262 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
HISTORY OF FANNIN COUNTY, TEXAS, 1836-1843*
REX WALLACE STRICKLAND
I. THE FORERUNNERS
The history of Fannin County may be said to begin with the
arrival within its subsequent area of Dr. Daniel Rowlett and a
party of six associated families during the latter part of March,
1836. Prior to that date hunters and trappers had traversed at
infrequent intervals the portion of Red River County lying west
of Bois D'Arc Creek, which later became Fannin County, and
probably one or more persons had lived temporarily in the section.
Rowlett, in later years, recalled the names of four men who were
in the country at the time of his arrival.1 Of two, Johnston and
Jay, nothing definite can be determined ;2 of the other two it may
be concluded that the men whom Rowlett called Quillan and West-
brook were Charles Quillan, who received First Class Land Cer-
tificate No. 30, in which he gave as his date of entry into the Re-
public of Texas, the month of December, 1834,3 and Stephen West-
brook, who resided at Warren in 1840.4
The first pioneers in Fannin County did not enter a section of
the frontier that was entirely unoccupied, although that portion
west of Bois D'Arc Creek was practically so. In 1836 there were
living within what is now the northwestern part of Lamar County
two families, those of John Emberson and Carter P. Clifft. Em-
berson, a Tennesseean, with three or four companions, had spent
the winter and spring of 1815-16 hunting and trapping on Ember-
*Presented to the Faculty of the Graduate School of Southern Methodist
University in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the degree of
Master of Arts.
1"Information from Dr. Rowlett on Red River," The Lamar Papers,
2It is possible that the Jay mentioned was George or Jefferson Ivy.
George Ivy came to Texas prior to the Declaration of Independence, and
Jefferson Ivy, who received First Class Land Certificate No. 75, assigned
as his date of entry, February, 1835. In transcribing the Rowlett notes
the word Ivy could easily have been changed to Jay.
'Record of the Board of Land Commissioners for Fannin County, 12. In
all cases the county documents cited were found in the archives of Fannin
County at Bonham. Happily these documents were saved from the fire
that recently destroyed the courthouse of Fannin County.
'Deed Records of Fannin County, Book A, 54.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 33, July 1929 - April, 1930. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101090/. Accessed June 30, 2015.