The History of Fort Bend County

by A. J. Sowell


Page 352-354. This extensive farm and sugar plantation, now owned by T.W. House, of  Houston, was first settled by Jonathan D. Waters, and is situated on the Brazos River and Oyster Creek, in the southeastern portion of Fort Bend County. Mr. Waters came here on the first day of  March, 1840, and planted a crop of corn on the east bank of  the Brazos, and raised it to maturity without a fence, at that time there being no stock in the Brazos bottom.

Mr. Waters came too late to receive a grant of  land as an immigrant, and therefore had to purchase land, first buying one thousand acres from Francis Bingham and later two thousand acres from a Mr. Caples. He then opened an extensive farm and added to his former purchases of  land two hundred acres bought from John Shipman.

The second crop of  Mr. Waters was cotton, and that year he made one hundred and eighty bales. The third crop was a failure, the caterpillars almost destroying the plant, and only forty bales were gathered. He now purchased a portion of  the Fitzgerald league, and increased the acreage in cotton until finally 500 bales were obtained at a single crop. After this Mr. Waters commenced raising cane, put up a sugar mill, and also established a brick yard, in 1849. 

When Jonathan Waters died he willed his property to his wife, and she sold it to Thomas Pierce, and in 1872 T.W. house bought the property from Pierce. Mr. House expected at the time that John R. Fenn would own an interest with him, but as this partnership was not consummated, the friends of  Mr. House informed him that he had an elephant on his hands, and would lose money on the purchase, and that the best thing he could do would be to sell out at once. He, however, held the property, and spent more money on it, and employed Mr. Fenn to run it for him, which he successfully did for five years, proving to Mr. house and others that he had no elephant on his hands, or at least one that would not pay, for under the careful and judicious management of  Mr. Fenn the plantation gradually increased, and now reaches from the Brazos River to Oyster Creek, embracing many hundreds or thousands of acres, for that matter, of the finest Brazos bottom land.

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