Brazoria County Birthplace of Texas
The Old Three Hundred
Stephen Fuller Austin was a great leader and detail oriented. He was a great administrator that built the foundation for future success in the fledgling colony. Prospective settlers had to make application to become a part of Austin’s colony, and were screened carefully. He wanted people of character, leadership, and industry to help him settle the country. These first three hundred families are remembered in Texas history as “The Old Three Hundred.”
Munson Family Land Grant
According to Munson family history, Henry William Munson and Ann Munson were good friends of Stephen F. Austin. Austin personally selected and reserved the land for Henry Munson to inspect. This was part of the last tract available after Austin had permission to locate near the coast. Five hundred fifty-four acres of rich gulf prairie land became Henry Munson’s for the price of one dollar per English acre. It was to be paid within one year from the first day of the following January. He also agreed to move his family to the land within the following four months. This land straddled the headwaters of Jones Creek just west of the Brazos River. It was close to eight miles from the Gulf of Mexico and called Peach Point because of the wild peach trees that blossomed there every spring. Henry Munson received confirmation of the agreement with a formal certificate written in Spanish and signed Esteven F. Austin.
Stephen F. Austin and Henry William Munson
Brazoria County is often called the birthplace of the Republic of Texas. Every student knows about Stephen F. Austin who never married but became the Father of Texas. Austin came to Brazoria in 1823 with an empresario grant approved by the Mexican Government in Mexico City on April 14, 1823. This grant allowed Austin to move 300 settlers into the land in what is now known as Brazoria County. The only territorial limitation in this grant was the stipulation that Austin could not settle anyone within ten leagues (thirty miles) of the Gulf of Mexico. The original settlement was near the headwaters of the Brazos River known by the Spanish as Brazos de Dios (“Arms of God”).
The Father of Texas
Munson Descendants and Visitors Center
The descendants of Henry William and Ann Munson still live on this property in Brazoria County. Henry Munson, rancher and descendant of the first Henry Munson donated ten acres for a park for the historical statue designed by David Adickes similar to the 67 foot statue of Austin located in Huntsville, Texas. The statue is 60 feet tall standing on a 12 foot base where Stephen F. Austin perpetually looks over the land that he loved and left a lasting impact on the future State of Texas. A one-acre lake in the shape of Texas serves as the focal point for the 900-foot “Walk of Honor,” which pays tribute to residents who had a significant impact in the county since 1469. There is a museum but it is only open if any staff or caretaker is on sight. There is a visitors center on sight where you can get more information about the county. The historical marker and park is located on Highway 288 heading south in Brazoria County close to the exit for Lake Jackson.
The site is impressive and the statue definitely worth a visit. Work on the park appears to be in progress because we did not see the lake or the Walk of Honor and we saw no signs giving information or advertising the area. Our visit was impromptu because we did not know anything about this site or the park before seeing the statue on our recent trip to the beach.
- Austin, The Chisholm Trail, and Round Rock
The Chisholm trail was a known travel route that criscrossed through the Austin Area in what is now known as Round Rock. The big round rock was a landmark for Native Americans first and later American settlers following their dreams west. Wagon track
- Texas: Steven F. Austin (Local Legacies: Celebrating Community Roots - Library of Congress)
Texas. Local Legacies Project Celebrating Community Roots: American Folklife Center, Library of Congress. Steven F. Austin Marker at Place of Austin's Death Marker at Place of Austin's DeathStephen F. Austin, the "Father of Texas," died on December 2
- The Munsons of Texas: Henry William and Ann Munson at Oakland Plantation 1828-1833
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