Smith, Henry (1788–1851)Henry Smith, known as the first American governor of Texas, tenth and last child of James and Magdalen (Woods) Smith, was born in Kentucky on May 20, 1788.
He was married three times and was the father of nine children. The wives were sisters, Harriet, Elizabeth, and Sarah Gillett. Smith came to Texas in 1827 and settled in what is now Brazoria County.
History in a Pecan ShellPart of the original Stephen F. Austin land grant, Brazoria was platted in 1828 by John Austin. It was deserted in what is called the Runaway Scrape as the Mexican army advanced from their victory at the Alamo.
A school opened as early as 1838 but it wasn't granted a post office for eight more years. The town had a respectable population of 800 by the mid 1880s.
Brazoria Community LibraryThe Brazoria Study Club was instrumental in opening the library which was originally located in the building that is now the Brazoria City Hall. In 1974, the members of the Brazoria Study Club began raising funds to build the Brazoria Community Library. The building was dedicated and the library opened three year later in 1977.
HISTORY OF BRAZORIA
The City of Brazoria was first established in 1828 when John Austin laid out the town on land granted by Stephen F. Austin. Austin chose the name "for the single reason that I know of none like it in the world." Today Brazoria sits between 2 rivers, the Brazos and the San Bernard, located 8 miles southwest of Angleton and 8.4 miles west of Lake Jackson, Texas along State Highway 36 and FM 521.
The first reported Masonic lodge in Texas established when six Masons met in March 1935 under a giant oak tree in town, today the tree is fondly referred to as the Masonic Oak or even by some the Hanging Tree. Brazoria was nearly deserted in 1836 during the Runaway Scrape when Santa Anna and the Mexican army charged thru unopposed from San Antonio to the coast. By April 1938 H.M.Shaw would establish a community school house followed by the first post office in 1846. In 1890 Brazoria boasted a population of 900 residents and became the first County Seat of Brazoria County. This "stirring village" would support several steam cotton gins, grist and sugar mills, 12 general stores, 3 hotels, 5 churches and "excellent schools". In 1892 the Velasco World, a weekly newspaper was established here and by 1914 the Banner would follow.
Brazoria began to see a decline with the bypassing of the railroad which caused in 1897 the nearby town of Angleton to become the next county seat. Then with the discovery of oil and sulfur in a nearby field in 1939 and the building of a traffic bridge helped to revive Brazoria. It's population grew to 1,291 by 1962 and 3,025 by 1987 with about 50 businesses in town. Today Brazoria's population is 3,019.
For more information on Brazoria's History visit the Brazoria Heritage Foundation Museum page.