Heritage, Volume 7, Number 4, Fall 1989 Page: 27
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FOCUSES ON RICHMOND
lI _ _
LEFT: The Morton Cemetery is one of the oldest remaining cemeteries in Texas. The earliest grave
in the cemetery is dated 1825.
RIGHT: The Moore Home, built in 1883 is the site of the Christmas Candlelight Tour.
All photos courtesy of Fort Bend Museum Association.
By M. Peter Soria
A t first glance, a visitor to the
Richmond area might see a
typical Houston suburb. Shopping
centers, a growing population, and a
new courthouse provide a contemporary
ambiance. However, a closer look reveals
another era-a time shared by great Texas
legends Jane Long, Mirabeau Lamar, and
Richmond-named after Richmond,
Virginia-is located approximately thirty
minutes southwest of downtown Houston.
Richmond was the first city of Fort Bend
County to be incorporated by the Second
Congress of the Republic in May 1837. It
became the county seat in 1838. The area
was settled by members of Stephen F.
Austin's Old 300 colony. The Fort Bend
Museum focuses on those families and the
way each generation affected and was affected
by the development of the area's
The first stop on the tour is the LongSmith
cottage. This cottage, located
adjacent to the Fort Bend Museum, is the
only historical building that can be affiliated
with Jane Long. Shortly after the War
for Independence, Jane Long, the Mother
of Texas, came to Richmond and established
the first boarding house of the city.
Her grace and upstanding name brought
some of her dearest friends to Richmond,
most notably Mirabeau Lamar, vice president
of the Republic, and Deaf Smith. The
new city of the Republic benefited from her
business expertise. Even though her boarding
house is gone, her dedication to the city
will not be forgotten.
The cottage was built in Greek Revival
style in the 1840s on Long's property and
later moved to its present site. Even though
it is uncertain that Mrs. Long stayed in the
cottage, it includes items that belonged to
her and to other local residents between
the 1830s and 1860s.
Next on the tour is the Morton Cemetery.
Named for its founder William Morton,
it is one of the oldest remaining cemeteries
in Texas. The earliest grave in the
cemetery, the 1825 Robert Gillespie grave,
is also the oldest Masonic monument in
HERITAGE * FALL 1989 27
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Texas Historical Foundation. Heritage, Volume 7, Number 4, Fall 1989, periodical, Autumn 1989; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45433/m1/27/: accessed September 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.