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    Texas Early Pioneers

    Austin Texas Early Pioneers

    I have researched these two Belchers of Texas: Isham G. Belcher and John Belcher: Isham is listed as Isharry Belcher in the battle of San Jacinto: also a T. G. Belcher is listed in the tax poll's transcribers error could make this a J or I. Isham G Belcher is listed as marrying Mrs. B. Clark a widow in Washington County. J.G Belcher is listed in Washington county Poll as well. John Belcher in Austin Colony Pioneers is listed Isharry Belcher and John are listed on the roll in the Battle of San Jacinto in different areas. Below is Isom Belcher mentioned in 1840 Washington County. which this is most likely Isham. So Who are these Belchers?? Information I have on these two is below:

    Isham G. Belcher He must have settled in Washington County at a very early date. A marriage license was issued to Isham G. Belcher on November 13 1837 to marry Mrs. B. Clark, a widow in Washington County. Belcher Isham G. Clark B. Mrs. 1 1 Nov/13/1837 Belcher Washington County Clerk's office furnished photocopies from which this transcription was made. The complete original, handwritten index and the marriage records of this county are available in the Washington County Clerks Office, Brenham, TX 77880. Barsheba Clark of Washington County widow of David Clark son of James Clark John married her: Marriage 15 Nov 1837.

    The name of T.G. Belcher appears on the first tax list of Washington County for the year 1837 and this transcription of the letter I may have been a mistaken for T made by the tax assessor on the rolls or possibly a J. Either one could have been the case.He is listed in the list of Rear Guard at Harrisburgas Isharry G. Belcher one one roster and Isham on another.

    Source: Lists for the battle of San Jacinto are composites from Baker's Texas Scrapbook, Kemp and Kilman's The Battle of San Jacinto, Dixon and Kemp's The Heroes of San Jacinto, John Henry Brown's History of Texas and additions from various sources including family histories.

    John Belcher, who was in the battle of San Jacinto received a headright certificate for lands from the Washington County land board, also a donation certificate for his services in the battle. 1st Regiment Company H Infantry as a Private in the field at San Jacinto.

    San Jacinto, Battle of, the last battle of the Texan war of independence from Mexico fought April 21, 1836 near the site of present-day Houston, Texas
    -Kemp and Dixon's "Heroes of San Jacinto" page 222. He may ahve been related in some way to Isham G. Belcher.
    source:Early Texas Settlers 1700s-1800s Austin Colony Pioneers, Early Pioneers and Settlers of Washington County, Page 59
    Isham G. Belcher is also listed on page 250 as settling at Gay Hill near Hickory point, the Captain Horatio Chriesman neighborhood.
    Austin Colony Pioneers, San Felipe, Page 21 lists T G. Belcher as one of the first taxpayes of Washington County.Early Texas Settlers 1700s-1800s Republic of Texas:

    Poll Lists for 1846, Surnames, A-B,

    Page 12 Woody Belcher listed in Sabine County
    J.G. Belcher Washington County
    John Belcher Rusk County
    N. Edward Belcher Rusk County

    Austin Colony Pioneers original 300
    Isham G Belcher,

    Belchers in Early Texas

    Union Academy, one of Texas's earliest educational institutions, was incorporated by the Fourth Congress of the Republic of Texas on February 4, 1840. It was owned by a stock company and located three miles from Washington-on-the-Brazos. The original trustees and incorporators were
    James G. Swisher, Horatio Chriesman, Ephraim Roddy,qv William Lockridge, Jesse B. Atkinson, Stephen R. Roberts, Samuel P. Brown, Isom G. Belcher, and Adolphus Hope. BIBLIOGRAPHY: Truman Harrison Etheridge, Education in the Republic of Texas (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1942).

    Arthur A. Grusendorf, The Social and Philosophical Determinants of Education in Washington County, Texas, from 1835 to 1937 (Ph.D. dissertation, University of Texas, 1937

    BELCHER, EDWARD (1799-1877). Edward Belcher, a leader of the Colony of Kent the son of Andrew Belcher of Halifax, Nova Scotia, was born in 1799. He entered the Royal Navy in 1812 and was knighted in January 1843. The same year he published his Narrative of a Voyage around the World Performed in H.M.S. Sulphur during the Years 1836-1842. Sometime during the period between 1848 and 1852 Belcher was in Texas to make arrangements for the English settlers of the Colony of Kent.
    This included supervising the survey of the colony made by Maj. George B. Erath and Neil McLennan. Belcher became an admiral in the British navy on October 20, 1872, and died on March 18, 1877.
    Dictionary of National Biography. Dorothy Waties Renick, "The City of Kent," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 29 (July 1925).

    The Colony of Kent (City of Kent) was a short-lived mid-nineteenth-century British settlement on a horseshoe curve of the Brazos River, now known as Kimball's Bend, three miles north of Kopperl on Lake Whitney in what is now Bosque County. The colonists included people of the middle class such as shopkeepers, bank clerks, bakers, and tailors. Sir Edward Belcher was to be in charge of overseeing the settlement, and Lt. Charles Finch MacKenzie was to be an on-site leader in charge of government. In November 1850 Jacob De Cordovaqv accepted a downpayment from Belcher, who represented the company and the roughly 100 emigrants already moving inland, as well as a similar number soon to disembark in Galveston, for 27,000 acres of Brazos riverbottom belonging to Richard B. Kimball, De Cordova's partner. Belcher had preceded the first of numerous proposed groups in order to inspect 60,000 acres now in Coryell County belonging to James Reily, which company officials in London provisionally had purchased. De Cordova, Reily's agent as well, had guided Belcher to the Reily tract on Cow House Creek imagined by the vaguely communitarian colonists as "New Britain," but Belcher deemed it unsuitable. De Cordova then suggested the Kimball Bend lands, which Belcher and the emigrant leaders accepted after a survey by George B. Erath and Neil McLennan.As the first group of colonists moved inland from Galveston, cold, wet weather made travel difficult. Some became discouraged and turned back to go to Houston or New Orleans. The colonists, perhaps revealing diminished expectations after a very difficult month in Texas, selected an old name for the new site, "Kent." Kent was officially founded in January 1851 at the foot of a hill called Solomon's Nose. The townsite itself consisted of about forty acres. Belcher promptly returned to England, stopping briefly in New York City to finalize conditions of sale with Kimball. From London, Belcher foresaw Kent "at no very distant period" as the "chief city in Texas." The colonization project reflected not only pervasive English emigration impulses of mid-century but specifically two years of constant promotion by George Catlin,qv the preeminent American painter of Indians.The land reverted to Kimball and De Cordova, in accordance with the verbal agreement between Kimball and Belcher. The expectant capitalists failed for several reasons. Because Belcher had made no arrangements for living quarters or provisions, his middle-class would-be farmers were stranded without the necessary means for production. Most settlers lived in mud and straw huts or dugouts. Only the on-site leader, MacKenzie, lived in a log house. Water was obtained from a large spring near Solomon's Nose.
    BIBLIOGRAPHY: Thomas W. Cutrer, The English Texans (San Antonio: University of Texas Institute of Texan Cultures, 1985). Brian W. Dippie, Catlin and His Contemporaries: The Politics of Patronage (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1990). Dorothy Waties Renick, "The City of Kent," Southwestern Historical Quarterly 29 (July 1925). Richard H. Ribb, George Catlin's Crash: "Texas Gamblings" and the Loss of His Indian Gallery (M.A. thesis, University of Texas at Austin, 1992).

    BELCHERVILLE, TEXAS. Belcherville is at the intersection of U.S. Highway 82 and Farm Road 1816, fifteen miles northwest of Montague in northwestern Montague County. The settlement was first called Belcher, after John and Alexander Belcher, area ranchers and landowners, but was renamed Belcherville by 1858.
    The community, however, was nothing more than the headquarters of the Belcher Ranch until 1887, when, anticipating the extension through the area of the tracks of the Gainesville, Henrietta and Western Railway, the Belchers purchased 27,000 acres of land and plotted a townsite. A post office was opened that year.
    The rail connection, combined with the almost complete destruction by tornado of nearby Red River Station in 1890, contributed to Belcherville's growth and development as an area cattle and cotton shipping point.
    By 1893 it had been incorporated, and more than twenty businesses operated there.
    By 1900 Belcherville had 305 residents, thirty businesses, and two schools.During the twentieth century the community declined, and residents voted to repeal the act of incorporation in 1908. Just after World War I qv two fires destroyed much of the local business district, and many merchants apparently moved to nearby Nocona.
    Belcherville had a population of 192 in the mid-1920s and eighty-five in the mid-1930s, when five businesses were in operation there. The post office closed sometime after 1930. Belcherville's population subsequently fluctuated, rising to ninety-four by the mid-1940s, declining to thirty-one by the mid-1950s, and rising to ninety by the late 1960s, when no businesses were reported. The community may have incorporated again in the first half of the twentieth century, since it was reported to be the smallest incorporated town in the United States in 1958.
    From the 1960s to 1990 Belcherville reported a population of thirty-four.
    T. Lindsay Baker, Ghost Towns of Texas (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1986). Bowie News, July 24, 1958. John Clements, Flying the Colors: Texas, a Comprehensive Look at Texas Today, County by County (Dallas: Clements Research, 1984). Guy Renfro Donnell, The History of Montague County, Texas (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1940). Jeff S. Henderson, ed., One Hundred Years in Montague County, Texas (St. Jo, Texas: Ipta Printer, 1978).

    San Antonio Academy, a private preparatory school for boys, was opened in San Antonio by Dr. William Belcher Seeley in September 1886.
    The academy, first located on East Houston Street, had an enrollment of seventy-two students at the end of the first year. In April 1888 the school was moved to North Flores Street, facing San Pedro Park. A charter was granted in 1891. The academy was said to be the first private school in the state to be given full affiliation by the University of Texas.
    In 1893 the school was opened to girls. In 1926 it merged with West Texas Military Academy, and the upper school, giving college preparatory work, was called Texas Military Institute, while the lower school in 1950 operated as the San Antonio Academy. The academy severed its relationship with the Texas Military Institute and became a nonprofit organization in 1954. In 1967 the school moved to East French Place to what was formerly St. Mary's Hall. In 1995 the academy offered prekindergarten through eighth grade to 300 students. The principal was John Webster.
    BIBLIOGRAPHY: Isaac Joslin Cox, William Belcher Seeley (San Antonio: Naylor Company, 1948). Leah Carter Johnston, San Antonio: St. Anthony's Town (San Antonio: Librarians Council, 1947).

    ASHMORE, TEXAS.Ashmore is at the junction of Farm Road 403 and State Highway 83, sixteen miles east of Seagraves in northeastern Gaines County. It developed as a community after 1913 and was named for the man who purchased J. H. Belcher's store and post office.
    Coleman L. Henson surveyed the townsite in 1939. A local school was established in 1923, although one had existed at several nearby locations since 1913. It was consolidated with the Loop school in 1937, and the post office closed in 1948. The population in 1980 and 1990 was twenty-five.
    BIBLIOGRAPHY: Gaines County Historical Survey Committee, The Gaines County Story, ed. Margaret Coward (Seagraves, Texas: Pioneer, 1974).

    Synodical College, in Gainesville, served Cooke County students from 1890 to the spring of 1894. Kate Pryor oversaw the first classes, which were held in the fall of 1890 at the town's opera house. Soon thereafter, the thirty enrolled students moved to the college's new location, the former home of cattleman J. H. Belcher.

    Pidcoke is on U.S. Highway 84 West and Farm Road 116, just south of Cowhouse Creek and fifteen miles from Gatesville in southwestern Coryell County. Its name is derived from that of the Rev. Richard Burton Pidcocke family from England, who immigrated in 1850 with a group of colonists to found a city in Central Texas. W. H. Belcher donated land and money for the first school and community church building. Pidcoke became a bustling little town with several businesses and two churches.
    BIBLIOGRAPHY: Coryell County Genealogical Society, Coryell County, Texas, Families, 1854-1985 (Dallas: Taylor, 1986).

    In the Guadalupe Mountains are the four highest peaks in TexasAmong them were J. T. and Nella Mae Smith at Frijole and Walter and Bertha Glover at Pine Springs.
    Around 1908Robert Belcher built a two-mile-long aqueduct down Bone Canyon. It fed a tank that became the only permanent source of water within fifty miles. But the two men who were to have the most profound influence on the Guadalupe Mountains were J. C. Hunter, Jr., whose father was the leading rancher in the area by the 1920s, and petroleum geologist Wallace E. Pratt, who built a stone house at McKittrick Canyon in 1930.

    Researched by: Gayl Ramey Wells (,
    and Greg Belcher ( November 2001