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The Petition for a County with “No Name”

 

By Kameron Searle

 

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 M. Springer.

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 and 6.

             On 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."

             Kameron K. 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 News.

 

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