THE SOUTHWESTERN HISTORICAL QUARTERLY
VOL. LXIX OCTOBER, 1965 No. 2
1/olland Coffee of ed River
AUDY J. AND GLENNA MIDDLEBROOKS
A TIME APPROACHED FOR THE MEETING OF THE SECOND
Congress of the Republic of Texas, Dr. Daniel Rowlett,
a representative from Red River County, set out for the
capital at Houston with a petition in his saddle bags. That instru-
ment stated that the signers, most of whom lived between Bois
D'Arc Creek and Coffee's Station, were asking for the privilege
of forming a new county.
Soon after the opening of the session Dr. Rowlett and his fellow
representatives from Red River County, Edward H. Tarrant and
Collin McKinney, were named to a special committee to consider
the request of the petitioners. It is no surprise that the committee
reported favorably. That congress concurred is shown by the fact
that the only debate stirred by the bill, read first on October 31,
1837, was over a name for the new county. The sponsors sub-
mitted the name Independence; Patrick C. Jack of Brazoria re-
quested that their choice be struck from the measure and that
the name Fannin, in honor of James Walker Fannin, be used
instead. Over Dr. Rowlett's protest Jack's motion carried on the
third reading, and the proposed political unit, with President
Houston's endorsement, became a reality on December 14, 1837.
As its first representative the sparse population of Fannin Coun-
ty elected Holland Coffee, a merchant who, with Tennessean
Silas Colville, operated a trading post on Red River approxi-
mately eleven miles northwest of present day Denison, Texas.'
Detractors and romanticists of recent years have used strongly
contrasting colors in depicting the early Texas entrepreneur, and
apparently both groups have some justification.
'Rex W. Strickland, "History of Fannin County, Texas, 1836-1843," Southwestern
Historical Quarterly, XXXIII, 273, 274, 298.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 69, July 1965 - April, 1966. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117144/. Accessed February 28, 2015.