Chronology of the Smithville, Texas Area

(Short Fact Sheet)

1800's

The area was part of the Mexican state of Coahuila y Texas (the Mexican constitution provided the legal right of the states to dispose of public lands and provide for colonization; the capital was Saltillo, 500 miles from Stephen F. Austin's colony at San Felipe. Lewis Loomis, a native of Great Britain, applied through Stephen F. Austin for a grant of a league on land on the Colorado River. Loomis received a land grant (recorded in March, 1831.

Thomas Glazey originally from New York City by way of Louisiana received a Mexican land grant with Austin's second colony. A new settlement commenced, below Bastrop (Mina) founded by Gen. Edward Burleson with the families of John Eblin, John Woody, Capt. Bartlett Simms, and James Curtis.

On March 2, 1836 independence from Mexico was declared. In October, 1836 a permanent government of the Texas Republic was begun. In October the state capital was moved to Waterloo (Austin). On December 29, 1845, Texas was ceremoniously admitted to statehood. John Fawcett bought land from Thomas Hardeman out of the Thomas Glazey League. Austin was officially voted the capital of Texas.

John Fawcett organized a cotton factory in Bastrop. The American Civil War ended on April 9, 1865. At that time two small stores were on the riverbank northeast of the present town of Smithville, one owned by Dr. J.B. Taylor and Murray Burleson and two of the Glazey family members owned the other one. Dr. Taylor had a small drugstore in one of the buildings. Dr. Taylor bought a large plantation type home nearby from Ben Saunders. Franklin Smith bought land from his brother John and bought out Dr. Taylor's interest in a small store and went
into business with Murray Burleson..

Murray Burleson began buying land from the Loomis and Glazey Leagues for the purpose of settling a town. (Smithville Town Company). Yerger Hill moved his mercantile store from Alum Creek to Smithville. Taylor, Bastrop and Houston Railroad was built through town which went to Boggy Tank south of Fayetteville (bought out by the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railroad. Rev. H.W. Haynie came from Austin to organize a Methodist Church. Yerger Hill and Son built a hardware store building. The Presbyterian Church was moved to Smithville from Pea Ridge, about six miles away.

Thomas B. J. Hill moved to Smithville from Bastrop and built a house (currently across the street from the post office). Katy RR completed to Houston; line from Lockhart to San Marcos was connected to Smithville. The Methodist Church was completed. The W. J. Nixon Masonic Lodge was moved to Smithville from Pea Ridge.

The Bank of Smithville was organized by John C. Yeager, John Schumacher and H. E. Schumacher. Smithville Lodge No. 393 , Independent Order of Odd Fellows was chartered. The First Baptist Church built a one-room frame building.

On Sept. 15 a head-on collision was staged north of Waco for publicity.

In August, the city built the first Negro school-102 students; the white school had 328 students. Missionary priests and pastors from Lockhart and La Grange performed Catholic services (Fathers H.Y. Baker and Matt. Metzinger). On April 26, the Disciples of Christ (Christian Church) held their first service.

Money to build a brick roundhouse was appropriated from townsfolk In May a Catholic school was built and taught by four Sisters of Mercy.

1900's

The W. J. Nixon Masonic Lodge was moved to Third and Main in Smithville. The First Christian Church was built. Smithville Academy, a private school, was chartered by Mr. Buescher, Mr. Eagleston and Dr. Powell (disbanded in 1907). Central School was built. Grace Lutheran Church was built.


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