Pioneer Families, Barnetts and Spencer's, Fort Bend County, Texas


These pioneer families, so closely identified with the early colonists under Stephen F. Austin, and in the settlement, organization, and development of Fort Bend County, came to Texas respectively in 1821 and 1822. Thomas Barnett's league of land, granted to him by the Mexican government, was located in the lower part of Fort Bend County at "Clear Lake," where Duke's Station is now situated on the Santa Fe road; the property now belonging to John R. Fenn.

The Nancy Spencer league, as it is called, was located on the Brazos River, eight miles above the present town of Richmond, and was granted to Nancy Spencer in 1824. In that same year the Craunkaway Indians attacked some of the colonists, and a company was raised by Captain Randall Jones to march against them. Mr. Spencer belonged to this company and among others was killed in rthe battle that ensued.

The widow, Nancy Spencer, afterwards married Thomas Barnett and raised a large family, one of these being Mrs. Sarah C. Dyer, mother of Mrs. Lottie Dyer Moore, now the wife of Mr. John M. Moore. Mrs. Moore inherited the Spencer league of land: and owns it at the present time, it having been in the family since the days of the Republic.

Thomas Barnett was a member of the Texas Congress and one of the signers of the Texas Declaration of Independence. He was prominent in the organization of Fort Bend County, which was created from Austin County in 1837. President Houston appointed Mr. Barnett Chief Justice of Austin County, and also contractor to locate lands between Barnett and Wm. B. Travis. Among old documents, now in the possession of John M. Moore, are invitations from President Lamar to Thomas Barnett and family to attend receptions, and other social functions. This was while General Lamar was President of the Republic of Texas.

The great grandparents of Mrs. Lottie Dyer Moore, William and Martha Stafford, were also early settlers of Fort Bend County. Their league of land was east of Richmond and is now a part of the Cunningham sugar plantation, and Staford's Station on the Southern Pacific Railroad is situated on the Stafford league also. During the Mexican invasion the Stafford place was burned by the advance of Santa Anna's army under Colonel Delgado.

Among other property of Mr. Stafford's destroyed at that time was a fine gin, the first, probably, that was erected in Fort Bend County.

The father of Mrs. Louie Moore, J. Faster Dyer, was a native of Fort Bend County, and a prominent stock raiser and landowner up to the time of his death, which occurred in 1582.

Dr. Matt. Moore and his wife, Mrs. Henrietta Moore, parents of John M. Moore, came to Texas in 1852, and first, settled in Wharton County and moved to Fort Bend County in 1857, buying land on Oyster Creek; the family however, living in Richmond, where Doctor Moore practiced medicine until his death in 1865. He was a fine physician, fearless in time, of epidemics, cheerfully risking his life among yellow fever patients, standing as a tower of strength at all times among his people and died honored and respected, by all. John M. Moore, his son, has been a prominent man in, the business, social, and political development of Fort Bend County for the last twenty years, spending part of his time in San Antonio for the purpose of schooling his children, but all of his interests are in Fort Bend County.

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