Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 1, January, 1998 Page: 40
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
the town of Columbus as early as 1835. They
built the first houses in the town.
Colorado county was named for the
river which passes through its center. The
county lies on both sides of the Colorado river,
and is one of the richest and most fertile tracts
of land in West Texas. It has ever been cel-
ebrated for the picturesque beauty of its land-
scapes, its century-old live-oaks, and its many
high peaks, that were used by both friend and
foe, as points to reconnoiter from. The valleys
and slopes of this county are fertile, producing
wheat, cotton, corn, grapes, etc. Its charming
lakes, its crystal rivers, and with all, its glori-
ous atmosphere, robing every object in un-
wonted charms, continue to make it the chosen
seat of the immigrant, and even render it an
object of interest to the most indifferent ob-
server. This county is bounded on the north by
Fayette, south by Wharton, east by Austin, and
on the west by Lavaca counties, and is between
the twenty-ninth and thirtieth degrees north lati-
tude. Its area is nine hundred and five square
miles, and its population about twenty-four thou-
sand, composed of Americans, Germans and
Bohemians. Frebs and Ellinger are said to be
the first German settlers in the county. Col.
William Menefee was the first chief justice of
The town of Columbus was not incor-
porated until June, the 5th, 1837.
The first court of the county was held
in a little log house, very near the Colorado
river, in April, 1837. Present and presiding,
was Hon. R. M. Williamson. As taken from
the minute book, A, of the district court of
Colorado county, the original venire facias be-
ing called, the following jurors appeared in
court, and answered to their names. R. L.
Breeding, A. Cobble, D. Breeding, Moses
Townsend, Andrew Graham, A. Alley, M.
Putman, J. W. Robison, R. Dowdy, Alfred
Kelso, Wm. Burnham, Murphy, Abner
Woolsey, J. Commings, Wm. Thompson, T.
Jones, D. Silkrings, John Thompson and Tho-
mas Wright. The following named gentleman
were absent: N. Breeding, J. Byrne, C. Wistner,
Shaver, P. G. Silbey, S. Hyman, L.
Bostick, David Wade, A. Lockhart and Robert
By order of the court the absent jurors
were fined the sum of twenty dollars each, and
ordered to appear at the next term of court, to
show cause, why final judgment should not be
entered against them. Stephen Townsend, was
allowed by the court, fifty dollars for services
as sheriff during this term. There being no busi-
ness before the court, it was ordered that the
court adjourn sine die.
At a special term of the court held in
the town of Columbus, in May, 1838, for the
trial of W. H. Bibbs, on a charge of grand lar-
ceny; W. T. Townsend, who was appointed
clerk of the district court, and had taken the
oath prescribed by law; and Williard Wadham,
having taken the oath, was appointed prosecut-
ing attorney; and the following persons having
been legally drawn as grand jurors, for said
term, and taken the oath prescribed by law,
viz.: John Toliver, foreman; P. Dorrety, J.
Mathews, J. Burlinson, Jeremiah Mathews, W.
Mangrum, Wm. Watts, Wm. Alley, S. J.
Redgate, Iram Took, N. B. Breeding, Wm.
House and W. Hudgeons. Having received the
courts charge, they retired for the discharge of
their duties on a case of larceny, W. H. Bibbs
defendant. The grand jurors soon returned,
bringing the following bill: "We, the grand ju-
rors, find the within a true bill, John Toliver,
foreman: W. H. Bibbs, the prisoner, having
been brought to the bar, the bill of indictment
having been read by the prosecuting attorney,
the prisoner pleaded guilty thereto and threw
himself upon the mercy of the court. David
Wade having appeared, and stated that he had
received the property stolen; the court there-
upon gave the sentence that W. H. Bibb, the
prisoner, should receive on that day thirty-nine
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 8, Number 1, January, 1998, periodical, January 1998; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151402/m1/40/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed November 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.