Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago Page: 52 of 58
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.52 TEXAS AND TEXANS FIFTY YEARS AGO.
settlement of the territory of Leon. He was a native of Arkansas
county, Missouri. Left an orphan on his own resources at an early
age, he wandered to New Orleans, and was there taken under the
protection of Major Davenport, who was one of a company that had
established at Nacogdoches a niercantile house and did an extensive
trade with the Mexicans and Indians. Major Davenport discovered
in the boy Durst the material out of which men are made. He
took him in charge, educated him in a business way, taught him
the Spanish language, and finally sent him to Naoogdoches. Young
Durst was soon placed in charge of the entire business of the company
at that place, which he conducted most successfully, and to
the entire satisfaction of the company. He was the first American
resident in Nacogdoches, having located there in 1823. Prior to
this, when quite a boy, Durst had been sent by the company to the
city of Monclova with business dispatches, which long and dangerous
journey he satisfactorily performed. When Texas and Coahuila
had been formed into a State, Major Durst was elected one of the
delegates to the State Legislature which held its session at the city
of Monclova. From Nacogdoches to the capital of the State was
960 miles, through a wilderness, and he made the journey on horseback.
Major Durst located in Leon county in the early forties, buying
a tract of land of 2000 acres, situated near the present site of the
town of Leona, and lying between Boggy Creek and Leon Prairie.
He purchased this land from Allen Dimery, a free negro. Before
he removed to Leon, he resided in Naoogdoches county, on the
Angelina river in a large house protected by blockhouses. He
was the owner of a number of slaves, and he opened a farm on
the Dimery tract of land and built a large rock house. The Durst
homestead was famous far and wide for its hospitality, and for
being general headquarters for the newcomer and the traveler. In
1821' Major Durst married Miss Harriet M. Jameson, daughter
of John Jameson, an officer in the United States army. Mrs.
Durst was a native of Virginia, born near Harper's Ferry. She
was an excellent woman, possessing in an eminent degree all the
qualities that adorn and ennoble womanhood. Major and Mrs.
Durst both died in Leon county at the old Dimery homestead.
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Wood, William D. Reminiscences of reconstruction in Texas ; and, Reminiscences of Texas and Texans fifty years ago, book, 1902; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth14387/m1/52/: accessed March 29, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; .