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James M. Rice

James M. Rice

Article from The Hamilton County News, Vol. IV, Number 11–Section One in the Historical and Trading Expansion Issue (June 29, 1934)

James M. Rice was born in Hamilton county, Tennessee in 1826, and came to Milam county, Texas in 1847, and was married to Elizabeth Standefer.

He was a 49’er in California.

James Rice moved to Hamilton county in 1855 from Hogg Creek country of McLennan county and brought the first wagon from that section into Hamilton county and settled on the Headright of Isaac Standifer on the Leon about 12 miles east of Hamilton. The trail that he made into Hamilton county became the old Hamilton-Waco road, running south of the Leon, south of Mt. View school house and down Hogg Creek.

He took a leading part in the creation of Hamilton county and became the first Chief Justice (County Judge) in 1858.

He selected and negotiated for the land that the county seat now occupies, and with Henry Standefer, a brother-in-law, opened the town’s first store.

He was captain of the Hamilton county Company for frontier defense during the Civil War, and with a portion of his company was at the Battle of Dove Creek southwest of San Angelo.

In early days he drove cattle to Abilene, Kansas, Oklahoma, and eastern markets and drove one heard as far east as Vicksburg, Miss.

He died at Galveston where he had gone on a business trip and was there buried in October, 1872.

Source: W. F. Billingslea, Editor-Publisher, The Hamilton County News, Vol. IV, Number 11–Section One in the Historical and Trading Expansion Issue (Hamilton, TX, June 29, 1934) Subscription Price ONE YEAR ..$1.00.

PIONEER EDITION, HAMILTON COUNTY NEWS, Vol. VIII, No. 7  & THE CARLTON CITIZEN, Vol. 30, No. 23

James M. Rice was born in Hamilton County, Tennessee, in 1826, and came to Milam County, Texas, in 1847. He was married to Elizabeth Standifer.

Mr. Rice was a ‘49’er in California, came back to Texas, and moved to Hamilton County in 1855 from Hogg Creek country in McLennan County. He brought the first wagon from that section into Hamilton County and settled on the Headright of Isaac Standifer on the Leon about 12 miles east of Hamilton. The trail that he made into Hamilton County became the old Hamilton-Waco road, running from the Leon south of Mt. View school house and down Hogg Creek.

He took a leading part in the creation of Hamilton County and became the first Chief Justice (County Judge) in 1858.

He selected and negotiated for the land that the county seat now occupies, and with Henry Standifer, a brother-in-law, opened the town’s first store.

He was captain of the Hamilton County company for frontier defense during the Civil War, and with a portion of his company was at the battle of Dove Creek southwest of San Angelo.

In early days he drove cattle to Abilene, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Eastern markets, and drove one herd as far as Vicksburg, Miss.

He died in Galveston, where he had gone on a business trip, and was buried there in October, 1879.[sic.–James M. Rice died in Galveston in 1872.]

Source: W. F. Billingslea, Publisher,  Pioneer Edition, Hamilton County News Vol. VIII, No & & The Carlton Citizen, Vol . 30, No. 23, (Hamilton County, TX, Friday, June 24, 1938), 3.

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1854-1860

Note: (Several sources provide information about the earliest settlers, but unfortunately there is much inconsistency about the dates among the lists. This is an incomplete list of the first pioneers to arrive in Hamilton County. 463 people were enumerated in Hamilton County in the 1860 US Census.)

Name, Area of First Location

1854

CARTER, Robert– Fairview

1855

BLANSIT, Arch Dickerson

BLANSIT, John Chambers (or 1858): John Chambers Blansit was born 22 FEB 1827 in Autuaga, Alabama. He married Eleanor White on 18 Dec 1851 Dekalb County, AL (Source: Kathy Beaudry)

BLANSIT, Eleanor “Ellen” (White): John Chambers Blansit married Eleanor White on 18 Dec 1851 Dekalb County, AL (Source: Kathy Beaudry)

BROWDER, Capt. Frederick

CARTER, James Atchley, Ohio

GHOLSON, Albert G., Blue Hole Ranch

GRAVES, Francis Marion (or 1859)

GRIFFITH, Jesse J., Primitive Baptist Preacher and teacher

In 1855, Jesse J. Griffith arrived in the area that would become Hamilton County. When the first Hamilton County officials were elected, on August 2, 1858, the 80 qualified voters in the county chose Griffith to be the first County Treasurer. In 1860, Griffith started a private school, the 3rd school on record in the county, in his home on the banks of the Leon River, east of the town of Hamilton. The school was in existence only a very short time because Elder Griffith was killed not long after he established the facility.

Griffith may have been the first Primitive Baptist preacher in Hamilton County. The book The History of the Primitive Baptists in Texas, Oklahoma, and Indian Territory, by J. S. Newman, contains the following account of Griffith’s death from an Indian attack.

Elder J.C. White, who was known in his day as Uncle Jackie, left Alabama October 11, 1856, and landed in Coryell County January the second 1860. At this time the county was sparsely settled and of course our people were few and widely scattered. A short while after Elder White settled in Coryell County he heard of an Old Baptist preacher by the name of Griffith that lived over in Hamilton County on the Leon River, so Elder White started to hunt Elder Griffith and as there were Indians in the county at that time. Elder White buckled his six-shooter around him and his gun to the horn of his saddle with his old saddle bags containing a hymn book and Bible, so when Elder White found Elder Griffith he was soon informed that there was a Primitive Baptist Church over in the northeast corner of Coryell County by the name of Rainey’s Creek.  Arrangements were soon made and the two Old Baptist preachers were on their way to said church, and near where Turnersville now is, the Indians came upon them wounding both of them, Elder Griffith died nine days after he was wounded. Elder White’s wounds were so severe that life was despaired of by his family and his brethren. For seven weeks he was turned on a sheet in his bed. He finally survived, his wounds got well. He died at Lampasas on February 13, 1884. Thus passed away one of the best pioneer preachers of Texas. Peace be to his ashes.”

GRIFFITH, Violet (Mrs. Jesse J.)

LANGFORD, Asa, south of Evant (probably in Lampasas County).

MANNING, Ezekiel, the future Hamilton

MANNING, Nancy (Moore) (Mrs. Ezekiel Manning)

RICE, James Monroe, Leon River-12 miles east of the future Hamilton–Fall, 1855

RICE, Elizabeth (Standefer) (Mrs. James Monroe Rice)–Leon River, Fall, 1855

STANDEFER, Henry C., Leon River-12 miles east of the future Hamilton–Spring, 1855

1856

ANDERSON, John Quincy, Honey Creek

BARBEE, James Gaston, Honey Creek

BAUGHN, John A.

BEAUCHAMP, William, south of Evant

BOOKERMAN, Henry, south of Evant

CARTER, Henry Jones, 15 Sept., 1856, Cowhouse Creek

CARTER, Mary Caroline (Preston), (Mrs. Henry Jones Carter), Cowhouse Creek

CRISCO, Noah

FULLER, Henry, Honey Creek

FULLER, James R., Honey Creek

FULLER, M. A., Honey Creek

GENTRY, Frederick Browder, Leon River

GENTRY, Rebecca Patton (Barnett) (Mrs. Frederick Browder Gentry), Leon River

GENTRY, Uncle Alex, Leon River

GENTRY, Aunt Mourn, Leon River

GRIFFITH, R. B.

MALONE, Isaac, Sr, Honey Creek

MALONE, Thomas, Honey Creek

MILLER, Andrew–Comanche Co–in 1858 Hamilton Co. line was drawn through his property

MILLER, Hannah Margaret (Shockley) (Mrs. Andrew Miller)

STEEN, Isaac Hollingsworth, Honey Creek

HAZZARD, Raleigh taught the first school in Langford Cove in 1857 or 1858

STANDEFER, Isaac Skelton, settled on a section of Comanche County which became Hamilton County in 1858 when Hamilton County was established.

BLANSIT, John Chambers (or 1855): John Chambers Blansit was born 22 FEB 1827 in Autuaga County, Alabama.  He married Eleanor White on 18 Dec 1851, Dekalb County, AL (Source: Kathy Beaudry)

BLANSIT, Eleanor “Ellen” (White)  (Mrs. John Chambers Blansit).:  Ellen was a daughter of John S. White b: 25 Aug. 1813, in South Carolina and Elizabeth Barrier b: 15 JUL 1815 in Kentucky ( Source: Kathy Beaudry)

BROWN, Ike, before 1858

FOWLER, Jim, before 1858

FULLER, Patilla, before 1858

HOLLAND, John R.

ISABELL, J. H., by 1858

KUYKENDALL, James, before 1858

McELROY, John A.

MORRIS, David M., before 1858

POWERS, A. V., before 1858

SECREST, William Harrison, near Carlton

VAUGHN, John A.

1859

BARBEE, Amelia Carson (Mrs. John Gaston Barbee)

BARBEE, John Gaston

BOYD, James J., at least by 1859

COTTON, W. F.

DURHAM, John Jefferson, Hamilton

DURHAM, Elizabeth Ann (McCutcheon)`(Mrs. John Jefferson Durham), Hamilton

LIVINGSTON, Uel, 6 miles east of Hamilton

McBARRON, James A., Hampton post master; Clerk Commissioners Court, 1859;

MEDFORD, Harvey

MORRIS, Andres

NORRIS, Greenville

RICHARDSON, R. 1859

SNOW, James

WILLIS, John J.

BEFORE 1860

BAGGETT, Joel

BECK, William

BOONE, Jacob H., Jr.,

CARTER, D. J.

CLANTON, N.H.

DOOLEY, L.

FERRELL, Emily J.

FULLER, Ransom A.

GASTON, H. M.

GROOMER, John J.

HACKWORTH, W. W.

HOWARD, Volney “Vol”

HUNTER, James P.

JONES, John Glover

LEE, J. Harvey

KEMP, W. A.

LOYD, Simpson

MASSINGILL, Page M.

MOORE, Eli

OATES, W. W.

PERRY, John

POLLOCK, D. D.

SELF, A. M.

SMITH, Dave

SNELL, William Terrell

STIDHAM, H.

STIDHAM, James

STUBBLEFIELD, Arthur

WALD, C. H.

WITCHER, Adam

WITCHER, J. E.

1860

ALFORD, Dr. John H., Honey Creek

REED, Isaac, Honey Creek

WHITE, John S., LEON RIVER: John S. White was born 25 AUG 1813 in South Carolina (Source:Kathy Beaudry)

WHITE, Elizabeth (Barrier), LEON RIVER: Elizabeth Barrier was born 15 JUL 1815 in Kentucky (Source:Kathy Beaudry)

WHITE, George W., LEON RIVER

WILLIAM, Sim, taught a school about 1858/1859 in Hamilton County

The 1860 US Census revealed that 489 people from 78 families lived in Hamilton County.

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