Six-Shooter Junction - 1

The Clouds came to the American Colonies in 1682 to escape religious persecution, settling in Delaware and Pennsylania; started farms and businesses and began migrating South and West into Virginia, then the Carolinas and Georgia. The end of The Creek Indian War opened land for settlement in Alabama in 1814 and they moved there in 1816, settling in Montgomery County at Mt. Meigs. In 1837, ever watchful for new opportunities to obtain farm land, they moved to the new Republic of Texas and settled in Austin's Colony where they received free land from the new Republic.

The hardships they endured toughened them. They fought the weather, crop failures, disease, Indians and occasionally each other. Everyday they fed the cattle, milked the cows, slopped the hogs and collected the hens' eggs. In the spring they plowed the ground, planted the seed and prayed for rain. Harvest meant staying home from school to get the crop in before it was damaged or spoiled. Wood had to be gathered for cooking and heating and the produce had to be canned and stored in the cellar for winter food.

Texas was a vast frontier, with herds of buffalo and wild mustangs and native Indian tribes. The first land granted to settlers was Austin's Colony in 1820, situated on both sides of the Brazos river, the largest river in the territory, extending to the Gulf of Mexico and affording limited boat shipping. 1 There were originally 300 settlers, 2 but by 1826, there were 1,130 free settlers and 670 either enslaved or indentured. It was a fairly young group, with most adults under 40 and 72% of the 758 free single people under 16 years old. The census listed everyone as either farmers or stock raisers, as that was a requiremnt to be awarded land, including those who identified as having professions e.g. blacksmith, surveyor carpenter, etc. Corn, cotton and beans. They said they owned 3,500 head of cattle, 4,500 pigs and 1,000 horses. 3

Life in the Texas colonies was hard. Early settlers lived in crude log cabins without any floors or windows. Frightened families huddled together in small villages in hopes of fending off American Indian attacks. Swarms of mosquitoes pestered people along the hot and humid Gulf Coast, spreading deadly diseases. Alligators prowled at night, eating dogs and—on rare occasions—even people. Despite the discomfort caused by such harsh conditions, many settlers stayed, and even more kept coming.

Brookeland ISD 7th grade Texas History:

Known for their height, the Karankawas were hunter-gatherers who lived from the area near present-day Galveston south to Corpus Christi Bay.

Most Texans were farmers and ranchers. Some farms were large plantations, but most were small family farms. Small-scale farmers generally owned few or no slaves; they did most farm tasks on their own. Such tasks included clearing acres of land to build homes, planting crops, and creating pastures for animals. Texas farmers mostly grew food for their own needs, although they sometimes also produced a small cash crop — such as corn, cotton, wheat, rye, or oats — to sell for a profit.

Most towns and cities were small and were home to blacksmiths, carpenters, tailors, and other artisans. Doctors, shopkeepers, silversmiths, cabinetmakers, and bankers operated in the largest towns.

Travel during the Republic was difficult. Only a few roads connected towns in various parts of Texas. The government tried to build new roads but had limited success. Texas roads remained poor, particularly in bad weather. Travel by horseback or stagecoach was often uncomfortable and dangerous. One traveler described the road conditions. "I was obliged in the worst places to relieve the mule by getting off and leading for a mile at a time, with water to my knees and sometimes to my britches pockets."

The population of Texas grew quickly during the 1820s and 1830s. In 1820 the region had been home to only about 3,000 Tejanos. By 1834 that number had grown to about 24,000 Tejanos and new arrivals. Some of the new arrivals to the state had come from Europe or from other parts of Mexico. However, most of the settlers flooding into Texas were farmers from the southern United States. Texas was also home to thousands of American Indians, some of them immigrants from the United States, who remained independent and were not counted in the population.

The promise of cheap land and easy payment terms drew some immigrants. Others were simply looking for reasons to leave the United States. Many immigrants were escaping debts resulting from an economic crisis that hit the country in 1819. They hoped to make a fresh start in Texas, where American creditors had no authority to collect debts. For example, both Stephen F. Austin and Jared Groce had left behind large debts when they moved to Texas. Authorities from the United States could not follow criminals into Texas either. As a result, a number of drifters and outlaws began entering the region.

In 1844, under the pen name Junius, were published the "Junius Tracts". 4 5 A common nome de plume and the first name of J.P. Morgan.

Transportation was a major problem facing early settlers in Texas. As late as 1850 the settled area of the state was largely confined to the river bottoms of East and South Texas and along the Gulf Coast. Although steamboat navigation was common on the lower stretches of a number of such rivers as the Rio Grande, Brazos, and Trinity, Texas rivers were not deep enough for dependable year-round transportation. Roads were either poor or nonexistent and virtually impassable during wet weather. 6 The Houston and Texas Central was extended to Hempstead on June 29, 1858, and the town became a distribution center between the Texas interior and the Gulf Coast. Hempstead incorporated on November 10, 1858, and its importance as a transportation center increased with construction of the Washington County Railroad from Hempstead to Brenham. A post office was established in 1857. During the Civil War the town served as a Confederate supply and manufacturing center. Hempstead was the site of a Confederate military hospital; three Confederate camps were located in its vicinity. Despite occupation of the town by federal troops during Reconstruction and recurring yellow fever epidemics, Hempstead prospered after the Civil War. Availability of transportation facilities and the surrounding area's large cotton production facilitated growth of textile manufacturing and cotton processing industries. Merchandising and processing grew rapidly between 1867 and the 1880s. The town prospered as a transportation center and became Waller county seat in May 1873. Hempstead's commercial, manufacturing, and processing sectors suffered large financial losses from fires between 1872 and 1876. Production of the town's cottonseed oil mill rose to a $90,000 gross value, second highest in the state, by 1880. Lack of banking facilities slowed the retail sector in the 1890s. In 1904 the population was 1,849. In 1906 the Citizen's State Bank was chartered. 7

the McDades reached Mt. Meigs with a great deal of money and bought thousands of acres of land, built good homes and opened the first store in the community - YA p. 150

According to Robertson's History, "Early Settlers of Montgomery County" published in 1892; "The McDade brothers, four in number, moved to Alabama from Georgia and settled at Mt. Meigs, which was at that time the center of the social and political life of the county. The Mc Dades were regarded as among the best citizens of the county, in easy circumstances and William, the owner of the prettiest home in Mt. Meigs. The store, Mc Dade and Bynum, which was probably the first store in the settlement, was owned by one of the brothers. YA p. 154

Charles McDade amassed a large fortune in this new territory, owned thousands of acres of land and many slaves, but they were all swept away by the Civil War. The son of James Arnold McDade, His great grandfather, Wm McDade emigrated from Scotland to Virginia in 1818 (listed as William Muckdade) - U.S. and Canada, Passenger and Immigration Lists Index, 1500s-1900s

Search : "hempstead murder" words separatec by <= 6

1820 - Spain opens up Coahuila-Texas (New Spain) to settlers. 1821, New Spain / Mexico won its independence from Spain nulifying previous contracts for land. Moses Austin died, being replaced by his son, Stephen Fuller Austin, who took over renegiating contracts and recruiting settlers.

In 1821 Jared Groce moved from Alabama with 100 slaves and established Bernardo Plantation, four miles from the site of present Hempstead. He grew perhaps the first crop of cotton in Texas in 1822, and in 1825 he constructed the first cotton gin in Texas.

1836-37 the Cloud and McDade families arrived in Texas shortly after Texas gained its indendence from Mexico.

1837, Oct. 4 Hurricane roars up Gulf coast from Brownsville to Galveston wrecking boats and homes.

1855 H.G.W. Cloud elected assessor of Austin County. 8 9 He was 45 at the time, and had been blind since he was 21.

Dec. 29, 1856 Hempstead, Austin county founded by Richard Peebles and James Wilkins McDade, east of the Brazos river, 25 miles NW of Houston. This was important because ??? (why?) ??? allowing access to Houston and Galveston without having to cross the river ???. 10

In its beginnings, Hempstead was an industrious new town from an economic standpoint. The railroads assured the town of being a great shipping point for the cotton produced in the large and productive plantation area. Within a year of the foundation of Hempstead, plantations in the area thereabouts were being bought for cash at prices ranging from $30,000 to $80,000. In the town itself by 1859, there were no less than three hotels: Captain Snell's; Fulton and Lester's "Planter's Exchange"; and Mrs. Crawford's "Texas House." A newspaper, the Hempstead Courier, had been founded, and a book store had been opened. A public market place was being built. A pottery was opened by a Mr. Knox, who had discovered an "enormous bed of pure white clay, suitable for manufacturing white crockery." It was later remarked of his products that "the glazing on this ware is superior to any we have seen."

1858 - June 29 - the Houston and Texas Central was extended to Hempstead and it became a distribution center between the Texas interior and the Gulf Coast. Later that year its importance as a transportation center increased with construction of the Washington County Railroad from Hempstead to Brenham. 11

1858-1860 - Andrew Jackson "A.J." Cloud, Jeremiah Cloud's son, believed to have been ambushed and killed by a nephew.

1861, March - Texas seceded from the Union and joined the Civil War - attempted a peaceful secession. Governor Sam Houston refused to recognize the secession convention, removed from office and replaced by Edward Clark. 12 13

1862 Martial law declared. February 1863 Jas. Wilkins McDade appointed Provost Marshal of Austin county. 14

December, 1863 Capt. J.W. McDade, commanding Austin county Minute Men, calls on Minute Men and residents of Austin county to join the march to Indianola of Dec. 3, 1863. (There was an expedition to Indianola and Lavaca - Cavallo Pass - to resist Gen. Magruder who had blockaded the port and ordered destruction of rail line of S.A. & M.G. Railroad.) 15

June 14, 1860 census, Hempstead, Austin Cty, HH-2; B.B. Lee enumerated in between households of H.G.W. Cloud & L.W. Groce; B.B. Lee 40 KY, wife A.M. Lee 37 KY, dau Laura 1; real estate $9,000, personal value $12,000
Burwell B. Lee (1818-1868)
in 1850 a B. B. Lee is in Brazoria, 25 y/o, overseer

August 16, 1867 - Yellow Fever epidemic begins. It lasted through mid-November. 16

Dec. 26, 1867 - Party at B. B. Lee's home for Hempstead. 17

April 22, 1868 - B. B. Lee was shot and killed by Joseph Farr, in the saloon kept by G. H. Wheeler. Lee was shot four times. He was 49 years old and left a widowed wife. 18

April 1873, Waller county founded on the east side of the Brazos river, splitting Austin county at the Brazos River. 19

Jan. 1884 plat for Waller, Waller cty, TX filed. Only person living there at the time was Nap Farr, rancher with 500 head of cattle. 20



  1. Austin's Colony Wallace L. McKeehan aka Don Guillermo Sons of DeWitt Colony Texas
  2. Old Three Hundred Christopher Long, Handbook of Texas Online.
  3. Exploring San Felipe: The 1826 Census of Austin’s Colony. Texas General Land Office
  4. The Public lands. by Junius no. VIII. - & > Annexation of Texas. by Junius no. IX. University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History
  5. Postmaster Instructed Concerning The Junius Circulars. Galveston Daily News, (Galveston, TX), Wednesday, August 1, 1888, Vol. 47, No. 98, Ed. 1, p. 5, col. 2. University Of North Texas Libraries, The Portal To Texas History transcription
  6. Railroads George C. Werner Handbook of Texas Online
  7. Hempstead, Texas Carole E. Christian, Handbook of Texas Online.
  8. H. G. W. Cloud, Assessor Austin County. State Gazette, (Austin, TX), Vol. 7, No. 13, Ed. 1, Saturday, November 17, 1855, p. 4, col 5. University Of North Texas Libraries, The Portal To Texas History transcription
  9. H. G. W. Cloud Candidate For Assessor & Collector. The Bellville Countryman, (Bellville, TX), Saturday, July 12, 1862, p. 3, col. 4. University Of North Texas Libraries, The Portal To Texas History transcription
  10. Hempstead, Texas Carole E. Christian, zibid Handbook of Texas Online.
  11. Hempstead, Texas Carole E. Christian, zibid Handbook of Texas Online.
  12. Civil War Ralph A. Wooster, rev. Brett J. Derbes, Handbook of Texas Online
  13. Civil War and Reconstruction.
  14. Martial Law - Austin County. The Texas Countryman, (Bellville, Tex.), Vol. 3, No. 29, Ed. 1 Saturday, February 21, 1863, p. 2, col. 3. University Of North Texas Libraries, The Portal To Texas History transcription
  15. Attention Minute Men The Bellville Countryman, (Bellville, TX), Saturday, December 5, 1863, p. 2, col. 2. University Of North Texas Libraries, The Portal To Texas History transcription
  16. Yellow Fever In Hempstead. The Texas Countryman, (Hempstead, TX), Wednesday, January 15, 1868, Vol. 7, No. 35, Ed. 1, p. 2, col. 3. University Of North Texas Libraries, The Portal To Texas History transcription
  17. Party At B. B. Lee's The Texas Countryman, (Hempstead, TX), Saturday, January 4, 1868, Vol. 7, No. 34, Ed. 1, p. 3, col. 2. University Of North Texas Libraries, The Portal To Texas History transcription
  18. Mr. B. B. Lee Was Shot And Killed By Mr. Joseph Farr Galveston Daily News, Saturday, May 2, 1868, p. 1, transcription
  19. Waller County, TX Christian, Carole E. & Leffler, John, Handbook of Texas Online
  20. Waller, TX Spencer, Diane E. , Handbook of Texas Online

Newspaper articles may be read at Timeline of News Reports.