Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 1, Number 10, September, 1991 Page: 313
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William B. Dewees
to his Mother
The Eagle Lake Headlight, in its edition of July 7,
1923, published a letter purportedly written by William
Bluford Dewees to his mother. Dewees, who has come
down to us as "the father of Columbus," was one of the
earliest settlers of Texas and Colorado County. Dewees was
born September 8, 1799, apparently in Kentucky, and came
to Texas in 1822 as one of Stephen F. Austin's "Old Three
Hundred" from Arkansas. In 1835, he bought the tract of
land on which most of Columbus now sits and, shortly
afterward, developed it into a town. He remained in
Columbus for the rest of his life, which ended on April 14,
The Headlight ran the letter under the headline
"An Old Letter" and, apparently signifying their source for
the material, inserted the name Lockhart Daily Post in paren-
thesis above the text. If genuine, the letter would be of great
historical value. Among its revelations, if we are to take it
literally, are that Dewees spent some time in Italy. This may
be an important fact in uncovering the now shrouded earliest
days of Dewees' life. The letter is introduced: "One of the
Tolbirt boys brought us this copy of an old letter, which he
found in a scrap book his grandmother made long ago." It
is not clear if the scrap book contained a handwritten copy
of the letter or where the original might be if such existed.
Had Dewees written a letter to his mother, presumably he
would have mailed it to wherever she lived at the time. Who
made the copy and how it got into the hands of "the Tolbirt
boys" is a matter for conjecture.
It is known that Dewees and Emanetta Cara
Kimball collaborated on a book, published as Letters From
An Early Settler of Texas in 1852. The book consisted of
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 1, Number 10, September, 1991, periodical, September 1991; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151383/m1/9/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed June 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.