News From Lake Creek Settlement
The Petition for a County with “No Name”
In October of 1837, a petition was circulated in Washington County on the east side of
the Brazos River for the creation of a new county. Actually the
petition was circulated as three separate duplicate originals that only varied slightly in their
wording. The petition that was circulated in the Precinct of
Lake Creek read as follows:
“To the Honl. The Speaker of the House of Representatives in Congress
assembled. We your petitioners Citizens of Washington County
East of the Brazos River being desirous for a division of the County of Washington, do hereby petition for
your honorable body to make the Brazos River the dividing line between said contemplated counties so as to
throw our county seat in the high healthy Prairies. As for the
arrangements of the new county seats after that is done, we are willing to abide the justice of Congress or
the honesty of our own citizens in fixing the other lines and locating the seat of Justice.”
Many early settlers and residents of the Lake Creek Settlement signed the petition in
October of 1837. The signatures included: Jos. L. Bennett,
Charles Garrett, J. Worsham, Wiley B. D. Smith, L. Smith Sr, W. M. Rankin, Thos. Corner, Peter Cartwright, J.
H. Shepperd, Jacob Shannon, John Corner, William S Taylor, Thomas Rankin, Robert Hall, William Patterson, Wm.
C. Clark, Richard Williams, U. A. Springer, Archibald McGee, John Pyle, M. P. Clark, Israel Worsham and John
It is interesting to note that this petition did not suggest a name for the new county
to be formed. Earlier, in 1836, a petition for a new county to
be called “Travis County” was also circulated in the Lake Creek Precinct. Senator Jesse Grimes presented the Travis County petition to the Senate of
the Republic of Texas. Even though the Travis County bill passed
quickly through the Senate, it later died in the House of Representatives. Had it passed in the House in 1836, Montgomery County would have been known
as Travis County.
On the 20th or 21st of November, 1837, the new petition for the
county with “no name” was referred to the Committee on County Boundaries in the House of Representatives of
the Republic of Texas. Three days later, on November 23, 1837, the proposed county had a name,
“Montgomery.” On November 23, 1837, “Mr. Baker from the
committee on county boundaries to whom was referred the petition of Washington county, praying for a new
county reported a bill to create the county of Montgomery.” The act creating Montgomery County was passed and
signed into law on December 14, 1837.
The original petition praying for creation of the new county is still in
existence. The petition is part of collections of the Star of
the Republic Museum at Washington-on-the-Brazos. But, if you have a computer, you do not have to go that far
to see it. The University of North Texas Portal to Texas History
has scanned the collections of the Star of the Republic Museum and made them available on the
Internet. The petition can be seen at: http://texashistory.unt.edu/data/STAR/1969/meta-pth-32375.tkl . The petition that was circulated in the Precinct of Lake Creek is found in frames 5
another subject, David L. Martin, President of the Lone Star Chapter of The Sons of the Republic of Texas in
the Woodlands presented his research on the “Origin of the Lone Star Flag” to the Montgomery County
Genealogical and Historical Society in January. His in-depth
research has turned up some rather amazing facts about the original design of the Lone Star Flag of
Texas. David Martin has given the TexasHistoryPage.Com
permission to present a draft of his research. Just go to the
TexasHistoryPage.Com and click on the link for “Origin of the Lone Star Flag."
Searle is an attorney in Houston, Texas who has thoroughly researched the history of the Lake Creek
Settlement and the early history of Montgomery County for the last eight years. For more information about the Lake Creek Settlement, go to the TexasHistoryPage.Com .
This article originally appeared in the February 11, 2009 edition of the Montgomery County
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