The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905 Page: 102
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Texas Historical Association Quarterly.
his surveyor-general.1 Kerr resigned his seat in the Missouri sen-
ate, of which he was then a member, and in February he arrived
at Brazoria, where he remained until June. During this time he
lost by death his wife and two little children. Entrusting to the
care of friends in San Felipe his only remaining child, a little
girl about three years old,2 he and six other men3 started out in
search of a spot upon which to found the capital of the colony.
From Brazoria they traveled west and arrived at the junction of
the San Marcos and Guadalupe rivers, two of the prettiest streams
in Texas. The beauty of the country, its rich lands and abundant
water supply made the place a very suitable one for their purpose.
On a little creek, called ever since Kerr's Creek, about two and
a half miles east of the junction of the rivers, they erected cabins,
August, 1825. A few weeks later the first family, that of Francis
Berry, joined them." Kerr then drew the plan of the town, which
he called Gonzales in honor of Don Rafael Gonzales, the provisional
governor of Coauhila and Texas.3 These early settlers at Gon-
zales were the only Americans west of the Colorado. De Le6n and
cerning Kerr's early life. He was born two miles from Danville, Ken-
tucky, September 24, 1790. He was the son of James Kerr, a Baptist
minister. With his father, brothers, and sisters he removed in 1808 to
Missouri, and settled in St. Charles County. He took part in the war of
1812-1815, was lieutenant under Captain Nathan Boone, and was a great
favorite of Daniel Boone, the father of Nathan. He studied law, but never
practiced. For a long time he was sheriff of St. Charles County. In
1819 he married the only child of General James Caldwell, of St. Gen-
evieve, speaker of the territorial house of representatives of Missouri.
Kerr, then settled in St. Genevieve, was elected twice to the lower house
of the legislature, and in 1824 to the State senate. In this body he es-
tablished a reputation for wisdom, prudence, and honor.
1Brown, History of Texas, I 119. Brown is mistaken when he says Kerr
received his commission from the government. When the governor heard
of Kerr's appointment the next year, he expressly stated that it was not
in the power of the empresario to appoint the surveyor, and ordered the
commissioner, when he should be appointed, to put some one in Kerr's
place. Titles, De Witt's Contract (MS.), 829-830. General Land Office.
See below, page 115.
2 She later became Mrs. J. C. Sheldon of Galveston (Baker, A Texas
Scrap Book, 291).
8 Erastus (Deaf) Smith, Bazil Durbin, Geron Hinds, John Wightman,
James Musick, and - Strickland (Brown, History of Texas, I 124).
SBrown, History of Texas, 1 124-125.
'James Kerr to Saucedo, political chief, December 12, 1825. Bexar
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Texas State Historical Association. The Quarterly of the Texas State Historical Association, Volume 8, July 1904 - April, 1905, periodical, 1905; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101033/m1/104/: accessed November 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.