Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 1, January, 1999 Page: 20
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Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal
In January 1867, several plantation owners near Oakland, and the residents of
the town itself, were named in a lawsuit which threatened to cost them their homes. James
Bowie had been granted the league of land on which Oakland eventually developed on
April 20, 1831. He had married the former Ursula Veramendi one month earlier. The land
was still in the family's possession when she died in September 1833. Bowie sold the entire
league on October 15, 1835. Less than five months later, he died at the Alamo. More than
thirty years after his death, on January 24, 1867, Maria Antonia Veramendi Sierra, Teresa
Veramendi Rodriguez, and Marco A. Veramendi filed a lawsuit wherein they declared that
they were the heirs of Ursula Veramendi Bowie, that they were legally entitled to inherit an
undivided one-half interest in the league of land when she died, and that James Bowie, if
indeed he sold any of the land at all in October 1835, could only legally have sold his own
undivided one-half interest. They asked for damages of $1000 for trees that had been re-
moved; for compensation of $1000 per year for each of the years since 1859 from the
people who had lived on the land; and for the immediate eviction of all the people then
living on the land. Though it would routinely come up before the district court for each of
the next several years, the lawsuit, complicated by the number of defendants and the broadness
of its implications, would not finally be resolved for more than a decade.3'
Despite the threat to their continued and past ownership of the land the
Veramendi lawsuit posed, the residents of Oakland persisted in developing their town. On
February 23, 1867, Oakland's Baptists acquired land on which to build a church from the
town's proprietor, Theresa E. Ivey. A year later, another group of Baptists acquired land for
another church, this one in Osage, from William Lucius Adkins. Methodist congregations
too, were cropping up around the county. On September 17, 1868, a Methodist congrega-
tion got land just east of Alleyton for yet another church. Two years later, another Method-
small town in late 1867. More evidence of the relative size of Colorado County's towns at the close of the war
is given by the activities of the police court in licensing saloons. In 1866, eleven retail liquor dealers were
licensed in Columbus, and two in each of Alleyton, Eagle Lake, and Frelsburg. Unless it is to be believed that
the people of Columbus were unusually heavy imbibers of alcoholic drink, or that those of Alleyton, Eagle
Lake, or Frelsburg were unusually abstemious, it seems clear that Columbus was substantially larger than any
other county town (see Colorado County Police [Commissioners] Court Minutes, Book 1862-1876, pp. 44-46,
51, 53, 55, 56, 64, 65, 66).
31 Colorado County District Court Records, Civil Cause File No. 2111: Maria A. Veramendi, et al. v.
William J. Hutchins, et al., Minute Book D, pp. 55, 143, 200, 247, 311, 448, Minute Book E, pp. 3, 98, 183,
267, 364, 444, 501, 523, Minute Book F, pp. 54, 136, 156, 170, 215, Minute Book G, pp. 366, 431, 432, 442;
Cases Argued and Decided in the Supreme Court of the State of Texas [Texas Reports], vol. 48 (Houston: E. H.
Cushing, 1878), pp. 531-554.
32 Colorado County Deed Records, Book M, p. 371, Book N, pp. 73, 472, 685, Book O, pp. 241, 384,
493; Book P, pp. 12, 189, Book 6, p. 168. The Baptists acquired their land in Osage on February 7, 1868. The
Methodist tract near Alleyton was one acre near the mineral spring in the John McCroskey Survey; that in
Osage, which was deeded on August 31, 1870, eight acres adjacent to the ten acre school tract. The lot which the
Episcopal church purchased, on October 3, 1870, was subdivided lot 10 on block 41 in Columbus.
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Nesbitt Memorial Library. Nesbitt Memorial Library Journal, Volume 9, Number 1, January, 1999, periodical, January 1999; Columbus, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth151405/m1/20/?q=nesbitt%20memorial%20library%20journal: accessed December 15, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Nesbitt Memorial Library.