The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958 Page: 258
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Southwestern Historical Quarterly
machinery, however, caused production to be scanty during the
early days of settlement.4 Production for the top year of the colo-
nial period was not over ten thousand bales, while average pro-
duction ranged between five hundred and a thousand bales. Pro-
duction increased as civilization began to creep in, however, and
Texas had become a major cotton state by 186o.
Since cotton cleaning machinery was a necessity in the process-
ing of cotton, gins appeared in Texas almost as early as the first
settlers. As the first cotton growing areas of Texas were along
the lower Brazos in Austin's colony and the area near San Augus-
tine in East Texas, the people of these sections were naturally the
first to possess cotton gins. In Austin's colony Jared E. Groce
probably erected the first gin around 1825. Groce, the first planter
in the colony, came to Texas with the intention of growing
cotton. A neighbor, W. P. Zuber, stated that Groce operated the
first horse powered gin west of the Trinity River." The Galveston
Weekly News agreed with Zuber when it printed that Groce "put
up the first cotton gin in Austin's colony."'
Prior to the establishment of the Groce gin, plans had been
made for a number of others in the colony. In 1823, Samuel S.
Pearson applied to Austin for a land grant and expressed his de-
sire to come to Texas to build, among other things, machinery
to run cotton gins.7 Although no records exist to tell whether or
not Pearson ever reached the colony, certainly others did come.
In October, 1824, Austin agreed to grant land to Charles Morgan
on condition that he erect a cotton gin." Three months later
Thomas Hooper, "an industrious and respectable mechanic,"
came to Texas with the intention of building a saw and grist mill
and cotton gin.9 In early 1825, George Huff, a blacksmith from
Mississippi, and William Grant, a mechanic from Louisiana, ar-
4Francis Wade Kellam, Economic and Commercial History of Texas, 1821-1835
(M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1925), 92; DeWitt Talmadge Tarlton, The History
of the Cotton Industry in Texas, 1820-1850 (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1923),
"W. P. Zuber, "Biography and Life of a Prominent Immigrant of 1822," Houston
Post ..., 1904 (transcript, Archives, University of Texas Library).
eGalveston Weekly News, August 3, 1852.
7Barker (ed.), Austin Papers, I, Part I, 572.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 61, July 1957 - April, 1958, periodical, 1958; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101164/m1/316/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.