Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 6, Number 3, September, 1996 Page: 115
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Consider the Lily.
The Ungilded History of Colorado County, Texas
by Bill Stein
The addition of Texas to the United States had one quick effect on the residents
of Colorado County: a number of them signed up to fight in the war with Mexico which
shortly followed Texas' statehood. The Colorado County company was raised in Colum-
bus, and was mustered into the U. S. Army on June 7, 1846. Captained by Caleb Claiborne
Herbert, it included such notable county residents as Leander Beeson, James Berry, Samuel
Crabtree, Oliver B. Crenshaw, Andrew Crier, Angus McNeill, George and William
Washington Montgomery, and Asa, Stapleton, and Thomas L. Townsend. One member of
the company, Augustin W. J. D. Austin, was killed in action at Monterrey on September
21, 1846. Another, Joseph L. Walker, died, presumably of disease, on July 16, 1846,
before the company reached Mexico.'
The more immediate and profound effect of statehood on Colorado County
came at the instance of the newly created state legislature. In April 1846, the legislature took
up some long-delayed business of the now-defunct congress of the republic. On January 29,
1842, the congress had defined a county, to be named La Baca, out of territory that was
then a part of Colorado, Fayette, Gonzales, Victoria, and Jackson Counties. La Baca
County, however, was like Ward County and several other counties in that it was not
accorded its own representative in congress, and, for that reason, like those counties, it was
declared unconstitutional by the supreme court in 1842. In La Baca County's case, the
supreme court decision came only six days after it was created; so, obviously, it never
developed as a separate government entity. Equally obviously, with the admittance of Texas
to the United States and the concomitant adoption of a new constitution, the legislature was
not restrained by the laws that had forced the dissolution of both La Baca and Ward
Counties. On April 6, 1846, they created a new county, which they named La Vaca, that
closely followed the shape of the aborted La Baca County. Three days earlier, they had
created Wharton County, which was similar but not identical to Ward County. Each of the
new counties, fairly enough, was required to assume a portion of the debts of Colorado
County, and of the other counties from which it was created. The new counties cost
Colorado County perhaps half its territory. The community of Hidesville, most of the
1 Charles D. Spurlin, comp., Texas Veterans in the Mexican War (n. p., 1984), pp. 24-25; Colorado
County Probate Records, Final Record Book B, p. 498. Though Austin is not known to have lived in Colorado
County, his brother William Austin certainly did.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 6, Number 3, September, 1996, periodical, September 1996; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151398/m1/3/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed June 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.