The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946 Page: 81
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The House of Barr and Davenport
House of Barr and Davenport were a result of the activities
of the men who constituted the firm. Luther Smith was a
resident of New York and died in Bayou Tunica, Louisiana,
prior to 1808.54 He made annual trips from 1803 to 1807 be-
tween Nacogdoches and West Florida, usually driving large
herds of horses and mules from Texas to be sold in the district
of New Feliciana.55
Edward Murphy was a resident of Pennsylvania. He died
intestate prior to December 10, 1808, and was survived by Marie
Elizabeth Buard, his \wife, Marie Eugenia, a daughter born in
1801, Edward Cessaire, a son, and another daughter whose
name is not known.56 In 1798, upon the organization of the
trading firm, Murphy transferred to the company his title to
the La Nana grant,57 which he had acquired from the Spanish
government the same year. This grant was situated in the heart
of the Neutral Ground astride the road between Nacogdoches
and Natchitoches and comprised one hundred forty-four sections
of land.58 At the time of his death, his holdings as a member
of the trading firm were considerable. In addition to one-fourth
of La Nana grant, he owned also one-fourth of Las Ormigas
grant, which was purchased by the firm in 1805 from one
Jacinto Mora.659 The Las Ormigas tract was situated in the
Neutral Ground, with the left bank of the Sabine River for its
west boundary, a short distance northwest of La Nana grant;
54Upon his death, he was survived by his mother, Abigail Smith, a
brother, Nathan, and a sister, Mary. He probably had two other brothers,
Samuel and William. - Abstract of Title to Certain Lands in La Nana
and Las Ormigas Grants. Copies from a plat book in the possession of
Mr. W. H. Vandegaer, Many, Louisiana, through the courtesy of Dr.
Edwin A. Davis and Dr. W. R. Hogan, Louisiana State University, 1942.
Typed copy in the Archives of The University of Texas, p. 19. (Hereafter
this source will be cited merely as Abstract.)
55Certificate written by Don Juan Oconor, February 10, 1807, MS., Bexar
56For additional genealogical data see Abstract, 19-22.
57The story of Murphy's taking possession of the grant is given in Doc.
49, 70. - On August 1, 1798, Don Jos6 Maria Guadiana, commandant of
Nacogdoches, stood in the center of a prairie known as "La Nana," about
seven leagues east of the Sabine River on the road leading to Natchitoches.
Near him stood a Spanish Irishman named Don Eduardo Murphy. With
solemn dignity, Guadiana took Murphy "by the hand, walked with him a
number of paces from north to south, and the same from east to west, and
letting go his hand, Murphy walked about at pleasure on the said territory
of La Nana, pulling weeds, made holes in the ground, planted posts, cut
down bushes, took up clods of earth and threw them on the ground, and
did many other things in token of possession."
58Abstract, 19-22, 27; see also, Doc. 49.
59Jacinto Mora obtained the original grant from the Spanish government
on December 2, 1795. - Doc. 49, 72.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 49, July 1945 - April, 1946, periodical, 1946; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth146056/m1/92/: accessed September 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.