The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931 Page: 62
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
land contractor, an owner of an extensive plantation, captain of
militia, and the first member of the Congress of the Republic of
Texas from Fannin County. To him we owe the first written
account of the early settlers along Red River, and ample evidence
shows him to have been connected with every event of importance
that occurred during the first decade of our history.
Roswell W. Lee, who came to Fannin County about 1840, was
probably the most highly educated man of pioneer Fannin County.
Lee, a native of Springfield, Massachusetts, was admitted to the
United States Military Academy, July 1, 1829, and graduated
eighth in a class of forty-three members July 1, 1833. After a
somewhat checkered career in the United States Army he was
dismissed from the service in July, 1838.3 After coming to Texas
he served as a second in the duel between Major Lysander Wells
and Captain William D. Redd at San Antonio in 1840. Both
participants were killed. Lee never ceased to regret his connection
with the tragedy, and, it is said that the other second left Texas
never to return.' Soon after his coming to Fannin County Lee
was elected county clerk and continued to serve in that capacity
until 1852. I-Ie was a man of fine physique, courtly demeanor and
splendid intellect. But for his love of strong drink he probably
would have been one of the most prominent men in Texas and a
general of first rank in the armies of the Confederacy.5
John P. Simpson, a Tennesseean by birth, who came to Fort
Inglish from Alabama in the summer of 1837, was another of
Fannin's leading citizens during the formative period. Hie served
as sheriff of the county from 1839 until 1843 when he became
chief justice, a position that he held until 1846. In the 1880's
he contributed a series of sketches of early Fannin County history
to the Bonhamn News. These were afterward printed by W. A.
Carter in his History of Fannin County and are considered the
most authentic source for the history of the settlement of the
Holland Coffee, Daniel Montague and Bailey Inglish were other
pioneers of distinction. Each of them is remembered as the
'Letters from H. B. Lewis, Adj. U. S. Military Academy, to author,
IViarch 2, 1925. Also, Heitman, Historical Register and Dictionary of
the United States Army, I, 625.
'Brown, History of Texas, II, 187.
'Lusk, History of Constantine Lodge, No. 13, A. F. cG A. M., Bonham,
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 34, July 1930 - April, 1931, periodical, 1931; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101091/m1/66/: accessed April 28, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.