The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916 Page: 272
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The Southwestern Historical Quarterly
still living here. I knew them well, for they have visited in my
home. William H. Wharton, the third of these five children, was
a lawyer of ability. He married Sarah Ann Groce, whom he met
in Nashville, where she was attending school. She was an inti-
mate friend of his sister Betsy. December 5, 1827, they were
married at "Bernardo," Texas, Republic of Mexico, the home of
her father, Jared Ellison Groce.
Jared E. Groce emigrated to Texas from Georgia in 1822,"
bringing with him nearly one hundred slaves. He thereby ac-
quired from the Mexican government ten leagues of land. Hav-
ing had his only daughter with him so short a while since her
return from college, he was loath to part with her, and offered to
her young husband one-third of his vast possessions and many
slaves if he would only remain in Texas. He also argued that
Texas needed just such men as Wharton at that time. They re-
mained, and her father gave them all the lands which he pos-
sessed in Brazoria County.
Knowing that his daughter had never been accustomed to do
without comforts, back in the old home, and wishing to shield
her from the many hardships which so many of the early settlers
in Texas (then almost a wilderness) were compelled to go through,
he wrote to a firm in Mobile, Alabama, for lumber, etc., to build
a large and commodious dwelling. This was sent on a schooner
from Mobile to the mouth of the Brazos and up the river twelve
miles to the place selected for the home. Among the slaves whom
he had brought with him were two brick masons and six finished
carpenters, for which he had paid several thousand dollars. The
surroundings were ideal for this beautiful dwelling. The planta-
tion lay between the Brazos River and Oyster Creek. twelve miles
from the Gulf of Mexico. There were originally two leagues of
land. On one side of the house the lawn ran down to a beautiful
lake, and the whole place was surrounded by large live oak trees.
Upon their arrival, they found that an eagle had built her nest
in one of these and they called the plantation "Eagle Island."
This home had all the comforts of a city, for in those days the
2Groce's application for land in Austin's colony was dated July 26, 1824.
How long he had been in Texas at that time is not stated. He had
ninety slaves.-Spanish Titles, General Land Office, Volume 1, page 258..
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 19, July 1915 - April, 1916, periodical, 1916; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101067/m1/293/: accessed June 27, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.