Part of an old map of the San Jacinto area from the Texas Revolution

Veteran Bio

Texian Location:  Participant

The Kemp Sketch

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REESE, WASHINGTON PERRY -- Born in Tennessee, October 8, 1815 a son of Joseph and Margaret (Bowman) Reese. In Headright Certificate No. 46, issued to him January 25, 1838 for one-third of a league of land by the Brazoria County Board of Land Commissioners, it is merely stated that he came to Texas prior to May 2, 1835. On page ___ Book ___, list of applicants for land in Austin's Colonies, it is shown that when Charles K. Reese, brother of Washington R. Reese, applied for land he stated that he arrived in Texas in January, 1830.

On page 23 of the army rolls in the General Land Office, Mr. Reese is shown as a member of Captain John York's Company in 1835. On May 22, 1838 he was issued Donation Certificate No. 194 for 640 acres of land for having participated in the Storming and Capture of Bexar, December 5 to 10, 1835. At San Jacinto he was in Captain Robert J. Calder's Company. He was issued Bounty Certificate No. 3496 for 320 acres of land on May 22, 1838 for having served in the army from October 7 to December 13, 1835. Bounty Certificate No. 631 for 640 acres of land was issued to his name, but delivered to his heirs on March 25, 1850, for his services from March 15 to October 10, 1836.

In the year 1839, Washington Perry and William Parker Reese were guides for John Webster, who, with his wife and two small children and the families of Hughes and Thompson and a number of others, about thirty in all, were on their way to settle on their lands in what is now Burnet County. They were attacked by a band of Comanche Indians estimated at about two hundred. All in the party were massacred except Mrs. Webster and her son and daughter who were made captives and who eventually made their escapes from the Indians. The massacre occurred about two miles below the present town of Leander; in Williamson County.

Mr. Webster lived in Bastrop County and owned a number of slaves. The Probate Records of Bastrop County show that Charles K. Reese was appointed administrator of his estate. They show also that his widow, Mrs. Dolly Webster, died before March 6, 1849 aid that on April 29, 1850, Noel M. Baine was appointed guardian of the minor child, Martha Webster.

Shortly after the death of her husband, Mrs. Webster returned with her children to their former home in Virginia to live and there Mrs. Webster died. Her son, Booker Webster, joined a Virginia Company and was in General Winfield Scott's army in the Mexican War. He was engaged in several battles and died of yellow fever in Vera Cruz while enroute home.

Martha V. Webster was but three years old when captured by the savages. In 1851 she returned to Texas and lived with an uncle near Manor. She afterwards married Marmaduke Strickling and in 1854 they settled at Strickling, Burnet County, on the land which was the objective point of the ill-fated Webster expedition. After the death of Mr. Strickling, the widow, in the course of time, was married to a Mr. Simmons. In June 1922, she was living with her children in Gridley, California.

Before the death of -Mr. Strickling, Mrs. Strickling, Charles Keller Reese and Thomas Reese had erected a limestone tomb in the cemetery two miles below Leander, Williamson County, near where the massacre occurred, on which the following was inscribed:

"To the memory of Washington Perry Reese and Parker Reese, killed with John Webster and Company by the Comanche Indians August 27, 1839. Their tomb was raised by Their Brothers and Webster's Daughter, Martha V Strickling, Charles K Reese and Thomas Reese."

Charles K. Reese was a brother of Washington Perry Reese, but not a brother of William Parker Reese. They were probably cousins.

The State of Texas
County of Brazoria

Before me, the undersigned authority, on this day personally appeared Mrs. Hattie Reese Brockenbrough, to me well known, who after by me being duly sworn, on oath deposes and says: -- My name is Hattie Reese Brockenbrough and I am the wife of J. B. Brockenbrough. I reside at Freeport in Brazoria County, Texas and I have resided in Brazoria County, Texas all of my life. I am a descendant of Joseph Reese and his wife Margaret Reese, both deceased, who resided during the early days of Brazoria County on what was then known as the Reese Plantation, on the Eastern side of Clear Lake, in the vicinity of what is now known as the Craig Place, in the Southwestern part of Brazoria County. I am a daughter of Joseph Perry Reese, deceased, who was a son of Charles Keller Reese, deceased, and a grandson of said Joseph Reese and his -wife Margaret Reese. I am also a grand-daughter of C. R. Cox, deceased, whose mother (now deceased) having been a daughter of said C. R. Cox. Being a descendant of said Joseph Reese and his wife Margaret Reese on both my father's side and my mother's side, and having heard older members of the family discuss the family history, I am familiar with the family history of said Joseph and Margaret Reese and their descendants. I am also in possession of the family Bible of said Joseph and Margaret Reese, which contains entries showing the dates of the births and deaths of the children of said Joseph Reese, the date of the marriage of said Joseph and Margaret Reese, and the date of the death of said Margaret Reese. According to the entries in said family Bible, said Joseph Reese was born in Shenandoah County, Virginia, on January 12, 1784, and married said Margaret Bowman on August 18, 1806, and died at New Orleans, Louisiana on December 2, 1845, and said Margaret Reese, wife of said Joseph Reese, died on August 3, 1844. After the death of said Margaret Reese, said Joseph Reese married Mrs. Ann B. Robinson, who survived him. The marriage of said Joseph Reese to Mrs. Ann B. Robinson is not shown in said family Bible, but I know of the same from family history. According to the entries in said family Bible, the children of said Joseph Reese and his wife Margaret Reese were as follows:

1. Harriett Hite Reese, born July 26, 1807, died November 18, 1840. The marriage of said Harriett Rite Reese is not shown in said family Bible, nor the date of the births and deaths of her children, but I know from family history that said Harriett Hite Reese first married a Dr. Cox and after his death she married a Mr. Erwin, and at her death left surviving three children, viz.: C. R. Cox, Thomas R. Erwin and Harriett Erwin. It is my understanding that said Harriett Erwin did not leave surviving her any other children or child or other descendants of any deceased, child or children. My mother, Mrs. Minnie Cox Reese, now deceased, was a daughter of said C. R. Cox, son of said Harriett Hite Reese Cox, afterwards Erwin.

2. Hetty Mariah Reese, born January 21, 1809, and died September 19, 1813.

3. Charles Keller Reese, born November 13, 1810, and died October 14, 1858. Said Charles Keller Reese was my grand-father.

4. Elizabeth Amanda Reese, born May 6, 1812 and died September 4, 1812.

5. Eliza Jones Reese, born June 6, 1813 and died December (?), 1847. The marriage of said Eliza Jones Reese is not shown in said family Bible, but I know from family history that she married Charles H. Bennett and left children when she died.

6. Washington Perry Reese, born October 8, 1815, and died Oct. 1, 1839.

7. Peyton Randolph Reese, born July 19, 1817, died Aug. 28, 1818.

8. James Monroe Reese, born June 2, 1819 and died Dec. 2, 1821.

9. Ellen Jane Reese, born May 18, 1812 (1821?). died July 15, 1842.

10. Andrew Jackson Reese, born January 1, 1824, died Sept. 8, 1838.

11. William Erwin Reese, born July 15, 1825, died Jan. ?, 1851. (This was "Billy" Reese of Mier Exped. He was 17 yrs. 11 mo. and 10 days old on date of Battle of Mier.) (Note by Wade.)

According to entries in said family Bible, the only children of said Joseph and Margaret Reese who survived them were Charles Keller Reese, Eliza Jones Reese Bennett and William Erwin Reese, and it is also my understanding that the only child of said Joseph and Margaret Reese who died before they died and left children or descendants was said Harriett Hite Reese, who first married Dr. Cox and afterwards Mr. Erwin, and who left surviving her three children above names, viz.: C. R. Cox, Thomas R. Erwin and Harriett Erwin. Other than said Harriett H. Erwin, Charles Keller Reese, Eliza J. Bennett and William Edwin (Erwin) Reese, the only children of said Joseph and Margaret Reese shown by said family Bible to have lived to be grown were said Washington Perry Reese and Ellen Jane Reese, and I presume both died without leaving surviving any children or child or descendants of any deceased child or children as I have never heard in the family discussions that they or either of them ever married or left a child or children or descendants when they died. It is my understanding that said Joseph Reese had no children by his marriage to Mrs. Ann B. Robinson.

(Mrs.) Hattie Reese Brockenbrough

Sworn to and subscribed before me, this ___ day of July, A. D. 1926.

Notary Public within and for
Brazoria County, Texas."

Written by Louis W. Kemp, between 1930 and 1952. Please note that typographical and factual errors have not been corrected from the original sketches. The biographies have been scanned from the original typescripts, a process that sometimes allows for mistakes in the new text. Researchers should verify the accuracy of the texts' contents through other sources before quoting in publications. Additional information on the veteran may be available in the Herzstein Library.

Battle Statistics

  • Died in Battle: No
  • Rank: Private
  • Company: Capt. Robert J. Calder

Personal Statistics

  • Date of Birth: 1815 Oct 8
  • Birthplace: Tennessee
  • Came to Texas: 1830 Jan
  • Date of Death: 1839 Aug 27
  • Other Battles: Bexar
  • Bounty Certificate: 631
  • Wife: none
  • Family at San Jacinto: Brother Charles Keller Reese fought at San Jacinto.