Documents & Notes

1860 Maverick County

November 19, 2008

Eagle Pass was an interesting town in the 1860s!  This partial census listing shows wealthy merchants and settlers from all over the world, gathered in this little Texas town on the Rio Grande River.  Most certainly these merchants were engaged in trade with Mexico.

Fort Duncan is included in this census, with solders hailing from Ireland, as well as many states in the Union.  With them is listed quite a few households of single women with the occupation of laundress — and several small children.

Note HH 173-174 are listed as belonging to Ludowic Colquhoun (with no other information listed about him or his family).  He is well known to the census enumerator, Lorenzo Castro, so information was likely entered about his dwelling even though he may not have been present at the time.  It’s Colquhoun who was contacted by fellow Mason, Rev. Henderson S. Lafferty, to offer aid to old Lorenzo and family after the August 1860 Indian attack.

(See also Castro’s census certification statement notes below census.)


Name Occupation Real Estate Personal Birth
Eagle Pass


P. Ryan Merchant 8000 1500 Ireland


Fred Groos Merchant 2500 4000 Nassau


Charles Wistof Porter Denmark


Geo. Hermann Merchant 2500 4000 Switzerland


B. Steinbock Merchant 1800 4000 Prussia

Geo. Brulay Clerk France


J.M.Woods Sadler Indiana

John Crawford Merchant 3000 Kentucky


Wm Stone Merchant 7000 Louisiana


J.F. Brossig Clerk Prussia


B.M. Sevier Revenue Officer 800 1200 Tennessee


Ed Stevens Merchant 1000 Great Brittan


Mary Pondelet France


Alex Oswalt Public Weigher 2000 1000 Baden


W.S. Beall Physician Arkansas


A. Duclos Merchant 1600 6000 France


Joseph Rosaco Musician Sardenia


Jane Weatherspoon 1000 500 Virginia


Henry Brunn Carpenter Hamburgh


Lisa Bell/mulatto washwoman 500 3500 Texas


Louis Bell + family Texas


Griff Jones Merchant 1000 2000 Ohio


Ludowic Colquhoun


(bracketed as belonging to Colquhoun also)


Daniel Bell/mulatto Carpenter North Carolina


Starts listing of Fort Duncan


Jesse Sumpter
with Mexican wife/family
Farmer Indiana


Antonio Sierra Carpenter


Longoria Hernandez Herder


Roman Mendiola Herder

Starts listing of “Not Stated” – pages 19 and 20


Juan Galvan Laborer Mexico

Luciano Molina Mustang hunter

Rufino Rodriguez Mustang hunter



Wm. Donovan Farmer Ireland


Juana Flores


Robert Porter
with Mexican wife/family
Farmer New York


Jesus Salinas Cartman


D. Jackson Farmer


Sylvester Gonzales Herder


Robert Schneider
with Mexican wife/family
Cook New York


W-Thomas Farmer + M.C. 2000 Texas

Antonio Herder

Juan Herder


John Aiklin Farmer


Unoccupied (J. Wilson)

deserted settlement
on the Pendencia
on acct of Indians


Unoccupied (Geo. Stark)


Unoccupied (J. Bell)


Unoccupied (D. Lafferty)


Jack Ellis Farmer 2500 Missouri

Sam R. Miller Gardiner Missouri


Unoccupied (D. Tucker)

The Not Stated part of the Maverick County census is only two pages, marked 19 and 20, and enumerated on August 9, 1860.  The entire Maverick County census is enumerated by the same person, Lorenzo Castro.  It is contained in three sections:  Eagle Pass, Fort Duncan and Not Stated.  Household numbers begin sequentially in Eagle Pass and end in the Not Stated section.  Page 18 is the last page of Fort Duncan, but it includes an additional list of [all Hispanic] names after the Fort Duncan section is completed and certified.

Following is Castro’s cerfication statement for the Not Stated section:

“I do hereby certify that pages No. 18 to 20 inclusive of Schedule No. One which [unreadable] the population in the county of Maverick (Eagle Pass and Fort Duncan excluded) to be twenty seven inhabitants, twenty one buildings or dwellings, and fifteen families was made by me according to my oath, instructions and to the best of my knowledge and belief.
Lorenzo Carter”

Uvalde County – 1878

November 14, 2008

“Rio Bravo ” is the old Spanish name of this county, which is situated in Southwestern Texas, just east of the line of the 23d degree of longitude west from Washington, and between the 29th and 30th parallels of north latitude. It contains an area of 1,300 square miles, and a population of about 3,000, composed of Americans and Mexicans.

The Frio, Leona and Nueces rivers run diagonally through the county, and take in mountain springs. With other small streams these rivers furnish the water supply. The valley lands are rich, and under a
system of irrigation very productive. South and west of the mountain range
there is considerable timber, in sufficient quantities for domestic purposes. In
that section of the county about 2,000 acres of the valley lands of the Frio and
Leona rivers have come under cultivation, producing corn, cane, wheat, oats, and
vegetables in great variety.

About 20 miles northwest from Uvalde an irrigating ditch is being cut, leading from the Nueces river, which will bring under successful and profitable cultivation from fifteen to twenty thousand acres of valuable lands. The chief industries of the county are stock raising, and farming which needs irrigation to be successful.

A large New York company has been formed for the purpose of cutting a canal from the Nueces river, some ten miles west from Uvalde, which when completed will furnish water for over 20,000 acres of fertile soil. The town of Uvalde is situated in the southern central portion of the
county, and has a thriving population of about 700. It is upon the banks and
near the head of the beautiful Leona river, surrounded by a growth of elm, oak,
hackberry and pecan, and therefore in the midst of a charming forest park.

The surface of the county is considerably broken, the climate is dry and delightful,
the rain-fall moderate, and the temperature averages about 69 degrees. Upon the
construction of a railroad through this county west from San Antonio it will offer
large inducements to settlers. The town of Uvalde is west from San Antonio
90 miles. Mr. N. L. Stratton is the district clerk.

Source:  Southern and Western Texas Guide for 1878/ James L. Rock, W.I. Smith
accessed online in GoogleBooks

Troubled Times

November 13, 2008

A letter Goliad resident E.R. Land had written to the [Texas] governor on October 22, 1876, summed up the situation and the feeling of many:

“Through the inefficiency of our Sheriff, our town and county had become a rendezvous of escaped convicts, cut throats, outlaws, and murderers riding through our streets at night shooting through business houses and private dwellings, imperiling the lives of our women and children.  Human life had become frightfully cheap and this terrible realization had settled down ont he hearts of our people, completely terrorizing and stypefying them and rendering them as passively submissive as sheep driven to the shambles for slaughter … Lt. Hall had come, an entire stranger had taken in the situation at a glance and applied the remedy which caused the bad men to flee to parts unknown.”

Source:  The Texas Rangers, Volume 1, Wearing the Cinco Peso, 1821-1900

Heard, Uvalde County, TX

November 9, 2008

Heard is on Farm Road 1051 and the Dry Frio River, two miles north of Reagan Wells in north central Uvalde County. It was probably named after Augustin Heard, an early settler in the area. The community established a post office at Heard’s ranch in 1876; Gus Heard’s son, W. D., served as postmaster from 1876 until 1891, when the family moved to Sabinal. The population of the Heard community was eighty-five in 1890, when **J. H. Lafferty was constable** and D. H. Tucker, justice of the peace.

In 1897 a post office called Bowles was established on the T. D. Heard ranch, at the edge of the Heard community, with Mrs. Heard as postmaster. In 1900 thirty-six students attended the one-teacher Heard school. The school building was used for many years, beginning in 1915, by the Dry Frio Baptist Church, formerly called Exile Baptist Church. Mrs. R. H. Pickens, a member of the Dry Frio Baptist Church, in 1917 began a fund-raising effort to build a permanent church; only in 1962 was the fund large enough to construct a new church between Heard and Reagan Wells.

In 1946 Heard was a sparsely settled community with a cemetery and a school called the Reagan Wells School. By 1945 the schoolhouse was owned by the Reagan Wells Cemetery Association and was being used as a community center. In 1971 Heard had a few scattered dwellings near the cemetery and the Heard Community Center. The community center was still in use in 1990; within it was displayed a service roll of Civil Warqv veterans.

BIBLIOGRAPHY: A Proud Heritage: A History of Uvalde County (Uvalde, Texas: El Progreso Club, 1975).

Source:  The Handbook of Texas (accessed online)