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1837 Petition to Create Houston County, Texas

Petition dated April 22, 1837 to the Congress of the Republic of Texas requesting the creation of a county (Houston County)

History of Houston County, Texas 1687-1979

compiled and edited History Book Committee of Houston County Historical Commission

Third Floor, Court House, Crockett, Texas.  Heritage Publish Company, Tulsa, Okla.

[Petition Signers: supposed to be 110 total. Only 106 listed here- who are the other 4?]

Signed: 22 April 1837

Approved: 12 June 1837

The Republic of Texas

Creation of Houston County

By 1837, leaders of this area, a part of Nacogdoches, felt strong and secure enough to petition the First Congress assembled to make them a county. Their petition was written from Mustang Prairie and dates April 22, 1837. It reads:

“To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives when in Congress Assembled: We, the undersigned, your petitioners, citizens of said republic do most respectfully pray that your honorable body make for us a county on the East side of Trinity River, beginning at Robbins ferry on said Trinity; Thence running fifteen miles each side of the old San Antonio Road and East far enough to make a constitutional county, and we further pray that your Honorable Body appoint three disinterested commissioners out of the bounds of said county to locate the aforesaid county to locate the seat of justice for said county in granting the aforesaid petition, we, your petitioners as duty bound will ever pray, etc.”

Signers included: [alpha order]

John B. (iIllegible) John F. Cheairs  William L. Gossett Benjamin Parker
John Adams William Cheairs J. Haley Daniel Parker, Jr.
Collin Aldrich Elisha Clapp John L. Hall Dickerson Parker
Albert Allbright John E. Clapp Alfred M. Hallmark Isaac Parker
George Allbright Jowell Clapp George Hallmark J. D. Parker
Jacob Allbright Barton Clark George W. Hallmark William H. Pate
John Allbright Samuel Clerlosky George Hallmark Samuel Phillips
John Allbright Samuel G. Collison James M. Hallmark Leon Pritchard
Solomon Allbright Reason Crist John Hallmark George W. Reding
Elish Anglin Stephen Crist John B. Hallmark Iredell Reding
William Anglin Henry P. Crowson John C. Hayne John B. Reding
James Barns John Denson John H. Holder William Riley
H. Barrett Shedrick Denson H. C. Johnson George W. Robinson
Miles Bennett Thomas Denson William Johnson Ira C. Shute
Stephen Bennett William Dillard Joseph Jorden Ballin Snelles
Frances Bettict Stephen Dunston Enaske Lapus Williard Standley
John Box G. E. Dwight Joseph Lapus Peterson Tate
Nelson Box Richard Eaton William Leagon Thomas R. Townsend
Robin Brown Charles Erwin P. O. Lumpkin H. P. Walker
Stephen Box John Erwin R. O. Lusk R. A. Walker
Stilwell Box Peter Gallahery Henry Masters Stephen White
Thomas G. Box Thomas Garner Jacob Masters W. M. White
Alfred Buge A. E. Gossett Joseph M. Masters John Wortham
Joseph Cason E. Gossett Joseph Masterson Joseph R. Yarbrough
Elijah Cheairs James L. Gossett John C. Moore Swanson Yarbrough
Frances Cheairs James L. Gossett Martin Murchison  
John Cheairs John V. D. Gosett James Neville  

Petition of Iredell Reding and others, for a new county, Presented by Mr. Arnold, May 16, 1837. Refd. To Com. On County Boundaries. County of Houston Co., No. 15, Box 38-H.

Order as listed on petition:

Iredell Reding Stephen White

John C. Hayne

Ballin Snelles
John B. Reding Alfred Buge John B. (illegible) R. O. Lusk
George W. Reding Leon Pritchard James Neville Joseph Masterson
James L. Gossett Thomas G. Box Stephen Dunston G. E. Dwight
William L. Gossett   Samuel C. Collison Swanson Yarbrough Samuel Clerlosky
Elisha Clapp R. A. Walker Stilwell Box Stephen Bennett
John Wortham Henry Masters James M. Halmark Elish Anglin
John Hallmark John Erwin Alfred M. Hallmark

Miles Bennett

William Dillard Charles Erwin George W. Hallmark Joseph Jorden
John V. D. Gossett   H. C. Johnson John B. Hallmark Stephen Box
Jacob Masters Willard Standley George Hallmark Collin Aldrich
John Box William Cheairs Thomas R. Townsend Henry P. Crowson
Stephen Crist   John Cheairs* Jowell Clapp Isaac Parker
Reasoon Crist John F. Cheairs* John E. Clapp Thomas Garner
William Anglin Elijah Cheairs* John Adams Dickerson Parker
Robin Brown Frances Cheairs* Samuel Phillips J. Haley
Richard Eaton John Denson Joseph Cason Benjamin Parker
Thomas Denson Joseph M. Masters George Allbright H. Barrett
Nelson Box William Leagon Joseph R. Yarbrough Peterson Tate
P. O. Lumpkin John H. Holder Frances Bettict** J. D. Parker
John C. Moore Enaske Lapus Shedrick Denson George W. Robinson
John Allbright Albert Allbright William Riley A. E. Gossett
Jacob Allbright Ira C. Shute John Allbright George Hallmark
Barton Clark   James Barns Solomon Allbright Daniel Parker, Jr.
James L. Gossett   William Johnson Joseph Lapus H. P. Walker
E. Gossett   William H. Pate W. M. White  
John L. Hall Peter Gallahery Martin Murchison  

*Probably John Francis Cheiars born about 1788, John Francis Jr. born 1812, William Harrison born 1816, Elijah born 1761 or Elijah born 1820, and Francis born 1823.

**Frances Bettict could be Francis Bittick.  If he was a Bittick, he could have been Francis Bittick born 1759.  This Francis sold his land in Missouri in 1816 and has not been found in Missouri records after that date.  He could have gone to Arkansas and later to Texas with his daughter Eleanor and her husband John Francis Cheairs, Jr.  He would have been 78 years old in 1837.  It is also possible that Francis Bittick born 1809 could have signed this petition.  This Francis appears in various Arkansas records until 1850, and according to his son, Samuel Guinn, moved to Texas in 1852.  Although there's no evidence he was in Texas in 1837, it is possible that he signed this petition.

[petition courtesy of Lavinia Nance]

The History of Houston County, Texas

by Armistead Albert Aldrick

The Naylor Company - 1943

Publishers San Antonio

 It’s Creation and Organization

The petition above is also listed on pages 7 and 8 of The History of Houston County, Texas.  

pages 8 and 9:

The above petition contains the following endorsement:

“Petition of Eredel Reding and others for a new county [p9] Presented by Mr. Arnold, May 16, 1837. Refd. To Com. On County Boundaries. County of Houston Co. No. 15, Box 38-H.”

The Senate Journal of the First Congress of the Republic of Texas contains the following account of the proceedings on the above petition.

“Mr. Grimes, chairman of the Committee on County Boundaries, having obtained leave, introduced a bill to create a new county to be known as ‘Houston.”

The rules being suspended, the bill passed a first and second reading and was ordered to be engrossed for a third reading. On motion of Mr. Horton, the senate adjourned until “tomorrow morning, 10 o’clock ”.

The following action in the House of Representatives of the First Congress of the Republic, is taken from the House Journal:

Wednesday, May 17, 1837

On motion of Mr. Branch the house took up the bill creating the County of Houston; and On motion of Mr. Arnold, the bill was referred to the Committee on County Boundaries.

Tuesday, June 6, 1837

On motion of Mr. Arnold it was Resolved that the bill establishing the County of Houston, with the accompanying petition, referred to the committee on County Boundaries, be withdrawn from that committee and referred to a special committee of three, with instructions to report tomorrow morning. The speaker appointed Messrs. Arnold, Wharton and White the committee, and on motion, Mr. Gant was added to it.

Wednesday, June 7, 1837

Mr. Arnold, from the select committee to which the subject has been referred, reported a bill establishing the County of Houston, which being read, on motion of Mr. Arnold the 51st rule was suspended and the bill read a second time. Mr. Gant offered an amendment in relation to the County of Washington , which was rejected. The rule was then further suspended, the bill read a third time and passed.

[courtesy of Sandra Perry]

Further information on the history of Houston County

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