International and Great Northern Railroad

Houston Tap Railroad

Columbia Tap Railroad

Brazoria Tap Railroad

The International and Great Northern Railroad [I & GN RR] ran from Houston to Fresno, Arcola, Hawdon, Juliff and on to Angleton. Brazoria Tap RR, Columboa Tap RR and Houston Tap RR  followed this route but were discontinued before the I & GN RR.

The road beside the I & G N RR was State HWY  19. [Later known as State HWY 288 and now FM 521]

 


The International-Great Northern Railroad Company was a major component of the Missouri Pacific lines in Texas. The railroad was formed on September 30, 1873, by the consolidation of the International Railroad Company and the Houston and Great Northern Railroad. The Houston and Great Northern was chartered on October 22, 1866, by the first legislature to meet after the Civil War, and was backed by eastern and local capital. At the time of the merger, the Houston and Great Northern owned 252 miles of track between Houston and Palestine, between Houston and East Columbia with branches from Phelps to Huntsville, and between Troup and Mineola. The mileage of the Houston and Great Northern included the former Houston Tap and Brazoria Railroad and the Huntsville Branch Railway, which had been merged on May 8, 1873. The International was chartered on August 5, 1870, and at the time of the consolidation operated 177 miles from Hearne to Longview. Despite the financial panic of 1873, the consolidated company continued to slowly expand, reaching Rockdale in 1874 and Austin on December 28, 1876. Building resumed in 1880, and the following year the railroad reached San Antonio and Laredo on December 1, 1881. On August 5, 1879, the International and Great Northern acquired the Georgetown Railroad Company at foreclosure and merged the latter company on June 2, 1882. The Henderson and Overton Branch Railroad Company was acquired on September 27, 1880. Although operated as a part of the International and Great Northern, the Henderson and Overton Branch was not consolidated until August 31, 1911. The various predecessor companies of the International and Great Northern earned 6,432,000 acres of state land. This land was sold for a net of $4,668,850 or about seventy-two cents an acre. The charter of the International called for the State of Texas to grant $10,000 in bonds to the company for each mile completed. However, when the company applied for the bonds Comptroller Albert A. Bledsoe refused to sign and register the bonds. A compromise was worked out whereby the railroad was granted twenty sections of land per mile constructed rather than the normal sixteen sections. In addition, the railroad was exempted from state taxation for twenty-five years. The International and Great Northern entered receivership on April 1, 1878, was sold at foreclosure, and conveyed to a new company organized under the original charter on November 1, 1879. The second receivership lasted from February 21, 1889, to July 11, 1892, but the company was reorganized financially without sale or change of name. At the time of the reorganization, the railroad owned eighty-eight locomotives, sixty-one passenger cars, 1,919 freight cars, and eighty company service cars. Earnings that year included $1,076,695 in passenger revenue and $2,530,451 in freight revenue.

Jay Gould acquired control of the International and Great Northern in December 1880. The company was leased to the Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway Company, another Gould company, for ninety-nine years on June 1, 1881, but the lease was canceled on March 2, 1888, and the railroad was again operated by its own organization. The company owned 756 miles of track at the end of 1882 and did not increase mileage until after 1900. On May 1, 1901, the International and Great Northern merged the Calvert, Waco and Brazos Valley Railroad Company. The latter company had built sixty-six miles of a line between Spring, just north of Houston, and Fort Worth. The Fort Worth line was completed in 1902 by the International and Great Northern. The following year a forty-five-mile branch was built between Navasota and Madisonville. In that year the railroad also acquired the Houston, Oaklawn and Magnolia Park Railway Company. The company again entered receivership on February 27, 1908. A new company, the International and Great Northern Railway Company, was chartered on August 10, 1911, and bought the old company at foreclosure on August 31, 1911. At this time the Henderson and Overton Branch was also consolidated, giving the International and Great Northern its peak of 1,106 miles. In addition, the International and Great Northern owned the Austin Dam and Suburban Railway Company and a 50 percent interest in the Galveston, Houston and Henderson Railroad Company. Less than three years later the reorganized company was forced into receivership, which lasted until the railroad was sold at foreclosure on July 28, 1922. A new company, the International-Great Northern Railroad Company, was chartered on August 17, 1922.

The Missouri Pacific Railroad Company, the Texas and Pacific Railway Company, and the International and Great Northern had worked together as a system through Gould holdings in each company rather than by any direct control by the Missouri Pacific. By the early 1920s, however, the Gould interests no longer controlled the railroads, and in 1922 the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway Company attempted to acquire the International-Great Northern. Although the Interstate Commerce Commission refused to authorize the purchase, the threat of losing a major Texas connection led to the Missouri Pacific's acquisition of the International-Great Northern. It did this through the New Orleans, Texas and Mexico Railway Company, which bought the International-Great Northern on June 20, 1924. When the New Orleans, Texas and Mexico was itself acquired by the Missouri Pacific on January 1, 1925, the International-Great Northern became part of the Missouri Pacific Lines, although the company continued to be operated separately. Major components of the Missouri Pacific Lines, including the International-Great Northern, entered receivership on March 31, 1933. This receivership was to last for twenty-three years, primarily due to the inability of the various financial interests involved to agree on a reorganization plan. A plan was finally adopted, and on March 1, 1956, the International-Great Northern was merged into the reorganized Missouri Pacific Railroad Company. During the receivership the International-Great Northern abandoned two branch lines including the five miles between Calvert and Calvert Junction in 1934 and the forty-five miles between Navasota and Madisonville in 1944. At the time of its merger into the Missouri Pacific, the International-Great Northern owned eighty-eight diesel units, 4,959 freight cars, sixty-nine passenger cars, and 149 company service cars. The company had 1,053 miles of main track at the end of 1955 and during that year had freight revenues of $29,745,000, passenger revenue of $1,681,300, and total revenue of $34,359,900. In 1965 the Missouri Pacific abandoned twenty-seven miles between Bryan and Navasota in favor of trackage rights between these two points over the Southern Pacific Company. Two years later the line from a point near Fort Worth through Waco and Mart to Marlin was abandoned. Trackage rights were obtained over the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad Company between Fort Worth and Waco, and a former Southern Pacific branch between Waco and Marlin was purchased and upgraded. The only other significant change has been the abandonment of thirty-one miles of the East Columbia branch, which now terminates at Arcola.

George C. Werner


The Houston Belt and Terminal Railway Company was chartered on August 31, 1905, to provide passenger and freight terminals in Houston for four railroads. Three of the lines, the Trinity and Brazos Valley Railway Company, the Beaumont, Sour Lake and Western Railway Company, and the St. Louis, Brownsville and Mexico Railway Company, were part of the system being constructed by Benjamin F. Yoakum. The fourth participant was the Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe Railway Company. Each railroad owned a 25 percent interest in the Houston Belt and Terminal. The office was in Houston and the initial capital was $25,000. Members of the first board of directors were Sam Lazarus, H. N. Tinker, Hyman Levy, J. M. Rockwell, Edward H. Harrell, B. F. Bonner, and John Summerfield. Construction began in 1905, and the Houston Belt and Terminal opened for operations on January 1, 1908. Construction of Union Depot began in 1909. Designed by the New York firm of Warren and Wetmore, the three-story station opened on March 1, 1911. Within two years an additional two stories were added. In order to build the passenger terminal, twelve blocks of land had to be cleared of some of the finest homes in the city. In mid-1916 the company operated twenty-three miles of main track and sixty-one miles of all tracks and owned seven locomotives and two cars. The Missouri, Kansas and Texas Railway Company of Texas was a tenant at Union Station for several years around 1912. During World War I the United States Railroad Administration took control of the railroads and moved the passenger trains of the International and Great Northern to the depot. This arrangement was formalized in 1921, and the International and Great Northern and its successor remained as tenants as long as the carrier existed. The last passenger train left Union Station on July 31, 1974. However, the station building remains in use for railroad offices, and the Houston Belt and Terminal continues to provide freight facilities for the Missouri Pacific Railroad Company, the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company, and the Burlington Northern Railroad Company.

George C. Werner


OYSTERCREEK, TEXAS. Oystercreek (Oyster Creek Station, Oyster Creek) was a station on the Columbia Tap Railroad two miles south of Anchor in northeast Brazoria County. A post office was established as Oyster Creek in 1852, was discontinued in 1854, and reopened in 1871; it was renamed Oystercreek in 1894 and operated until 1899. In 1884 Oyster Creek shipped cotton and had a post office, a general store, several cotton gins, three steam sugar mills, and a population of 150. Thirty residents remained in 1890, and in 1896 the local school had nine pupils and one teacher. By 1914, however, the town no longer appeared in state gazetteers, and population estimates were unavailable.

MASTERSON, THOMAS G. (ca. 1813–1884). Thomas G. Masterson, attorney, businessman, and Brazoria County official, was born around 1813. He came to Texas in 1832 from Tennessee, where he had graduated from Nashville Law School, and bought land on the Brazos River near Velasco. He returned to Tennessee and married Christianie I. Roane in 1834. In 1838 the family moved to Texas and settled at Velasco, where Masterson dealt in real estate and was a partner of Edwin Wallerqv in a mercantile business. Masterson held five separate mail contracts from March 1844 to April 1845, totalling 608 miles. By 1859 he had accumulated real estate valued at $9,000 and personal property valued at $3,500; other members of his household included Nancy Roane, aged sixty, born in Virginia, and Laura Masterson, aged thirty. In 1862 Masterson added 243 acres from the J. B. Cowan estate to his homestead. His second son, T. W., operated a sugar and cotton plantation on the property, which lay on the west bank of the Brazos River about a mile below Brazoria. Masterson owned another plantation, for which Masterson Station on the Columbia Tap Railroad was named, but did not live on it. This plantation was located west of the site of present Rosharon. Today the land is part of Ramsey Prison Farm (see PRISON SYSTEM). Masterson served as county clerk and chief justice of Brazoria County and was enrolling officer of the district during the Civil War. According to one source, he was a personal friend of Sam Houston. He was the father of six sons and two daughters. Masterson was a Mason. He died on the family plantation near Brazoria in 1884.

CHINA GROVE, TEXAS (Brazoria County). China Grove is twelve miles north of Angleton, two miles south of Rosharon, and west of State Highway 288 in northwest Brazoria County. It was named for the chinaberry trees planted for shade by Warren D. C. Hall, owner of the original land grant. Hall, who also raised figs and oranges, operated a plantation called China Grove for a time, then sold it in 1843 to Albert Sidney Johnston and Albert T. Burnley.qqv Johnston took over his partner's interest, operated the plantation until 1849, and sold it in 1852. The China Grove station on the Columbia Tap Railroad, across the tracks from the plantation, served the area from at least as early as 1877 to 1892, when the town of Custer was established. In 1896 a black school in China Grove had eighty-seven pupils, and in 1906 two local black schools had 108 pupils and two teachers; that year a local white school had seven pupils and one teacher. In 1947 China Grove was a common school district with both white and black schools, but by 1974 only a single building and scattered dwellings remained. Of the original plantation, only hedges of Cherokee roses, thought to have been planted by Johnston, remained in 1991.

ROSHARON, TEXAS. Rosharon is at the intersection of Farm roads 521 and 1462, fourteen miles north of Angleton and 7½ miles east of the Brazos River in northern Brazoria County. The site was settled before the Civil War by cotton and sugar planters and probably had no name until 1859, when the Columbia Tap Railroad was completed and a stop there was named Masterson's Station for the owner of a nearby plantation. It was also known locally as Buttermilk Station because an early resident frequently brought a bucket of buttermilk and a dipper to the stop to treat the crew to a drink. About 1900 George Wetmore Colles bought property near the site. He called his place, and later the town, the Rose of Sharon Garden Ranch because of the Cherokee roses growing in the area. The town's name was later shortened to Rosharon. Colles obtained a post office in 1912 and designed the community water system. A. G. Arcaro operated the first store and the post office in one room of his house. After the business was sold, the post office was closed, then reopened in Boyd's Store thanks to the efforts of Tom Lochridge. This post office closed in 1920. Lochridge platted the townsite and had a cotton gin moved to Rosharon from Houston, thus providing employment for several persons. The gin's engine was used for the town's first power plant. He also operated the community's first telephone exchange in his home. The first school was held in a private home and later moved to a separate building. Some years later the Rosharon district was consolidated with the Angleton schools; students were bused to Angleton in the late twentieth century. Church meetings were first held in a former school, then in a tavern that community members had bought and converted into a church. Eventually a brick church was constructed. South Texas Water Company located in Rosharon in 1935, and its fresh watercanals for irrigating rice brought some seventy-five to eighty rice farmers to the area. The population was estimated at 500 in 1988, when the town had a post office. Most residents commuted to jobs in nearby towns, but the surrounding land was still used for ranching and farming. The main crops were rice and soybeans, with lesser amounts of corn and some cotton. Four units of the Texas Department of Corrections, three at Ramsey and one at Darrington, were located nearby, and TDC employees and their families added considerably to the town's economy (see PRISON SYSTEM). In 1990 and again in 2000 the population was 435.

HALL, WARREN D. C. (1794–1867). Warren D. C. Hall, early settler, was born in Union County, South Carolina, in 1794, the son of Warren and Mary Sims Hall. As a youth, he moved with his family to Louisiana. He studied law in Natchitoches and in 1812 joined the Mexican Republican Army of the North, under José Bernardo Gutiérrez de Lara and Augustus W. Magee. He was elected a captain in the Gutiérrez-Magee expedition and participated in the opening engagements, including the battle of Rosillo in 1813. He resigned his command and returned to Louisiana in protest against the butchery of royalist prisoners, reportedly ordered by Gutiérrez, at Alazán Heights. In November 1814, Hall volunteered to serve six months with a company of Louisiana volunteers and participated in the defense of New Orleans against the British as the War of 1812 ended. He received a bounty land warrant for 160 acres for his service.

In 1816–1817 Hall participated in filibustering expeditions, including one led by Francisco Xavier Mina and Gen. Louis Michel Aury that occupied Galveston Island. He also supported the revolutionary movement headed by Gen. James Long in 1819–1820. Though he allegedly befriended Jean Laffite on Galveston Island, Hall took no part in the buccaneer’s sometimes questionable activities.

In November 1828 Hall and his wife, Julietta, a native of  New York, settled near Columbia in Brazoria County. After taking an oath of allegiance to the Mexican government on December 21, 1829, Hall quickly became active in colonial affairs. In 1832 he was second in command of the Texans at Anahuac in the protest against John Davis Bradburn and participated in the battle of Velasco. In October he attended the Convention of 1832 at San Felipe as a delegate from Liberty Municipality. Affairs were for a time quiet, and Hall retired to his farm. He was among the charter members of the first Masonic lodge in Texas, organized at Brazoria by John A. Wharton in 1834, and helped train William T. Austin for a duel with Wharton that year.

In 1835 Hall was made a member of the committee of safety at Columbia, and in November represented Columbia at the Consultation. After the revolution broke out he was able to advance Stephen F. Austin $500 in an 1835 campaign for "expresses, spies, corn, beeves, etc." Hall was appointed adjutant general by David G. Burnet early in 1836 and later acted as secretary of war of the Republic of Texas while Thomas J. Rusk was with the army. Hall held the rank of colonel and commanded the post at Velasco until May 26, after independence had been won at San Jacinto. He again served the republic in September 1842, when he joined the forces that expelled Adrián Woll.

After 1836 Hall practiced law in Brazoria County for several years and served three years (1843–46) as justice of the peace. He established China Grove Plantation, fourteen miles south of Houston, and raised sugar. Tax rolls for 1840 showed that he owned more than 17,000 acres of land and ninety slaves. In 1843, however, financial difficulties, which plagued him throughout his years in Texas, forced him to sell China Grove to Albert Sidney Johnston. He continued to reside in Brazoria County during the early 1850s when he surveyed and speculated in choice bottomland in Harris County and helped finance the building of the Columbus Tap Railroad.

By January 1853, Hall moved to west Galveston Island where is resided at a home called “Three Trees” and maintained a ferry to Velasco. He died of a stroke in Galveston in April 1867 and was buried in the Trinity Episcopal Cemetery there. His wife Juliette lived in Galveston until her death in March 1878. Hall County, which was created in 1876 and organized in 1890, was named in honor of Warren D. C. Hall.

 


The Columbia Tap ended across the Brazos River From Bell's Landing.

Click to read.



George S. Pentecost Daniel H. Yeiser James W. Dance Plantation

Brazosport Archaeological Society

 

 

Samuel M. Williams League Map 1879 Texas General Land Office

 

            George S. Pentecost initially developed his farm from the upper quarter of the Samuel May Williams League on the east side of the San Bernard River along Mound Creek west of the town of Columbia buying the property in 1832. Monroe Edwards, the notorious African slave runner, acquired the property in 1836 as it adjoined his plantation in the Jesse Thompson League. Since Monroe Edwards had to flee the Republic of Texas his property was auctioned off to pay his debts; Robert J. Townes bought the land at auction in1840. Several years later Daniel H. Yeiser bought part of the property and developed a modest sugar plantation, producing sugar and cotton through the middle 1850’s. Recently married, James W. Dance decided to branch out from the rest of his family living at their Cedar Brake Plantation and bought the plantation from the Daniel H. Yeiser estate in 1858 initially turning it into a cotton plantation. His family and descendants would continue to own portions of the plantation through the Civil War, Reconstruction, and even till now.

            Samuel May Williams, born in Rhode Island, met Stephen F. Austin in New Orleans. Departing for Texas in 1822, Williams would be employed by Austin as translator and clerk. For the next thirteen years he wrote deeds, kept records and directed the business of the colony for Stephen F. Austin. For his services he received eleven leagues of land. One of his leagues of land, which he received August 10, 1824, was located on the east side of the San Bernard River a few miles west of the town of Columbia. The upper half of the league was purchased by Zeno Phillips and Jesse Thompson March 28, 1829. Zeno had already acquired the bottom half of the league in 1825 building his plantation home near the mouth of Mound Creek as it emptied into the San Bernard River.[1] (See Waverly Place Plantation)

            George Samuel Pentecost purchased the northern quarter of the Samuel May Williams League from Zeno Phillips and Jesse Thompson December 1832 for $300[2] Originally from Alabama, Pentecost had married Martha Ellen Denley in 1816. He received a league of land in Matagorda County August 1824. In November 1825 he was living on the San Bernard River. The census of 1826 classified him as a farmer and stock raiser aged between twenty-five and forty. His household consisted of his wife, four sons, a daughter and one slave.[3] George S. Pentecost lost his wife, Martha, and possibly one child while living at this location. They were buried in a small cemetery near the northern boundary of the league on the San Bernard River. Shortly thereafter Pentecost moved on Big Creek in Fort Bend County. He died in Fort Bend County in 1841. His son George Washington Pentecost fought at San Jacinto in Captain Thomas H. McIntire’s Company.            


Samuel May Williams League with Zeno Phillips Heirs Partition

 

            Monroe Edwards, who had purchased most of the Jesse Thompson League, acquired the quarter league from Edwin Waller in 1836 for $5000. His plantation was the location of many of the illegal African slaves which he had smuggled into Brazoria County from Cuba. Monroe Edwards was charged with forgery[4] and fled the Republic of Texas in 1839.

            Robert J. Townes, a lawyer living in Brazoria, bought the quarter league at public auction in July 1840 for $1500.[5] Townes was often speculating on various properties and may have rented the land during his ownership. He sold off 314 acres of his land which fronted on the San Bernard River to John W. Brooks, a local merchant in East Columbia, for $2235 in 1849.[6] This would have included the improvements made by George S. Pentecost.

            In June 1845 Daniel H. Yeiser purchased of Robert J. Townes the remaining part of the upper ¼ league comprising ~800 acres.[7]

 

 

Daniel Holliday Yeiser from Hinds County, Mississippi married Charlotte White Wolcott of Warren County, Mississippi May 1837. Daniel H. Yeiser came to Texas without his family in 1840[8] and in July 1840 a letter was posted for delivery to D. H. Yeiser at Velasco indicating Daniel was in Brazoria County at this early date.[9] Daniel was listed in the tax rolls of 1842 as the owner of 1107 acres or ¼ league at an unknown location with 14 slaves over 10 years of age and 6 slaves under 10 years of age. As his daughter Ann was born in Mississippi in 1843, he may have been preparing a home for his wife and children or his wife Charlotte had traveled to her parents’ home to have her children. Mrs. C. Yeiser was listed as a new member of the “Association of Columbia for the Preservation of Temperance” in August 1845.[10] The Yeiser household 1850:

 

Daniel H. Yeiser         Planter             41M                 Maryland

Charlotte Yeiser                                  32F                  New York

Felicia H. Yeiser[11]                              10F                  Mississippi

Ann E. Yeiser                                      7F                    Mississippi

Laura Yeiser                                       4F                   Texas

Robert Hickley            Cooper                        72M                 Virginia

John Johnson               Carpenter        27M                 Germany

John Hand                                           28M                 New Jersey

            By 1850 Daniel H. Yeiser had turned his land into a cotton and sugar plantation. According to the agricultural census of 1850 he had 225 acres cultivated out of 1310 acres he owned.[12] He had 10 horses, 16 mules, 75 milch cows, 28 oxen, 125 head of cattle, and 300 hogs. The plantation produced 1750 bushels of corn, 50 of Irish potatoes, 2000 of sweet potatoes, 408 lbs. of butter, 2 tons of hay, 22 hogheads of sugar, and 400 gallons of molasses in 1849.      Tax records indicate Yeiser owned 22 slaves. Using horse powered equipment Daniel H. Yeiser produced 60 hghds of sugar in 1852 and 60 hghds in 1853.

            In 1851 Daniel H. Yeiser purchased two large tracts in the Wiley Martin and James Hensley leagues east of the San Bernard north of his plantation.[13] May 1854 he purchased a 96 ½ acre tract adjacent to the south of his property making his plantation roughly 903 acres.[14]

            In the spring of 1854 Charlotte Yeiser sued Daniel H. Yeiser for divorce requesting support for herself and her four minor children. She declared that ”…as his lawful wife has resided with  him until a short time prior to this period and as such has at all times endeavored faithfully to discharge all the duties which a loving obedient affectionate and faithful wife should do…” and “…Daniel H. Yeiser has been guilty of such excesses such course and outrageous treatment to your petitioner that instead of protecting cherishing and defending her as he had undertaken to do…has assailed her character and her person has borne the marks of his ill will and that by his usage her life has been made a burden rather than a blessing…” Daniel H. Yeiser in his defense claimed that “…no particular acts of cruelty or outrageous treatment are set forth…” and  “…Charlotte has at various times during the last few years, to wit, the year 1848 and in the year 1849, and in the year 1850 and in the years 1851 and 1852 and 1853 left the house…and has lived separately…at the town of West Columbia and at the houses of neighbors, much against the wishes of the defendant, and unmindful of the repeated invitations of this defendant to return to his bed and board. And this defendant says that he has supported the said Charlotte, when so absent from his bed and board, liberally, and that he has done all in his power to make her condition in life comfortable—that he has always treated her with respect and affection…”[15]

With the death of Daniel H. Yeiser[16] in late July 1854 the divorce was dropped. Robert Love was hired as overseer for the plantation the remainder of the year and produced 35 hghds of sugar in 1854.[17] James C. Girand was hired for 1855, 1856, and 1857. He received $475 per year for 1855 and 1856. In 1855 the plantation produced 35 bales of cotton, 42 hghds of sugar, and 11 barrels of molasses. There wasn’t a sugar crop in 1856 for Brazoria County but there were at least 51 bales of cotton sold through R. & D.G. Mills of Galveston for the year accredited to the Daniel H. Yeiser estate. For 1857 Girand was to receive $400 and an additional $5.00 for every hoghead of sugar over sixty. He received $507.45 for his services January 1, 1857-March 1, 1858. The plantation was shortly thereafter auctioned off.[18]

            In Daniel H. Yeiser’s will he had stipulated that he desired his debts paid as soon as possible but hoped the plantation could be held together long enough so that the production from the plantation could eliminate his debts.  Benjamin Gass of New Orleans was the holder of his major mortgage and Yeiser still owed $3795.77. Daniel H. Yeiser’s estate was valued at $29,783, which included his plantation, another two large tracts of land, livestock, and 22 slaves. (See Appendix E) Total claims against the estate amounted ~ $10,000 which included a second mortgage of $1619.54 to the estate of F. W. Smith on his second large tract on land. Luckily Benjamin Gass agreed not to foreclose on the plantation property.[19]

            Daniel H. Yeiser also stipulated in his will “I wish the Yellow Boy Jim now about Eight Years of age the son of Rose to be taken into the possession of my Executor and by him raised to the age of sixteen years, then to be put to some trade until he is Twenty One Years old, at which time it is my desire he shall have his freedom…I will and bequeath to my Niece Mary Ellen Raney, who is at present living at my place,  my Negro Woman Rose…”  This indicates that the boy Jim was in all probability his son by Rose. This could have been the outrageous behavior his wife eluded to in her divorce petition. His brother-in-law William Holeman was to be appointed his executor. However, James H. Bell became executor of Daniel H. Yeiser’s estate. He proposed to give Mrs. Mary Rainey the slaves Rose and her son Jim to equal her $1500 portion of the estate.[20]

            April 1858 James H. Bell sold the plantation of 903 acres, livestock, agricultural produce, and eleven slaves to James W. Dance for a total of $15,000.[21] Charlotte Yeiser would move with her children to the property in the Wiley Martin and James Hensley leagues.

      In 1848 James Watkins Dance and his 1st cousin James H. Dance came to Texas on horseback from Alabama. 
They made several trips back home to persuade the rest of the family to move to Texas. By the later part of November 
1850 according to the census several males of the family were living with John Sweeney west of Columbia and probably
 preparing land and a home for the rest of the family:  
 
H. Dance                32M        Carpenter               North Carolina       [Harrison Perry Dance]
Spencer Dance       27M        Carpenter               North Carolina       [John Spencer Dance]
James H. Dance     27M        Carpenter               North Carolina       [James Henry Dance]
James Dance          25M        Carpenter               North Carolina       [James Watkins Dance]
 
In the earlier part of November 1850 they were also listed with the family in Greene County Alabama:
 
Henry Dance          52M        Farmer                   North Carolina       [John Henry Dance]              
Della Dance           54F                                        North Carolina       [Delilah Watkins Dance]
James H. Dance     27M        Mechanic               North Carolina       [James Henry Dance]
Melvina Dance      20M                                      North Carolina       [Malvina Elizabeth Dance]
George P. Dance    21M        Mechanic               North Carolina       [George Perry Dance]
David E. Dance     17M        Farmer                   North Carolina       [David Etheldred Dance]
Isaac C. Dance       15M        Farmer                   Alabama                [Isaac Claudius Dance]
Eloise D. Dance     12F                                        Alabama                [Elouise Della Dance]          
Harrison P. Dance 32M        Mechanic               North Carolina       [Harrison Perry Dance]  
John S. Dance        29M        Mechanic               North Carolina       [John Spencer Dance]
James W. Dance    27M        Mechanic               North Carolina       [James Watkins Dance]
 

                              John Henry and Delilah Watkins Dance had eight children. John Henry Dance’s brother, James and his wife 
Elizabeth Watkins Dance had died young leaving several children. Five of their children were also raised by John and 
Delilah Dance. The last three men on the census list above are John and Delilah’s nephews. Their niece Lourian “Lucy” 
Dance who had married John Balsam Culpepper in 1839 died in 1842. John married her sister Nancy Henry Dance in 1844
. Nancy and her husband raised a family in Alabama but later came to Texas as she and a child are listed in the home of her 
brother Spencer Dance in 1860 after the death of her husband. John and Delilah had lost a daughter Sally Ann Dance in 
1836 and their son Joseph John Dance had joined the California gold rush where he died in 1852 of smallpox.
            In February 1852 Spencer and James W. Dance bought 426 acres out of the Daniel McNeel league twelve miles 
'west of Columbia on the west side of the San Bernard River from William and Harriet A. Crenshaw. Harriet McNeel 
Crenshaw had actually inherited 1/6 league of land from her father’s estate which should have been over 700 acres.
[22] In 1853 the extended Dance family moved from Alabama to Texas to this property, which they called 
Cedar Break.
            The brothers and cousins were skilled carpenters and machinists. By 1854 James H. and George P. Dance had 
started a business at the plantation site making portable horse mills selling to planters in Brazoria, Wharton, Matagorda, 
and Fort Bend counties:
 
PORTABLE HORSE MILLS,
                   The subscribers have commenced the manufacture of Portable Horse Mills at their place, 12 miles west of Columbia. From their long 
experience in this business they are able to warrant their mills to perform equal to any made in the United States. All they ask is a fair trial, and if their mills 
fail to give satisfaction, they will take them back at their own expense.
TERMS
For 18 to 20 inch stones                    $125.00
    20 to 22                                       130.00
    22 to 24                                       135.00
                       A deduction of 25 per cent will be made from these terms for cash. 
                                                                                                   
J. H. & G. P. DANCE
Columbia, Brazoria Co., Nov. ‘54[23]
 
            Several planters in the area gave a testimonial about the Dance brothers’ horse mills: “believe them to
be the most durable, easiest kept in order, and will do more work with the same power, than any mills we have ever seen.”[24]
               
John Spencer Dance built a home at the Cedar Break Plantation and June 1858 he married Columbia 
EwellSlade.
 
John Henry and Delilah Dance also continued to live at the small cotton plantation on equal amounts of land. 
The Families were not large slave owners. Henry owned 5 slaves living in two dwellings while Spencer owned 8 slaves 
living in two dwellings according to the 1860 Slave Census. According to the 1860 Agricultural Census they each had 55 
improved acres of land with Henry producing 22 bales of cotton and Spencer 30 bales in 1859.
John Spencer Dance
 
               James Watkins Dance married Temperance Cook in 1857 and the next year bought the 900 acre sugar plantation
 and 11 slaves from the estate of Daniel H. Yeiser for $15,000.[25] Then he went into business with Gabriel P. 
Davis giving up sugar and concentrating on cotton production. January 1859 Dance and Davis bought the 200 acre 
“Cone Place” which was south of Dance’s plantation on Bell Creek.[26] Gabriel P. and Laura Davis with their 
children would live on the “Cone Place”.
            By 1860 James W. Dance and Gabriel P. Davis had 240 acres under cultivation with only $250 worth of farm 
machinery on the property according to the 1860 agricultural census. This would indicate that they had quit producing 
sugar. They had 5 horses, 14 mules, 5 milch cows, 6 oxen, 70 sheep, and 100 hogs on the property. The plantation 
produced 1000 bushels of corn and 30 of Irish potatoes, 80 lbs. of wool, and 93 bales of cotton for 1859. There were 
19 slaves on the property in 6 dwellings listed under Davis in the 1860 slave census. Tax records indicate they had only 
12 slaves together.
            The families of both James W. Dance and Gabriel P. Davis were listed in the 1860 census:
 
James W. Dance    37M        Planter                   North Carolina
Tempe Dance         25F                                        Alabama                [Temperance]
James E. Dance        2M                                      Texas
 
Gabriel P. Davis    47M        Planter                   South Carolina
J. L. Davis             41F                                        South Carolina       [Jane Laura?]
M. A. Davis           18F                                        Alabama
Julia Davis             15F                                       Alabama
J. S. Davis             13M                                      Alabama
M. A. Davis             6M                                      Texas
Frank E. Davis         3M                                      Texas
                               
 
James Watkins and Temperance Cook Dance
Courtesy Brazoria County Historical Museum 1988.002p.0015

 

            For $7500 May 1861 James W. Dance sold half interest in his plantation and slaves to Gabriel P. Davis.[27] 
Before the end of the year, however, Davis sold out all his holdings in Brazoria County to James W. Dance.[28] 
Evidently Davis may have left the county. According to family members the old home on the Dance property burned down 
and it may have been that the Dance family needed a new home to live in at this time. The James W. Dance family was still
 living at the “Cone Place” in February 1866.
            During the early part of the Civil War James W. Dance pledged 30 bales of cotton to the Confederate cause but 
remained at home.[29] During which time three more children were born into the family. Dance also entered into an 
agreement to sell R. J. Boykin of Louisiana 600 acres out of his plantation not to include his improvements for $7000 in 
1863.[30]
            After the end of the Civil War, R. J. Boykin released the property back to James W. Dance.[31] James W. 
Dance was forced by the probate court to issue a deed of trust on his plantation lands to George W. Duff at the same time 
to secure the debts he owed the minor children Almira and William Reynolds for whom he had been guardian for many 
years. He now owed $5094 to Almira  and $5836 to William.[32] These two children aged 11 and 8 actually were 
listed in the household of Spencer Dance in the 1860 census.[33] Almira was attending school in Independence while 
William was attending school in West Columbia with Mrs. Samuel T. Angier in 1865.[34]
            Temperance Cook Dance died in September 1865 and was buried in the Columbia Cemetery. James W. Dance was 
now the legal guardian of his two living children, James Edwin and Kate Ophelia Dance.
            In order to decrease the debt due the minor Reynolds children and others George W. Duff as trustee sold the 
“Cone Place” for $2000 in March 1868[35] A new home had been built by the Dance brothers and cousins on the 
James W. Dance plantation by this date.[36]
            After the death of his wife James W. Dance’s widowed sister Nancy Culpepper moved into his home to help with 
his young children. The 1870 census lists the household:
 
James Dance          48M        Farmer                   North Carolina       
Nancy Culpepper   51F                                        North Carolina
Edward Dance       12M                                      Texas      [James Edwin]
Kate Dance              7F                                        Texas
Susan Brown          16F                                        Virginia
 
            In 1871 land was also given to the Blue Run Colored Baptist Church[37] Beginning slowly in 1872, small 
tracts were sold to raise cash for the family[38] Most of these parcels were taken at the north eastern end of the 
quarter league. An additional deed of trust was secured by the plantation for ~$800 owed by James W. Dance to his minor
 children for their funds used by him to pay off a civil suit[39]By 1877 his cotton crop was consigned to J. G. 
Smith & Bros. of East Columbia for past debts.[40] Though struggling financially, Dance managed to hold on to the
greater part of his plantation lands.
            By 1880 the James W. Dance household consisted of:
 
James W. Dance    56M                                      North Carolina
Nancy Culpepper   59F                                        North Carolina       [61]
James E. Dance      21M                                      Texas
Kate Dance            17F                                        Texas
William Runnels    21M                                      North Carolina       [Reynolds-Cousin]
 
            James W. Dance continued to sell small tracts from his plantation in the early 1880’s.[41]A small one acre 
tract was given to the African Methodist Episcopal Church in May 1883.[42] In April 1886 he gave ~425 acres to 
his children Kate Ophelia Dance and James Edwin Dance to cover the $3663 which he still owed them as their guardian. 
He reserved 200 acres which included his homestead for himself. [43]
            In 1887 James Edwin Farmer passed away. His widow, Elizabeth V. Dance would later move to Fort Bend County.
 The next year March 1888 Kate Ophelia Dance married Robert Ruffin Farmer. They would reside at the James W. Dance
 plantation and raise their family there.
            In 1889 James W. Dance, Elizabeth V. Dance, Kate O. Farmer, and Robert R. Farmer borrowed $1000 with the 
total remaining lands of the plantation as security.[44]    
 
 
James W. Dance Plantation Mid-1880’s Before Partition to His Children[45]

 

            The Robert R. Farmer extended family is listed in the 1900 census:

 

Ruffin R. Farmer         40M                 Texas

Kate O. Farmer           37F                  Texas

James E. Farmer          10M                 Texas

Mary E. Farmer             8F                  Texas

Jordan R. Farmer          5M                 Texas

Henry H. Farmer           1M [F]           Texas

James W. Dance          76M                 North Carolina

Nancy H. Culpepper    80F                  North Carolina

 

            With the passing of James W. Dance in 1904, Kate O. Farmer and Elizabeth V. Dance became sole owners

of the plantation lands. Robert R. and Kate O. Farmer continued to live on the property with their children. The 1910

census lists:

 

Robert R. Farmer        50M                 Texas

Kate O. Farmer           46F                  Texas

Edwin J. Farmer          20M                 Texas

Mary E. Farmer           18M                 Texas

Jordan R. Farmer        15M                 Texas

Henry H. Farmer         11F                  Texas (Helen)

Nannie D. Farmer          9F                  Texas

Ado L. Farmer               7F                  Texas  (Katie)

Robert R. Farmer Jr.     3M                 Texas

Eliza J. McConnell      59F                  Virginia (Servant)

            In 1920 Elizabeth V. Dance gave her parcel of land to Kate O. Farmer[46] After the death of Robert R.

Farmer in1949 and with the advancing age of Kate O. Farmer, her daughter Katie L. Brand, who had married Newton

G. Brand moved back to the family home to take care of her mother.

            The plantation land of 448 acres was partitioned among the children of Kate O. Farmer in 1961 after her death

in 1955. Some of the children had received portions in 1951. Each child received ~64 acres of land. Katie L. Brand

received that portion on which the old home built by the Dance family stood.[47] Her descendants still own

the property.

 

 

            The J. W. Dance home built in the 1860’s was still standing in the 1950’s-1970’s. The upstairs held a

large bedroom on the left and a long open area overlooking the downstairs with smaller bedroom off to the side and

an attic space. The downstairs held a mud room and large kitchen on the left with a living room at the front of the

house below the large bedroom. A large underground cistern was to the left of the side entrance. Behind the home ~ 100’

was a slave dwelling. Two graves were reported to be near the home not of family members, however.

            The Brand family moved from the home in the 1980’s and it slowly started to deteriorate. The home is being

torn down at the time of this report.

 

James W. Dance Home ~1970 with Front Porch Enclosed

Photo Courtesy of Bob Kingrea

 

Appendix A

George S. Pentecost Genealogy

 

George Samuel Pentecost b. 1790 Williamsburg, South Carolina (England ?)

d.     August 1841 Big Creek, Fort Bend County, Texas

m. 1814 Alabama

Martha Ellen Denley b. 1794 Washington County, Alabama

                                  d. April 1833 Brazoria County, Texas

            1. Lucy Ellen Pentecost b. 1815 Alabama

                                                   d. 1865

            2. Gracie Elizabeth Pentecost b. 1818 Alabama

                                                            d. 1898

            3. George Washington Pentecost b. 1822 Mississippi

                                                                  d. December 1853 San Saba, Texas

            4. Mary Jane Pentecost b. 1824 Alabama

                                                  d. 1861

            5. James Denley Pentecost b. December 22, 1825 Fort Bend County, Texas

                                                        d. August 12, 1857

            6. Sarah Jane Pentecost b. 1827

                                                  d. 1857

            7. Susan Evelyn Pentecost b.  March 10, 1829 Matagorda County, Texas

                                                       d. September 11, 1829

            8. William Walter Pentecost b. 1832 Brazoria County, Texas

                                                          d. 1885

 

Appendix B

            Daniel Holliday Yeiser Family

 

Daniel Holliday Yeiser b. September 6, 1806 Baltimore, Maryland

                                      d. July-October 1854 Brazoria County, Texas

            m. May 18, 1837 Warren County, Mississippi

Charlotte White Walcott b. 1816 Mississippi

                                        d.

            1. Felicia H. Yeiser b. 1840 Mississippi

                        m. August 11, 1864 Brazoria County, Texas

                William Benson

            2. Ann E. Yeiser b. 1843 Mississippi

            3. Laura Jack Yeiser b. 1846 Brazoria County, Texas

                        m.July 16, 1868 Brazoria County, Texas

                Livingston Black b. 1831 Mississippi

            4. William b. 1851 Brazoria County, Texas

Appendix C

James Woodward Dance Genealogy

 

James Woodward Dance b. 1794 Nash County, North Carolina

            d. 1823

m. 1815 Nash County, North Carolina

Elizabeth Watkins b. 1789

                              d. 1832

1. Harrison Perry Dance b. 1815 Nash County, North Carolina

                                        d. 1879

2. Lourian A. E. Dance b. 1816 Nash County, North Carolina

                             d. 1842

               m. February 21, 1839

   John Balsam Culpepper, Jr.

A. Martha A. “Mattie” Culpepper b. February 24, 1841 Greene County, Alabama d. June 19, 1927

               3. Nancy Henry Dance b. 1819 Nash County, North Carolina

                                                      d. 1912

                              m.  April 1, 1844

                  John Balsam Culpepper  Jr. d. August 4, 1852

                              A. Laura Epps Culpepper b. 1848 Alabama

4. John Spencer Dance b. May 11, 1821 Nash County, North Carolina

                                       d. June 8, 1906

               m. June 24, 1858 Brazoria County, Texas

   Columbia Ewell Slade b. 1840

                                         d. 1876 Osceola Plantation, Brazoria County, Texas

               A. Rhoda Talbot Dance b. 1860 d. 1931

               B. Charlotte Ewell Dance b. 1861 d. 1862

               C. Nancy Elizabeth Dance b. 1863 d. 1863

               D. Nannie Elizabeth Dance b. 1864 d. 1891

               E. Nora Almira Dance b. 1866 d. 1869

               F. John Spencer Dance b. 1868 d. 1870

               G. Harrison Perry Dance b. 1871 d. 1957

               H. Della Louise Dance b. 1872 d. 1962

               I. Cora Bell Dance b. 1875 d. 1935

               J. Claude Dance b. 1876 d. 1877

5. James Watkins Dance b. August  28, 1823 Nash County, North Carolina

                          d. October 9, 1904 Brazoria County, Texas

m. January 22, 1857 Greene County, Alabama

   Temperance Cook b. September 9, 1833 Greene County, Alabama

                                  d. September 14, 1865 Brazoria County, Texas

A. Martha Ann Dance b. November 27, 1857 d. July 23, 1858

B. James Edwin Dance b. 1859 d. April 29, 1887

               m.

     Elizabeth Vandusen Farmer b. June 26, 1862

                                                    d. April 18, 1952

C. John Henry Dance b. March 12, 1861 d. May 20, 1863

D. Kate Ophelia Dance b. April 7, 1863

         d. June 1, 1955

               m. March 21, 1888 Brazoria County

     Robert Ruffin Farmer b. December 26, 1859 Fort Bend County, Texas

                                          d. October 13, 1949 Brazoria County, Texas

               a. James Edwin Farmer August 1889-1941

               b. Mary Elizabeth Farmer June 1891-1983

               c. Jordan “Jordie” Rhesa Farmer July 1894-1960

               d. Helen Henry Farmer December 1898-1993

               e. Nannie Della Farmer October 5, 1900- April 16, 1978

                              m.

                   James Roland Slaughter February 5, 1898- December 21, 1961

               f. Katie Lee Farmer 1902-1996

                              m.

                  Newton George Brand 1900-1971

               g. Robert Ruffin Farmer Jr. 1906-1990

E. Melvina Elizabeth Dance b. March 26, 1865 d. August 1867
Appendix D

Daniel H. Yeiser Last Will & Testament

 

Whereas looking into consideration the uncertainty of Life and being indisposed in body but of sound mind and disposing memory—I make this my last Will

and Testament (viz)—

               I wish all my just debts paid so soon as it can be done out of  the procedes of my Estate—and in order to do this with a little injury to what I Shall

leave as  possible and to afford a Home for my Family I request that the Plantation and property shall (except what is hereafter named) be kept together and

be carried on until the debts are paid, but if Creditors become importunate so that it isnecessary to sell property, or my wife Should marry before the debts of

my Estate be Settled and paid, or Should my Executor herein after named think it best for the interest of my family. Then in either of those events I fully

empower and Authorize him to sell at private or public Sale any Real Estate which I owne at my death, Should my Executor realize out of Such Sale or

Sales more means than will pay my debts then he is authorized to purchase other Real Estate Elsewhere with the surplus the creation of which he may deem

more Suitable to the health and residence of my Family.

               I wish the Yellow Boy Jim now about eight years of age the son of Rose to betaken into the possession of my Executor and by him  raised to the age

of Sixteen years, then to be put to Some trade until he is Twenty One years old, at which time it is my desire he shall have his freedom.

               I will and bequeath to my Niece, Mary Raney, who is at present living at my place, My Negro Woman Rose before mentioned, I likewise will to

the Said Mary Ellen Raney so soon as it can be spared from the Estate without interfering with thepayment of  Debts or so Soon as a distribution among the

Heirs Shall take placea Sum which with the value of  Rose taken in shall amount to Fifteen  hundred dollars.—The remainder of  the one fourth part of my

Estate which the Law authorizes me to dispose of as I may desire, and which I have not before in this Instrument disposed of  I will to my two youngest

children (viz) Laura andWilliam, to be divided equally between them, this bequest is to be in additionand independent of  their proper shares of the balance of

my Estate.

               The remaining three fourths of my Estate I will and bequeath to my wife and children (viz) Felicia, Ann, Eliza, Laura and William to be divided

between them at the proper time, as now provided by the Statute Laws of  the State of Texas, and I desire that the property and My Family be kept together

until the children are raised & educated unless my wife Should in the mean time Marry, in that event it is my wish that my Executor cause the Estate to be

divided and for him to take the guardianship of the property of my children until such time as they may become of Lawful age or marry.

               My Executor is requested and authorized is hereby conferred on him to appoint S.W. Perkins or some other trust worthy person to act for him in

the matters appertaining to my Estate at Such time or times as he may be absent or unable to attend to it in person.

               It is my will and desire that William Holeman (my Brother in Law) now of San Augustine in the State of Texas be appointed and take charge of

my Estate as the Executor thereof to carry out the provisions of  this my Last Will and which request that the County Court will not require any Security from

him as Executor thereof.

 

               I also desire that no other action shall be had in the County Court in relationto the settlement of my Estate than the Probate and Registration of my

Will  and the return of an Inventory of the Estate.

               In the case of death or refusal to act of  the aforesaid William  Holeman as my Executor, then and in that case, I appoint and request S. W. Perkins

of  Brazoria County and State of  Texas to act under this Will as my Said Executor granting to him the same powers privileges and exemptions as were granted

to him the said William Holeman as Executor hereof

               In testimony whereof I here unto sign by name and affix my (scrawl) per Seal this 14th day of July 1854

               In presence of                                                                                                D. H. Yeiser

               Horace Cone

               E. Stevens

 

In addition to the above gifts I will to the Revd M. C. Connelly Ten Cows with calves—I will to my Executor William Holmes my goldwatch—I will

to S. W. Perkins my horse Ned.

                                                                                                                                       D. H.  Yeiser

 


Appendix E

Estimative Inventory of Property Belonging to D. H. Yeiser

 

The following is believed to be Community Property

Plantation Tract of Land containing about 807 Acres @10$                                                  8070.00

Tract of land purchased of J. A. Phillips about 96 Acres @ 8$                                                768.00

Balance of Two Tracts purchased from F. W. Smith Estate about 1660acre

               all situated on the East side of the Bernard in Brazoria County                                             3320.00

Stock of Hogs                                                                                                                                100.00

Farming Utensils                                                                                                                            100.00

About 250 Head of Stock Cattle @ 5$                                                                                     1250.00

14 Mules @ 40$                                                                                                                           560.00

About 10 head of Stock Horses                                                                                                   200.00

2 Work Horses                                                                                                                              100.00

2 Saddle Horses                                                                                                                            200.00

About 30 Bales Cotton                                                                                                                 945.00

38 Hghds of Sugar                                                                                                                        950.00

20 Bbls of Sugar                                                                                                                            200.00

About 40Bbls Molasses                                                                                                               120.00

Household & Kitchen Furniture                                                                                                  200.00

                                                            Total Community Property                  $17,233.00

 

The following List contains the Special property of D. H. Yeiser

Frank aged about 43 yrs                                                                                                                600.00

Jim                       30                                                                                                                     850.00

Eliza a woman     39                                                                                                                      550.00

Aylsy                   38                                                                                                                     600.00

Rose                   28                                                                                                                      800.00

Cynthia              22                                                                                                                       850.00

Emiline              15                                                                                                                       750.00

Emily a girl           9                                                                                                                      450.00

Charles a boy         6                                                                                                                     400.00

Henrietta a girl       4                                                                                                                    250.00

Giles a boy              1                                                                                                                   100.00

Dave                      37                                                                                                                    750.00

Darkey a woman  40                                                                                                                    600.00

Martha                38                                                                                                                    650.00

Julia                    30                                                                                                                    750.00

Rachel                24                                                                                                                    800.00

Louisa                 20                                                                                                                    800.00

Dennis a boy        16                                                                                                                    750.00

Delila                     7                                                                                                                    400.00

Jim                         7                                                                                                                     450.00

Mary a girl             4                                                                                                                    250.00

Ellen                     2                                                                                                                    150.00

                                                            Total Separate Property          $12550.00

                                                            Total Inventory                        $29783.00[48]                                                                                                                                                                

Appendix F

Deed Record George S. Pentecost Daniel H. Yeiser /James W. Dance Plantation

 

 GRANTORS

GRANTEES

Kind of Instrument

Book

Page

Month

Day

Year

Acres

Description

Mexican Government

Samuel May Williams

Deed

 

 

Aug

10

1824

 

Samuel M. Williams 1 League

Samuel May Williams

Williams S. Brown

Deed

SR

Trans

18/19

Nov

16

1825

 

$100 South ½ of League (Joseph Mims lived at the mouth of Mound Creek at this time)

William S. Brown

Zeno Phillips

Deed

SR

Trans

23/24

June

5

1826

 

$385 South ½ of S.M. Williams League

Samuel May Williams

Zeno Phillips & Jesse Thompson

Deed

 

378/79

Mar

28

1829

 

Upper ½ of S. M. Williams League

Zeno Phillips & Jesse Thompson

George S. Pentecost

Deed

SR Trans

305/07

Dec

14

1832

 

$300 1/4 League upper portion of S. M. Williams League with improvements

George S. Pentecost

Edwin Waller

Deed

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edwin Waller

Monroe Edwards

Deed

 

 

Sept

5

1836

 

$5000 from note from Edwards to Waller

Robert J. Calder Sheriff

Robert J. Townes

Deed

B

260/61

July

7

1840

 

$1500 Monroe Edwards Estate to settle law suit ¼ league

Robert J. Townes

Daniel H. Yeiser

Deed

E

149X

June

4

1845

793

$1500 Part of upper ¼ of Samuel M. Williams League

Robert J. Townes

John W. Brooks

Deed

E

149

March

19

1849

314

$2245 Tract along the San Bernard

Daniel H. Yeiser

Alexander Dunn

DT

E

160

April

1

1849

Slave

$583.42 note Jim aged 30 Eliza aged 30 as security

Robert J. Townes

Daniel H. Yeiser

Mortgage

E

194/95

April

23

1849

~800

 

$825.67 Morgan L. Smith

$275.22 John Adriance

$614.43 Robert J. Townes

+ $500 cash Property bought March 24,1847

Phillip Davenport

Daniel H. Yeiser

Deed

F

204/05

March

7

1851

 

2 tracts other leagues

Robert J. Townes

Daniel H. Yeiser

Release

F

321/22

May

11

1852

~800

Release of mortgage PAID

Daniel H. Yeiser

Dowsell, Hill & Co.

DT

F

381/82

Aug

30

1852

~800

$4417.13 note

Elizabeth Harrison

Daniel H. Yeiser

Deed

G

39/40

May

22

1854

96

$579  upper Tract 1

Elizabeth Harrison

R. G. Salmon

Deed

G

138/39

June

12

1853

73

 $157. part of Tract 1

Daniel H. Yeiser Estate

James W. Dance

Deed

H

617/21

April

15

1858

807

96

$15,000 Livestock, 11 slaves, & farm equipment 2 Tracts

George Williams Gassard Kentucky

Gabriel P. Davis James W. Dance

Deed

J

36/38

Jan

25

1859

200

$2500 Cone Place on Bell Creek

James W. Dance

Gabriel Davis

Deed

K

196/98

May

29

1861

807

96

$7500 ½ interest in Yeiser Plantation Lands & slaves

Gabriel P.

Jane L.Davis

James W. Dance

Deed

K

237/39

Nov

21

1861

200

903

$3750 Homestead of Davis + interest in Yeiser Plantation

Gabriel P. Davis

Laura A. Davis

James W.

G. P.  Dance

Deed

K

264/66

July

12

1861

 

$2200 ½ Thomas K. Davis League

James W. Dance

R. J. Boykin Louisiana

Deed

K

363/64

June

3

1863

600

$7000 600 acres of Yeiser lands

R. J. Boykin

James W. Dance

Misc

K

364

June

3

1863

600

Agreement as how to pay in specie or Confederate money

James W. Dance

George W. Duff

DT

K

571/73

Feb

1

1866

 

Debts

 Almira Reynolds $5094.10

William Reynolds $5835.95

A. T.  Morris $300

J. Spencer Dance $200

Mrs. Nancy Culpepper $200

3 Tracts security

R. J. Boykin

James W. Dance

Release

K

588/90

Feb

1

1866

600

$8000 debt of Boykin released land returned

George. W. Duff

Trustee

Oscar Fowler

Deed

L

680/81

July

29

1869

100

$500 Tract out of Plantation

George. W. Duff

Trustee

H. G. Mason

Deed

M

236/39

March

21

1868

200

$2000 “Cone Place”

James W. Dance  had resided in 1866

James W. Dance

Blue Run Colored Baptist Church

Deed

M

522/23

Aug

26

1871

 

Land given to church

James W. Dance

George W. Duff

Deed

M

670/71

Jan

4

1872

100

$500  acres out of  plantation

James W. Dance

George W. Duff

Trustee

DT

N

37/39

April

27

1872

 

$840 debt to Edwin & Kate Dance minors estate plantation as security

James W. Dance

J. H. Shapard Trustee

DT

Q

278/79

July

19

1872

 

$200 debt to J. G. Smith & Bros. Cotton crop security

George W. Duff

Henry & Squire Jackson

Deed

Q

621/22

Dec

13

1875

100

$300  out of plantation

James W. Dance

George A. Madill

Deed

Q

343/44

June

14

1877

50

$10 Acreage to Brazos & Colorado Railroad Co.

James W. Dance

Ned Thompson

Deed

S

200/01

Sept

3

1879

50

$250 out of plantation

James W. Dance

William Williams

Deed

V

68/69

April

9

1883

25

$100  out of plantation

James W. Dance

Andrew Tiner

Deed

V

436

April

9

1883

25

$100  out of plantation

O. Landry

A. V. Landry

James W. Dance

Deed

Y

119/20

April

9

1883

24

Swap land Cone Tract

James W. Dance

A.V. Landry

Deed

Z

437/38

April

9

1883

25

Swap land out of plantation

James W. Dance

A.& J. P. Underwood

Deed

V

563/64

Nov

12

1883

25

$100  out of Plantation

James W. Dance

Oscar Fowler

Deed

Y

312/13

Jan

2

1885

 

To Correct previous deed location of land

James W. Dance

Patterson Moneyhan

Deed

Y

107/08

Feb

24

1886

54

$110 N E. Corner of Plantation Tract

James W. Dance

J. Spencer Dance

Deed

Y

115/17

Feb

16

1886

24

Out of Cone Tract

James W. Dance

Guardian

James E. Dance

Kate O. Dance

Deed

Z

37/40

April

6

1886

925

As guardian he owed the estate of his wife $3663 gave remaining ~425 unsold acres of the plantation to his children exempt 200 acre homestead for himself

James W. Dance E. V. Dance

K. O. Farmer

R. R. Farmer

H. Masterson

DT

B

337/42

April

28

1889

 

$1000 open ended note with plantation less amounts already sold as security

James W. Dance

Patterson Moneyhan

Deed

32

463/64

July

23

1892

152

$150 Northeast corner

James W. Dance

Richard H. Barrow

Deed

35

262/63

July

25

1896

10

For surveying land ? Contract May 11, 1889

James W. Dance

African Methodist Episcopal Church

Deed

54

542/44

Dec

21

1901

 

Gave the church 1 acre for $5.oo which had actually

been done May 26, 1883 but deed lost

E. V. Dance

Robert R. &

Kate O. Farmer

Deed

159

186/87

Jan

16

1920

240

Widow of James E. Dance Given to Kate

Robert R. &

Kate O. Farmer

 

Affadavit

159

187/88

July

27

1918

200

Set boundaries of their homestead

Kate O. Farmer

Katie Lee Brand

Deed

502

534/35

March

30

1951

66

Gift to daughter

Kate O. Farmer

R. R. Farmer Jr.

Deed

502

530/31

March

30

1951

25

Gift to son

Kate O. Farmer

J. R. Farmer

Deed

502

532/33

March

30

1951

20

Gift to son

Heirs of Kate O. Farmer

 

Partition

791

405/21

April

20

1961

448

Partition among heirs

 

 


BIBLIOGRAPHY

Primary Sources

 

UNPUBLISHED PAPERS

Brazoria County Historical Museum Library, Angleton, Texas

McCormick, Andrew Phelps, “Scotch-Irish in Ireland and in America” Unpublished book distributed to

relatives and friends of Andrew Phelps McCormick, 1897

 

NEWSPAPERS AND PERIODICALS

The Texas Gazette

Democrat and Planter

 

GOVERNMENT DOCUMENTS

Deed, Probate, Civil Court Records Brazoria County, County Clerk’s Office, Angleton, Texas

 

Brazoria County Tax Records on microfilm Brazoria County Historical Museum, Angleton, Texas

 

Federal Population Schedule, Seventh Census of the United States.

1850       The State of Texas, Brazoria County

“Schedule 2—Slave Inhabitants in the County of Brazoria, Texas”

 

Federal Population Schedule, Eighth Census of the United States.

1860      The State of Texas, Brazoria County

“Schedule 2—Slave Inhabitants in the County of Brazoria, Texas”

 

Federal Population Schedule, Ninth Census of the United States.

1870

 

Federal Population Schedule, Tenth Census of the United States.

            1880

 

Federal Population Schedule, Twelfth Census of the United States

            1900              

 

Secondary Sources

 

BOOKS, ESSAYS, THESES, AND DISSERTATIONS

 

 

The Handbook of Texas Online

 



[1] Spanish Translation : 23/24

[2] ST: 305/07

[3] “PENTECOST, GEORGE SAMUEL,” Handbook of Texas Online

(http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/fpe31), accessed February 24, 2013

[4] Forgery was actually a capital offense in the Republic of Texas.

[5] Brazoria County Deed Record: B 260/61

[6] BCDR: F 149

[7] BCDR: E 149X

[8] Civil Suit # 1721 Charlotte Yeiser vs Daniel H. Yeiser, District Clerk’s Office, Brazoria County

Courthouse, Angleton, Texas

[9] Brazos Courier, July 28, 1840, Brazoria, Texas

[10] The Planter, August 19, 1845, Brazoria, Texas

[11] Felicia Yeiser was attending the Galveston Seminary in Galveston, Texas at this time.

[12] Tax records indicate he only owned 807 acres.

[13] BCDR:F 204/05

[14] BCDR: G 39/40

[15] Civil Suit # 1721 Charlotte Yeiser vs Daniel H. Yeiser, District Clerk’s Office, Brazoria County

Courthouse, Angleton, Texas

[16] Daniel H. Yeiser is buried in the Columbia Cemetery and inscribed on his tombstone “intered with a son

who died in youth”. His son William was still alive in 1860.

[17] Champomier, P. A., Statement of the Sugar Crop Made inLouisiana in 1852-53, With An Appendix,

New Orleans. Champomier, P.A., Statement of the Sugar Crop Made inLouisiana in 1853-54, With An Appendix,

New Orleans, 1854. Champomier, P. A., Statement of the Sugar Crop Made in Louisiana in1854-55, With

An Appendix, New Orleans, 1855

 [18] Daniel H. Yeiser Probate Case # 579, Brazoria County Clerk’s Office, Angleton, Texas

[19] Ibid.

[20] Daniel H. Yeiser Probate Case # 579, Brazoria County Clerk’s Office, Angleton, Texas

[21] BCDR: H 617/21

[22] BCDR: F 243/46

[23] The Democrat and Planter, October 9, 1855. Columbia, Texas

[24] Ibid.

[25] BCDR: H 617/21

[26] BCDR: J 36/38

[27] BCDR: K 196/98

[28] BCDR: K 237/39 & K 363/64

[29] The Weekly Telegraph, July 31, 1861, Houston, Texas

[30] BCDR: K 363/364 & K 364

[31] BCDR: K 588/90

[32] BCDR: K 571/73

[33] The 1860 census taker spelled their last name as Runnels.

[34] Record of Wills: D 100-02

[35] BCDR: M 236/39

[36] The ruins of this home are still standing though it is very deteriorated.

[37] BCDR: M 522/23

[38] BCDR: M 670/71 Q 621/22 & S 200/01

[39] BCDR: N 37/39

[40] BCDR: Q 278/79

[41] BCDR: V 68/69 V 436 V 563/64 Y 312/13 & Y 115/17

[42] BCDR: 54  542/44

[43] BCDR: Z 37/40

[44] Deed of Trust: B 337

[45] Some of the tracts at the northeast end of the plantation were sold off in the early 1890’s.

[46] BCDR: 159 186/87

[47] BCDR: 791 405/21

[48] Daniel H. Yeiser Probate Case #   Brazoria County Clerk’s Office, Angleton, Texas

 

 


 

    The .44 and .36 caliber revolvers  were made by the Dance Brothers of East Columbia, Texas.  Having been Brazoria County plantation owners the family purchased land on the east side of the Brazos River in order to start a commercial enterprise.  In 1858 John Henry, George Perry and David Etheldred Dance operated their own machine shop on Front Street, known as J.H. Dance & Company.  East Columbia and the surrounding county were growing rapidly due to the new rail connection with Houston. By 1859 with John Henry at the helm, the Dance boy’s machine shop was booming and the business was expanding.  Not only an astute businessman, J.H. was an inventor, having invented a type of grist mill.

     With the coming of war, John Henry Dance enlisted on March 1, 1861 in the Brazoria Volunteers with the intent of capturing the Federal Garrison at Brownsville, Texas; when they surrendered without a fight, the Volunteers went home and were discharged; John’s service lasting nineteen days.  He re-enlisted in the 35th Texas Cavalry the following October.  He was soon detailed to his own factory as his services were more important there than anywhere.  The Dances did several small jobs for the Confederacy, but their first recorded arms work was in finishing and mounting two cannon. 

     John Henry had a much bigger vision; he intended to become the Sam Colt of Texas.  In the spring of 1862 the Dances offered Governor Lubbock their factory and services at very reasonable terms, including having them detailed to work in the factory.  As early as the beginning of July, 1862 the Dances had produced three or four pistols, which is remarkable when compared to the extensive time needed by other pistol manufacturers in the Confederacy to produce the first prototype.  Only two months later they are referenced by the Houston paper as producing pistols “superior to Colt’s best” and on the 2nd  of the following month the San Antonio Arsenal wrote a receipt for eleven six shot pistols.  Production continued to increase in the following months.  In February of 1863 the Dance Brothers donated a “very fine revolver” to a benefit to raise money for disabled Confederate Veterans.  This revolver is the only one known to be inlaid with a silver Texas Star.  In all, the Dance Brothers produced approximately 475 revolvers from start to finish.  The serial number is stamped into the cylinder, backstrap, leg, rammer, frame and trigger guard. 



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