

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee


Captain Jesse Burnam (Burnham) was the youngest of seven sons and was born on September 15, 1792 in Madison County, Kentucky. Captain Burnam was a hardy pioneer and veteran of the War of 1812.  The Burnam Family landed at Pecan Point, Texas in February 15, 1821 under Colonel Williams as part of the Stephen F. Austin’s Colony.  After a few months the Burnam Family moved to Clear Creek and soon moved on to Independence, where he was the first to build a cabin and a loom.  However, soon they crossed the Colorado River and settled on a land grant near LaGrange in Fayette County.  Jesse’s block house was at the farthest location up the Colorado River where he continually engaged in struggles with the Indians.  He distinguished himself in skirmishes with the Indians and was promoted to captain after a battle with the Kiouk Indians at Skull Creek.
When the war with Mexico began, Captain Burnam was commissioned to gather and equip men for service in the Army under the command of General Sam Houston.  Captain Burnam was elected to a congress, convened to make preparations and to find ways and means to sustain the war.  He sat in the congress for two sessions.
The family suffered great losses during the war, as their home was burned, the Burnam’s Ferry was sunk and the store at the location was burned on orders of Sam Houston.  Captain Burnam and Sam Houston were not on good terms.  Burnam was always opposed to the annexation of Texas to the United States and advocated a separate and independent government.
In 1850 Captain Burnam followed his sons, William O. and Robert Thompson, to Burnet County and established what was thought to be the largest wheat farm in the county, and also they were the first to run sheep in Burnet County.
On September 15, 1882 Captain Jesse Burnam was honored, at the age of 90, as the oldest Texas Veteran and the only survivor of Stephen F. Austin’s colony.
Captain Jesse Burnam, the old veteran of the Battle of New Orleans, the War with Mexico, a Minute Man, and the many battles with the Indians, died on April 30, 1883 and is buried in the Burnam Family Cemetery on the family farm and ranch in the Double Horn community.

More information:  
Burnet County History, Volume II, pages 39 and 40
Herman Brown Free Library
The Valley between the Colorado and Pedernales, Spicewood Area Historical Focus Group, pages 6 and 7

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee


Richard Stanford Cates and his brother Israel, arrived in Burnet County in early 1852 and settled in what was called Backbone Valley. This area of settlement became known as "Cates' Flat". Richard Stanford Cates was a physician, and practiced medicine in Burnet County for many years.  He and his family were members of the Protestant Methodist Church. He was a member of the Masonic Order, having petitioned Valley Lodge No. 175 for membership at the first meeting of the lodge.
Dr. Cates married Cornelia Jane Harvey (1809-1888) and their five children would stay in the area and become very active in the community. Their involvements include:  steward and Sunday School superintendent at Crownover Chapel at Fairland, member of Magill's Texas Rangers, an Indian fighter, farmer, rancher, blacksmith, and carpenter.
Dr. Cates served as Burnet County Sheriff from 1876 to1873 and Burnet County Judge 1876-1878 and 1886-1890.  He also served as an attorney, a circuit riding preacher in Burnet and Williamson counties, and postmaster of Backbone Valley.
Dr. Richard S. Cates and his wife, Cornelia Jane are buried at Fairland Cemetery along with many of their descendants.

Further information: Burnet County History book, Volume ll, p.44 and the Herman Brown Library in Burnet, Texas.

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.


Andrew McClure Cox was born July 19, 1816 in Whitney County, Kentucky and died September 28, 1891 in Burnet County.  He is buried in the Old Corwin Cemetery (now called the Haynie Flat Cemetery) near Spicewood, in Travis County.

The Andrew Cox family left Kentucky prior to 1840, living for a time in Missouri then immigrating to Texas around 1849.  They first settled in Travis County, but relocated to Corwin in Burnet County, by 1853. During this time, Andrew farmed and was active in the affairs of Burnet and Travis Counties.  In 1870, Mr. Cox won the election as Representative for Burnet County to the Twelfth Texas Legislature. That same year, on January 1, 1870 the family moved across the Colorado River to Smithwick Mills where they purchased Noah Smithwick’s real property and mill from G. H. Stinnett.

On the property, Mr. Cox built a substantial residence and general store, the upper room which he leased and used for the Henry Thomas Masonic Lodge assembly room.  He was the first Worshipful Master of the Lodge #278 in 1865 located further east down the river in Lodge Valley (now Turkey Bend) but was moved to Cox’s building in 1876.

That same year Mr. Cox’s first wife, Anna, passed away and in 1878 he married Dr. Henry Yett’s widow, Millicent Emma Yett, from across the Colorado River directly across from Smithwick Mills.  Mr. Cox reared 14 children, nine boys and five girls.  It is interesting that one of his daughters, Pollie L., married one of Burnet County early sheriff’s, Nimrod J. Miller, in June 1868.

Mr. Cox final turn at public office was as the first Postmaster of the Smithwick Post Office on February 9, 1882 until his death September 28, 1891.

There are still distant relatives living in Burnet County today: Cox’s, Jackson’s, Rodgers’ and Davidson’s.

Today (2020), the Henry Thomas Masonic Lodge is still active and is located at the end of Burnet County Road 334, in the Smithwick Area.

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History Books, Volume I & II, and old History of Henry Thomas Lodge # 278, A.F.& A.M., of Smithwick written about 1920 by J. S. Peacock, in which a sketch of A. M. Cox appeared.

Texas State Historical Association, Handbook of Texas 
Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.


Christian Frederick Dorbandt was born in Haderslev, Denmark, on the Baltic Coast, December 12, 1818. In 1838, he landed in New York City where he learned and engaged in the trade of rope making. He came to Texas in 1845 and one year later joined the Army to fight in the war with Mexico. It was in April, 1847, that the stalwart Dane distinguished himself by his bravery when the troops of Santa Anna were cornered in the rock pass of Cerro Gordo and 3,000 of them were taken prisoner, while enough military stores to equip an army were the spoils of the captors. For his courage on this day, Private Christian Dorbandt, the tall Norseman of Company K of the Second Regiment of Dragoons, received a certificate of merit, signed by President James K. Polk.

Christian Dorbandt, while stationed in Maryland, visited New Orleans, where he met Miss Ann Dunlavy of Ireland, who was visiting her cotton-buyer uncle. The two were wed, and with his new bride, Christian was sent to Ft. Sill, Indian Territory. He was then sent to Fort Croghan at Hamilton Valley (Burnet) as a Quartermaster Sergeant. When Fort Croghan was abandoned in December 1853, Dorbandt retired from the Army and chose to settle in the raw pioneer land of Central Texas, building a rock home in the Backbone Valley, north of present day Marble Falls. It was here on December 27, 1853, that the first child of the Dorbandts was born, a girl, Henrietta, the first white girl born in Burnet County. This was two months after the birth of the first white boy born in Burnet County, George A. Holland.

Christian Dorbandt was a captain in the Texas Rangers. When the War Between the States broke out in 1861, he became a captain in the Confederate forces, and after Appomattox became a member of the Frontier Rangers. During Reconstruction days Captain Dorbandt was one of the volunteer rangers , who were helping to protect the frontier against stepped-up Indian depredations. General Rip Ford sent Captain Dorbandt up and down both sides of the Colorado River for 50 miles north of Austin to control the area against Indian raids, white renegades and desperados.

Christian and Annie’s son, Christian Jr., was born in the rock house in Backbone Valley, north of present day Marble Falls, on February 6, 1857. Chris grew to manhood in Burnet County, “went up the trail” and helped drive large herds of cattle through a number of territories in the West before they settled as states. After his marriage in 1883 to Anna R. Perkins, Chris moved to the town of Burnet. Shortly thereafter, he was appointed a deputy sheriff by Sheriff John Wolf, who was later killed in a gun battle by Constable John Taylor of the Bertram precinct. Chris Dorbandt was elected City Marshal of Burnet, and in 1890 was elected Sheriff of Burnet County, serving eight years in office, one from which he voluntarily retired to go into the ranching business.

Information provided by Tommye Dorbandt Potts, member of the Burnet County Historical Commission and Burnet County Heritage Society.


Josiah Fowler was born July 16, 1811 in Cocke County Tennessee and died July 4, 1888 at Salado, Texas. He was buried in Fowler Cemetery near Spicewood in Burnet County. Josiah was a farmer and teacher. 

The Fowlers came to Texas in 1852 settling in southern Burnet County where they set up housekeeping in a log cabin. With seven children born in Tennessee, Josiah began hauling stones for what would become the fine old Mansion near present day Spicewood, which for many years has been known as "Marble Hill". The walls were more than 18 inches thick, it took 1700 loads of stone, hauled by ox wagon before the eight-room home was completed. 

Josiah worked on the house until he left to fight in the War Between the States. During the war the mansion, not yet completed, sheltered many war widows and children.  In the 1860s that part of Burnet County, now known as the Spicewood-Shovel Mountain-Double Horn area, was almost a wilderness. The pioneers could stand in their doorway and shoot wild game as it was open country with mesquite groves but little to no cedar where great herds of cattle roamed the grass-covered hills. 

Many Fowlers are buried in the Fowler Cemetery, which is located a half-mile from the old Marble Hill Fowler’s home. The first grave, even though not dated was that of a freed Negro slave, Hannibal, who chose to stay at the Fowler place after the War Between the States. More than 50 graves helped to recall that portion of Burnet County History as it is related to the Fowlers, one of the pioneer families of the County. 

For more information: Burnet County History,, Volume II,, pages 95 and 96

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.

ADOLFUS FUCHS 1805 –1885 

In 1829, Reverend Adolfus Fuchs, the well-educated and musical son of a Lutheran minister in Mecklenburg, Germany, married Luise Johanna Ruemker, the daughter of a well-to-do merchant in Rostock, Germany.  “Fuchs” rhymes with “books” and translates to “Fox” in English.

By 1844, the Fuchs family decided to move to the United States, to the new area named “Texas.”  When a friend in Germany learned that the Fuchs family was moving to Texas, the friend gave Fuchs the papers to a league of land in Texas.  The papers had belonged to the friend's deceased brother, who had served in Texas during the War of Independence against Mexico.

The Fuchs family, including eight children, landed in Galveston, Texas, on January 10, 1845, boarded a small steamer and rode up Buffalo Bayou to Houston.  There they loaded their belongings into a wagon drawn by five pairs of oxen and drove as far as Cat Spring, a settlement of Germans in Austin Colony.  Their youngest Fuchs child Benjamin was born at Cat Spring.

It was in 1855 that title to the land grant was cleared, with the help of surveyor Jacob de Cordova.  The Fuchs family moved to land along the south bank of the Colorado River, in newly formed Burnet County.  They traveled to Burnet, 18 miles away, to purchase their modest supplies.  The only road to Burnet went past the mill operated by the Mormons.  The Fuchs family attended a July 4th celebration at a site overlooking the Falls of the Colorado before Marble Falls was founded.

Daughter Ottilie Fuchs Goethe wrote a book about the experiences of the Fuchs family, “Memories of a Texas Pioneer Grandmother.”  Pastor Fuchs did not pursue the ministry publicly in Texas, but he did perform the marriage rites for his children and for others.

Many names of Fuchs descendants and German neighbors have remained in Burnet County:  Fox, Matern, Hoppe, and others.  A well-known descendant was musician Oscar J. Fox, who wrote words to “The Hill of Home” as he stood on the ridge south of the Colorado River and looked northward across the valley that became Marble Falls in 1887.

On July 10, 1879, Adolf and Luise Fuchs celebrated their golden wedding day in the circle of their children and grandchildren and many dear friends.  Daughter-in-law Mrs. Conrad Fuchs wrote a pageant of words and songs performed by grandchildren.  The same pageant was performed 50 years later when descendants gathered at the old home place.

Rev. and Mrs. Fuchs lived in a location that is known as Cottonwood Shores near Horseshoe Bay in 2020.  There is an official Texas Historical Marker near the Fuchs Cemetery where Rev. and Mrs. Adolfus Fuchs and others were buried.  Rev. Fuchs' last words when he died on December 9, 1885, were, “Behold the path with roses.”

Further information may be found in  Burnet County History,  Volume  I and II.

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.

ISAAC L. GIBBS 1817-1868 

1817 - 1868 Early Settler 

Isaac Lawson Gibbs came to Burnet County sometime in the 1840's in time to be enumerated in the 1850 Census.. His first wife, Francis Sanders Claybrooks (1817-1853), was the mother of their four children: Amelia, Thomas Winchester, Almeda, and Rachel.. His second wife was Susan H. January (1814-1870). She had a daughter by a previous marriage, Sarah Burtt. 

The Gibbs family originally settled in the Mt. Zion neighborhood and many of its members are buried in the Mt. Zion Cemetery.. However, in later years various of the descendants lived in Burnet and Bertram. Many of the Gibbs men were members of the Masonic Lodge and held offices in the fraternal order. 

Gibbs’ children and grandchildren married into the King, Clark, Warden, Hill, Fry, Ellett, Jennings, Holland, Landon and Corker families with many descendants still in the area. 

For more information: Burnet County History, Volume II, p.112

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee

LT. NEWTON C. GIVENS 1823 – 1859

!st Lt. Newton C. Givens was born in Kentucky. Givens was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point from Indiana. He graduated with the class of 1845. During the Mexican War, he fought at Buena Vista and was cited for gallant and meritorious conduct. Givens assumed command of Company A 2nd Dragoons, October 28, 1850. He was in command of Fort Croghan, September 28, 1852—October 5, 1852; February 14, 1853—April 4, 1853, September 14, 1853, until Fort Croghan was abandoned, December, 1853. A small detachment was left under the command of Lt. Givens to guard the few remaining supplies.

On January 1, 1854, Logan Vandeveer entered into an agreement with Newton C. Givens, in order to expand his operations. Givens supplied Vandeveer with $6,000 in cash to be used in “the purchase of stock cattle and in diverse other ways for the establishment of a stock ranch and otherwise for the term of five years”. At the end of that time, Vandeveer was to pay back the amount advanced, with interest and one-half of the profits. Later, another $1,000 was added to the $6,000. The agreement shows that Givens had a sideline, an interest in beeves to be sold to the government.

Logan Vandeveer died without a will, and there was considerable legal activity concerning the estate. Some of the land including lots in Burnet town were sold by court order toward payment of claims by Newton C, Givens and others. Most of the survey No. 207 went to Givens toward the mortgage he held for the $6,000 advanced for cattle taken to Louisana.

1st Lt. Givens was promoted to Captain on 28 Feb 1857. He married Mary Louisa Power and had one daughter, who died in infancy in 1859. Givens died in San Antonio, Texas , of tuberculosis, in 1859, and his body was shipped to Utah where his regiment was stationed. He was 35 years old.


Mayhall, Mildred P. Handbook of Texas, Texas State Historical Association

NOTE: The following six men who served as Commanders at Fort Croghan were West Point graduates:

  1. Philip St. George Cooke

  2. Newton C. Givens

  3. Albert Sidney Johnston

  4. Arthur T. Lee

  5. George Pickett

  6. Henry Hopkins Sibley

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee


Ezekiel Peter Hairston was born  July 1, 1794 at Abbeville, South Carolina and died  March 3 1870 in Burnet County from a kidney infection..  He was the son of John Hairston (1753-1808) and Ann Mary Robertson (1754-1840) who were married in South Carolina in 1774.  He married Mary Jane Barnett on November 19, 1819 in Montgomery County, Alabama.   Mary Jane was born in 1796 and died March 15, 1870.  They were the parents of five (5) known children, several married into families of other early settlers with descendants remaining within the county.  Their place of burial is not known; however, there is a strong possibility that they are buried on their own place, as was the practice in the early days.  In Book G, Page 267, of the Deed Records of Burnet County, the instrument states that Hairston “departed this life in said county,” and that his home place was on the west side of Hairston Creek in Burnet County.  Ancestry documents state that he and his wife are buried at “Hairston Graves”, Burnet, Burnet County and Burnet County Cemetery records, page 146 states:  Several graves without markers are located on the former Bill Phillips place southeast of Burnet off the Hairston Creek Road. 

It is known that the Hairstons had already settled in what would become Burnet County by early 1850 for their daughter Lucinda was married to William Banta on March 4, 1850.  Possibly the Hairstons had arrived the preceding year; however, that is merely conjecture.  A small creek which flowed through Hairston's property (he at one time owned a 1280 acre tract) was given the appellation of Hairston Creek, a name which it has borne till the present time (2021), and is located southeast of Burnet.  

Ezekiel Hairston was one of the early settlers in Burnet County, and was the first signer of the petition circulated in late 1851 for the formation of Burnet County.  He was about 57 years old at the time.

In the summer of 1852, peaceful relations between Indians and settlers were reinforced when five Indians brought a squaw to Ezekiel P. Hairston for treatment.  The woman had been bitten by a rattlesnake and was almost dead.  The braves left her at the Hairston home for around 2 weeks.  When the Indians finally returned, they brought gifts of three cured deer skins full of honey, about 100 pounds of bear meat, and five or six pairs of venison hams.  The squaw was ready to travel by then.  About the same time a year later, the Indians returned, bringing the family more honey, meat, and fine cane baskets.  In the twenty years Mr. Hairston lived at this home, he never ever lost anything else from another Indian. (“The Spirit of Thanksgiving in Early Central Texas” by Karylon Hallmark Russell which was found on Ancestry.)

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History, Volume II.

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.

JOHN HARVEY 1810 – 1885

John Harvey came to Texas in 1834, first settling at San Augustine before moving to Nacogdoches in 1835.  With the coming of the Texas War for Independence in 1836, Harvey joined Captain Hayden Arnold's company.  At the Battle of San Jacinto, he was a private in the First (Hayden's) Company, Second Regiment of Texas Volunteers under Colonel Sidney Sherman.

Sometime before the war, Harvey qualified as a surveyor, a profession he would follow hereafter.  He was listed among 103 surveyors who served the government of the State of Coahuila and Texas in that capacity.  With the establishment of Fort Croghan on Hamilton Creek in 1849 and the creation of a new county named Burnet in 1852, Peter Kerr, who owned the surrounding land, in 1853 began laying out the townsite for a county seat, as required by the act creating the new county.  John Harvey was the surveyor who made the actual location on the ground of what became known as the Peter Kerr Portion of the town of Hamilton, or what later became Burnet.  It is also presumed that Harvey made location of the Vandeveer Portion of the town as well.

Harvey and his second wife, Senia Barton had come to Burnet County some time in the early 1850s.  He and his wife settled on a survey to which she, her brother, and a sister were entitled as heirs of Jefferson Barton (their father), then deceased, located in Backbone Valley near Fairland south of Burnet.  While living here, Harvey became a member of the Masonic Lodge in Burnet in 1855.

Before the outbreak of the war, his wife, Senia, along with her brother and sister as heirs of Jefferson Barton, conveyed seven acres in the Fairland community to trustees for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, Harvey serving as one of the trustees.  “Crownover Chapel” was begun, although the building of the edifice was not completed until after the war was over.  This was the first land donated for the purpose of erecting a church building in Burnet County.

Although John Harvey was married three times (Polly Reed, Senia Barton, and Mrs. Elizabeth Penn), he had no children.  He died at Salado in 1885, but his burial place is unknown.

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History Books, Volume 1 and Volume II.

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.

HENRY HEINE 1831 – 1914

Henry Heine arrived in Burnet County on December 25, 1852 and settled in the Cow Creek section of the county.  Here he bought 160 acres of land in that section on July 12, 1853.

On July 4, 1853, he had planned a barbecue for his neighbors, but on the previous night a bear carried off the pig he had planned to serve.  He and some of his guests immediately began to hunt the bear, and after a successful chase Heine was able to serve barbecued bear meat to his friends and neighbors.

After the outbreak of the War Between the States, Heine enlisted in the Confederate Army and served until the close of the war in 1865.  He hauled materials in an ox-drawn wagon on the old wagon trail from Cow Creek to Austin, and traded there for other merchandise.

After the war, Heine returned to Burnet County and married Elizabeth (Lizzie Beth or Bettie) Bumgardner Stacey (1843 - 1871), widow of Charles Stacey.  Children of Henry and Bettie Heine, all born in Burnet County, were:  Charles H., Sophia, and Fred.  

In 1873 Henry Heine married Lavina Jane Harris (1853 - 1943), who lived near him on Cow Creek.  The Heines operated farms along Cow Creek, some of which were over the county line in Travis County, and engaged in stock raising.  The children of Henry and Jane Heine were all born in Burnet County are as follows:  William, Lizzie, Henrietta (Rettie), John, Rudolph, Mary, Richard H., Tom, Augusta, Josie, Henry, George, Katherine (Katie), and one child that died at birth.

Henry Heine, both wives and many of his descendants are buried at the Oatmeal Cemetery.

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History book, Volume II and in the Herman Brown Library in Burnet, Texas.

This information was submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.


James Carmichael and Sarah Armour McFarland Hill were both born in Tennessee and married in Missouri.  They came to Texas with her family in 1849 and settled near Oatmeal Spring.  They homesteaded there and raised a family of 13 children:  Mary Jane, Robert William “Bill”, Louisa, Catherine “Aunt Kate”, Susan A., Margaret “Mag”, Sarah Arabelle, Fannie, Melcenia “Cenia”), James Jackson “Jim”, Pleasant Isaac “P. I.”, Mary Annie, and Carrie Louvenia “Aunt Lou”. Several of the children married into families of other early settlers with descendants remaining in Burnet County today (2021).

James Carmichael was the son of William Hill and Mary Carmichael.  Sarah was the daughter of Samuel A. McFarland and Jane Morrow.  

The Hills were instrumental in the founding of the Mt. Zion Cumberland Presbyterian Church and the Jennings' Creek Cemetery (Mt. Zion) in the Mt. Blanc community of Burnet County. They also built a school, Hill School (District #41) on their property where their children and grandchildren were educated.  Many neighboring children also attended school there.

Grandfather Hill, as he was familiarly called, farmed and ranched his property.  As the children married, each was given about 80 acres to establish their own farm.  Some stayed and others sold to their siblings.

James C. Hill was credited with naming Oatmeal community.  A German family named Habermill had resided near the spring for a short time prior to the arrival of the Hills.  The Habermill's left for the California gold fields before his homestead had been completed.  The Scotch-English McFarland – Hill clan translated their German name to Oatmeal.  One day Grandfather Hill sent his children to find some missing livestock instructing them to “go up to Oatmeal Spring and then follow down the creek” until they were located.  To this day, it is Oatmeal Spring, Oatmeal Community.

Grandfather Hill, a pioneer settler of Burnet County was buried at the old Jennings' Creek Cemetery in the presence of one of the largest gatherings of mourning friends and relatives that ever attended a funeral in that section of the county.  He was a good man, highly regarded by every one.  His life was that of a Christian gentleman, a kind husband and loving father.  For 54 years he lived at his old place on Oatmeal. When he settled at Oatmeal, there were no improvements in the vicinity, this section being on the outermost section of the frontier.  He helped fight the Indians out of this country, helped to civilize it, and by his honesty, uprightness of character, uniform kindness to everyone, he helped in no small degree to make Burnet County what it is today.

His wife and many descendants are buried in the Mt. Zion Cemetery (formerly Jennings' Creek).

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History books, Volume I & II, the Herman Brown Library, Burnet, Texas, and the Burnet Bulletin, March 8 and March 15, 1906 – James C. Hill obituary.

Information submitted by Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.


Mary Scott (1837-1855) came to Texas in 1851 with her parents, John Randolph Scott, Jr. and Elizabeth Meredith Cotton Scott.   She was born February 27, 1837 and died March 3, 1855. The family settled on Oatmeal Creek, where her father planted the first orchard in the county.  There were 13 children in the family that came to Texas,  all of which were born in Missouri; James Meredith, Joseph B., John I., Morgan J., George W., Mariah Tabiatha, Mary, Henry, Angeline S., Juliana Ann, Noah, Cornelius, and Benjamin Franklin.  Missouri H.  (#14) was born in Texas.

Mary Scott became the first wife of Samuel Ely Holland (1826-1917) on the 13 of October 1852, being the first documented marriage in Burnet County.  He was the first permanent settler in the county with his property at Holland Springs being the first farm in the county and would build the first wire fence in the county.  Their son, George Alexander Holland (1853-1937) was the first documented white child born in the county.

When George was a little under two years old (March 3, 1855) his mother took him on horse back from their home at Holland Springs to visit relatives at Oatmeal.  The horse shied at something and bucked them off.  Mary was holding George in her arms. George was not injured, but Mary was killed.  She was one of the first burials in the Oatmeal Cemetery.  Her grave is covered with a stone box about 1 and ½ feet tall with the inscription on the lid.  (In 2021 the lid is broken and in very bad condition.) 

Her father was a prominent citizen in the early days of the county. He was the first Chief Justice (County Judge) for Burnet County when it was organized in 1852. He was one of the early settlers at Oatmeal, planted the first orchard in Burnet County, was the first postmaster of the Oatmeal post office when it was established December 1853, and had the first (and only, as far as is known) cheese press in the county.

Mary had many “firsts” in her very short life.

Samuel Ely Holland (1826 – 1917) was the earliest settler in Burnet County. On July 3, 1848, Holland purchased 1,280 acres of land located 3 miles south of present-day Burnet, McCulloch's Station (where the Rangers were encamped prior to their move to Hamilton Valley where Fort Croghan was built).  There he constructed the first permanent  home in the county, strung the first wire fence, put in the first cultivated farm and built the first all stone house for his home.  Holland helped to circulate a petition which resulted in the Fourth Texas Legislature creating Burnet County on February 5, 1852.  He became the first Treasurer of the County and set to work inducing other settlers to come into the area.  In later years Holland was elected to the Texas State Legislature from Burnet County.

Holland and Peter Kerr reportedly brought the first white headed cattle into this section, which later became the famous Hereford strain. He was interested in nearly every major enterprise in Burnet County.  In politics, Holland was a “Greenbacker”; he was a Mason, a member of the Church of Christ, and a Humanitarian.

On October 14, 1852, Samuel Ely Holland married Mary Scott (1837 – 1855) which was the first documented marriage in Burnet County.  Their son, George Alexander Holland (1853-1937) was the first documented white child born in the county.  Samuel Holland would later marry Clarissy (Clara) Ann Thomas and after her death, he married Mrs. Susan McCarty. He was the father of 14 children, many remained in Burnet County, raised their families here and have numerous descendants still in the area.

Samuel was the son of John Rickman Holland and Elizabeth Walker Holland.  Upon his death, November 19, 1917, in Burnet County, Samuel was buried in the Holland Cemetery some 3 miles south of Burnet just off of the Mormon Mill Road.

Further information regarding Mary Scott Holland maybe found in the Burnet County History Book, Volume II, in the files of the Herman Brown Library where documents prepared by Alta Gibbs Holland are stored and from personal files of Fred William French (a descendant of John R. Scott, Jr.).

Further information regarding Samuel Ely Holland may be found in the Burnet County History Books, Volume I and Volume II, and the Genealogy Room of the Herman Brown Library in Burnet.

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.


The Hoover's Valley community, located along and east of the Colorado River almost due west of Burnet in the extreme western limits of the county, was first settled in the early 1850s.  It was named for the Hoover family, who in July, 1854, purchased 640 acres of the Smith-Bailey Survey.  The Isaac Hoover family, his brother Jacob Hoover, and family, Mrs. Isaac (Anna) Hoover's only sister, Rachel, who married Maston G. C. Keele, and their daughter, Mary Jane, who married Wesley Greer, were the early inhabitants of the neighborhood.  They had all come from Tennessee and had settled first on a piece of land near Fort Croghan while seeking land to purchase.

Isaac Hoover was married to a second cousin, Anna Hoover.  They were the parents of five children.

Isaac Hoover was a Methodist Protestant minister and held services in an oak grove adjacent to the present Hoover's Valley Cemetery.  Here he soon organized a flourishing church, the Ebenezer Methodist Protestant Church and erected a meeting house, which also served as a schoolhouse. When the building was destroyed by fire a new school was built nearby.  The church and parsonage were rebuilt on 10 acres of ground deeded on June 25, 1883, by Isaac Hoover and wife Anna, to the Methodist Church. In 1875 Isaac Hoover deeded two acres of the land to the Methodist Protestant Church for a cemetery.  Here many of the Hoover family found a final resting place.

Jacob T. Hoover was married c. 1848 in Tennessee to Elizabeth ____ .  They were the parents of ten children, all born in Texas except the first two.  Jacob farmed the acreage which they settled on.

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History books, Volume I & II and files in the Herman Brown Library, Burnet, Texas.

Information submitted by Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.

JOHN R HUBBARD 1832-1863

John Randolph Hubbard was born in Bond County, Illinois in 1832 and was murdered in Burnet County in March of 1863.  He was the son of Phillip Hubbard (1797-1862) and Emily Dulaney Smithwick (1806-1893).  He was the nephew of Noah Smithwick.

John was in partnership with his uncle, Noah Smithwick, for a time prior to 1855 in the  operation of Mormon Mill and the construction of a stone store building there.  On May 23, 1856, John was appointed Postmaster of Mormon Mill.  John was a member of the Valley Masonic Lodge of Burnet.

On November 5, 1856 he married Eliza Vandeveer who was the oldest daughter of Logan and Lucinda Mayes Vandeveer.  There were three (3) children born to this marriage:  Henry Gary Hubbard (21 June 1858 – 10 April 1898) married Frances Pankey and they had five children. Emily Lucinda Hubbard Corker (8 March 1860-14 June 1939) married Orville O. Corker on March 1, 1883.  They had eight (8) children. William W. Hubbard (13 April 1862-23 October 1891) married Amy Crisp on 13 April, 1880. 

Because of John's political views and being a unionist at heart, he was foully murdered and robbed by bushwackers between Cow Creek and Smithwick just a few days before he planned to flee the county.   His body was thrown over the falls into a hole of water on Cow Creek, and today the water falls still bears his name “Hubbard Falls”. 

Many of the family members are buried in the Old Burnet Cemetery or nearby in the Odd Fellows' Cemetery.  Descendants of the Hubbard family remain in Burnet County.

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History books, Volume I & II.

Information was submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.

JOHN JENNINGS 1802 – 1867

The original Burnet County settlers of the Jennings family from whom the rest descend were John Jennings and wife, Sarah C. (Harris) Jennings, who pre-empted 295 acres of land on the South San Gabriel River eight miles southeast of Fort Croghan by March 4, 1851.  It later became known as the Jennings Creek community, and is now some three miles southwest of Bertram, a town established later in 1882.  On May 27, 1852, John Jennings also purchased 718 acres of additional land on the same river.  His land remained in the Jennings family until 1944.

Having experienced and heard of land-title problems all his life, John decided to help set up the county government when Burnet County was organized in 1852, and served as county commissioner in the first, second, third and fifth years of the county's operation.  On the first tax roll (for 1852) four of the thirty names listed are John Jennings and three of his sons.

John and Sarah Jennings were the parents of eleven (11) children.  Both John and Sarah were buried in the Mt. Zion Cemetery near Bertram, which originated as the Jennings family cemetery and located in the northwest corner of their pre-emption.  Many of their descendants are also buried there.

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History Books, Volume I and Volume II.

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.


Adam Rankin “Stovepipe” Johnson, Sr. was born February 8, 1834 in Henderson County, Kentucky. He was the son of Dr. Thomas Jefferson Johnson and Juliet Spencer Rankin.  In 1854, Adam left the drug store where he had worked since he was twelve years old and moved to Hamilton Valley in Burnet County, then the edge of the western frontier. He gained a reputation as the surveyor of virgin territory in West Texas, an Indian fighter and a stagecoach driver for the Butterfield Overland Mail.

Adam was very active in the early history of Burnet county .  Following the closing of Fort Croghan, in December 1853, he organized a company of “Minute Men” to protect the settlers from Indian raids.  

In 1860 Adam built the first large two-story native stone residence in Burnet on the west bank of Hamilton Creek, known as “Rocky Rest” that still stands today, 2021.  At one time the house was used as the Burnet School and for many years the home of the Dr. Joe Shepperd and family.

January 1, 1861, Adam married Maria Josephine Eastland in Burnet County.  The Eastland’s moved to Central Texas when Maria was a tiny baby. Adam and Maria had six children and many descendants still live in the county. 

When the war between the States broke out, Adam returned to Kentucky and enlisted as a scout under Nathan Bedford Forrest. He was one of the few members of the Fort Donelson garrison who escaped capture by evacuating the fort. His subsequent exploits as commander of the Texas Partisan Rangers within the federal lines in Kentucky earned him a Colonel’s commission in August 1862 and a promotion to Brigadier General on June 1, 1864. One of his remarkable feats was the capture of Newburgh, Indiana, from a large Union garrison with only twelve men and two joints of stove pipe mounted on the running gear of an abandoned wagon. This episode won General Johnson the nickname of ”Stovepipe.”

On August 21, 1864 General Johnson attacked a Federal encampment at Grubbs’ Cross Roads, near Canton, Kentucky before daylight. He was accidentally shot by his own men and became totally blind. After capture by the Federals, he was imprisoned at Fort Warren until the end of the war.

At the end of the war in 1865, General Johnson returned to Burnet County and opened a store with a partner, John Moore. For a short time, the Johnson family moved to Llano County but returned to Burnet in 1872. 

General Johnson was a gentleman of reliability and capability and was active not only in Burnet but founded Marble Falls “the Blind Man’s Town”. He worked to develop the water power of the Colorado River, founded the Texas Mining Improvement Company and served as a contractor for the Overland Mail.

General Adam Johnson and his wife, Maria, lived a long and happy life of more than 60 years. General Johnson passed away on October 20, 1922 at Burnet, Texas. His funeral service was held in the Senate Chambers at the Capital in Austin. He and Maria (September 11, 1923) are buried at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin. 

For more information about Adam Rankin Johnson Sr., see his Bibliography, “the Partisan Rangers of the Confederate Army” ed. William J. Davis (Louisville: George G Fetter, 1904). Ezra J. Warner, “General in Gray”

(Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1959) 

Burnet County History Books, Volume I and II.

Information was submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.


Thomas Kelley was a US Dragoon stationed at Fort Croghan, Texas.

Thomas Kelley married Elizabeth Anna Baber, sister of Logan Vandeveer, on June 4, 1857 in Burnet County. Kelley’s name appears in the 1860 census for Burnet County. He is listed as 29 years old.

Kelley was a stonemason and reportedly built the first stone building in Burnet (Old Masonic Hall). Logan Vandeveer is credited with having the structure built.

Upon his death, Thomas Kelley was buried in a stone-enclosed small cemetery which was located on the Vandeveer property, just west of Highway 281 South, after crossing Hamilton Creek.

References: 1860 Census They Met Their Fate on a Louisana Cattle Drive

Debo, Darrell. Burnet County History, Vol.2. p.10

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee

PETER KERR 1795-1861

Peter Kerr was one of Stephen F. Austin's first 300 colonists and throughout his life, made and lost many stakes, but by the end of his days was a very wealthy man.  He had been an interpreter for the Texas Army in dealing with the Mexican Army after San Jacinto, then became the first mail carrier between Austin and LaGrange, of which he did on horseback.  Following that, he began working with cattle buyers in the Rio Grande Valley where his compensation was a share of the stock.  It is not known exactly when Kerr arrived in Burnet, but it wasn't long after the arrival of the troops at Fort Croghan that he was grazing his cattle on the Hamilton League, a parcel of land he leased in 1849 from John Hamilton, one of Austin's “Little Colonists”, of whom was granted by patent the league in 1845 by the Republic of Texas.  Kerr had a contract with the Government to furnish beef to the fort and obtained a deed from John Hamilton in 1851 for all of Hamilton's league except for 600 acres.  Kerr leased this land to the Government for Fort Croghan to be built on and in March 1849 Fort Croghan was established.  He also acquired land on Morgan Creek and in Marble Falls and would drive his cattle to each for the near year round free grazing, but it was Hamilton (now Burnet), that he had the biggest hand in developing, as he donated 10 lots to form the courthouse square and 100 acres east of the town site to the county to be subdivided, of which is now known as the Kerr Donation portion of the town of Burnet.  

Peter Kerr's body lies in an unmarked grave somewhere in the northwestern part of the Old Burnet Cemetery.  The exact site is unknown.

On June 30, 1970, the Burnet County Historical Society formally dedicated a historical marker in recognition of Peter Kerr's contributions to Burnet County.  It was placed on the grounds of the Fort Croghan Museum near the northeast corner of the “powder house”.  

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History Books, Volume I and Volume II.

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee. 

GEORGE W LAMON 1819 – 1890

George Washington Lamon was born March 7, 1819, at Bunker Hill, now Berkeley County, West Virginia.  He died July 2 or 3, 1890, at Oatmeal, Burnet County, Texas and is buried in the Oatmeal Cemetery.  

On November 28, 1850 he married Ruth Knight who was born September 2, 1832 in Vermilion County, Illinois, died January 11 or 23, 1923 in Burnet County, and was laid to rest beside her husband at the Oatmeal Cemetery.

According to G. W. Lamon's obituary reprinted in the August 2, 1928, issue of the Burnet Bulletin, he settled in the Oatmeal Community of Burnet County in 1852, pursued the agricultural life, purchased land, and became a school teacher – one of the first in the Oatmeal school.  G. W. was an industrious reader and gained a wide range of general information from his study.  In the Oatmeal community he reared a family of three sons and six daughters.  During the War Between the States the Lamons were sympathetic toward the Union cause, as were many who lived in the Oatmeal area.

The children of G. W. and Ruth K. Lamon, the first one born in Williamson County and the remainder in Burnet County, were :  James Chenoweth, Lucy Karen, Nancy Ellen, John William, Martha L. (Mattie), Virginia, Cromwell, Nellie, and Anna or Annie Makemson.

His children would marry into families of other early settlers and several remained in the area.  Grandchildren were very active in Burnet County – George Thomas Lamon, was a school teacher in the rural schools of Burnet County and a longtime employee in the tax-collector-assessor's office; Lucy Adeline served as County Treasurer of Burnet County from 1934 to 1964, and Louis Chamberlain (son-in-law) was County Clerk from 1953 to 1956.

The Lamon family were members of the Christian Church.

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History books, Volume I and Volume II.

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.

CAPT Wm MAGILL 1813 – 1878

William Harrison Magill was born January 3, 1813 in Madison County, Kentucky, died December 17, 1878 in Burnet County, Texas, and was buried in the Magill Cemetery near the airport just south of Burnet.  Other family members, including his second wife Elizabeth Alice Hedrick and his parents Samuel P. and Nancy Shackleford Magill are also buried there.

Magill, along with his close friend Logan Vandeveer, came to this area (Burnet County) in 1848 or 1849.  They secured a contract from the government to supply meat and feed for Fort Croghan. Along with another pioneer, Noah Smithwick, they were appointed by the Government to feed menacing Indians of the region hoping to hold them in abeyance. 

R. H. Hall, Logan Vandeveer and Magill were appointed as a committee to create Burnet County in February 1852 and with Peter Kerr and Samuel E. Holland became the supporting pillars of the new County.  

Magill was the administrator for the Conrad Rohrer grant, and sold the Morman Mill site to the Mormans in 1850.  He was made captain of the Home Guards during the War Between the States, and thereafter was known as Captain Magill.  His property was located just outside the southern and southwestern city limits of present day  Burnet where he established his home and reared his children.  He received the tract of land for services rendered in the War of Independence.

The closeness of Magill and Logan Vandeveer is seen in that the homes of both men were in the same proximity, and their affinity for each other was demonstrated in that both men named one of their sons after the other (William Harrison Vandeveer and Logan Vandeveer Magill).  Both men were Masons.

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History Books, Volume I and Volume II.

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.

HUGH McCOY 1831-1917

In early 1852, Hugh McCoy and wife Harriet Farquhar, along with their year-old baby, joined the Farquhar family on the long trek to Texas. The family traveled overland to the Mississippi River and then by boat to New Orleans. From New Orleans they took a steamship across the Gulf of Mexico to Matagorda Bay. The land journey from there was difficult and took longer than they expected. They were delayed crossing the Colorado River due to high water and then illness fell upon the group. Two of Harriet's sisters died of cholera. The group temporarily settled in Fayette County, Texas while the men searched for permanent land. However, by the fall of 1853 the group had settled in the Lake Victor area in Burnet County. 

Hugh and Harriet had a total of ten children and raised them in a Baptist home instilling strong Christian values. Hugh was a farmer and grew his own produce and raised various farm animals for milk and meat. The families and neighbors shared their bounties, joys and sorrows.

During the Civil War, men were also needed to protect the frontier from Indians. When the Frontier Guards were organized 8 June 1861 to protect Burnet County, Hugh enlisted as a private under the leadership of Captain William H. Magill. He had just turned 30. In August 1861, he joined the Burnet Mountain Rangers, Calvary Company, 2nd Regiment, 27th Brigade TM, under the command of Capt. Isaac M. Brown. His rank is listed as 3rd Sergeant and his age is listed as 35, but he was now serving in the same unit as his father-in-law, Anderson Farquhar. On 29 Jan 1864, Hugh is once again a private serving in Captain G.C. Bittic's Frontier Regiment, Company Three, Texas State Troops from Burnet County. He is serving in a unit with at least three relatives and some friends. According to a Frontier Times article, Hugh served in the Frontier Texas State Troops with Captain Standifer's Company as a First Lieutenant in March and April 1865. 

In the June 1946 Frontier Times, there was an article about Captain Hugh McCoy and others gathered at Black's Fort in Burnet County for defense against Indians. In the summer of 1972, The Highlander newspaper published a three-part series about the Comanche Indian raids on the McCoy family and their neighbors. Interviews were conducted regarding the Indian depredations of 1869 and 1870. Hugh was awarded $865 by the state of Texas to compensate him for his losses. 

The Lake Victor Story by Maurice Shelby described Hugh McCoy as " of the oldest honored citizens of Burnet County, a man who remembers the day when the Indians were plentiful, and when man lived chiefly on Jerky Venison and cornbread, and sometimes without bread." (p.98) Hugh died 4 Jun 1917 of a heart attack while visiting a friend. He was put in the back of a wagon and taken to Bethel Cemetery where he was buried. Years later on 9 Jul 1931, Hugh's children and their families gathered at the old homeplace to commemorate the memory of their father; the farmer, Indian fighter, and Texas Frontier Ranger. 

For more information: Burnet County History Book Vol. II, p. 221 

Submitted by Carolyn McCoy Liles --3rd Great Granddaughter of Hugh McCoy 

Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.


Samuel McFarland was born in 1800 in Cocke County, Tennessee and died March 11, 1861 in Burnet County, Texas.  He was married September 15, 1824 at New Lebanon in Cooper County, Missouri to Jane Pricilla Morrow, who was born in October 1805 in Madison County, Tennessee, died November 8, 1879, in Burnet County, Texas.  She was buried alongside her husband in the Mt. Zion Cemetery.  She was the daughter of James Gillis and Mary Davis Morrow.

The tradition continues in the family that Samuel was a friend of Sam Houston in Tennessee, and that they visited the Indian Reservation together.  When Houston was governor of Texas he visited often in the McFarland's home in Burnet County.

The McFarland family arrived in Texas around 1849 and were in Williamson County in the 1850 Census.  He took up land in Burnet County around 1852.  On May 19,1856, two neighbors, John Jennings and Samuel M. Bingham, swore before the Burnet County Clerk that McFarland had been living on his land and cultivating it for the past three years.  On December 15, 1856, Governor E. M. Pease granted him 297 acres situated about 6 miles south and east from Burnet in the Mt. Zion neighborhood.

The children of Samuel and Jane P. McFarland, all born in Missouri, were:

  1. Mary (Polly) married John Barton

  2. George Jackson “Dr. Jack” 1st married Cordelia Butler, 2nd married Mrs. Sarah Horne, 3rd  married Mrs. Mary Jane Carruth Calvert.

3. James Gillis married Mariah Tabiatha Scott Ingle. He was the Burnet County Tax Assessor from 1854-1858, and County Clerk of Burnet County in 1864-65.

      4. Sarah A. (Sallie) married James Carmichael Hill (their great, great  granddaughters, Carolyn Reed Smith and Lynda Reed French were devoted members of Burnet County Historical Commission & the 40 Brick Committee)

                    5.  Lucinda G. married Robert Alexander

                    6.  Samuel King married Musadore Louisa (Lou) Rowntree

        7.  William B. (Hotel Keeper) married Mary Jane “Jennie” Davis

                    8.  Francis Marion married Valenda Anna Bowmer

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History Books, Volume I & 

Volume II, and in the Genealogy Room of the Herman Brown Library in Burnet.

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.

DR. THOMAS MOORE 1815-1898

Thomas Moore was born August 6, 1815, in Mercer County, Kentucky. In 1816, young Thomas Moore began the study of medicine in Glasgow, Kentucky, in the office of Dr. W. D. Jourdan. By the fall of 1837 he began the practice of his profession in Allen County, later practicing in Warren and Simpson Counties, Kentucky, until he moved to Limestone County, Alabama.

In 1853, Dr. Moore moved to Burnet County, Texas, where he continued to actively engage in his medical practice. As a physician he was skillful, and his professional labors became so extensive and arduous that it resulted in serious impairment of his own health. He abandoned the practice of medicine and began the study of law. Moore was soon admitted to the bar and was immediately engaged in the pursuit of his new profession before the courts of Texas.

Moore was a member of the Secession Convention of Texas in 1861, aiding the chairman of that committee in preparing the address to the people of Texas advocating secession from the Union.

During the War Between the States, Moore was appointed by Judge T.J. Devine as one of the Confederate States receivers for the court at Austin. In 1866, while A.J. Hamilton was Provisional Governor of Texas, Moore, along with his son, John Moore and some others, was arrested by the military authorities on the charge that they were opponents of and inimical to the policy of Reconstruction that was being pursued.

Thomas Moore was taken from Burnet to Austin and held in prison there for 78 days before being brought before a magistrate, giving bond, and finally released. While imprisoned in Austin, Moore’s wife, Eliza J., drove her buggy along the entire treacherous and hazardous journey then existent from Burnet to Austin to see after the welfare of her husband.


Debo, Darrell. Burnet County History, Vol. II, pp. 215-216

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee

WILLIAM O’HAIR 1821 – 1906

William O'Hair, son of Thomas and Rachel (Janes) O'Hair was born February 21, 1821 in Kentucky, died on September 3, 1906 in Burnet County and was buried in the Dobyville Cemetery.  He is known to have come to Texas prior to 1842 and was in Burnet County by 1851.

He was first married, either in Kentucky or Texas, and fathered three children, all born in Texas. His second marriage in the 1850's was to Annice Wolf, daughter of Jacob Wolfe, a pioneer citizen of Burnet County.  There were nine children born to this marriage.  His children would marry into families of other pioneer settlers with several remaining in the Burnet County and surrounding areas. 

William O'Hair served in many capacities in Burnet County; Sheriff from 1856 to 1860; Chief Justice (County Judge) 1861 to 1864; Tax Assessor 1878 to 1884; County Treasurer 1888 to 1898; and was very active in the Masonic Lodge.

His grandfather was Michael O”Hair who was born in Ireland and died in Kentucky.  Michael O'Hair served in the American Revolution and his grave in Hazel Green Cemetery at Hazel Green, Wolfe County, Kentucky, has been marked with a Daughters of the American Revolution marker.  

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History books, Volume I and II and Lampasas County History book, Volume I.

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.


One of Burnet’s earliest settlers and one of its businessmen who became widely known was Emanuel J. Sampson. Sampson was born in London, England March 10, 1811. He moved with his parents in 1818 to Charleston, South Carolina when he was about seven. As soon as Emanuel was old enough to learn a trade, he was apprenticed to a printer. As a young man he moved to New Orleans and entered into the merchandising business. It is not known when Emanuel left New Orleans and came to Texas, but he arrived in Burnet County at the time Fort Croghan was established. His first business venture in the area was selling merchandise to soldiers at Fort Croghan as the sutler at that fort. After the closing of the fort, he operated mercantile establishments in the town of Burnet.

Mr. Sampson was married twice and had two (known) daughters by his first marriage. Isabell Lenora married Sidney A. Posey and Olivia Esther married John W. Posey. Sampson’s second marriage was to Eliza J. (Breazeale) Hill, a widow. She was also an early settler of Texas and had two daughters by her first husband, Robert M. Eastland. These two daughters married prominent men of Burnet. Maria Josephine married General Adam R. Johnson. The Johnson family remained in the Burnet area and were very active in the forming of Marble Falls. The other daughter, Fannie married Thomas E. Hammond, who was admitted to the bar in 1876 and remained in Burnet County for the remainder of his life engaged in the practice of law, the cattle business as well as editing and managing the Burnet Bulletin. Hammond’s first law suit was in the justice of the peace court held in the old rock school and church building at Oatmeal.

Emanuel J. Sampson served as Burnet County Judge from 1870-1874. He refused to hold court in Burnet unless the court was protected against the lawless element of desperados, thieves and outlaws that troubled the town and area in the early 1870’s. The remembrance of those troublesome days gives added insight to the atmosphere and conditions in the small county-seat that eventually resulted in the burning of the courthouse on April 10, 1874.

Several attempts were made in the county to develop the many natural resources. On October 24, 1866, the Burnet Iron Works was chartered and the company was created. Emanuel Sampson was a sponsor of that endeavor. Also in October of 1866, Sampson served on the Board of Trustees of the “Burnet Male and Female Academy. The Academy was re-chartered in 1870, and Sampson was listed as a “trustee” at that time. He was a dedicated member of both the Masons and Odd Fellows Lodges of Burnet, having served in the highest offices. Sampson died while visiting in the home of one of his daughters in Austin in 1879.


Debo, Darrell. Burnet County History, Vol. I & II

Manuscript on the Breazeale family on file in the Herman Brown Library, Burnet, Texas.

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee

JOHN R SCOTT 1801 – 1863

John Randolph Scott, Jr. was born February 26, 1801, in New York and was murdered May 16, 1863 in Burnet County, Texas. He was the son of John Randolph Scott, Sr. (1765-1849) and Jane Jemima Taylor (1774-1850).  He had one sister, Mary Scott Hill McQueen Mosher (1798-1850).  Scott was married about 1825 in Tennessee to Elizabeth Meredith Cotton.  John and Elizabeth were the parents of 14 children, all born in Missouri except for the youngest who was born in Texas.  Their children married into local pioneer families, became servants to Burnet County by serving in County Offices and school teachers.  There are descendants of this family remaining in Burnet County today, 2021.

The Scott family came to Burnet County in 1851 by way of Missouri and the California gold fields where he made a great deal of money.  They settled near Oatmeal Creek where he planted the first orchard in the county (and was laughed at for doing so) and built the first (and only, as far as is known) cheese press in the rear of his home.  John became an outstanding citizen in the early days of Burnet County.  He was elected the first Chief Justice (later changed to County Judge) for Burnet County when it was organized in 1852 and also the first postmaster of the Oatmeal Post Office when it was established in December 1853.

The Scott's were prospering when the lowering clouds of the Civil War threatened.  Having been born in New York state and reared in New Jersey, Judge Scott was unionist in sentiment though he had four sons in the Confederate armies and was doing his share in furnishing Confederate supplies.  Despite all of this, the threats of the Bushwhackers caused his staunch friends to advise him to flee to Mexico for safety until after the end of the war, as quite a few others in his position had already done.  Strapping $2,000.00 around his waist, bidding his family goodbye, he saddled his favorite horse late one night and started for Mexico.  He stopped to spend the rest of the night with friends some seven miles from home and the next morning was joined by a man by the name of McMasters.  Just before crossing a ford on the Colorado River between Smithwick and Marble Falls, they were held up.  McMasters was robbed and hanged and Scott was robbed and shot.  Their bodies were taken several miles away to the dreaded “Dead Man's Hole” and disposed of there.  Judge John R. Scott, Jr. was one of several victims of the most dastardly murder rings that ever perpetrated heinous murder in this section of Texas.

Note:  The Historical Marker at Dead Man's Hole lists Judge John R. Scott as one of the 17 bodies that had been dumped there. 

Further information may be found in Burnet County History Books, Volume I and Volume II as well as other documents located in the Genealogy Room of the Herman Brown Library in Burnet.

Submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.

W R SLAUGHTER 1823-1908

William Ransom Slaughter was born January 28, 1822 in Mississippi and died in Burnet County on March 7, 1908.  He is buried in the Slaughter Family cemetery on the Slaughter home place, northwest of Marble Falls, along with his infant son. 

Ransom Slaughter had settled on a part of the land which had been granted his father, William Slaughter, by Anson Jones, President of the Republic of Texas, on August 6, 1845, for services rendered to the Republic of Texas.  The grant was made seven years before Burnet County was established in 1852.  It was estimated that the deed covered about 4,000 to 5,000 acres and included the present-day site of Granite Mountain.  George Webb Slaughter, brother of William Ransom, received as his part the portion containing Granite Mountain.  

However, William Ransom Slaughter had arrived about 1850 and aided in the organization of the county.  After settling in Burnet County, he aided greatly in the development of the livestock industry in this section.  He also served as an Indian scout with Captain Jeff Maltby in the early days, and freighted for Sam Houston.  Mrs. Sarah Slaughter, in later years, could remember seeing Indians in the area many times and on one occasion could hear them grunting and talking while squatted outside her log cabin home in the chimney corner. 

W. R. and Sarah Slaughter lived their entire lifetime in Burnet County.

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History books, Volume I & II.

Information was submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.


James Gibson Smith, Jr. was born April 6, 1817 in Tennessee and died April 8, 1902 at Oakalla, and was buried in the Smith Cemetery.  He married about 1854 to Sarah A. James and they were the parents of eight children which would become bankers and ranchers.  Grandchildren were very strong promoters of the Rural Electrification system when the Pedernales Electric Coop was formed. Others were school teachers, owned and operated the general store at Oakalla, procured easements from farmers and ranchers throughout the area for PEC and various telephone companies, County Commissioner for Precinct 2 of Burnet County and authored the writing of the family history, “The Saga of Dandy Jim Smith”.

Watt W. Smith was born November 25, 1825 in Tennessee, died April 16, 1877 and buried in the Watt Smith Cemetery.  He married in 1850 to Martha C. McLean and they were the parents of seven children, all born in Burnet County.  They first lived on Miller's Branch, a tributary of Rocky Creek.  Later they moved across the Lampasas River, but still in Burnet County, and built a two-story rock schoolhouse on the Gregory Branch.

Watt became a trail driver and took a herd of cattle each year for 10 years to Abilene, Kansas.  On his last drive, he had gathered a herd and started north when he became ill, had to leave the drive in charge of a trail boss, and was forced to return home due to his sickness.

James Gibson Smith, Jr. and his brother, Watt W. Smith, arrived in Texas about 1848 and first worked for a rancher near Gonzales for about two years, drawing but little of their wages.  At the end of the two years, they drew their wages and set out to gather and buy horses (Texas had an abundance of wild horses then who belonged to whomever could round them up, brand them, and keep them in a herd).

It is part of the Smith family history that Jim and Watt Smith arrived in Burnet County about 1850 with 300 brood mares and a number of stallions.  The Oakalla area of Burnet County was open range and had abundance of water obtained from Rocky Creek and the Lampasas River.  Christian James was living on the Lampasas River with his family, and the area became a favorite place for Jim to take a herd of horses to graze.  When questioned by his brother, Watt, as to his reason for this, Jim described one of the James daughters as the “prettiest little filly I ever saw”.

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History book, Volume II, the Lampasas County History book, Volume II and the Herman Brown Library, Burnet, Texas.

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.


Noah L. Smithwick was born on January 1, 1808 in Martin County, North Carolina and died October 21, 1899 in Santa Ana California.  Noah came from good patriot stock, his ancestors on both sides having fought in the American Revolutionary War.

When Noah was nineteen years old, he started his emigration to Texas. A few dollars in his pocket, a gun and a change of clothes to seek his fortune in the “lazy man’s paradise”.  Noah used several modes of transportation to reach Texas, but in New Orleans with his finances running low, he took a job in Leeds’s Foundry as a finisher.  When the sick season hit, Noah resumed his march to Texas. Finally, landing in Matagorda Bay. Noah had his first encounter with the fierce Karankawn Indians, having no trouble, he left for DeWitt’s Colony. Disillusioned with the conditions he found there, he moved on. He traveled to Victoria, Gonzales onto Burham’s Station, San Felipe, Bastrop and Webber’s Prairie (Webberville) near Austin. 

Smithwick served during 1835-36 in the Texas Revolution in the rear detachment in the’” Runaway Scrape” but missed the battle of San Jacinto by several hours.  Smithwick being a gunsmith worked mostly on repairing the guns.  He returned to Bastrop to work as a smith and serve in the volunteer ranger corps from the fall of 1836 through 1838. In January 1839 to February 1839 Smithwick enlisted under Colonel Moore to go and punish the Comanches for their plundering. 

In December 1839 Noah married a widow, Thurza Blakey Duty.  Noah and Thurza had five children. He applied as the armorer at the newly established Fort Croghan in 1848. In 1852 Noah moved his family to live on the frontier in Hamilton. Their youngest son was born in Burnet County in 1852. 

Prior to 1855, Smithwick and his nephew, John Randolph Hubbard, became partners in the operation of Mormon Mill which Smithwick purchased from the Mormons.  Leaving his nephew to run Mormon Mill, Smithwick moved to the 320 acres, eight miles below Marble Falls on the Colorado River, in the fall of 1855 that he had purchased.  He opened up a farm and built the first frame house in the region.  In 1857-58, Noah began construction of a new mill. While there he suffered two floods. The second one was very destructive. 

His home and mill gave rise to the name of Smithwick Mills but later the Mills was dropped and it became the community of Smithwick. 

 On April 14, 1861 with signs of a Civil War brewing and knowing Noah’s sentiments strongly in favor of maintaining the Union, the Smithwick family, some acquaintances, and a few Mormon families left Texas for California.

The only family related to Noah Smithwick in Burnet county are the descendants of his nephew, John Randall Hubbard.  

More information:

Burnet County History Books, Volume I and II.

Noah Smithwick, The Evolution of a State, or Recollections of Old Texas Days (Austin: Gammel, 1900; rpt., Austin: University of Texas Press, 1983)

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee. 

B.H. STEWART 1843 – 1932

Benjamin Hansford Stewart was born in Overton County, TN in 1843. He was the son of Margaret Copeland-Stewart and John Gilbert Stewart, a preacher. His family moved from Tennessee to Gabriel Mills/ Mahomet Area near Bertram, Texas

in 1851 -1852 when Benjamin was a child. He was known as B.H. or Uncle Ben. He

belonged to the “Scottish Rule” and Mount Horeb Lodge in Mahomet.

B.H. Stewart served as a private in the 1st Regiment Texas Infantry, C.S.A.

(Confederate States of America). He served under Capt.Arnett, Capt. Jeff Maltby, and Capt. D.V. Grant Stewart married Hattie Allison on June 30, 1863. Hattie was born in Osceola, MO (1845 – 1928). Benjamin Hansford Stewart was a land speculator and served as a Burnet County deputy. He later served as sheriff in 1873.


Burnet Bulletin, Feb. 1936, article by Odell Burch, great grandson of B.H. Stewart “Mahomet”, Handbook of Texas,

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee

LEWIS THOMAS 1831 – 1894

Lewis Thomas came to Burnet County from Kentucky in the early 1850s.  He was here by 1852 for his name appears on the petition to the Texas Legislature for the establishment of Burnet County.  He was a nephew of W. H. Magill.

Mr. Thomas built the old rock store at Morman Mill sometime between the early part of 1854 and 1855. Lewis Thomas was at that time the finest stonemason in the country, did all the stone work, using rocks gathered at random from nearby sources. The old store was quite a large one-room structure and stood some 150 feet out east or northeast from the old mill.   Thomas operated the store for a period of time.

He also built and operated a store in Backbone Valley in the early days, and it was in that community that he made his home.  Thomas later put in a store at the intersection of the Marble Falls-Wolfs Crossing road, which also housed the post office.  He was also a trustee for the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, at the time the Bartons deeded the land for the establishment of the school and church at Crownover Chapel in Fairland.

Other properties which Lewis Thomas did stone work on were; the 1884 Burnet County Jail and quite possibly he built the Vandeveer store, the Burnet Masonic Hall and the Vandeveer ranch house.

He was born in 1831 in Kentucky and died April 14, 1894 in Burnet County, Texas.  He was married March 25, 1854 in Burnet County to Margaret Ann Cates, who was born in Tennessee, died May 24, 1883, in Burnet County, Texas.  They are both buried in the Fairland Cemetery.

Lewis and Margaret Ann Thomas were the parents of six children all born in Burnet County.  The children married into other pioneer families and remained in the area.

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History books, Volume I & II,, and

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.


Logan Vandeveer's search for a new land and place to build his future brought him to Texas in July 1833 where he resided in Stephen F. Austin's “Little Colony” at Mina (Bastrop).  He served as a private in the first regiment of Texas Militia and in the Company of Mina Volunteers during the Texas Revolution.  Vandeveer was badly wounded in the Battle of San Jacinto and was honorably discharged.  His name is inscribed on “The Honor Roll of the Battle” at the San Jacinto Monument and he is listed in the book, “The Heroes of San Jacinto,” by Dixon and Kemp.

Vandeveer entered the Ranger service along with his close friend William Harrison Magill and they fought Indians throughout the area.  They were stationed under Captain Henry E. McCulloch at a site about 3 miles below present day Burnet called McCulloch's Station. Vandeveer was discharged from the Ranger service there on December 8, 1848, with the arrival of the United States Dragoons.

Vandeveer settled in Burnet County in 1849 and secured a contract from the government to supply meat and feed stuff for the newly established Fort Croghan, which was established March 18, 1849.  Although Vandeveer received two headright surveys and two tracts of land in Burnet County for his war service, he needed to be closer to Fort Croghan in order to attend to his beef contracts.  Selling beef to Fort Croghan gave Vandeveer the distinction of being Burnet's first merchant.   In 1852 he constructed the first school known as the “Collegiate School”.  The same year he was named as Commissioner in the creation of the County, and then Postmaster of Burnet on August 30, 1852.  He was a leader in the community.  A section of the City of Burnet is known as the Vandeveer Addition and there is a street that bears his name.

Vandeveer's untimely death in 1855 while taking a large herd of cattle to Louisiana was tragic.  His wife had already died earlier and this left his four living daughters as orphans. 

The descendants of Logan Vandeveer are numerous and scattered, although a goodly number still reside in Burnet County.  They take great pride in the accomplishments of their ancestor in the early development of Burnet County. 

Published reports have stated that Vandeveer would have been one of Central Texas' greatest men had he lived for another 25 or 30 years.  He surely did leave his imprint on the pages of early Texas history as well as in the annals of Burnet County.

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History Books, Volume I and Volume II.

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, 40 Brick Committee.

CAPT T D VAUGHAN 1841 – 1913

Thomas Davis Vaughan was the oldest of eight children born to Alexander S. and Nancy H. Davis Vaughan.  He was born in Osage County, Missouri and was 11 years old when he came to Texas with his family who settled at Cedar Mills in 1852.  He was married in 1869 to Sarah Elizabeth Barton (1850 - 1937), daughter of John and Mary (Polly) McFarland Barton, who moved to the Mt. Zion Community in about 1853.  T. D. and Sarah were the parents of seven children, all born in Burnet County,  and married descendants of other pioneer settlers and remained in the area.  Both of their sons became prominent business men of the Bertram area. Thomas Davis II (Tom) was a physician and practiced medicine in Bertram and surrounding area while his brother John Alexander, owned and operated a lumber yard in Bertram.

Thomas Davis was a member of the Burnet Guards (organized in 1861) whose work was to be ready to answer alarms when Indian raids and crimes occurred.  Better known as Captain T. D., he served with the Confederate Army during the War Between the States.  He returned to Burnet County after the war.

T. D. was very much a business man.   After 1854,  he and F. P. Hibler operated the mill at Cedar Mills.  It was a sawmill, grist mill, and flour mill.  Captain T. D. Vaughan and his brother-in-law, James D. Riley were partners in a grocery business at old South Gabriel, and later moved into Bertram when it was established and was the first store to operate there.  In 1881, the land upon which the railroad from Bertram to Burnet was built was largely donated and the building of the road was responsible for the establishment of the town of Bertram.  The land near and through Bertram was donated by Captain T. D. Vaughan.    

Further information may be found in the Burnet County History books, Volume I & II and the Herman Brown Library, Burnet, Texas.

Information submitted by the Burnet County Historical Commission, The 40 Brick Committee.  

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