Inventory of the county archives of Texas : De Witt County, no. 62

9Historical
'ketch (First entry, p. 25)
doomed. The corner of his land nearest the geographical center of the
county was at least 7 miles from that point. 'R. H. Chisholm, owner of
the most important ferry in the new county, naturally wanted to have the
county seat near his ferry. Four men persuaded him to donate 600 acres
to them, in return for which they promised to secure the location of the
county seat near the ferry. They were to lay out the town of Clinton on
the donated land. However, when the appointed committee came along the
river inspecting proposed sites, the four men refused to donate or sell
a courthouse site to the county; and Chisholm, believing the promises already
made him, also refused to donate. The committee then crossed the
river and continued upstream to a point 3 miles above Chisholm's ferry,
and chose a site. The landowner at this point, probably a Mr. Blair,
granted a 50-acre tract to the county for a courthouse site.30 This decision
of the committee precipitated a contest for the location of the
county seat which continued with little rest until late in 1850, and
caused the records to be moved back and forth across the river at least
four times.31
The county was organized and its first corps of officers elected on
July 13, 1846. At the first meeting of the commissioners court early in
August, held in the home of D. B. Friar, the following officers were
present: J. M. Baker, probate judge; John Troy, county judge; James N.
Smith, county clerk; Joseph L. Baker, district clerk; and .V.V Poinsett,
John York, and Crockett Cardwell, commissioners. A few days later, on
August 11, K. W. Barton was installed as the fourth commissioner, and
William P. Patterson as sheriff.32
The commissioners declared that the home of D. B. Friar should continue
to be the county seat until proper buildings could be constructed
at the official county seat. This "official county seat" the commissioners
noticed as follows:
The Court after due deliberation, believing it to be their
duty to give a name to the county seat, and after reflecting
upon the great services, rendered to this state while
it existed as "the Republic of Texas" by the much beloved
and lamented, Ewing Ca:ameron who was basely and inhumanely
murdered by the barbarous and treacherous Mexican and the
Court believing that a more noble patriotic and brave spirit
never commanded a band of soldiers. They therefore wishing
to perpetuate his memory to future ages, do hereby agree to
call the County seat of DeWitt County by the name of Cameron.33
30. Jamos Norman Smith, IV, 27-34. Probably Blair, because '7illiam A.
Blair asked for the return of land donated by his father, James
Blair, on the site of Cameron. See De Witt County, Commissioners
Court Minutes (soc entry no. 1, infra), A, 114, hereafter cited as
Corn. Ct. Min.
31. James Norman Smith, IV, 34; and see pp. 17, 18, infra.
32, Com,. Ct. Ml{in., A, 1-6.
33. Ibid., 27. Even Cameron, a Mier prisoner, drew a white bean, but
was executed because of personal enmity of his guards.

Historical Records Survey. Texas. Inventory of the county archives of Texas : De Witt County, no. 62. San Antonio, Tex.. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth25252/. Accessed July 10, 2014.