Texas History Page

 

Montgomery County Centennial Monuments

Montgomery County Texas Centennial Monument

   In 1936, to commemorate the centenary of Texas Independence, several monuments were erected by the State of Texas in Montgomery County, Texas.1  One of these monuments was erected 4 miles north of Conroe on U.S. Highway 75.  This monument reads as follows:

Montgomery County Named in Honor of General Richard Montgomery

 

MONTGOMERY COUNTY

CREATED FROM WASHINGTON COUNTY

DECEMBER 14, 1837

ORGANIZED SAME YEAR

NAMED IN HONOR OF

RICHARD MONTGOMERY

1736-1775

BRIGADIER GENERAL IN

THE CONTINENTAL ARMY

COUNTY SEAT, MONTGOMERY, 1837

CONROE, SINCE 1888

Montgomery County, Texas Centennial Marker

4.4 Miles North of Conroe, Texas on SH Hwy 75

   This marker is located on Texas State Highway 75 (SH 75).  In Conroe, Texas, SH 75 is called Frazier Street. The Montgomery County, Texas centennial marker is located 4.4 miles north of downtown Conroe on the west side of SH 75 in a highway rest area. 

The General Richard Montgomery Myth

   There is a a major error on the marker.  This marker states that Montgomery, County, Texas was named in honor of Richard Montgomery "Brigadier General in the Continental Army."  This is not true!  Montgomery County, Texas was not named after General Richard Montgomery.

   This myth was started by Texas historian, Homer S. Thrall, in 1879 when Thrall wrote in his book A Pictorial History of Texas that Montgomery County was named "for General Montgomery."  This was the first attempt by a historian to suggest the source for the name of Montgomery County, Texas.  However, Thrall did not bother to advise which General Montgomery the county was named after.  Thrall provided no source, footnote or bibliography for his contention that Montgomery County, Texas was named after someone named General Montgomery.
   The Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide published in 1911 would be the first publication to suggest a first name for the mysterious General Montgomery.  The authors of the 1911 edition of Texas Alamanac and State Industrial Guide provided a first name for General Montgomery when they wrote that Montgomery County was "Named for Gen. James Montgomery."  However, like Thrall, The Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide did not bother to tell us who this General James Montgomery was.  As with Thrall, the Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide provided no source, footnote or bibliography for their contention that Montgomery County, Texas was named after a General James Montgomery.
   In his 1915 book The History and Geography of Texas as Told in County Names, Z. T. Fulmore changed the name of the mysterious General Montgomery from "James" to "Richard" and gave us quite a bit of biographical information about him.  Fulmore wrote the following:
This county was named for Richard Montgomery, who was born in Ireland, December 2, 1736, and settled at King's Bridge, New York, 1773.  In 1775, he was elected a delegate to represnt Dutchess County, New York, in the first New York Provisional Assembly.  In the same year he was appointed Brigadier General, and was killed at Quebec, December 31, 1776.
   Like Homer S. Thrall and the suthors of the Texas Almanac and State Industrial Guide, Fulmore provided no source, footnote or bibliography for his conclusion that Montgomery County, Texas was named after General Richard Montgomery of the American Revolution.  The sponsor of the centennial marker shown above evidently got his or her information about General Richard Montogmery from Z. T. Fulmore's book or other writers who had used it as a source. 
   In 1925, the idea that Montgomery County was named for a General named Montgomery began to be replaced by a new fallacious contention.  For more information on this, see the Evolution of the Montgomery Trading Post Myth.
So Where Did the Name of Montgomery County Come From?
   In fact, Montgomery County, Texas is named after the Town of Montgomery, Texas.  The Town of Montgomey was founded (July 1837) five months before Montgomery County was created (December 14, 1837). The Town of Montgomery was founded by W. W. Shepperd in association with J. W. Moody in the Lake Creek Settlement.  The Town of Montgomery was named by W. W. Shepperd and J. W. Moody.  The Town of Montgomery was named after Montgomery County, Alabama where J. W. Moody had lived for many years before coming to Texas.  J. W. Moody had also been the County Clerk of Montgomery County, Alabama before coming to Texas.  Montgomery County, Alabama was named in honor of Major Lemuel P. Montgomery who fought in the Creek War and was killed fighting in the Battle of Horseshoe Bend on March 27, 1814. 

Montgomery, Texas Centennial Monument

   In 1936 for the Texas Centennial, another monument was erected in Montgomery, Texas. The Town of Montgomery monument is located in front of the Montgomery Community Building near downtown Montgomery on the site of the first Montgomery County courthouse on SH 149 two blocks north of SH 105.

Montgomery Texas Centennial Marker W. W. Shepperd

TOWN OF MONTGOMERY

FOUNDED IN JULY, 1837 BY

W. W. SHEPHERD

INCORPORATED IN 1848

MONTGOMERY COUNTY WAS CREATED

DECEMBER 14, 1837

JAMES MITCHELL, PLEASANT GRAY,

WILLIAM ROBINSON, ELIJAH COLLARD

CHARLES BARNETT, JOSEPH L. BENNET

DR. B. B. GOODRICH, D. D. DUNHAM AND

HENRY FANTHROP, COMMISSIONERS,

SELECTED MONTGOMERY AS THE COUNTY

SEAT AND IT REMAINED AS SUCH

UNTIL 1889

IMPORTANT TRADE CENTER

BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR

 

Erected by the State of Texas

1836

 

   To read more about the founding of the Town of Montgomery, Texas, click here.  To read more about W. W. Shepperd, the founder of the Town of Montgomery, click here

 




Charles Bellinger Stewart

Texas State Historical Marker

Charles B. Stewart Texas State Historical Marker Montgomery

   This marker is located in front of the Montgomery Community Center near downtown Montgomery on the site of the first Montgomery County courthouse on SH 149 two blocks north of SH 105. This marker reads as follows:

FIRST SECRETARY OF STATE IN TEXAS

CHARLES BELLINGER STEWART

(1806-1885)

CAME TO TEXAS 1830. SECRETARY OF STATE, NOV. 1835-

FEB. 1836. SIGNED DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE; HELPED TO

WRITE CONSTITUTION OF THE REPUBLIC OF TEXAS IN 1836 AND THE

STATE IN 1845; SERVED MONTGOMERY COUNTY AS DISTRICT

ATTORNEY AND THREE TERMS AS STATE REPRESENTATIVE.

 

HIGHEST APPOINTED OFFICIAL IN TEXAS, KEEPER OF THE

STATE SEAL, THE SECRETARY OF STATE IS NAMED BY THE

GOVERNOR WITH ADVICE AND CONSENT OF THE SENATE.

 

THIS OFFICE HAS ATTRACTED LEADERS.  STEPHEN F. AUSTIN,

"FATHER OF TEXAS," HELD THE POST IN 1836.  SECRETARY

EBENEZER ALLEN IN 1845 REPRESENTED THE REPUBLIC IN

ANNEXATION, RESERVING FOR TEXAS HER PUBLIC LANDS -

A PREROGATIVE ALLOWED TO NO OTHER STATE.

 

THE SECRETARY OF STATE GRANTS CHARTERS, ATTESTS

THE COMMISSIONS AND PROCLAMATIONS OF THE GOVERNOR;

ASSISTS THE GOVERNOR IN EXTRADITION PROCEEDINGS;

REGISTERS APPOINTMENTS OF THE GOVERNOR TO THE MANY

STATE BOARDS, ADMINISTERS THE UNIFORM COMMERCIAL

CODE OF TEXAS; APPOINTS NOTARIES; PUBLISHES THE LAWS

OF TEXAS; ADMINISTERS ELECTION LAWS; ISSUES BALLOTS;

CANVASSES RETURNS; FILES REPORTS OF STATE AGENCIES.

 

SINCE STEWART, 83 OTHER MEN AND TWO WOMEN HAVE

SERVED TEXAS AS SECRETARY OF STATE.

 

SEE OTHER SIDE

(1966)

 

Charles B. Stewart Centennial Marker

Charles B. Stewart Centennial Marker

SITE OF THE HOME OF

DR. CHARLES B. STEWART

1806-1885

MEMBER OF THE CONSULTATION, 1835-

FIRST SECRETARY OF STATE - SIGNER OF

THE TEXAS DECLARATION OF INDEPEND-

ENCE - DELEGATE FROM MONTGOMERY

COUNTY TO THE CONSTITUTIONAL

CONVENTION OF 1845 - MEMBER OF THE

TEXAS LEGISLATURE.

 

Erected by the State of Texas

1836 

 

 

1 Monuments Erected by the State of Texas to Commemorate the Centenary of Texas Independence, commission of Control for Texas Centennial Celebrations, Austin, 1838, the Steck Company, 1939, pp. 144 and 190.

Texas Historical Markers located in Montgomery County, Texas.