Back When … SHAPING MONTGOMERY COUNTY, PART 1
By Char Schneider
Did you know that once upon a time our county was much larger? On Dec. 14, 1837, Montgomery County became the third county in the State of Texas. It came into existence because of its pivotal location. The cultural pattern that developed was a combination of the traits of the Old South and the bold bravery of the new West.
The county seat moved around a great deal in the early years. It was first in Battles, then Willis, Montgomery, and finally in Conroe where it is today. During the mission years, Conroe was on the road that Father Massenet took to get from the Goliad Mission to the Nacogdoches Mission. Under Spanish rule there was a plan for another mission at Spring Creek, but there was never any colonization and the plans for the mission were abandoned.
The area of Montgomery County was largely colonized about 1823 by land grants from the Austin Colony (Old Austin 300). In 1823, Gen. A. B. Wheeler accepted a land grant and established his family in the area. Governor Price Daniel was a grandson of Gen. Wheeler. By the 1830s the settlers were mostly from the South: Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi. They traveled by wagon train with their household goods and their slaves. The Indians in the area (Kickapoo and Bedias) camped all around Spring Creek and Caney Creek. However, due to an earlier epidemic where many of them died, the Indians had very little impact on the colonization.
The bill to create Montgomery County was introduced on Nov. 23, 1837 and was signed by Gov. Sam Houston on Dec. 14, 1837.
Tune in next month to read why we shrank to our present size.