History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families

868 HISTORY OF TEXAS.

plished in a manner common in those days,
being made from Nashville to New Orleans
on a flat-boat and thence to the mouth of the
Brazos river, in a schooner. called the Exert.
April 1, 1834, this vessel was wrecked at the
month of the Brazos, but fortunately no lives
were lost.
Pascal B. Hamblen made his first settlement
at the mouth of Chocolate bayou, in
Brazoria county, but the same year moved to
Oyster creek, fifty miles further toward the
interior. He remained at the latter place until
March 3, 1836, when on the approach of
the Mexicans under Santa Anna he took his
family for greater safety to Opelousas, Louisiana,
where they remained until October,
when they returned to the settlement in
Brazoria county. In 1837 he moved to
Harris county, where he died in 1844, of yellow
fever, in the fifty-ninth year of his age.
The mother, moving to Milam county in 1851,
made this county her home until her death,
in December, 1878, being then in her eightythird
year. Of their ten children only four
arrived at maturity: William K., now a resident
of Bell county; John W., the subject of
this sketch; Claiborne A., who died in 1870,
at Austin; and Sarah, who was the first wife
of Shiloh Glasscock, and secondlyof William
Barge, being now deceased.
John W. Hamblen was just turning into
his fourteenth year when his parents came to
Texas. One of his earliest and most vivid
recollections of Texas was the scarce and
flight of the settlers that preceded the march
of Santa Anna in the spring of 1836,-the
pell-mell retreat known as the "Run-awayScrape."
That forced flight brought its hardships
and sorrows to the Hamblen household.
Only two days before the retreat began the
mother gave birth to a child, and j' this
critical condition she with the infant was

loaded into a wagon and the journey undertaken
amid the general fright and confusion.
Then, on the return in the fall, one son and
two daughters were buried, and another son
the following year.
After the death of his father in 1844, John
W. Hamblen and his elder brother, William
K., assumed control of affairs at home, and
four years later, in 1848, came to Milam
county, purchasing land on the San Gabriel
river, where they settled. At that date the
western part of Milam county was very
sparsely populated. East of where Mr.
Hamblen located about a mile lived Jesse
Mercer, whose brother had been killed there
by lhe Indians five years previously; east of
him a mile farther lived William Laughlin,
and east of him about the same distance lived
Judge Aaron Dodd. These constituted the
settlers toward Cameron. North toward Bell
county there was a small settlement in the
vicinity of where Davilla now stands, a man
named Seaver and one or two of the Rosses
living there. West, in the edge of Williamson
county, was Tom Allen, and between him
and Georgetown was a man named Barton.
South the nearest settler was James Stephens,
who lived about two miles below the
present town of Rockdale. What little trading
was done by the settlers in the western
part of the county was done at Cameron, to
which place they also went to court and to
get their blacksmithing done,-the three
principal things that called them away from
home. Stock-raising was the chief industry,
and Mr. Hamblen soon had a large bunch of
cattle ranging in the bottoms of the San Ga.
briel and on the adjacent prairies. He and
his brother opened a small store near where
they settled in 1854, and for six years-until
the opening of the war-were engaged in
the mercantile business at that place. On

368

HISTOR YOF TEXAS

Lewis Publishing Company, publisher. History of Texas, together with a biographical history of Milam, Williamson, Bastrop, Travis, Lee and Burleson counties : containing a concise history of the state, with portraits and biographies of prominent citizens of the above named counties, and personal histories of many of the early settlers and leading families. Chicago. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth29785/. Accessed October 24, 2014.