These Early Settler pages are dedicated to the memory of Mary Bell Brown. Without her research and commitment to preserving the history of Salado these pages would not be possible.
Forever will she be missed.
Emily Bumpass Stockton was a pioneer woman who migrated to Texas in 1841. She was a widow with nine children, who made her way from Tennessee to the Republic of Texas. Born in South Carolina, widowed in Tennessee, she made a month long journey to Texas that took her down the Ohio River, the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico, to Galveston. Then traveled overland through the mud in an ox-drawn wagon to Brenham, a ten day trip. She kept a tavern in Giddings that was on the main travel route between Austin to Houston where many famous travelers stopped. Eventually she made her way to Salado where she managed the Old Salado Hotel. She died in 1882, and is buried in the Old Salado Graveyard. She is recognized as a Citizen of the Republic of Texas with a marker. The story of Emily's life can be found in “Worthy Mothers of Texas”. (RTHL Subject Marker)
Archibald Johnson “A. J.” Rose was born in North Carolina 1830. In 1849, he joined the “gold rush” to California and returned home in 1853, said to be a “comparatively wealthy” man. He married Sarah Ann Austin, a cousin of Stephen F. Austin. They had eleven children. The family migrated to Texas by wagon train in 1857. After the Civil War, he served in homeland defense protecting the settlers from hostile Indians. In 1868, they moved to Salado where he bought a large farm and built a Greek Revival house. He was very involved in Salado College, organized the first Grange in Texas, was past Master Mason in Texas, served on the Board of Trustees of Texas A&M College and Baylor Female College. founding member of Texas Historical Society, and active in the Salado Baptist Church. A.J. Rose died in 1906. He is buried in the Old Salado Grave Yard. (RTHL Subject Marker)
Rev. George Washington Baines Born in North Carolina in 1809. Educated in Alabama, he became an ordained minister who established churches in Arkansas and Louisiana before coming to Texas in 1850. He and his wife had nine children. He edited the first Baptist paper in Texas, and was instrumental in persuading Sam Houston to join the church. He served as president of Baylor College in Independence for two years the Civil War. He came to Salado in 1867 where he was the Baptist preacher for ten years. His daughter graduated from Salado College and his younger son died at eleven years old. Rev. Baines died in 1882 and is buried the in Old Salado Grave Yard. The home he built is located on Royal Street and has a Texas Historical Commission marker and is listed on the NRHP. Rev. Baines is the great grandfather of the 36 President of the United States: Lyndon Baines Johnson
Dr. Welborn Barton, born in South Carolina, received his medical degree in 1847. He migrated to Texas settling at Bastrop where he practiced medicine for two years. After returning home, he lead a wagon train of 100 people back to Texas in 1854, a trip that took two and one-half months. Back in Texas, he farmed and practiced medicine. During the Civil War, Dr. Barton served as a surgeon. After the war, he moved his family to Salado to educate their children. He served as a trustee for the Salado College and developed a busy medical practice. His wife Louisa accompanying him on his rounds by driving the buggy and as serving as his nurse. After Dr. Barton's death, Louisa provided room and board for students of the college in order to supplement her income. The Bartons had built native stone house on Main Street in Salado. Dr. Barton died in 1883 and is buried in the Old Salado Grave Yard. (RTHL Subject Marker)
Hermon Aiken came to the Republic in the 1830's and was a Patriot during the Texas Revolution. He was Captain of a ship which brought arms, ammunition, immigrants and supplies from New Orleans to the Texas Army. After the war he began a prosperous trade business. He later served in the U.S. Army during the Mexican War. Aiken served as a volunteer ranger fighting Indians on the Texas frontier. Hermon and his wife raised a large family consisting of twelve children. Upon moving to Salado, he played an active role in the growth of Salado. He surveyed the land donated for the building of Salado College. He was one of the founders of Salado College and served on the first Board of Trustees. Hermon died in 1860 and is buried in the family plot in the Old Salado Grave Yard. A Citizen of the Republic of Texas Marker has been placed at the grave site. (RTHL Subject Marker)
John Wesley Ray was born 1826 in Tennessee. He came with his parents to Texas in 1839. The family farmed in the Cameron. While quite young he became a volunteer frontier ranger protecting settlers from the Indians. He met and married Addie Vernon in 1852. Ten children were born to this union. When the Civil War began John Wesley joined the Confederate Army where he served for four years as a member of Texas Cavalry, Green's Brigade. John Wesley was active as a member of the Baptist Church. The family relocated to Salado in 1870 so his children could be educated at Salado College. John W. Ray died in 1926 at the age of one hundred years. He is buried beside his wife. A Citizen of Texas Marker has been placed by his grave.
(RTHL Subject Marker)
Robert Bonner Halley was born in Georgia, 1824. He and his wife had eight children. They came to Texas in 1852. In Southwest Texas the family's adobe dwelling was attacked by Indians.. The women drove the Indians away. Halley moved his family to Salado where he became a community leader and helped found Salado College and village. He served as an early day “frontier ranger” fighting Indians. He built his home on North Main Street. In 1861, he was a partner in the Old Salado Hotel and flour/grist mills. Halley served as a Captain in the Texas Cavalry until the end of the Civil War. He was elected Sheriff of Bell County where he rid the area of outlaws, horse thieves, cattle thieves, and murderers. Halley died unexpectedly in 1875 and is buried in the Old Salado Grave Yard. His widow continued to provide for her children until 1908 by taking in boarders, raising cattle, and farming. Their children were educated at Salado College. (RTHL Subject Marker)
James Edward Ferguson Sr. was born in Alabama, 1824. His wife, Fannie, was a native Texan born in 1839. They had six children. At an early age Rev. Ferguson came to Texas to preach. In 1847, he worked with Indians and became a circuit-riding minister preaching, teaching, and organizing churches until the Civil War. The Ferguson family opposed slavery but advocated State's Rights. As a Confederate captain, he was known as the “Fightin' Parson” because of the fiery speeches. He was captured, imprisoned and escaped back. In 1867, the Ferguson’s moved their family to Salado where they purchased a farm and a mill on Salado Creek. Rev. Ferguson became active in community affairs and returned to his circuit-riding ministry on the western frontier. Rev. Ferguson died in 1876. Rev and Mrs. Ferguson are buried in a family plot in Old Salado Grave Yard. Their youngest son, James E. Ferguson, was elected as governor of Texas in 1914. He was later impeached and removed from office. (RTHL Subject Marker)
Leroy Alonzo Griffith was born in New York in1821. When seven his family migrated to Texas and joined the Steven F. Austin Colony. The family received a title to land in the colony. Leroy served in the Summerville Campaign during the Texas Revolution. He and his wife had twelve children. Leroy became a wheelwright, served as a County Commissioner, a School Commissioner, and a Justice of the Peace. Leroy volunteered for service in the Civil War. He was captured and sent to Louisiana. After the War he sold his farm and moved his family to the Salado where he worked to support Salado College and Thomas Arnold High School. He helped organize the Grange in Salado. He helped organize the Salado Methodist Church. Leroy died in 1883. He and his wife are buried in the Old Salado Grave Yard. A Soldier of the Republic of Texas Marker has been placed on Leroy's grave by members of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas
Milton Damron was born in Tennessee in 1832. His family joined the Mercer Colony in Missouri and came to the Republic of Texas in 1844 settling first near the Trinity River and later migrating to the Bell County area. He and his wife had three daughters. The couple eventually moved to Salado so the girls could be educated at Salado College. Milton was the first Tax Assessor-Collector in Bell County. He served as a ranger protecting the settlers from the Indians. When the Civil War broke out Captain Damron raised a Cavalry Company. Following the war he again became active in the community. He served as a State Legislator for Bell County. Milton Damron died in 1887. He and his wife are buried in the family plot in Old Salado Grave Yard. A Citizen of the Republic of Texas Marker has been placed there by members of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. (RTHL Subject Marker)
James Lowery Smith, the oldest of seven children, was born in Raleigh, North Carolina in 1827. His family migrated to Alabama and then Texas, settling near the present town of Cameron. At Old Independence James was a student of Dr. Rufus C. Burleson. While there he married Julia Mc Dowell, whose parents migrated to Texas when she was eight years old. Upon the completion of his education, he moved to Cameron where James taught in Milam County Liberal Institute. During the Civil War James was called into service but contracted a serious illness and was discharged. He moved to Salado serving as principal of Salado College from 1863 to 1874 and later from 1879 to 1880. He is best remembered for organizing the “Euphradian Society” which provided older male students the opportunity to learn parliamentary procedure, debating, and public speaking. Professor Smith died January 10, 1883 and is buried in the Old Salado Graveyard. (RTHL Subject Marker)
Charles Schoepf, a native of Germany, was born in 1806. To reach America, he stowed away on a ship. Then after living on the Western frontier, he migrated to Texas, settling at Cedar Creek in Bastrop County. Here Indians were a serious threat and Charles fought several skirmishes under the command of Colonel John H. Moore, receiving no pay until thirteen years later when he received two months' salary. Charles met and married Elizabeth Deakes, also a native of Germany. The date and place of Elizabeth’s death and burial are unknown. After the Civil War the Schoepfs moved to the Salado area settling west of the Village in Crow's Ranch where Charles continued farming. He met and married Mrs. Beckie Lynch, a widow. Charles died in 1894. The Daughters of the Republic of Texas have placed a “Soldier of the Republic of Texas” marker on Charles' grave in the Old Salado Graveyard.
James and Elizabeth Anderson came to the Republic of Texas as members of the Mercer Colony. Natives of North Carolina, they had earlier migrated to Missouri. First homesteading in North Texas, They then migrated to the Milam Land District purchasing a farm near Three Forks on Little River. Anderson was active in petitioning the Legislature to cut from Milam County land which became Bell and Falls Counties. Anderson served as Post Master at Bryant's Station and was elected to the office of Justice of the Peace in the first election held in Bell County. He was active in the founding of Salado College, and one of the founders of the Church of Christ, the first congregation established in Salado. He built the Historic Anderson House which is marked with a Texas Historical Commission Marker. He died in 1865, and although buried in the Old Salado Graveyard, the site is unknown. As the date Elizabeth died and the burial sites of the two are unknown. Descendants have placed a memorial marker at the site believed to be the burial plot.
John Paine was born in Chowan County, North Carolina on May 21, 1804. He left his family in Kentucky when he came to Texas as a member of Stephen F. Austin's Colony. During the Texas' War for Independence he served as a member of Captain York's Company of Volunteers prior to the Siege of Bexar in 1835 and as a member of Captain Cook’s New Orleans Grays. Following the war, he and his family migrated to Texas and settled in the Salado area. William Bush, a son-in law, was involved in the “Great Awakening”, a religious movement Paine also became involved and became a preacher of the Gospel. Until his death on February 17, 1873, he served as the pastor of an early church in Salado. A Soldier of the Texas Revolutionary War Marker was placed at his burial site in the Old Salado Graveyard by members of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.
Dr. Benjamin Daniel McKie was born in Columbia, Tennessee on August 12, 1825. After receiving his medical education, he joined the army as a surgeon serving under General Zachary Taylor. He was wounded twice and then wounded again while serving on the Texas frontier,. After treatment in Arkansas he returned to Texas in 1850, where he settled in Limestone County. He later established a practice in Corsicana. During the Civil War he re-entered the Army, organizing a company of independent rangers. After the war, Dr. McKie moved to Salado so his son could attend Salado College. His historic home, located on Center Circle, is entered in the National Register of Historic Places and is marked with a Registered Texas Historical Landmark medallion. He practiced Medicine in Salado until his death on August 7, 1883. He’s buried in the Old Salado Graveyard. (RTHL Subject Marker)
Dr. Samuel Jackson Jones, A. M. PhD. Dr. Jones and his wife Charlotte were born in New Orleans. Prior to their marriage he taught at the University of Texas and she served as a missionary in Mexico. The couple moved to Salado, where both taught at Salado College. When the College closed, they moved to Huntsville where Dr. Jones served on the faculty of Sam Houston College. The couple returned to Salado to organize a new public school, which he modeled after the Rugby School in Warwickshire, England. Under his leadership the coeducational Thomas Arnold High School emphasized ethics and character as well as academic achievement. The school attracted young people from both Texas and other states. When Mrs. Jones died suddenly July 17, 1904, though in poor health, he continued teaching until poor health caused his retirement in 1913. While visiting family in Virginia, Dr. Jones died April 8, 1918. His body was returned to Salado and buried beside his beloved wife in the Old Salado Graveyard. (RTHL Subject Marker)
Elijah Sterling Clack Robertson (1820–1879) was born in Tennessee and an early settler in Robertson's Colony in Texas. His father, Sterling C. Robertson, was the colony's founder. Brought to Texas to learn the Spanish language so he could translated land documents for both Robertson's Colony and later the Texas General Land Office. He practiced law in Milam County. Robertson was a postmaster for the Republic of Texas, and the leader of a volunteer group who aided Alexander Somervell in border disputes. By 1844, he had been promoted to the rank of colonel in the Republic of Texas militia. Robertson was one of the delegates who signed the Texas Order of Secession in 1861, and served as aide-de-camp to General Henry McCulloch. The Col. Elijah Sterling Clack Robertson Plantation in Salado is a RTH Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. E.S.C.Robertson grave site is on the plantation grounds. (RTHL Subject Marker)
Alice Gray Hamblen, born March 14, 1846, in Mississippi, and her husband, William Kroger Hamblen (1817-1902), moved to Salado in 1868 and quickly became involved with the local private school, Salado College. They raised sixteen children. After William died, Alice managed a large estate and continued to provided room and board to children of family members so they could attend the school. When the Salado Public School building was later deemed unsafe due to a fire, Alice offered the Hamblen family homestead as a site for the new Salado Public School. In 1924, the family home was destroyed for the new public known today as the red brick schoolhouse . Alice died in 1932. Her contributions to Salado remain due to her generous donation of her home. The family cemetery is located behind the red brick schoolhouse and is designated as a Texas Historic Cemetery. (RTHL Subject Marker)
Orville T. Tyler was born in Massachusetts in 1810. He initially settled in Nashville, a frontier settlement in the Robertson’s Colony. He acquired a league of land (4,428 acres) in what is now Bell County, and by 1834 was among the first settlers in Little River. The first marriage license in Bell County was issued to Tyler and his bride Caroline Childers in 1850. He helped to lay out the town of Gatesville, became the first Justice of the Peace in Coryell County, and was elected to the State Legislature in 1863. Although he moved to Salado in 1864 so his children could attend Salado College, only one son, George, attended the College, graduating in 1871. George later became well known for his book, “History of Bell County,” published in 1936. Orville lived in Salado for 20 years, serving as the Village’s first mayor and as President of Salado College’s Board of Trustees. This dedicated Baptist and Mason died in Belton, TX, in 1886. (RTHL subject marker)